Finished Bioshock: Infinite, and here are my final thoughts. Overall it was a very well made and polished game. The story was very engaging and had the right amount of twists and cliff hangers to truly stand out as one of the most well written narratives in a game. Despite my love/hate relationship with steam punk, the visual style was stunning. Coupling that together with the stellar soundtrack and sound design made it a holistically beautiful and immersive experience. The controls, while different from standard FPS’s, were tight and intuitive, and the UI was well laid out. Truly the crown jewel of this game is Elizabeth, and she is one of the most amazing and useful partners (NOT SIDE KICK) in any game to date. I hope more games take some cues from how she was integral to the story.
With that being said, it’s far from being really great. I know many people have claimed that this is a work of art and this truly defines games as an artistic medium. I whole-heartedly disagree with that. While the story, visuals, and sound make for great movies, they do not make for great games. What ultimately sets games apart from other artistic mediums is its play and how it binds everything together. Overall the gameplay was dull, repetitive, and was disconnected from the story. If I am supposed to sneak into this place to rescue a girl to pay off some sort of debt, then why am I going in guns blazing, Rambo style? Would it have not made more sense to be a stealthy, puzzle game that was punctuated with action moments? Instead I had to brutally murder a countless number of the same handful enemies just so I could learn a little more story. That’s not fun, and it is more like doing a chore, so that I earn the right watch another episode of a TV series.
Another big disconnect for me was the vigors/plasmids, which are one of the corner stones of the Bioshock series’ gameplay. First do they make sense in this game? If there are so many vigors lying around why was there only one enemy that used them? Were they just put in because it’s a Bioshock game? It honestly feels out of place, despite how fun they can be used.
For me the story, Elizabeth, and every thing but the gameplay are the elements that keeps this from being a disaster, and is why I would still recommend this game. Oh, and since people like scores for game reviews, I’ll give this 4 curly mustaches out of 5.