Bioshock Infinite places you as Booker De-Witt, a grumpy hired gun and veteran of the U.S. Cavalry, owing too much to too many wrong people, but there’s a chance to wipe the slate clean by rescuing Elizabeth, a girl who’s been imprisoned high up in the flying city of Columbia, suspended in the air by flying blimps and balloons. But once that’s done, that’s only part of the story…
I’ve not played either of the previous two Bioshock games so it felt a bit odd, at first, to play a modern-day actioner set in 1912, although I did like the way, in the opening menu, I could hear an old-style radio chirping the song “Making Whoopee” out of my rear-left speaker.
The graphics, faces in particular, are nicely detailed in the opening scenes where, after ending up in a rocket and heading into 1912, you find yourself amongst a bunch of happy-clappy religious types and are about to be baptised. Then as you make your way to your initial destination, you come across all kinds of sideshow-style entertainments, some of which you can participate in.
However, once you’re into the game proper, you’re either blasting away mindlessly, or wandering about in a prolonged fashion trying to get from A to B. That said, getting about the city is fun by use of the grappling hook system and the Skyline – a series of railways connecting the buildings – which goes at a fast pace and is one of the best ways of showing off the graphics, as shown by the video below.
Bioshock Infinite clip 5: On the Skyline with Elizabeth (720p HD)
You can pick up Salts in order to throw at mechanical objects, referred to as Vigors, to win them over in your mind. This way, you can gain entrance to further parts of the levels, while it’ll also allow you to take control of automated sentries which are firing at you – causing them to kill the enemy instead, and if you throw Salts at other people, they’ll stop pursuing you and have a nervous breakdown about it all, prior to topping themselves.
Apparently this has taken quite some time to come out, and when you get up close to anything you can’t interact with, I was surprised to see some far-from-cutting-edge graphics on these static items. Get up close to any wall or an item to see it in close-up detail and you can tell there’s not a lot of detail to be found, as the video below shows.
Bioshock Infinite clip 4: Example of poor graphics (720p HD)
The violence is a bit too cartoon-like and feels like you don’t really have the right control over all of your weapons. For example, before long, you get one that is some sort of mace with which you can smash people in the face but I played it on Medium and found it too easy to kill people. As a load of baddies attacked from all sides, I just kept pressing Y to melee at them, and even if you’re not facing them, the game just makes you turn round to thwack them!
There seems to be too much emphasis on picking up food to boost health, as well as picking up coins, and less of the memorable fighting action.
As I said, I’ve not played either of the prequels so I hadn’t experienced the gameplay that regular players will have done, but overall it does feel more like a PC game from the late 90s. As well as this, it keeps breaking the flow to take over the game for a while with CGI sequences, so felt occasionally like I was playing a film, which was my issue with the latest Tomb Raider game, albeit not to the same extent.
Check out more first-gameplay footage from Bioshock Infinite below, and also visit my DVDfeverGames Youtube channel for more footage from other games.
Bioshock Infinite clip 1: Shooting & hitting bad guys in the face (720p HD)
Bioshock Infinite clip 2: Shooting & hitting more bad guys in the face (720p HD)
Bioshock Infinite clip 3: Shooting & hitting even more bad guys in the face (720p HD)
- Publisher: Take 2 Interactive
- Standard Price: £34.99 (Xbox 360, PS3); £27.99 (PC)
- Players: 1
- HDTV options: 720p/1080i/1080p
- Features: game content download
- Subtitles: English only
Director: Ken Levine
Producers: Don Roy and Nicole Sandoval
Writers: John Dombrow, Joe Fielder, Drew Holmes and Ken Levine
Music: Garry Schyman
Booker DeWitt: Troy Baker
Elizabeth: Courtnee Draper
Zachary Hale Comstock: Kiff VandenHeuvel
Lady Comstock: Laura Bailey
Daisy Fitzroy: Kimberly Brooks
Daisy Fitzroy/Rosalind Lutece (mocap): Lyndsy Kail
Robert Lutece/Additional Voices: Oliver Vaquer
Robert Lutece: Ray Carbonel
Additional Voices: Steve Blum
Rosalind Lutece: Jennifer Hale
Additional Voices: Anthony Brophy
Jeremiah Fink: Bill Lobley
Additional Voices: TC Carson
Cornelius Slate: Keith Szarabajka
Chen Lin: Vic Chao
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.