Hello again ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to hump day in week six of our 100 reviews in 100 days countdown!
Embarking into the 73 spot…
Placed in 1912, the story follows the protagonist Booker Dewitt, a jaded private investigator with a violent past. Both he and you have are being taken to a lighthouse off the coast of Maine, and all you know is that Booker’s large debt will be wiped away if he retrieves a girl and brings her to New York. And so the adventure begins to Colombia, a city that feels like it could really exist in 1912, if it wasn’t floating in the sky at 15,000 ft. The city is beautiful. Almost makes you wish you could live there in real life, until you try to complete your original mission, explore the city and discover its flaws, as well as the dark side of its populous. You meet Booker’s mark, Elizabeth, a non-player character that has been designed well enough to make you question her reality. And from there, Booker and Elizabeth embark on a journey that will change them both by the end of it.
Bioshock Infinite is a masterfully told story. It’s one worthy of great literature. But I’m getting ahead of myself. It’s a game, and let us start there.
It’s a first person shooter adventure RPG that mixes bullets with magic-like abilities called ‘Vigors.’ The mixing of these two allows Booker to defeat great enemies. The Vigors are one complaint some people had about Infinite compared to the original Bioshock. They are the counterpart to Bioshock’s Plasmids, which were a big part of the story of Bioshock and the world of Rapture (Bioshock’s city under the ocean). But in Infinite, they are not a prime focus, but rather a power developed by Fink Industries, Columbia’s primary source of industry, that you use to fight your way through your foes.
The Skylines on the other hand are an inherent part of the world. Originally developed to transport cargo between the cities separate floating districts, they are now used by a rebel group known as the Vox Populi and the city’s police. On your first run in with the law, Booker gains use of the Skyhook, a device strapped to his arm that attaches to the skyline magnetically, and takes you for a hell of a ride. One that involves falling from skyline to skyline and shooting enemies as you zoom past buildings.
Elizabeth and her abilities add to the adventure in unforeseen ways. Having been trapped in a tower by the city’s founder, Prophet Comstock, she’s had plenty of time to read and learn some roguish skills, including lockpicking. And once she’s out of the tower’s grasp, she can utilize an ability that makes the Vigors look like child’s play.
Infinite has a special place in my heart. I haven’t had something with such a level of immersion for me for years. I played it over two days off and couldn’t put it down. After returning the rental, a week later I had my own copy. I’ve played through it several times now, and it’s one of my favorite games. I understand what problems people have with it, but to me, it’s perfect in its own right. I feel like despite this love for the game, I can objectively give it a 5/5. What pulls it to that rating for me is the story.
There are hundreds of videos on youtube attempting to explain the end of Bioshock Infinite, and answer the few questions that were intentionally left to be answered by the player’s own experience with the game. Some do a good job of it, but there’s always a lot of debate about Infinite, and I think the fact that so much debate occurs is a good sign that others have had similar experiences as I have, and that’s why it’s earned the #73 spot on our list. With that, I will, indeed leave you with a 5 out of 5.