What drives a man awaiting his hope to destroy the hope of all that oppose him?

 The main question that I had going into BioShock Infinite was, "Is this a BioShock game?" The opening moments of the game answered my question. This is a BioShock game. This is a BioShock game that I did not see coming.

"Bring Us the Girl, and Wipe Away the Debt"

The rain is falling and a storm is pressing down on Booker. He is given his mission and left to discover the adventure that awaits him. As you step into the Lighthouse, the flood of déjà vu is overwhelming, and the heartless scene that is laid out before you further increases the feelings of latent brutality from Rapture. A brutality hid not so deep inside. However, in the next few moments you are introduced to Columbia in a way that will spark both excitement and apprehension. The story that unfolds from these early moments is a multidimensional tale revolving around the relationship between Booker and Elizabeth. These two individuals have different pasts, but there problem is the same. They are caged. One is a victim of his past and the pain of war. One is locked in a tower built to control the abilities that no one seems to understand.

Columbia Shines

The world of Infinite is the most redeeming facet of this game and that is saying a lot. Under the shiny exterior of what the Founders wish you to see, Columbia is a city that is losing faith in itself. As the Founders and the Vox Populi vie for control of the floating city, the general population is left with the information that serves what the warring factions determine as the greater good. The beautifully realized world of the early 1900s is depicted in a way that capitalizes on this underrepresented era in history. The combination of voxophones (audio logs), propaganda, a local fair, and the interaction of its inhabitants, will lead you to understand this world without ever feeling like you are just along for the ride. You are a part of Columbia. From the antique advertising to the barbershop quartet, the city will implant itself in your heart as a character all its own. Something to be cherished. An ideal worth fighting for. I would best describe Columbia as flashes of grandeur wrapped in the unrest of anarchy.

Fight for Her Life, Not Your Own

The combat in BioShock Infinite is varied and satisfying. Through the use of Vigors (Plasmids) and various weapons, you have the ability to keep combat fresh even when the fights occur with the same environmental conditions (i.e. an open area with a few corridors and some tears). Almost, every way you kill an enemy has the possibility to be brutal. Well-aimed shots with a sniper rifle can take your enemies' heads clean off. Vigors may reduce enemies to ash or make them lose their heads. Dying has no major significance unless you play on 1999 mode. Even though monotony can be an issue, Combat is a fun respite from learning about the amazing world of Columbia and the relationship between Booker and Elizabeth.

(Note) Experienced players should have no issue starting on Hard and graduating to 1999 mode. Of course, you can start the game with 1999 mode with a little help from the Konami code.

My Conclusion

10 "Early Favorite for Game of the Year"

BioShock Infinite succeeded at doing the only thing that I thought would be impossible-exceed my expectations. Columbia is a more realized world than its predecessor. Its comments on racism, morality, religion, and politics make it a game that is important. Not only for the way that it innovates within the industry but also for the way that it innovates the start of a discussion. It is not perfect, no game is. The occasional technical glitch, oversaturation of the color palette under certain circumstances, and blind stares of NPC's after their thirty seconds of interaction, can break the immersion. But, these are only minor quibbles against a fantastic game. The deep narrative, brilliant setting, and the most satisfying ending to any game that I have ever played, combine to create an experience that is a must for any game enthusiast. If you want to think about the games you play, then pick up Infinite and prepare for an introspective look at the society that surrounds you.

P.S. Thank you for reading. Please leave a comment, and tell me what you think about this review, the game, or whatever.