First Impressions - Bioshock Infinite

One of my favourites by The Beach Boys

Bioshock Infinite is another of those games I've waited far too long to get my hands on playing. I think I missed the boat with the Bioshock games and to be honest, I'm not a fan of graphic violence or horror in games which I think the first two were mainly about. I might be totally wrong though as I'm just basing this off gut feel and snippets of information other players have divulged about the games. While I expected Bioshock Infinite to also have its scary moments, I somehow thought I'd be able to tolerate it a bit better - not to mention it's set in the 1910s with an awesome floating city as its playground! It remains to be seen if my predictions are right though...

So when I saw the game on sale I thought I'd finally give the game a shot. Keep in mind though that my eventual review of this game will probably be tailored more towards people like me: people who haven't really experienced Bioshock before and want to see if it's worth giving Infinite a go. Those who are Bioshock fans would have well and truly played the game already

What I like

  • Audio: There are some great background sound effects and some pretty good voice acting here by veteran voice actors with Chris VandenHeuvel doing a particularly good job as Zachary Hale Comstock.
  • Setting: I'm really digging this alternate history setting; the fact that Columbia is a giant floating micronation at the turn of the 20th century that's trying to hearken to what they believe are the good ol' days of the United States, and bringing their brand of imperialism wherever they go.
  • Music: I really love the fact that you get to hear old-fashioned renditions of popular music such as "God Only Knows" by The Beach Boys. When I first heard it I just had to run over to the barbershop quartet singing it in-game and listen to the whole performance. Combat music is also good, changing with the mood of the battle.

What I don't like

  • Acceptance of the supernatural: It's not long before you get to use these superpowers called "Vigors" but what I find amazing aren't the superpowers you get but how quickly the protagonist, Booker deWitt, just accepts them as a fact of life. Maybe this will get explained later on but it seems pretty unbelievable so far. While on the topic of Vigors...
  • Vigors: I haven't really used the Vigors at all during the game. Sure they can give you some temporary benefits but usually the most effective way to kill someone is a bullet through the head. I've probably got 99% of my kills so far just using standard guns and rarely have I ever run out of ammo. Which makes you wonder what's the point of the Vigors in the first place? Maybe later in the game they come into their element but so far there's no need for them.
  • Character models: While there's definitely some beautiful vistas to be seen in this game, I'm not a big fan of the cartoony character models, especially some of the eyes of the females - it makes them look like living porcelain dolls which just creeps me out. Although, maybe that's what they were intending...


I'm really enjoying Bioshock Infinite so far, and that's from someone who hasn't played the previous two Bioshock games - so I think that's a good sign (in that you don't need to have played the previous two in order to enjoy the story in this one). There's not really much to fault here except some minor issues with the plausibility of the plot, the gameplay mechanics with respect to Vigors and the unappealing character models. Nothing that will detract me from finishing the game though :).

[ LINK: Official Bioshock Infinite website ]