NOTE: This review was written by The Advanced Gamer, another site we are collaborating with.
Simply put this game is nearly perfect.
Most likely nothing will ever replace the fear and uneasiness you felt from Bioshock. The claustrophobia of being in a giant underwater tomb named Rapture, the haunting score pulling almost directly at your soul. Bioshock 2 increased that fear tenfold as you saw what happened when society completely breaks down, and the chaos of humanity is unleashed. This is not Bioshock 3, you will not have those kinds of feelings here, in fact quite the opposite.
You start out at the same lighthouse from Bioshock and Bioshock 2 but that is where the similarity stops. This time you are not dropped in to the ocean but rocketed up to a city in the sky. Columbia is a polar opposite of Rapture in every way. Bright and lush, Columbia is wide open. Claustrophobia is replaced with a feeling of epic grandeur. Society has not broken down in Columbia and in fact has become the embodiment of community and loyalty. One could even say that this is utopia, except any utopia always has a cruel leader keeping the peace. Zachary Comstock, The Profit, a dictator ruling with an iron fist called faith, fear mongering with the cost of his followers’ souls.
Visually the game is equally as exceptional as its predecessors. The backdrops are realistic and extremely well done, it gives you a sense that you are actually in a 1920’s steam punk filled city. Consumables are easy to spot and I never found a single frame clip or stumbled through a wall. The only thing I didn’t find visually stunning were characters faces. The only characters that seemed lifelike were the few story characters, every other character felt lifeless. Granted all you do to these characters is electrocute and/or shoot them so it doesn’t detract from the game.
The game’s score as you would expect is incredibly well done and fairly lengthy. I counted 62 distinctly different songs including old-timey covers of songs such as Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” and Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son”. The music had a very light and happy feel for the most part, in line with the way Columbia was designed to appear. Thankfully the music always lets you know when you are in danger and when you are not. Since Columbia is so big, without an effective musical score you could be attacked with rockets from a ship barely in the distance and not know it.
Controls have not changed from the other Bioshock games however the only actual flaw in this game is the weapons. You can only carry 2 guns at a time. There are bullets everywhere but they are never for the guns you are holding so you will constantly have to switch out the type of gun you have. Not a big deal unless you have spent all your Silver Eagles upgrading the sniper rifle and shotgun, hypothetically.
Finally… The story is engaging. You don’t have to have played the previous games to understand Bioshock Infinite and keep up with what’s happening. Plot twists mixed with the occasional flashback will keep you guessing, feeling unsure if what you think you saw happened or if it mattered to the story. The ending was one of the most shocking I’ve ever seen.
Bottom line is that fans of first person shooters will love the action, role players will love the story. Play this game!