I had been seriously trying to wait until I finished tearing through Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel and Dragon Age: Inquisition before reviewing another game here in the new GamerZone column… but after re-visiting this old favorite in an attempt to work off my turkey coma, I simply couldn’t resist giving this one a much-deserved nod here at Nerd Nation, so let’s call this a RETRO REVIEW! — Back in 2013, 2K Games returned quite some time ago with a fury earlier in the year with Bioshock: Infinite the third in the critically acclaimed Bioshock series… and boy did it ever deliver!
The game opens up, much like others in the series, with a man named Booker sent to a wondrous and somewhat mysterious utopian city, but this time instead of the art-deco styled 1950s underwater city of Rapture, you’re heading to a very steampunk-esque flying city of Columbia in 1912. Your mission is to rescue a mysterious young girl named Elizabeth in order to pay off an unknown (but suggested to be related to gambling) debt. The mission sounds easy enough, but of course, things just aren’t that simple (this is a Bioshock game, after all).
The gameplay isn’t too different than the previous Bioshock installments… wild FPS action, plenty of guns, and of course those special gene-splicing abilities, which are now called ‘Vigors’ (as opposed to the ‘Plasmids’ of previous games – constants and variables, as you’ll come to find out). New to the series is the Sky Hook, which can be used for gruesome melee attacks, as well as aerial transportation throughout Columbia.
So some small differences, but mainly it’s the same old shootin’ and lootin’ you’re used to… much like the fantastic storyline chock-full of all the dark twists and turns one has grown to expect from the series. I won’t say anything about the story, as I don’t want to spoil it… but I will say you’re in for one heck of a wild, mind-bending ride. There’s also the new ability to access ‘Tears’ – objects from another dimension… but you’ll get to that and understand it once you start playing. Again, I don’t want to spoil anything here.
Once you’re done with the game… OR if you put in the Konami code (look it up if you don’t know it)… you’ll unlock “1999 Mode” which is essentially a ‘Nightmare’/’Insane’/’Legend’/’Whole-Lot-Harder-Than-Hard’ difficulty to entice those seeking a bigger challenge to a second play-through. Be warned, though, 1999 Mode is ONLY for the most skilled/hardcore of gamers… as I can’t even properly express just how insanely, ridiculously difficult it really is.
Those that purchase the “Bioshock: Infinite Complete Edition” featuring all the DLC (or for those who just grabbed a regular copy and want all the DLC, I’d recommend just getting the ‘Season Pass’ as it’s much cheaper that way) can dive into Clash in the Clouds mode- which is essentially a combat-oriented free-for-all where you fight wave after wave of all sorts of baddies with rankings, rewards, etc., as well as the award-winning Burial At Sea: Episode 1 and Burial At Sea: Episode 2– which takes you on a very fun return to our beloved Rapture… complete with all the same classic Rapture stuff that we all loved, plus new areas, new abilities, and the works, as well as a new, not to mention quite dark story where you finally get to play as Elizabeth. There’s a ton of great story here, and can absolutely give you hours upon hours of fun gaming… whether you’re checking this out for the first time, or are someone like me, that just decided to pick it back up after not playing it for awhile.
Overall, Bioshock: Infinite is everything one could want from a Bioshock game, and in many ways is the absolute zenith of the highly popular franchise. Simply put, it’s an action-packed, mind-bending, and highly entertaining thrill-ride through another world that you’ll want to play again and again. Highly recommended! 9.0/10
Editor: Nerd Nation Magazine