Bioshock Infinite is a tale of loss and redemption and the path unto. We play as Booker DeWitt, a former Pinkerton and soldier and all around pessimist as he ventures into a mysterious lighthouse into a an even stranger city in the sky known as Colombia, with our only goal being to “Bring us the girl and wipe away the debt!” We soon find out that Colombia is not the benevolent sanctuary it pretends to be as it is filled with horrid classism and depraved racism. Booker makes his way to Moument Island and retrieves a young girl named Elizabeth from her prison. They escape, but are quickly pursued, split up, reunited, split up, and reunited again. The pair ends up working for the Vox Populi, a resistance group opposing the mainstream Colombian culture, to retrieve guns from a gun maker. While on the expedition Elizabeth uses her powers to open tears, portals to other places in other realities, to pull Booker and her through to another Colombia where their gun maker was not dead, however; that was not the only think changed in the alternate reality. The Vox Populi are leading their assault on Father Comstock, the Colombians Moses-like figure, and in this reality Booker was a martyr and our Booker is an imposter, so we are attacked on all fronts. Pursued by every enemy, Booker and Elizabeth board the Hand of the Prophet and confront Comstock, but something inside Booker snaps and he kills him, then his nose starts to bleed, a sign that he had remembered something from another reality. The Vox begin boarding and Songbird, Elizabeth’s mechanized bird warden, is utilized to repel their attack until he turns, after the destruction of the Siphon, a device controlling Elizabeth’s powers, resulting in Elizabeth killing him underwater. In the end hundreds of doors begin opening revealing that Comstock is in other realities committing the same atrocities and that the only way to truly stop him is to end him in every reality. Oh, and that Booker is Comstock. Ten different Elizabeth’s drown Booker in a river and the game ends. Peachy.
The themes in this game are so well integrated into the story they are almost impossible to separate from the plot. The primary themes are of honesty (Booker v Elizabeth), redemption (Booker v Comstock, Booker v Elizabeth), and forgiveness (Booker v Elizabeth).
To begin talking about the visuals one fact must be stated: for years this game was used as a bench mark for new PC’s and graphics cards because it was so impressive. The entire city of Colombia is visually stunning and the skylines make it more impressive than on the ground. Audio wise, the artists deserve a raise. Playing this in basically a small theatre a could hear Songbirds distinct screeching, and make out each different gun by the sound it made.
My absolute favorite interactive feature of Infinite was the voxophone recordings. These personal, diary style recordings added so many layers of depth and understanding to the world of Bioshock. They allowed a perspective other than Bookers and was quite refreshing.
Throughout the game there were certain cutscenes that required player input that were quite impressive. While falling out of Monument Island you must press X at the precise moment to attach a skyhook to a skyline and it just flows so perfectly together as a cinematic experience and a gaming event.
There is no other way to say it, this game will make you think, and it will make you feel. The most emotionally riveting moment came within the first few minutes of playing the game. I had been walking around Colombia, staring in amazement at the video game world, headed to the lottery. The world seemed so happy and model America. Then I won the lottery. The winner of the lottery won the prize of throwing the first baseball at an interracial couple. I remember feeling my heart sink seeing this. I thought that this couldn’t be happening. They couldn’t be showing me this in a video game. Then they gave me the option to throw the ball at the announcer of the lottery instead and I was filled with rage and a feeling of revenge. Later in the game I was able to find the couple again and they thanked me for saving them with some money and gear that I honestly felt guilty taking.
My verdict for Bioshock Infinite? Play it. Simple. It is one of the greatest games I have ever played. It is so emotionally engaging, visually impressive, and has such an entrapping story that anyone who sits down to play it will definitely feel rewarded. I am already looking forward to my next playthrough.