I still remember the first time that I played Half-Life 2, it was a great shock to see a game achieve what at the time believed to be near-photorealism. Even on my crappy 2004 PC that had a lousy Nvidia GeForce MX440, the game was gorgeous. Add to that a great setting, interesting game mechanics and an emotionally engaging storyline and it’s not hard to see why even in 2013 it’s still considered one of the best first person shooters ever made.
So here comes Bioshock Infinite, fresh off the presses, echoing many of the features that made HL2 such a huge success. Even before playing it, I knew this was going to be a great title, and boy, it sure didn’t disappoint. Just look at all the video features and forum posts that have suddenly popped up trying to discuss the game’s ending.
What really got to me though, was the setting. I think they did an excellent job of creating this image of a city in the clouds and they wasted no chance to bombard your eye sockets with breath taking visuals.
I wanted to pay my own little tribute to Bioshock Infinite in a matter similar to http://deadendthrills.com but maybe just different enough so that I’m not ripping the guy off. Instead of doing screenshots, I went for 360 panoramas.
There was only one problem, my video card was an Nvidia 9600GT from 2008 that could barely run the game on medium. Did this stop me? Nope. I cranked everything up to HIGH, ran the game in a non-standard resolution so that I get more detail in each shot and started taking hundreds of screenshots. The only downside is that I have to play the game at 5-10 FPS
It takes between 100 and 200 shots to get a full 360 degree horizontal and 180 degree vertical panorama. Because I’m saving each one as a BMP, every session results in about 1GB of images.
It takes around 30 minutes to compile each panorama and between 1 and 3 tries each time until I get the expected results.
My only real complaint is that because the card is so old, it can’t render DX11 and I’d probably get even better results with a more modern one. But even so, I think the panoramas turned out great, have a look below at the composite images, next to each one is a link that will take you to an interactive version.