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In Part 1, we discussed the world of “BioShock Infinite” and gameplay. In Part 2 we will go deeper into the atmosphere of Columbia.
A highlight of the gameplay is the use of Columbia’s Sky-Line. The Sky-Line is the rail in which the city uses to transport goods throughout the city. Booker can use a Sky-Hook to get around the city as well as be used as a melee weapon that can snap enemies’ necks, cut them open or decapitate them. Enemies can also be pounced upon from the Sky-Line, which is pretty intense. Riding the Sky-Line is just as intense an experience; it feels as though you are on a roller coaster.
The enemies you will encounter throughout “BioShock Infinite” are varied, but not as iconic as the enemies of the first “BioShock.” There are the basic enemies which consist of the men and women on both sides of Comstock’s army and the Vox Populi that use guns, cannons and flying ships. However, the Heavy Hitters are the boss-like enemies that Irrational Games and Ken Levine have spoken at length about in several videos while “BioShock Infinite” was still in development. They have changed immensely from their initial debuts, but their impact to the gameplay was severely over-stated.
In addition, the fabled 1999 mode that was spoken so highly of is simply just a mode more difficult than the hard difficulty. The enemies are exactly the same except that they do more damage and when you die, the game takes away even more money from you. If you do not have enough money to regenerate, then it is game over.
Visually “BioShock Infinite” is gorgeous. The detail that was placed into every part of Columbia is immense. When looking from the city, you can see off into the horizon and it feels crisp, clean and fresh. This almost serene picture is juxtaposed against the crumbling society of Columbia, which makes it all the more eerie. Try having Booker stand still for a minute and during that time, you will see the city drift up and down almost as if it is breathing.
Elizabeth, Booker, Comstock, Daisy Fitzroy and the scientist behind why Columbia floats, Lutece, have their own backstories for you to discover. The story line is one of the greatest stories of the video game scene today and is something that will require much thought after being completed. Numerous gaming sites have had discussions as to what the ending means for the characters and the debate that has come out of “BioShock Infinite” alone make it worth playing. Each player can walk away with a different interpretation and are willing to share that perception with other people.
Gary Schyman has returned to score “BioShock Infinite.” His talents were used in both “BioShock” one and two and are crucial to the atmosphere of Columbia. The soundtrack of “BioShock Infinite” was given within the premium edition as well as the Ultimate Songbird Edition, but unfortunately according to Irrational Games’ “BioShock Infinite” frequently asked questions, they “currently have no plans to sell the soundtrack.” The score evokes emotion in tense places where appropriate, while not being overbearing. Moreover, the score does inject a sense of danger in combat situations that only add to the urgency of Booker’s situation to the gameplay.
Altogether, “BioShock Infinite” delivers an experience unlike any other game currently on the market. It does not take the player as a fool, it will not spoon feed you any answers. You will have to pay attention to every detail found within the game in order to truly grasp the meaning behind the incredible ending. This may mean that “BioShock Infinite” will be a miss for gamers that typically are not familiar with the franchise. This is not a game for players who just want to whizz by Voxophones and environmental queues.
Rating – 5/5: If you put in the hours, “BioShock” is an extremely rewarding game with an intriguing story that will stick with you for a long time even after you have finished it. It will make you want to discuss it and understand it. “BioShock Infinite” is not just a game, it is an experience. For this complete package and long lasting impact with a lot of depth, “BioShock Infinite” deserves the praise and accolades.
Image credit: Bioshockinfinite.com