Reviews by RobJustice

60

A mediocre game with an amazing pedigree

RobJustice | Sept. 23, 2013 | Review of BioShock Infinite (NA)

Sometimes I wonder if I even played the same game as everyone else. I thought, at it's best, Bioshock Infinite was a mediocre shooter. Except the game wasn't at its best very often, more often than not it was nothing better than a rail-shooter. The creators did a great job telling you their story and making sure it didn't feel like you were participating in it at all.

Everything is setup to show off their creation to you. Go back and play through the opening again and notice how almost nobody moves around. The few characters that do move, walk to their destination then stop. Even at the fair everyone stands waiting for you to come look at them. There isn't any life here, it's just a big display for you to stare at.

Going further, there is no exploration or immersion in the city. There is the path you need to take and, if you're lucky, a side room without anything useful for you. At one point you are presented with two paths, you go down one only to backtrack and go down the other... only to back track and go down a third. Your "choice" doesn't matter.

Which brings me to the next point, Bioshock had choices in it. Saving the Little Sisters felt important. Infinite quickly tells you that it doesn't matter what you want to do here. Choose a necklace for your hostage to wear... Not that it matters in any way. But they gave you a choice! A meaningless, shallow, choice. Because, if you haven't figured it out, they have a meaningless shallow story to tell you.

On top of that, your character is a moron and you just have to go along with his moron decisions. He lies to Elizabeth early on, but why? Why say he was taking her to Paris and not New York? New York is a big and beautiful city that the captive Elizabeth would be excited to see. Why did I have to lie? Why when I'm found out do I have to walk over to the upset women crying next to that giant wrench. Why doesn't Booker just knock her over the head and be done with this whole errand? Because he's stupid, obviously.

The gameplay is just as shallow and unrewarding as the story. You'll rock one Vigor and one gun for 99% of the game, because there is no good reason to use anything else. For every open area for you to skyhook around and engage in dynamic entertaining shootouts there are a dozen narrow corridors for you to grind though first. The gameplay is laughably from the 1990s mindset of shooters. Just charge forward and shoot, don't worry about it either because the AI will just stand there and let you fill them with bullets.

I don't often buy games at full price when they first come out. Buying Bioshock Infinite for $60 was a mistake. It's a beautifully polished turd that everyone treats like a faberge egg. For $20, it might be worth your time. Or you could buy $20 of pop-rocks and coke and get treated to a better show.