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This Month's Issue

Bioshock Infinite
Saturday, May 4, 2013

Publisher: 2K Games

Developer: Irrational Games

Reviewed by: Chris Sutton

Bioshock Infinite is the third game in the critically acclaimed Bioshock trilogy. Called the "spiritual successor" to Irrational's System Shock games, the Bioshock series is an interesting take on the FPS horror genre.

Bioshock and Bioshock 2 were set in an abandoned underwater city, and the feeling of being alone and vulnerable set the tone for the franchise. Messages written in blood, distant cries and screams, and being met (and sometimes cornered) by enemies driven mad by their bloodlust were some of the many elements that perfectly illustrated what Bioshock was going for. Bioshock Infinite on the other hand, is going for something else entirely. Set a half century before the original Bioshock, Infinite takes place in the city of Columbia - a floating, experimental city created at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair that has broken off from its American parentage and become autonomous. Because of this, the game felt like it moved away from the franchise’s horror beginnings. Set in 1912, the game has many of the hallmarks of that era, including (but not limited to) its racism, politics, attire, and even a carnival theme.

Now concerning the gameplay, it’s a little different. When fighting enemies, you are locked within an arena of sorts to dispose of the enemies. Once cleared, the next path is suddenly available to you. This style continues throughout. When clearing areas, you can’t backtrack in case you’ve missed anything. Although, this doesn’t matter much since Elizabeth, the woman you escort through the plot, finds items for you anyway. They try to give you a sense of control over the story as you occasionally have to make choices. But, sadly, the outcome is the same regardless of your answer. SWTOR this is not.

While I may be complaining about the new direction this game takes, I will say that the controls are quite smooth and very responsive, and the art direction and graphics are once again amazing. Visually, you can’t go wrong with a Bioshock title. And I can’t forget to mention just how awesome the soundtrack is; pop music taken from various eras and given a '40s-style mix…quite unique indeed.

With all that said, I feel that this game would have been a greater success, or at least would have garnered more praise if it was a stand-alone title and did not have to be compared to the rest of the franchise.

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