“He doesn’t ROW?!” a woman complains floating on a tiny, rickety boat in the ocean during a heavy storm. “No, he doesn’t row.” A man cries back over the sound of the rain and crashing waves. This mysterious duo continues to bicker right in front of the man they’re grumbling about and whose eyes provide the perspective of which this dispute is being seen. “How much longer?” you ask, but the couple continues to ignore you as the boat approaches a menacing lighthouse in the middle of the sea. After a short goodbye to the couple, you find yourself staring at a note on the front door of the lighthouse that reads, “DeWitt, bring us the girl and wipe away the debt. This is your LAST CHANCE.”
Booker DeWitt. The man who has been tasked with finding a girl named Elizabeth and bringing her back to New York to repay his “debt.” With very little information on where to find her, Dewitt enters the lighthouse he was directed to investigate only to find a collection of threatening notes and an inviting looking chair he thoughtlessly takes the liberty of sitting in. That’s when the shackles keep him in place, the windows turn to metal, and the capsule starts to soar into the clouds. All of a sudden it isn’t raining anymore. No more crashing waves. No more loud wind. Just sunshine and a floating city. Welcome to Columbia.
The City Above the Clouds
After the initial shock wears off, DeWitt steps into the floating concrete jungle and soon realizes the girl he’s after isn’t just “some girl.” Elizabeth is heir to the throne and next in line to rule Columbia. Fortunately for you, she isn’t too crazy about this responsibility and has been held there against her will her whole life. She follows you willingly sending the local, loyal citizens into an uproar. Here on out, you have one simple objective. Escape (preferably with the girl).
The prospect of an A.I. character following you around everywhere might turn some players off, but Elizabeth is anything but helpless. She needs no protection during the game’s many gun fights and even tosses you ammo when you’re getting low. She’s always by your side, gives helpful suggestions (that are actually helpful and not just annoying), points out items you might have missed, and takes care of herself. Even though the entire game can be seen as one big escort mission, Elizabeth is so valuable, you’ll wish every game gave you a digital battle buddy (given they’re this good). Also, she can tear holes into the space time continuum to help you in battle. Yeah. She’s got everything.
Elizabeth can open something called Tears. A Tear is an item or structure that might not be in our world, but exists in an alternate reality parallel to ours. Be it a piece of cover or a really sweet weapon, you can order Elizabeth to bring these Tears into our word to help with the situation at hand. With all these advantages, and more, it’ll make you wonder how you’d ever survive without her. This makes for a fun, fresh take on first person shooting and reels you into caring for this A.I. companion even more than just simple story telling can provide. Your struggles together are unpredictable and memorable as you traverse the highs and lows of this alien town.
Your Invaluable Companion
Columbia is a world with its own economy and travel system. Cash can be used to purchase upgrades and weapons, similar to the original BioShock, which will help you dispatch enemies easier. Not to mention, this town has its own version of Plasmids just waiting to be used and upgraded. Need to possess enemies into thinking they’re on your side? Trying to magically set a group of hostiles on fire? Want to drown your foes but there’s no water to be found? Drinking simple potions throughout the game puts powers like these at your fingertips with the possibility of improvement via spending some coin on upgrades. It really is as cool and as powerful as it sounds.
Even the simple task of getting around is just as much fun as every other piece of gameplay. Floating metal rails paint the sky inviting anyone to hop onto them with a single-handed device that allows you to scream across the city like a roller coaster. These tracks allow battles to take place in the air or on the ground at your will and also provide a quick route in or out of combat. Just like everything else in Infinite, It’s just one more thing to remind you that you’ve shot people in first-person before, but never like this.
Fire at your Fingertips
The amount of unique features in BioShock Infinite could take all day to describe. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been playing games. You’ve never played anything like this. The environments don’t mimic landscapes from any other titles, past or present. Combat is no where near your standard Call of Duty experience. Traveling and exploration give a sense of discovery and wonder second to none. And the story has plenty of twists and turns, some of which you might see coming, but still makes for one of the most beautifully crafted narratives in gaming. Even though BioShock Infinite is a sequel, it is one of the most fresh and exceptional experiences you will have, definitely all year, maybe ever.
Amazing A.I. Companion | Unique Battles, Environments, and Weapons | Compelling Story
Probably wont get another Bioshock for 5 years
Little David Galanter grew up in Orange County, CA loving videogames and anything else that repelled girls. After getting his Bachelor's Degree in Theatre Arts, David decided to start contributing his soft silky words to the world via online media. He currently owns a website with a weekly podcast (www.drgman.com) and is a reviewer for Default Prime!
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