I finished Bioshock Infinite over the holiday weekend. I don’t often buy games as soon as they are released, because roughly 90% of the time they suck, and also 90% of the time they’re in a 75%-off Steam sale within a year. But like everyone else, I was blown away by the first Bioshock, so I knew there was a good chance this would be a great, culturally-significant game. Also, I knew there was going to be a twist in the story that I didn’t want spoiled by every jerkwad troll on the Internet. (I severely curtailed my social media presence and even turned off the global chat in GW2.)
My review: Best game of the decade so far. ’nuff said.
Infinite is an excellent example of how videogames have (or at least can be) morphed into just another medium for storytelling. It’s way more of a story than a game. When people think of videogames, they usually think of something like Asteroids where you just pointlessly shoot stuff to accumulate a score. Well, Infinite is nothing like that. It’s more of an adventure game, really. Remember those? It’s just like that. You walk around in an imaginary world and look for clues and talk to people to reveal the mystery of what’s going on. It’s just that in this particular case, you also shoot a lot of people. :)
In fact, the “game” part of Infinite actually gets in the way. I found it somewhat annoying at times to have to stop exploring to shoot a bunch of bad guys so the story would continue. Don’t get me wrong, the shooter implementation is great. The weapons are neat. The powers are neat. It’s super responsive. The enemies are not pushovers. But nobody is going to remember the cool weapons and powers in this game. Everyone’s going to be talking about the story and characters and scenery.
Honestly I recommend playing on Easy the first time so you can just blow through the enemies and concentrate on the story. I played it on Normal, which was “mostly” easy but got somewhat hard in a few places when I kept running out of ammo and dying.
It’s too soon to talk about the story without spoiling it for everyone, so I can’t say much. I’ll just say I liked it, and I was mostly surprised and pleased at the end. It’s one of those rare stories where everything comes together in one brilliant cinematic moment, and your jaw drops in surprise and suddenly everything “clicks” and makes sense. (As an aspiring writer, it’s the kind of moment you dream about creating.)