Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Bioshock Infinite: First impressions

Need some convincing to jump on the Infinite bandwagon? Read on...

Starting up the latest instalment of 2K's groundbreaking series of mindfuckery, you can't help but feel a certain expectation for what's about to follow. Particularly if you're suffering from some serious sequelitis caused by recent releases (well I suppose Revengeance isn't REALLY a Metal Gear game...or a word for that matter). 

Well, worry not! For this winner of an already obscene amount of awards will give fans the er...fanservice they so desperately need, as well as blowing the socks off newcomers with their feet still in them. 

The enemies may be different,
but deep down they're still bat-shit crazy
Infinite sets the tone of previous games immediately, dreamy melodies drifting from phonographs accompanying a pair of humorous strangers rowing new badass Booker DeWitt to a lighthouse reminiscent of the original Bioshock. Things soon step up as the skies blast red and Booker is shot up through the clouds like a steampunk superman, landing safely enough in the floating city of Columbia. What follows are visuals so stunning they make the forests of Crysis look like mere pixelated weeds. Forget Bespin's Cloud City, the floating stone buildings and skyrail-twisted structures of Columbia draw you into an immersive world that feels like heaven. At least until everything turns to shit. And you realise everyone's crazy. And racist.

You don't want to know how she lost that finger...
Things soon pick up as weapons are introduced (although only two at a time folks) along with powers such as summoning a deadly flock of crows (the correct term appropriately being, a 'murder') and the standard issue exploding fireball. The game-changer however, was the introduction of damsel in distress Elizabeth (or potential bargaining chip as i'm sure will be considered in the inevitable 'moral choice'). Rather than cling to the death-dealing crow-loving DeWitt as would any other vulnerable sissy, a message comes up proudly stating that Elizabeth can fend for herself, and therefore will not require any attention during skirmishes. While some may consider this a missing element, those haunted by the cries of 'LEON!' courtesy of most useless sidekick of 2005, Ashley Graham, will be grateful that Elizabeth can take care of herself in some pretty awesome ways. Not only this, but she will often throw DeWitt health, cash, ammo and even weapons appropriate for enemies in the vicinity, as well as spotting them herself. 

Dat 'realism'
With other new gameplay elements such as wearable perk-giving gear, innovative movement using magnetised hooks and a variety of puzzles and chests adding to exploration, this is a FPS completely opposed to the chest-high cover fights spent glued to weapon sights that riddle games like Battlefield and Call of Duty. Plus, as already seen in content like AC3's Tyranny of King Washington, this game puts an intense spin on history, making for a chilling 'what could have been' epic. If cities could have flown, that is.

So go...just as Bioshock replicated eerie 1984-esque feels, Infinite brings its steampunk world into collision with blown up nationalist and religious alterations to early 20th century America. Go on, skip the essentials this week, this is all your mind needs.

1 comment:

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