Saturday, 9 March 2013

Why Bioshock Infinite Is Going To Be The Best Bioshock Yet

I didn't play the original Bioshock until 4 years after it was released. I didn't think I was going to like it and it wasn't until I kept seeing everywhere that it was awesome and amazing that I decided to give it a go. I wasn't disappointed and it soon became one of my favourite games ever.

Bioshock Infinite is here in a couple of weeks, though, and it is looking incredible. I kind of lost faith in 2K Games after the mediocre Bioshock 2 to be honest. It was a pretty good game with the improvements upon the gameplay much appreciated; however it was just a bit meh. It lacked the mystery and awe that Rapture had inspired in the first Bioshock and the story was lacklustre. It just wasn't that interesting really.

But things change. When I first heard that the series had been removed from its underwater setting in the incredible city called Rapture and was instead flying high into the sky city of Columbia, I was disappointed. I loved Rapture and it seemed pretty risky for the devs to switch things up so drastically.

However the more I thought about it the more sense it made. Was there any point to keeping it in the original setting? In a way, despite being an incredible place, Rapture had also been Bioshock 2's downfall. The setting was what made the first game so incredible and, ultimately, what brought the sequel down so much.

The more information that was revealed about the upcoming installment the more I couldn't wait. To put simply: Bioshock Infinite looks outstanding in every possible way and I'm in no doubt that it will destroy both, previous, Bioshock games.

Infinite is set in the beautiful city called Columbia in the sky. Cosmetically it is very different from Rapture. It is not dead, cold and decaying. It doesn't lack life or looks. It has charm and beauty. However it still holds a ton of mystery. In fact, Columbia might even be more intriguing and mysterious than Rapture.

Rapture looked like it was full of secrets, and Columbia doesn't. It is a dark place, but that is contradicted by the way it looks. What is this place? How did it get so weird? Who made it? These are questions that I've never wanted to be answered so much.

I honestly can't put into words how breathless Infinite is to look at - regardless of graphics. The entire art design is just phenomenal. It honestly looks like a little bit of heaven, except for the violence of course. I desperately want to explore Columbia, more than I did Rapture. For me, this new setting can easily - and probably will - out do Rapture.

Bioshock had one of the best casts of characters in any game. It had outstanding voice actors too, and in fact the game was never about the physical presence of these characters, but more about their communication. It was all in the voice.
You felt sad for Atlas, angry with Fontaine, mystified by Sander Cohen and all without ever really getting a good look at them or interacting with them physically.
And it worked. The cast was amazing.

Infinite definitely switches this up. There is a lot more focus on the physical form and interaction of characters, however it works. And what is more: Booker DeWitt is an awesome guy to play as because he actually has his own voice and personality.

It is clear that a ton has been put into characterisation, making sure you get drawn in and involved with all of the people in the game. Elizabeth is very attractive and clearly an innocent and caring young lady.  Booker (the player's character) is a somewhat serious but soft guy who just wants to get the job done. The partnership works perfectly and with the voice acting as impeccable as it is, I can imagine that Bioshock Infinite will feature some of the most brilliant and deep characters in video game history.

The actual story looks far more interesting than both Bioshock 1 & 2s' plots too. The previous games, especially the first one, were very much about Rapture. That was the story. Infinite on the other hand is more about Booker trying to save Elizabeth than the setting itself. This will probably create a much stronger bond to the characters and how involving the whole story is to play through.

One last piece worth mentioning before we wrap this up is gameplay. The first game wasn't very gameplay focused and it was certainly its weakest point. Bioshock 2 had better combat and this was actually its strongest area. Bioshock Infinite certainly looks far improved in the gameplay department, however it still looks a little bit 'floaty' and not all that solid. While it won't be a part of the game that I am going to focus on, it is important that the gunplay is good and enjoyable.

Bioshock Infinite could easily be game of the year - maybe even generation (who knows) - so to assume it will be the best Bioshock yet is not puzzling or mind-boggling. I think it will be, and I think it could be one of the best games ever made. It is a great example of why single player games will ever die.

What do you think about the upcoming Bioshock game? Are you going to buy it or pass? And how good do you think it will be? Leave a comment!

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