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Bioshock Infinite (PC)

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      02.02.2014 15:58
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      Personally this was one of my favourite games of 2013

      Bioshock Infinite is the third game within the Bioshiock series developed by Irrational game and published by 2k Games. Based in the year 1912 the main character Booker DeWitt is sent to the floating city of Columbia to collect and bring back to the mainland called Elizabeth. As with any game twists and turns are around every corner.

      Gamplay: Like the first two games in the series BioShock and BioShock 2, the game is a first person shooter which contains role-playing elements. Booker DeWitt can wear 4 items of gear, hats, shirts, boots and pants which can add benefits to Booker in many different forms.
      The setting of Columbia with it being a floating city means the city can sometimes change shape while in the middle of a battle allowing the fighting to be more chaotic and sometimes it can get confusing however it is possible to use this to your advantage. Another thing with Columbia is that it has a sky-line system, so with Bookers Sky-hook he can travel around an area with impressive speed and use that speed to get an advantage on his enemies. He can use one handed weapons on the skyline and jump off and attack with his melee weapon.
      Booker can only hold two weapons at any one time, these weapons include a semi-automatic pistol, shotgun, a hand cannon, heavy machine gun, sniper rifle, a crank gun, RPG, carbine, heater, volley / hail gun and the melee weapon is called the skyhook. You can utilize any of these in any combination you wish to employ.
      Booker can also gain powers through the use of Vigors, Vigors are similar to the previous games plasmids, you drink the vigors and gain powers in which you can use to aid your combat and give you an edge over your enemies. The list of vigors that can be used is the Bucking Bronco (this levitates and enemy temporarily or leaves a trap which has that effect), Charge (this made Booker charge the enemy gaining a large distance and damaging them), Devil's Kiss (this launches a ball of flames that explodes after a certain times burning things in the process or you can leave this as a trap too), Murder of Crows (this launches a murder of crows onto an enemy distracting them and hurting them or you can put that as a trap), Possession (can take control of a machine and bring it to Bookers aid, this can also allow machines to give money to Booker), Return to Sender ( this employ a shield that blocks all enemy gunfire), Shock Jockey ( shocks the target, which stuns the target and when the target is stunned by the shock jockey the target takes more damage. If you shock the water it deals massive amount of damage, it can also be used to power electric generators. Or it can deploy a still electrical field), Undertow (it pushes all targets in front of Booker, knocking them to the floor).
      After Booker meets up with Elizabeth, she helps him throughout the game by finding him money, ammo, health among other things helping him through tight spots within the game.
      While you can tell the game is a console port to a PC the controls are not that bad and are still useable on the PC, however there can be some slight annoyances with the controls.

      Sounds: The voice acting within the game is a of a decent standard for a triple a standard game, the voice acting shines with the main characters of Booker Dewitt, Elizabeth and Comstock everything that is said by them is close to perfection everything that is said by them is believable and said with conviction.
      The sounds of the world and battle are nice and well-rounded with effects, every bullet that goes past you or even hits you has a correspondent sound that makes it even more believable. But even with the creations that are not 'real' the sounds that the game makes of these sound believable which is good.
      The music within the game is very unique and you need to play the game to really appreciate the music, a lot you will recognise however with a nice and unexpected twist on that music. This is the subtleties with the music which for me is the best part of the sounds within the game.

      Graphics: The graphics within the game are impressive to say the least, however you find that many triple a titles the graphics are going to be pretty good, nothing is going to be shoddy. Within Bioshock Infinite the textures of items and models within the game are good; some are excellent while others just hit the above average standard. The actual style of the game is a little bit cartoony however that doesn't give off a childish vibe and the style works to a decent degree on the whole. The design of the levels through is where it works well this cartoony style it really gives off a sense of immerse and depth.

      Story: So the story within Bioshock Infinite is Booker DeWitt is sent to the floating city of Columbia to collect a girl and they will then wipe away the debt Booker has occurred. Elizabeth is protected by her father Comstock and a Mechanical Bird called the SongBird whole will do whatever it can to bring back Elizabeth. When he finds Elizabeth, Booker finds her having a power to open rifts in space and time which can assist Booker and also hinder him too. As you advance through the game more twists and turns appear because this game to be one of my favourite of all time, the story is absolutely fantastic. I would like to tell you more and more about the story but the game is an absolute spectacle and you need to play the game no matter the cost.

      Overview: Personally this was one of my favourite games of 2013 and would recommend to all my friends.

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        04.12.2013 18:06
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        a Great game, but does fall short in certain major aspects...

        Bioshock infinite is the third game in the Bioshock franchise, developed by Irrational games, this game takes in the city of Columbia, a paradise above the clouds, a place you are forced to go to pay your harsh debts, with only one way to remove them, "bring us the girl, and wipe away the debt".

        ----Story----
        You are Booker DeWitt, an ex-Pinkerton agent who's alcoholism and gambling addiction have put you in debt far too high for you to ever pay, when you are given a job to find a girl in a city, and take her back to new York, you soon find yourself in a seemingly perfect city above the sky, where you soon find out the cities dark side as you try to escape the city with the girl, just to find out she has the ability to open tears to other realities alongside our own bringing up many questions, how was this city created? how does this seemingly normal girl have these powers? and what do your employers want with her?

        all will be slowly unraveled...

        the Story in this game is stunning, it is deep on so many levels, and is a blast to play through, it is one of them games that will make you think through as you slowly piece together the story just to realize how amazing and well written it truly is...

        ----Gameplay----

        the gameplay is kind of similar to the original bioshock in terms of combat, but unfortunately much more limited, where in the original bioshock the weapons were few, they all had different ammo types and were greatly up-gradable, while in infinite there is no different ammunition types, the upgrades are more linear, and this is the worst bit, it uses a 2 weapon system and has regenerating health, similar to halo (where you had a regenerating life bar, but any damage after the bar was depleted wouldn't regenerate), which annoyed me, the 2 weapon system made me feel i was never prepared for a situation, and the regenerating health made me feel that i didn't need to survive, as i could just sit back and relax while i get my health back...

        One cool thing though, is that your follower can open tears, which can bring in health kits, extra cover or even a robotic steam-punk founding father equipped with a Gatling gun to help mow down your foes, which adds a unique twist to the combat and can give you multiple options to tackle the situation in front of you, you can even use the tears as a distraction to help you sneak past the enemies completely, avoiding the need for combat and reserving well needed ammo.

        The Graphics in this game are stunning though, the level of detail is stunning, but then i guess they could improve the graphics like this when the game is as linear as it is, unlike the previous bioshock, the amount you can explore is much less, with some parts of the game being literal corridor areas, with nothing in terms of exploration...

        To conclude, this game is amazing in terms of story and graphical fidelity, but unfortunately falls short in terms of combat with the tears begin the only redeeming factor, and using the 2-gun system and regenerating health doesn't help that much either, but all aside, this is still a great game to play if your a fan of the story in a game, but if not, perhaps wait for a sale or something or do some further research before buying...

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        07.05.2013 23:08
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        A great game, a must have for bioshock fans!

        BioShock infinite is the long awaited third installment to the BioShock Franchise. First leaked back in 2008 I was first a little confused but very excited. We were met with beautiful graphics of the underwater world rapture we have come to love but yet fear, only to have it ripped from us before being thrown through a window! Confused? So were a lot of us.

        Now Infinite has finally been released into our sweaty hands but does it live up to the expectations?
        I would love to tell you more about the story of this game as there is a great deal to tell however a lot of what could be said would really ruin it for you so I'm gonna keep it sweet.

        Set in 1912 during the growth of the American exceptionalism you take control of Agent Booker DeWitt, sent to the city in the sky Columbia to find a girl called Elizabeth. At the start of the game that's all you know about this girl and that's just one of the many mind benders. This game is full of mystery and tension which really draws you into the game and makes you want to carry on playing just to find out what the hell is going on!
        Infinite is full of darkness, and I'm not talking about the scenery. Colombia is full of religion and rascal extremism and infinite shows how it can affect our culture. Pretty soon into the game you're hit with this and hard. When I say hard I mean that you don't have to listen out closely for it, it's in your face. Although this may offend some gamers I don't think this was at all what the developers set out to do. Rather than making you want to shut of the game and bin it, it makes you more involved in the story and almost sucks you into the world of Columbia and explains a little of the back story and as you progress through the game you will understand Columbia a great deal better.

        As with the other games, Infinite isn't shy of blood and gory. This is what we've come for and it is thrown at you more or less from when the action really gets going and it doesn't stop there.
        The disadvantage that Infinite was faced with in the terms of the story is that the first BioShock had such an amazing twist that no one was expecting. That being said Irrational Games has not left us with a twist. Although this time you may be expecting it... but it won't hit you when you expect it. I don't want to ruin anything more than I might have just done so ill leave it at that!

        Gameplay
        Sticking with previous BioShock games Infinite is a fps with role playing mechanics. You've got your handguns, your machine guns and so on, but this isnt a normal fps. Gone are BioShock plasmids but in its place are Vigors. Like the saying goes. "same toilet, different s**t." Vigors are plasmids with just a different name. You can burn, electrocute, throw things using the power of telekinesis and even control animals.

        A new feature of this game is of course the Skyline. A rail based system that allows you to move around the city but also creates tactical advantages for both you and your enemies.
        Although infinite doesn't have multiplayer it isn't missed. BioShock 2 did have multiplayer which I personally thought was brilliant but irrational games decided it was best to leave this component out.

        Graphics
        Where to start? If you have seen any videos from this game you will know that this is a beautiful game. Graphics for the pc version are considerable better than the console versions but all really push your hard drive to the max. Characters are gorgeous and your enemies are damn right artistic. The city itself is like a dream and at times breath taking with wildlife and same birds running/flying around.

        Like most games out there, not everything is as crisp as we would want. At times glitches do sneak in such as Elizabeth not joining you in a lift so you engage in a one sided conversation or not being able to get to somewhere you need to go to, forcing you to reload and try again. At the time I played the game these hadn't been patched so I'm not sure if they have already been addressed.
        At times the skyline can get a little confusing especially at first and takes a few goes to get used to.
        Although slapped with a new name and a few new toys, the Vigors is essentially something we've seen before. That being said they are silly fun to use.
        There's so much I haven't covered in this review and most of which is for a good reason. I don't want to ruin anything about this game as it is a great play and I do recommend it for fps shooter fans and of course fans of the series. This is a game we will remember for a while, maybe until the next one comes out?

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        03.05.2013 01:44
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        Bioshock Infinite might not be perfect, but what it gets right it gets so right that you won't care.

        There are moments in Bioshock Infinite that take your breath away. Moments when the exceptional beauty of the games' architecture leave you awestruck; moments when the combat elements click and you chain your powers into a devastating volley of absolute destruction; moments when your companion, Elizabeth, seems like the most human non-player character ever created; moments when the sheer depth of artistry and wealth of storytelling make everything else you've ever played seem trite and childish by comparison.

        But there are other moments: moments when the architecture stops being a believable world and its true nature, as a series of corridors connecting combat arenas, leaps to the fore; moments when the combat devolves into a frenzied mess as you run away from crowds of enemies, desperately searching through bins for more ammunition; moments when you notice how Elizabeth's presence has negatively impacted the game design; moments when the storyline makes face-palming leaps of logic and leaves you wondering how a game that gets some things so right can get others so wrong.

        Bioshock Infinite is a first-person shooter in which you play Booker DeWitt, a former Pinkerton agent with a dark and violent past. In order to pay off your gambling debts you've come to Columbia to rescue a girl about whom you know almost nothing. That girl is Elizabeth, and she's far from a normal young lady - she somehow comes with the handy ability to open "tears" into other dimensions. And Columbia is far from normal too; it's a flying city, built sometime in the late 1800's and held aloft by a combination of quantum entanglement and big balloons.

        First things first: Columbia is beautiful. The architecture is wonderfully designed, lit by some of the most glorious lighting I've seen in a game, and even as the story progresses and you reach some parts of the city that aren't quite so beautiful, it never loses its sense of design and atmosphere. But, as I mentioned earlier, it's clearly split into combat arenas and connecting corridors where exposition takes place, robbing it of some of its realism.

        The combat is more problematic. One of the strengths of the original Bioshock was that it was surprisingly tactical. Its levels were filled with distinct varieties of NPC, and using your powers - or Plasmids - you could play in several ways, perhaps opting for all-out gung-ho combat, perhaps hacking security systems and pitting the AI factions against each other. This was backed by an inventory management system which put you in charge of monitoring your stock of health kits and the Eve needed to power your Plasmids, meaning that you were able to judge how well equipped you were for any given fight.

        In Infinite there are no AI factions, and no inventory management system, which means that while the combat isn't necessarily bad it is a lot less tactical than in the original game and gives the player less scope for invention. Worse is that the guns and powers - or Vigors - in Infinite simply aren't as good as in the first game. The Vigors show considerably less imagination and you don't get hold of the best ones until very late in the game, while the guns are weak and unsatisfying. Weapons can be upgraded, but since you can only carry two guns at once that means that once you've found a weapon you like and have spent some money on upgrades you're unlikely to experiment with others.

        Then there's Elizabeth, the supposed damsel-in-distress who turns out to have incredible powers and who becomes your AI companion. She is, in many ways, a huge success, but her influence on combat is less welcome. During fights she'll throw you health kits and "salts" to power your Vigors, the obvious intention being to make you dependant on her thus forging a bond between the two of you. But making this system meaningful is why the developers removed the inventory management from the first game, meaning that during combat you are essentially reliant on a random number generator to decide whether or not to give you a health kit.

        Her main ability, of course, is opening tears between dimensions, and the story uses that ability very well. In play, however, it's a let down. She can summon gun turrets and boxes of health and ammo from other dimensions, but these summoned items appear in set locations and therefore offer no real tactical choice - the choice between "no automatic gun turret" and "an automatic gun turret" is no choice at all. With the immense potential of this ability, it seems a shame that it's used in so lacklustre a way.

        The story that ties everything together is incredibly important to the game, so much so that if you're the sort of person who sees a game's storyline as an annoying inconvenience then this definitely isn't for you. Infinite is, on one level, a rip-roaring pulp adventure about an anti-hero rescuing a girl from an impossible city, but that's only part of it. Before long that city has revealed that beneath its shining facade there's the darkest of underbellies, and Bioshock Infinite touches upon racism, fundamentalism, isolationism and some of the darkest moments in American history - and that's before the twists and turns that are thrown into the mix as the truth about Elizabeth's powers is revealed.

        The problem is how the story is told. The ending is a real head-scratcher, leaving many people confused and necessitating numerous explanations. Lots of information is imparted to you via Voxophones, recordings dotted around the city, many of which are hidden and all of which are entirely optional - so if you choose not to listen to them you'll miss out on huge chunks of plot. The middle of the game features a section of story that doesn't make sense even within the game's internal logic, and some of the conclusions it draws about the weighty topics mentioned above are suspect to say the least.

        And then there are the dustbins.

        Upgrading your powers is absolutely essential to make them useful (or in some cases, even interesting.) Upgrades can be purchased from vending machines, but they're not cheap which means you're going to need money. Thankfully in Columbia money can be found everywhere - on corpses, in boxes, just lying around in the street. And, yes, in dustbins. Thousands of dollars, in dustbins. So if you want your powers to be even vaguely useful, you'd better be sure to check every dustbin you come across. Every single one. And there are a lot of dustbins in Columbia.

        It's annoying, it's tedious, and it impacts the story. Elizabeth urges you on, pulling you towards your next goal, but all the time you're thinking "yes Elizabeth, I know we've got to escape from the overwhelming forces that are relentlessly pursuing us, but first just let me check through all these dustbins for cash and ammunition." And then there's the problem that a large part of the story is based around the fact that Columbia has a starving underclass living in its depths. A starving underclass that does all the menial work. Menial work that includes emptying the bins. The bins that contain thousands of dollars. Ahem.

        And yet...

        And yet Infinite is, in many ways, brilliant. The combat has problems, but it's not bad - it's just not as interesting as the combat in the original. And it does have one out-and-out triumph in the shape of skylines, cargo tracks that loop throughout the levels and which you can ride, turning fights into thrilling high-speed roller-coasters and adding much-needed excitement and tactical depth.

        And yes, Columbia is, as I said earlier, a beautiful place. The game's first few scenes, as you travel from a lighthouse on a dark and stormy sea to a magical city in the sky, are one of gamings' few completely perfect moments. There are moments of exquisite beauty and of perfectly orchestrated dread. Columbia doesn't just feel built or designed, it feels curated, like an art exhibition.

        Elizabeth, meanwhile, might cause some issues, but what she adds to the game overwhelmingly outweighs them. She gives Bioshock Infinite its emotional core, and she can only do that because of the skill with which she's animated and voiced. She barely ever keeps still; while you're rooting through the bins she's poring over the contents of someone's desk or peering out of a smoggy window. Sometimes she'll fidget with her missing finger; sometimes she'll find a desk to sit on or a wall to lean against. Her behaviour isn't perfect, but it's damn good.

        And while her combat presence might be a disappointment, it's important to note that she never gets in your way. When the shooting starts she ducks down and finds cover, and for those of us who grew up with the terrible escort missions in, say, Goldeneye, just having an AI companion who doesn't constantly wander into your crosshairs is a massive improvement.

        The storyline that's woven around her might have its problems too, but there's no doubting the cleverness with which it's told. Infinite benefits perhaps more than any other game from a second playthrough; do so and you start to realise just how clever the developers were in dropping hints about the resolution. And more importantly, it hits all the right emotional notes, creating a tale that has a few holes here and there but which stays with you like few others in gaming.

        A word too, for the sound design, which is amazing throughout. The original score is lovely and the use of licensed music is spot on, while the richness of the background effects and the universally high quality of voice-work make this Infinite pleasure to listen to.

        And pleasure is the optimum word really. It might seem like I've complained a lot, but that's because Bioshock Infinite is the best game I've ever had lots of problems with. It might not be perfect, but it is perfectly extraordinary.

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