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BioShock Infinite

aka: Project Icarus
Moby ID: 60152
Windows Specs
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Description official descriptions

In BioShock Infinite the player becomes detective Booker DeWitt who is forced to find a young woman Elizabeth to pay off his debts. She is held captive in the floating city of Columbia in alternate version of 1912. During his travels Booker encounters different factions within the city who are battling one another. The Founders want Columbia to remain a city only for pure Americans while the Vox Populi think the city should be available to anyone. The setting is built around the idea of exceptionalism with a strong religious doctrine and open racism. Elizabeth is a key piece within this conflict and has a mysterious origin including her powers to cause tears in the fabric of space-time, exposing parallel universes. Booker and Elizabeth remain together most of the game and she acts on her own. She does not need to be defended, tosses ammo and silver eagle coins to Booker and can be asked to pick locks. They are hunted down by the spiritual leader Comstock and his troops, along with the giant mechanical Songbird.

The game uses similar gameplay styles and mechanics found in previous BioShock games. Vigors give the player super powers to do a variety of things such as sending a murder of crows to peck away enemies or charming enemies to defend you. Another one is possession used to take over humans or machines to temporarily turn them into allies. Once the effect wears off, the possessed humans will commit suicide. Most vigors have multiple uses either as a direct attack or as a much stronger trap awaiting to be triggered. Booker can also be upgraded through four types of gear with permanent bonuses similar to the gene tonics in the previous games. Different types can be equipped according to the situation. The typical FPS array of weapons can be found throughout the game like pistols, shotguns, and rifles. One of the more notable weapons is the Sky Hook which can be used as a melee weapon to take down an enemy. Money can be exchanged at vending machines for upgrades and consumables. Items are found by looting barrels, desks and enemies. Vigors can only be executed when a sufficient amount of salt has been collected. The three main bars visible on the screen (health, salt and shield) can be extended by locating and using infusions. The story is also furthered through optional voxophones (audio logs) and kinetoscopes (film projectors).

Skylines provide a unique way to move throughout the world. Using the Sky Hook, the player can attached to these lines and quickly slide in one direction or another. These can be used to escape overwhelming situations or used to reach higher ground to gain a combat edge.

Spellings

  • バむγ‚ͺショック γ‚€γƒ³γƒ•γ‚£γƒ‹γƒƒγƒˆ - Japanese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

1,111 People (695 developers, 416 thanks) · View all

Lead Writer
Creative Director
Executive Vice President of Development
Vice President of Studio Relations
Project Senior Producer
Art Director
Animation Director
Lead Animator
Animators
Senior Animators
Lead Technical Animator
Rigger/Technical Animator
Senior Technical Animator
Lead Modeler
Senior Artist
Artists
Lead Concept Artist
Concept Artist
Senior Character Concept Artist
Lead Character Artist
Character Artist
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 88% (based on 52 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 133 ratings with 4 reviews)

They removed the BEES?!

The Good
The graphics are pretty damn awesome. Perhaps the best looking UE3 title on the market right now. The game has an ending, thank god. Ken Levine was involved in the process of making this game. Excellent voice actors and music. Elizabeth's body.

The Bad
It gets repetitive very quick. Many of the weapons feels less powerful than what they appear to be. Almost every weapon works the same, no matter if you use the Vox's or the "standard" ones. Most of the plasmids, or VIGORS in BSI are downright useless. I kept using only Possess and Shock Jockey. There's no exploration at all, just a straight line to the goal. Many of the game's NPC's are mute and can't be interacted with so they appear as re-animated mannequins. The game includes rather tasteless racism. The Elizabeth character is immortal and ruins the game's stress factor by aiding you in battles by tossing ammo, health and salt just when you're about to die. When you do finally die, there's no punishment. Every Bioshock suffers from this. It began already in System Shock 2 though. A game I actually like. You don't feel as a part of the game world, it doesn't feel like you make an impact with your doings. It all feels so sterile. AI's freaking stupid. Most of the enemies just rush towards you, beating you with billy clubs.

The Bottom Line
Graphics doesn't make the game. And here's the proof why. Such an overhyped game and what did we get? One more linear game.

Windows · by Wormspinal (619) · 2013

Infinite indeed ...

The Good
The game makes some improvements over the previous two games - the respawning has been removed which was my main annoyance about the first two Bioshock games and now you have a big living world - a world which is quite unique and very well designed with gorgeous artwork. It feels very real - like stepping into a book or a movie - and it's what will make it hard to forget this game even years after you've played it.

The story is quite imaginative as well and it makes clever use of concealing plot elements from you until you slowly unravel them by listening to audio tapes, watching movie clips, reading signs, picking up clues. I love when games let you figure it out by yourself instead of spoon feeding it to you. Half-Life 2's main strength was its mysticism (what happened to the world?) and for Infinite, it's "who or what is Elizabeth and how on earth could they build a city in the clouds?" and smaller questions later on.

Elizabeth herself is a very interesting character. She actually helps out, you never have to defend her and she never gets in the way - look at Daikatana to see an example of the opposite. She's definitely one of the most interesting companions I've seen in a computer game so far and she makes the game more interesting by far.

The Bad
While Infinite does improve upon some aspects of the older games, it makes the same mistakes as well and some new ones to boot:

You can only carry two weapons at once which is extremely annoying and a needless limit. You see, in combat you ideally have four types of guns: accurate single-shot ones for head shots (sniping rifle, pistols, etc.), you have close range weapons (shotguns), you have long range automatic weapons (machine guns) and you have splash damage weapons (rocket launchers, grenade launchers). Each have their unique use tactically: a single enemy you pick off with a single-shot weapon. Low ammo cost, accurate and fun. Big clustered crowds that don't move need splash damage weapons (rocket launcher), lots of moving targets at a distance require machine guns and moving targets up close require a shotgun. See, every situation has its type of gun. And then Infinite just forced you to pick two. And there goes what could have been great combat down the drain ... for every combat situation makes you curse since you have to make do with the limits (and it doesn't help that you very quickly run out of ammo and have to pick up random weapons lying around).

Sure, you have your Vigors (new name for plasmids or magical powers) but most are rather weak and pointless and they drain your salts far too quickly to be of any real use. They're poorly balanced as well - most Vigors barely work in practice. Sending crows to attack an enemy doesn't even kill him most of the time, for example. Throw down electric fields and the enemies simply won't walk through it either. It's more like a barrier than a trap this way. It just feel very underwhelming. The only Vigor I use a lot, is the one to turn a foe into a friend for a few seconds. The rest aren't worth the salt you spend on them.

They did add some variation in who you're fighting but after a few hours, it's still 90% identical foes you're gunning down and it does get a bit dull. The special enemies (which use Vigors) are interesting at first but you've quickly seen them all and then they are more a nuisance than fun to fight.

Mix this with lots of scripted events and a mostly linear experience like in the previous two games, and you feel like they kinda tarnished what could have been a much better game. Again. For the third time.

The Bottom Line
If you enjoyed Bioshock 1 & 2 but want something similar that isn't as dark and bloody, this is a great game for you. It shares many of its same flaws, however, and while I feel combat has been improved a tad, there's still a lot of room for improvements. In the end, however, this game is much more about the story, setting and experience than about the combat. The Victorian-inspired setting with the city in the sky looks amazing and it's a real joy to walk through. Just for that, it might be worth checking out even if the combat does get repetitive later on.

Windows · by Icarus Lytton (19) · 2013

An ambition that went too far

The Good
BioShock Infinite's strength lies in the portrayal of the impossible city of Columbia. Undoubtedly one of the more unique locations in fiction that deserves its position among the likes of Castle Gormenghast, the city of Amber and BioShock's own Rapture, the game explains the city as the vision of one man who was thoroughly indoctrinated into the beliefs prevalent in America- of the individual's importance in protecting the traditions of America from America, here by Manifest Destiny, in BioShock by Objectivism's belief in the legitimacy of seeking economic prosperity as an individual. Unlike Rapture, the depictions of how Objectivism influenced the city go beyond the explanatory role, but that is mostly because the philosophy Comstock adopts is important to his arc, and, thus, that of DeWitt, the protagonist.

The city oozes an 'Applied Racism for Dummies' vibe that, thankfully, does not directly target the ethnic group to which yours truly belongs to and the point of debate brought about by the eerily Disney-like world design, the story of the transformation of Elizabeth and seeing how well a melee attack with your Sky-Hook disfigures early-20th century ideas of beauty in more ways than one, that can help you find solace for the possibly traumatising time you spent in Disneyland with Goofy (or so says Yahtzee Croshaw), being a case of ludonarrative dissonance can be explained when one assumes that DeWitt is an embodiment of a typical player's propensity for violence. Elizabeth is just someone who has no other alternative to follow.

Speaking of the story, the game' story is, while not being groundbreaking, interesting in its presentation. True, the game does not present reasonable avenues of exploration beyond one defined by the bounds of an immediate point the game is making, like the scenes set in the poorer parts of Columbia and the beach suggesting ordinary life for the poor and the rich of the city (but, sometimes, not even that) and the game ends by pushing the player on a more-or-less on-rails explanation of the entire plot. Still, the game must be applauded for having such a complicated story for a AAA budget title, even if it falters when it comes to explaining the time-space paradoxes that pop out of it in the end suggesting, obviously, that it was a late game addition.

The Bad
The level design. I was honestly sold on the game's 10- minute presentation where DeWitt and Elizabeth fight in a massive arena, filled with a roller coaster rides that you could change and not care about your ticket price, a dynamic system of enemy engagement focusing on localised conflicts that can become bigger if the player is not fast enough to stop them getting bigger and, for once, lots of non-player characters on the screen who did not want to kill the player on sight for a BioShock game. Instead, what we got were smaller arenas, Sky-Lines that actually paled in comparison to those one could make and sit on in Roller Coaster Tycoon 3, and combat sections that, especially in the arena where the player sees the Vox Populi burning Comstock's statue (using the sound assets that made the trailer more thematic than most of the actual game) show how much of the original settings had to be abandoned and remade in to an easier- to- produce aesthetic that ditched the the sky and pushed you insides, in case you found that the rest of the city was poorly rendered when you did go outsides.

The combat is also disappointing, and not just for the reasons you have been told. The game's idea of higher difficulty is to make the enemies bullet sponges, forcing the player to adopt one set of weapons, one set of clothes (that make no sense narratively, just as the absence of the use of vigors, despite their widespread availability, by the enemies) that give those bonuses that specifically favour the player's style and a frustratingly simple AI that cannot go beyond the happenings delivered by a scripted scene here, 10 bullets per second aimed at the player's face there and the Vox Populi incapable of understanding that DeWitt apparently died for their cause (in one of the universes where he did) and they unquestioningly follow Fitzroy's simple instructions in the middle.

The Bottom Line
BioShock Infinite was Irrational Games last major release. Its dissolution within 6 months of its release, the box art being geared towards the Call of Duty crowd (as stated by Mr. Levine himself) and the subsequent dislike, even hatred, that the game received stands as evidence to the back-door dealings that happen in one of the most secretive industries on the planet and bring games like this, but also the likes of Total War: Rome II and Civilization: Beyond Earth.

It is possible that the BioShock games are a metaphor of Levine's life- an innovator whose own ambitions are incompatible with the lives of those around and under him that ultimately leads to his own downfall. Sadly, this time, the cause cannot be the protagonist of his next game.

Windows · by Victor Joseph (9) · 2014

[ View all 4 player reviews ]

Trivia

1001 Video Games

BioShock Infinite appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Historical References.

In the game, Jeremiah Fink paid his employees in company scrip - a common practice where employees could only buy from company stores. True to historical records, Fink followed the practice of raising prices in company stores without providing raises in order to recoup labor costs.

Music

The music played whilst the game is loading is 'Solace - Mexican Serenade' by Scott Joplin who lived at the time of Columbia.

The Barbershop Quartet near the start of the game were singing "God Only Knows", written by Brian Wilson for the Beach Boys in 1966.

Awards

  • 4Players
    • 2013 – Best Multiplatform Game of the Year
    • 2013 – Best Shooter of the Year
    • 2013 – Best Story of the Year
  • EGM
    • 2013 - ranked 1 (Top 25 of 2013)
    • 2013 - ranked 3 (Reader’s Choice Top 5 of 2013)
  • GameStar/GamePro (Germany)
    • 2013 – Best PC Game of the Year (Readers' Vote)
    • 2013 – #2 Best Xbox Game of the Year (Readers' Vote)
    • 2013 – Best Shooter of the Year (Readers' Vote)
    • 2013 – Game Moment of the Year (for the ending) (Readers' Vote)
  • Steam Awards
    • 2016 β€” The 'Whoooaaaaaaa, dude!' Award β€” Nominated

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  • MobyGames ID: 60152
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Riley Beckham.

Linux added by Sciere.

Additional contributors: Sciere, Scott Monster, Alaka, Havoc Crow, Patrick Bregger, Rik Hideto, joicrawu.

Game added March 31, 2013. Last modified May 24, 2024.