Upplagd: 20 februari
rating: worth buying at full price
score: 9.5/10 - must play
similar games: Half-Life 2, Bioshock 1, Crysis 3, Wolfenstein The New Order, Call of Duty
target audience: fans of narrative driven, cinematic, linear singleplayer FPS with lots of exploration
Delayed multiple times and with high expectations Irrational Games brings us Bioshock Infinite, but also brings back the FPS genre to where it once was, to the days of Half-Life 2 and such. At the same time they were going for the biggest audience, which are consoles, so the game also has many mechanics to compensate for the lack of precision and buttons on a controller. This makes the game a weird mix of old and new, but is this a bad thing or a good thing?
Read the review to find out!
Many people claim that the gameplay is the weakest part of Bioshock Infinite. That is not necessarily false, but the gameplay is definitly much better than some people say it is. When people make arguments why the gameplay is bad they say things like "you can carry only 2 weapons", "the enemies are bullet sponges" or "there arent any interesting weapons" and some of these arguments can be made, but there is a reason why things are that way and if you dont play the game in the right way, these things will frustrate you. Now, is that the fault of the game, or is that your fault? I dont know.
And the reason why things are this way, is it because the devs thought their combat isnt interesting enough yet so they put many more mechanics into the game, or did they want to have this many mechanics but failed to balance them against each other? Maybe the game could do a better job of teaching the player using the game´s mechanics.
Lets start with the weapons. You can only carry 2 weapons, but is that a bad thing? Now I definitly think that if they had designed the game in a way that you could carry every weapon at the same time, but also take some of the weapons out of the game, then this would be a better game, but I dont think the decision that you can only have 2 weapons is THAT bad. First you can carry every Vigor (Plasmids in Bioshock 1) at the same time, so you still have to make decisions there. Maybe they didnt wanted to make their game too complicated, I dont know. Also, unlike games like Call of Duty, the weapons are not similar to each other, every weapon has a distinct role and there are plenty of places where youll find weapons and this actually brings a different layer of strategy to the game. You have to keep your ammo in mind and remember where the weapons are in the level so you can quickly switch when you are out of ammo. Also not every weapon is effective in every situation, so also have to keep moving at switching your weapons mid-fight to always have the best weapon for the situation.
The smart thing the devs did with the upgrade system was to make the weapon upgrades cheap compared to the vigor upgrades, because you cant carry every weapon at the same time, but you carry every vigor at the same time. So you dont make HUGE investments into weapon upgrades like into vigor upgrades, which is great because that would force to use only the weapons you have upgraded.
Ok, enough weapons, lets talk about vigors. Every vigor in the game is useful in some way, problem is some of them are redundant. Bucking Bronco, Shock Jockey and Murder of Crows for example do all the same thing (almost) which is to stun enemies. The only difference is that Bucking Bronco launches enemies in the air while doing it, Murder of Crows doesnt, but does some damage while stunning at takes more salts (mana) and shock jockey only stuns 1 person but makes you do more damage to him but Im not sure about that. With upgrades the roles of the vigors get a little more diverse, but in my opinion they should have taken out some of the vigors or change how some of them work.
Because of this you wont use every vigor, maybe 4 or 5 out of 8. Also there are 2 vigors, undertow and the last one, which are useless in my opinion (on hard at least). Undertow is only useful for fighting handyman but thats about it.
Anyway, the vigors are still extremely fun to use, because of their sound design and effects and because they are really powerful. You can also combo them a little but not as much as I wish you could.
For the argument that enemies are bullet sponges I can only say that the reason for that is the way the game is balanced. Because of your experience from other games, you will think "yeah I will shoot this guy and done", but because you have also vigors the devs gave the enemies more health to compensate. And if you combo your vigors with your weapons, the enemies arent bullet sponges anymore. And if there is a very tanky enemy you can simply use possesion on him which makes him your ally and also makes him suicide when the duration of the effect is over.
What the developers should do is not to give you normal people as enemies, but some kind of modified humans, and there are enemies like that (Handyman, Motorized Patriot), but to make the game more believable and the mechanics more understandable, EVERY enemy should be some kind of machine.
When you die in this game, you dont, Elizabeth just brings you back, enemys get some health back but thats about it. The stupid thing about this is that you cant disable this like in Bioshock 1 (there you could choose to have a mechanic like this or to have a game over screen). The problem with this is that it takes out the challenge of the game, you can just keep dieing and dieing, eventually you will beat the level. At the same time you will maybe spend some money on ammo and health during the fight and waste it because if you just had restarted from checkpoint you would beat that part of the game anyway.
Okay. Overall this game has very enjoyable combat. Excellent sound design, great weapon animations and hit feedback and some nice enemy types, but I wish there were 2 or 3 more enemy types. On top of all this you can open tears which brings stuff to the battlefield and makes it a little more dynamic, but in my opinion that feature is just a gimmick (but a necessary gimmick because of the story) and you have the skyhook, which is nice, but in my opinon thats also just a gimmick. They wasted some potential here and it would be more fun to use the skyhook if the enemys had dodgable projectile weapons and not hitscan weapons.
When people talk about Bioshock Infinite, they usually talk about its story, but this part is actually where the game dissapointed me just a little. The problems I have are not with the plot itself, but with some of the characters. First lets talk about Elizabeth (no spoilers). In my opinion they were over-ambitious with her and heir voice actress overacted a lot with sometimes extreme reactions and emotions. It felt like "LOOK HOW EMOTIONAL ELIZABETH IS AND HOW GOOD WE CAN ANIMATE". Dont get me wrong, I like her, but she felt a little out of place. She is someone locked up in a tower for a very long time and when she comes out she is like an angel, always happy and singing, dancing, stuff like that. The game itself though is EXTREMELY violent, which doesnt fit its tone and setting and there is NO reason for that other than marketing.
In game like Wolfenstein that violence fits because that games doesnt take itself seriously and it fits its tone. And Elizabeth stays completely unharmed while you make peoples heads explode and bodys evaporate. There are some Alibi scenes where Elizabeth freaks out a little because you killed people, but they go as fast as they came and are completely irrelevant. I dont have many characters left for this review so quick summary: I also disliked Daisy Fitzroy, overall great characters though, great, engaging story with nice twits and turns. BEAUTFIULY design world with details EVERYWHERE. Ending is unnessesarily complicated in my opinon, but great. The DLCs fix parts of the story.