silver_dewsky's BioShock: Infinite (Xbox 360) review

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Conflict in the Clouds

Bioshock Infinite has you controlling Booker DeWitt, a man who finds himself in debt who gets a chance to clear it when he is given the task of retrieving a woman from Columbia, a city that floats high above in the clouds. He's given her name, location, and sets off to find her in the hopes to have a clean slate. When he arrives at the city to find Elizabeth, he slowly unravels a string of events that uncover the city's darkest secrets. Bioshock Infinite contains the quality and mystery found in the original game, while combining immersive storytelling, excellent shooting sequences, and historical themes into a game that will grab your attention from start to finish.

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As with the original Bioshock, you don't have to wait very long to see the location where you'll be spending most of your time. Columbia presents itself in a compelling fashion as you wander around the city during your search for Elizabeth. People are out and discussing the latest city events, and buildings in the distance are gracefully floating as clouds move below them. It initially feels like you're on a vacation, but before you can enjoy your stay, you're quickly pushed into the action of the game, which delivers some great moments throughout the 8-12 hour adventure.

If you've checked out some of the coverage of this game over the years, you've no doubt heard about the relationship that Booker has with Elizabeth. While in battle, Elizabeth offers up more help than almost any A.I in most games. She doesn't have a health meter, and you don't have to worry about her during combat. As you fight to take out the many foes in the game, Elizabeth will find you ammo, health, and salts, Infinite's new ADAM supplement that powers your abilities called vigors. Dying in combat will take away some of your money, but you'll be able to come right back, thanks to Elizabeth getting you back in the action. It reminded me a bit of your ally in the Prince of Persia remake, but Elizabeth offers up help a bit more.

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While gameplay between the characters is great, the main focus of their relationship comes outside of combat. As you traverse Columbia, Elizabeth and Booker will converse about many different events, and as you explore and search for new items to aid you, Elizabeth will wonder around on her own, but not far enough to where you have to look for her. Both voice actors give a tremendous effort in bringing these two characters to life as you get to know them both better.

The storytelling elements in this game are fantastic, but to discuss them in a review would take away the most important aspects of a Bioshock title. Without giving anything, I'll just say that the game has very historical elements that are altered in a pretty interesting way.

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I'll keep the main story off limits, and instead focus on the main gameplay which is great by itself. You'll traverse different areas of Columbia as you complete the core objectives, and search for voxyphone recorded tapes which give you a great backstory on the happenings in the game from the various casts of characters. Whenever you get lost or need a little nudge to find out where to go next, a simple press of the D-pad will bring down a arrow on the ground to help out. Weapons in the game can all be upgraded, as well as the Vigors you'll be able to use. Both weapons and vigors can be switched out at anytime, and you'll want to experiment since two of each can only be equipped at a time. As with plasmids, there is a wide array of Vigors to use and each offers a quick and charged version of attack.

The wrench was a great melee weapon, but it has been replaced by the skyhook, a device used to traverse Columbia's skyline. Aerial combat is a great element to this game, as most big areas for combat contain skylines to hop on. While on the skyline, you'll be able to jump off and switch rails at anytime to either avoid or dive down on enemies. It sounds sort of chaotic, but it's all very simple to use and very effective to combat.

I loved everything about this game. The atmosphere, interaction between the main characters, the heavy themes of the story, and the colorful world to explore all come together in a wonderful package. At least three add-ons for the game are confirmed to be coming in the future, so you'll be able to get more out of the game if you decide to hold onto the game. I highly recommend checking this game out. It's a wonderful interactive adventure.

Other reviews for BioShock: Infinite (Xbox 360)

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