16:06, 7 Nov 2016
Though it’s been three years since its release, Bioshock: Infinite is still considered one of the best first-person shooters ever. The game is actually the third game in the Bioshock series, but the developers wisely decided to steer pretty much clear of storyline in the first two games. In the game the year is 1912 and you play Booker DeWitt, a man who is dropped off at a lighthouse on a stormy night and tasked with bringing back a mysterious woman named Elizabeth from a floating city called Columbia.
Booker goes to the top of the lighthouse, which turns out to be a rocket ship that then launches him above the stormy clouds into the bright sunlit world of Columbia–a seemingly utopian paradise. Revealing much more about the plot would ruin it, but here’s five things I can give away about this awesome game, which shows why it’s one of the best first=person shooters ever.
Bioshock: Infinite: It Hates Racists
Racists suck. And this game shows the hypocrisy of those who have a problem with minorities while claiming that their words and actions aren’t actually racist. When the game begins the sunlight golden perfection that is Columbia looks like a place where everything is perfect and everyone is happy. But as you explore the city you begin to notice something: almost everyone is white. The only people of color are those brought to the flying city as sources of cheap labor. This institutional racism and elitism of Columbia leads to one of the major conflicts in the game: the elites of Columbia , known as the Founders, versus the Vox Populi, a group of anarchists intent on bringing equality of race and religion to Columbia.
The developer of the game said tackling racism wasn’t the game’s main purpose, rather the racism was part of the backdrop of the story. And while many saw correlation between the game’s fictional setting and current race relations in the US, the developer said the racism in the game was “more as a reflection of what race relations in the U.S. were like in 1912” and that the game was “less about exploring the good and bad sides of racism and more just a reflection of the time and how it impacted that era.”
Bioshock: Infinite: It Has Awesome Covers Of Pop Songs
On a more cheerful note, the game has some of the best music of any game in recent years. I’m not talking about the score either. I’m talking about it taking pop songs from the 1980s and covering them as if they’d been created in the 1910s. One of the best examples of this is when Booker and Elizabeth crash on a beach and boardwalk in Columbia and as you run on onto the beach where people are vacationing you hear organ music playing a rendition of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”. It’s little details like this that really make the world of Bioshock: Infinite come alive.
Bioshock: Infinite: It Has The Best Transit System Of Any Game Ever
Columbia is a floating city. Forget the physics of it. Just know that it’s make up of several different parts and sometimes there’s no way to walk between them. That’s where the city’s innovative transit systems comes in. The city uses a set of roller coaster rails to connect distant parts, which Booker can grab onto and ride thanks to the use of a hook tool he acquires. This method of transit is as fun as useful and riding the rails while playing this game on a large TV could very easily give you motion sickness–it’s that lifelike. The transit system is so fun, you can actually spend hours just riding the rails–and jumping between them–without any destination in mind. That being said, mastery of riding them is an important factor in the game as they provide for quick getaways (or attacks) during gameplay.
Bioshock: Infinite: Its Art Direction Is Stunning
Bioshock: Infinite has won numerous awards for its art direction. It mixes steampunk aesthetics with turn of the 20th century utopian design to create a world that had never been seen before in gaming. As always, it’s better to let the visuals talk for themselves:
Bioshock: Infinite: It Will Mess With Your Mind
In the end, however, Bioshock: Infinite is memorable because it’s ending will keep you thinking about the game for years. When you begin the game you think it takes place all during a single time period on one world, but as you progress through it, the game soon turns to exploring multiple realities, universes, time travel, and infinity. This bring up powerful questions in the game: do we have free will–or are things predetermined no matter what our choices? If you haven’t played the game yet, don’t check out the video below (which deconstructs its ending). However, if you’ve played the game to conclusion and still don’t quite understand the video is a great exploration of the game’s most complicated theme.
The remastered version of Bioshock: Infinite can be found inside BioShock: The Collection for Xbox One and PS4.
BioShock: The Collection for PS4 – £32 @ Amazon
BioShock: The Collection for Xbox One – £32 @ Amazon
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