Review: BioShock Infinite

BioShock Infinite coverBioShock Infinte
Release Date: Mar 2013
Genre: First Person Shooter
Developer: Irrational Games

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars 4 out of 5 stars

BioShock Infinite delivers one hell of a punch.

Twelve MonkeysSo I finally finished the Xbox version of the game BioShock Infinte this “weekend” and I must say the ending of the game’s intense story truly delivered a punch to my gray matter that left me reeling in much the same way as the movies Twelve Monkeys, Seven and Fight Club did. (Hmm? Just noticed that all 3 of those movies star Brad Pitt. Very weird.)

I definitely enjoyed the game-play, the “world”, the FPS action, and the intense story. I don’t fault the ending (which I will NOT reveal here) as I think it fits the story-line and genre and is pretty cool to be honest… But STILL the ending did leave me feeling a little betrayed.

In a movie that you’ve spent at most 2 hours somewhat immersed in the world, I think you accept more “for art’s sake”. In a game, when you’ve spent many, many hours immersed in the world, seemingly taking a more “active part” in the development of the story, you are always going to feel a little let down when that story is done. Only more so when that ending goes and hits you in the brain, heart & gut as this one does, and not with just the stereotypical “they live happily ever after” trope.

Anyway, my only problems with this game was some clunkiness in the interface. I feel that about a lot of console games now-a-days, so maybe its just that I’m getting old and am not really a very coordinated video game player. However, particularly in the final huge battle scene, it seemed that with everything using the same button, and everything so context sensitive, and with so much going on at the same time, it made the battle incredibly frustrating and difficult; instead of the immersive, adrenaline-filled action you would expect. I knew what I wanted to do; but positioning my cross hairs at just the right place at just the right time so that when I pressed the one and only button it did what I actually wanted though was maddening. With the exception of some massive battles near the end this was not as much as an issue, but when it reared its distracting head it usually did so in spades.

Despite those issues, I still was very enthralled by the game “world” and story. Much more so than even the earlier BioShock games. When not playing there was always a little part of my mind fixated on the Steampunk / sci-fi / military-action / magic-power filled world. But mostly the attraction was the mysterious story, and the intriguing main characters. So much so I’m considering replaying the game to get some achievements I missed and possibly getting the two downloadable expansions to the game. I think I’ll stay away from the “hard” and “1999” modes of the game though. I suspect they would leave me with nothing but anger & frustration at the interface.

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