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When Bioshock Infinite was announced back in 2010,  Alex was immediately intrigued.  Just imagining a city in the clouds and exploring it was fascinating to him.  Krystal began to be interested in 2012 when trailers, pictures, gameplay, etc. were being posted frequently. 

It can easily be said,  that the first BioShock is one of the best games this generation has to offer, and to be honest, it could be considered one of the best games of all time.  That being said, BioShock Infinite had a lot of expectations to live up to.  Throughout all the promotions, videos and such, you could tell that the game was becoming over-hyped which sometimes means that the actual product will not live up to that hype, but ladies and gentlemen, we can surely say that BioShock Infinite definitely lives up to the expectations and we dare say, surpasses them!

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Story & Gameplay:

The story takes place in the city of Columbia in 1912, and players take the role of former Pinkerton agent Booker DeWitt, sent to the flying city to rescue Elizabeth, who has been imprisoned since childhood.  During their daring escape, Booker and Elizabeth form a powerful bond, one that lets Booker augment his own abilities with her world-altering control over the environment.  Together, they fight from high-speed Sky-Lines, in the streets and houses of Columbia, on giant zeppelins, and in the clouds, all while learning to harness an expanding arsenal of weapons and abilities (which will be discussed below).  This story is superb, going outside the box of the general, almost predictable game stories that we find now-a-days.  This story will ultimately immerse players in a way that not many games do, and if by the time you reach the ending, you have not spoiled the story, you will not be ready for it; it is very strong and emotional on a very deep thrilling and surprising level.

Just like the first and second BioShock, BioShock Infinite is a “First-Person Shooter” with some “RPG” elements, but when discussing BioShock Infinite‘s gameplay, it can be simply summarized as a refined, upgraded, more responsive and effective version of previous gameplay.  You still have guns (pistols,  shotguns,  machine guns,  RPG’s,  etc.) and the use of powers previously called ‘Plasmids’, but now called ‘Vigors’ which are essentially made to be able to set enemies on fire, shock them, etc.

In the first  BioShock game you could melee an enemy by choosing a wrench, but in BioShock Infinite, you can melee enemies with a weapon you have attached on your  left arm called ‘The Skyhook’.  (It is important to note that ‘meleeing’ is very gruesome, so we suggest you do not do so in front of a younger audience (enemies are choked,  destroyed,  decapitated,  etc.).  You should not play this game in front of children, but the shooting is not as graphic as ‘meleeing’ is).  Now ‘the Skyhook’ is a very powerful weapon, which is not only used to melee but to attach yourself to the ‘Sky-Lines’, which makes you feel like you are on a roller-coaster. You can use these ‘Sky-Lines’ to drop and attack an enemy, to flank enemies, to travel to the indicated places;  you will particularly need them when fighting ‘Handy-Men’, which are almost the equivalent of the ‘Big-Daddies’ from the first BioShock.   

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Apart from all the weapons discussed, there is one last aid to your rescuing of Elizabeth, and it is Elizabeth herself!  She is not just a damsel in distress, in reality, she actually helps you on your mission by picking locks, cracking cyphers, finding ammo, health and salts (to replenish your vigor meter), etc.  The most interesting thing that she does is opening ‘tears’, which are essentially windows to another dimension, which places items from that dimension to the one you are in.  For example:  She can open up cover,  summon turrets, other weapons, medical kits, etc.  There is one catch though, you can only open one tear at a time, meaning, as soon as you open another one, the other one will cease to exist in your dimension.

Please enjoy this gameplay video!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gBVZj6ROV0?rel=0&w=640&h=360]

Graphics:

Our verdict on the graphics of this game is that it looks stunning; the visual effects like explosions and vigors that are shown look realistic in their own way.  The City of Columbia is a gorgeous place to explore, though on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions there are some low resolution textures on some small things,  like grass or apples, the visuals will still blow you away though!  You can tell that the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 are at the end of their life cycle, because when compared to the PC version of this game,  the other versions do not match up to the graphics of a PC,  regardless, the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions play well and look fantastic!

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Take a look at this video comparison between the Xbox 360PlayStation 3 and PC versions of this game provided by GameSpot!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNcttxXfIyY?rel=0&w=640&h=360]

Sound/Audio: 

The music chosen for this game makes you feel like you are truly in the 1912 era, it is very appropriate.  The voice-acting is incredible, every character seems believable, especially the voices of Booker and Elizabeth, since you hear them constantly in the game.  Every emotion (happiness,  surprise,  anger,  sadness,  fear,  pain,  etc.) is so well expressed that you cannot help but to feel it with the character.  It feels much more real than just a simple game, it feels like you are really there, living that story.  The sound effects in the game are so perfect, no glitches, no fake-sounding audio, every little noise feels relevant; every shot, every explosion, even a single melee sounds amazing.

[Note: Sony and Irrational Games made an “Exclusive BioShock Infinite Audio Mode for the Pulse – Elite Edition Headset” making the player feel more immersed with a dedicated and enhanced BioShock Infinite experience.]

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Final Thoughts:

Almost immediately after the game was available to pre-order on the PSN, we pre-ordered it.  As a couple, we game-share, so we both played the game and had our own experiences, but one thought was definitely clear:  This game is truly and irrevocably a masterpiece!  It is one of those games that remind you why you call yourself a gamer, not just because you enjoy silly little games, but a story that can touch you on such an emotional way; we consider it a piece of art.  It is not just a few hours of fun, which are not bad, but a truly immersive experience that makes you feel like you lived what Booker and Elizabeth went through during the course of the game.

If you call yourself a gamer, then we highly recommend you play this game, it’s a wonderful experience that you will never forget!

Score:

An amazing 9.5/10

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PlayStation 3 copy was used for this review,  but had that been a PC copy, this game would have definitely been rated by us a 10/10 because the only true problem with it are some graphical inferiorities.    

Overview

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Publisher: 2K Games (Take Two Interactive)
Developer: Irrational Games, 2K Marin, Human Head Studios
Release Date: March 26, 2013
Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, PC, MAC OS (Summer 2013) Digital: Yes
Price: $59.99 US /£49.99 EU
ESRB:PEGI: 18
Offline Players: Single Player Only
Season Pass: $19.99 US / £15.99 EU