See that author line below the title? Don’t believe that! Sometimes here at Nerd Rating we get backed up so I am doing our buddy Trey Sterling a solid and posting his five reasons to get Bioshock Infinite. Thus the title…pay attention!
On with the fun.
One week from today, gamers will finally get their hands on BioShock: Infinite, Ken Levine’s long-awaited true successor to 2007’s BioShock. After a publisher mandated numerical sequel – which lacked Levine’s input and tacked on multiplayer – and several delays, we will get to experience the next step in BioShock’s evolution as envisioned by the team at Irrational.
To be perfectly honest, only Metro: Last Light has captivated my anticipation more over the last year or so. We’re going to try a new feature out where we give five high points to our excitement over big releases, and Infinite seemed the perfect guinea pig.*
1. The Story
From the opening plane crash and the “Welcome to Rapture” reveal of the city, the original BioShock asked us if we would kindly step into silent protagonist Jack’s shoes and guide him through that underwater Hell. Infinite changes things up a little by giving us Booker, in that he speaks and has a seemingly well-crafted personality; it also presents us with an almost-constant companion in the form of Elizabeth, as opposed to Rapture’s lonely corridors. “Bring us the girl, and wipe away the debt” is about as far as I’ve allowed myself into this new tale, simply because I don’t want to spoil any surprises Columbia might hold.
If you’ve seen any trailers for Infinite, you have presumably seen Booker using these to move about; if not, why are you reading a feature about a game you haven’t seen any trailers for?! Go fix it and come back!
I am genuinely thrilled at the idea of using these roller-coaster style tracks to move between Columbia’s floating buildings, but it is also one of the areas the game could derail (intended) my expectations by not being as free-form as we’ve all been led to believe.
3. Time “Tears”
This is maybe the gameplay feature I know the least about, and I’ve been intentionally keeping it that way. What I do know is this: One of Elizabeth’s abilities let’s her tear holes in space-time, allowing her to transport the two of you – and enemies too, maybe – between different places and times. She can also use it to pull weapons out of thin air, so to speak.
4. The Songbird
Anyone who remembers that first BioShock teaser from years ago can attest to the sense of awe and terror inspired by seeing a Big Daddy for the first time. Games of a certain ilk thrive on having such enemies in them, enemies who present such an initial threat to the player that running is the only sensible solution. Half-Life 2’s striders, Metro’s librarians, and Fallout’s super-mutant behemoths are some prime examples. In addition to being terrifying, the Songbird has the added bonus of having unknown motivations that might, when all is said and done, make us question just who the real monster is.
5. Open-Ended Gameplay
It’s become commonplace these days for games in every genre to include some form of upgrade system, wither for your skills, your gear, or both. Yet few achieve the desired result of letting a player genuinely choose how they want to play; the most recent successes are probably Dishonored and Far Cry 3. The original BioShock was another example; to this day, I rarely meet people who played through it using the same weapons and plasmids I saw as indispensable. With the addition of Columbia’s open design and Elizabeth’s talents, here’s hoping Infinite stacks up.
The Final Expectation
When I pick up BioShock: Infinite next week, I plan on jumping into a historical thriller disguised as a shooter, with some heavy sci-fi themes to boot. I don’t expect any one fight to ever feel exactly like another, I expect to occasionally be terrified and hopelessly outmatched, and at least once I expect each character to do something that makes me loathe them even as I root for their success. Oh, and at least once I expect to use the skyrails to land on a zeppelin, set that zeppelin on fire, and then go sliding away as it crashes to the ground so very far below.
*That’s a total lie; Tomb Raider was supposed to be my first one, but I might have… not done it. As is evidenced by the inexistence of an article entitled “Trey’s Five Reasons: Tomb Raider.”