The lights are on
Bioshock has many large strengths and very few, small shortcomings. When you first start the game and arrive in the city of Colombia you see an almost perfect life, happy families, friendly people, and a welcoming air. After some exploring you get a cryptic telegram but decide to proceed on anyway. After getting your first look at the magical vigors (strange drinks infused with magical powers) you see what the city is really like. You enter a raffle not knowing your prize, you win the raffle and you claim your prize, you get to be the first person to throw a baseball at a black and white couple. You're given an ultimatum, either hit the couple or the announcer. This is one of the games stark contrasts when you go from ideal calm and happiness to the violent and dark reality of the city of Colombia.
Bioshock Infinite's visuals are amazing as long as you don't look too close at the environments. Each area has it's own distinctive look and style for you to cause absolute chaos in. From wide open outdoors areas connected by skylines (a series of railroad like tracks connecting different areas of Colombia) to closed in buildings filled with Automatons of America's founding fathers (who are revered and worshiped like gods), who then turn around and try to destroy you with the devastating "Crank Gun."
The "Crank Gun" brings me to a new topic, the look of the weapons you'll be using to decimate your foes. Each weapon has a very distinct look (Excluding the "Repeater" which which looks almost identical to the "Machine Gun" with a different magazine) that makes you really look at the weapons which are fantastic looking aesthetically and have a satisfying and definitive recoil. The "Skyhook" you melee weapon and tool used for traveling the "Skylines" is brilliantly designed and has a deadly look to it. The fact your "Skyhook" is always moving makes it terrifying, especially during the games brutal execution animations that make you fear Booker and his brutality.
Now that you've heard all the good about Bioshock's visuals time to hear about the games visual shortcomings. When you take a close look at things like flowers and fruits in a basket you'll try to forget what you've seen and move on. Fruits that you can't eat are 2-Dimensional and look like pieces of paper. Flowers and other plants are flat and you can occasionally see through them. Face models for NPCs that aren't important often look identical to each other and your bullets won't break glass, lights, and the world isn't very interact able.
The game's music and sound effects are astounding to say the least. The music is amazing from intense orchestral pieces when in the midst of battle to calm carnival music while walking through the streets of Colombia. In the music you'll hear modern songs like a quartet singing a 1912 version of "God Only Knows" or a 1912 version of "Girls Just Want to have Fun" (without lyrics). The sound affect are amazing, the sound of your "Skyhook" flying across the "Skylines" is fantastic and just doesn't get old. Every weapon has a unique sound from the definitive BOOM of the "Hand Cannon," to the sharp crack of the pistol every gunfire sound is distinct and has it's own sense of danger around it.
The combat in Bioshock Infinte is fantastic and rarely gets old even after 15 hours. Each weapon is unique and deadly in it's own way. The "Hand Cannon" is a large revolver that can kill an enemy with a single headshot even on hard difficulty where up to 3 headshots with the carbine is the minimum to kill a foe. The "Repeater" is a heavy, powerful, and slow firing machine gun that can take enemies out really fast. The games melee is violent and satisfying. You swing your heavy "Skyhook" to bash enemies in the head or if enough damage has been done to them do a brutal execution which includes neck snapping, decapitation, and many more.
Booker is not only equipped with deadly weapons he also has an array of deadly powers known as "vigors." These magical beverages grant Booker unimaginable power over his foes. Powers range from flame grenades, the power to possess others, a blast of water, a levitating earthquake, and many more. These powers are controlled by salt, magical salt which grant Booker his power are found all around, in food, as items, from dispensers and many other places.
Bioshock's combat isn't flawless though, even with it's many fun features it has it's issues. Certain fights are needlessly difficult, one example was that I was stuck on a single enemy for over an hour (granted he was a special enemy type known as a "Handyman"). One of the games very few boss fights was boring, far too long, and overall annoying to do. One more gameplay issue is the scarcity of health items and how little they heal the player. The food you find lying around barely heals you at all and is hard to find.
Bioshock Infinte is a fantastic game that anyone could enjoy. I wish I could say more about the story but I can't, just know this if you (and you should) play Bioshock Infinite you'll be in for a wild and exciting adventure that you won't be able to pull yourself away from.
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