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NOTE: This feature is spoiler-free
In case our review score of 10 didn’t make it obvious, we’re big fans of Bioshock Infinite here at Game Informer. Its brilliant story, complex ending, and fascinating world drew all of us in, and the game seems destined to be remembered as one of the high points of this console generation. In a time dominated by endless sequels and uninspired shooters, here are some of the elements Bioshock Infinite featured that made it stick out from the pack so much.
A world worth exploring
If you spend your time in Bioshock Infinite following the objective arrow at all times, you’re experiencing the game all wrong. You may catch the big, required moments, but you’ll lose the sense of wonder you get by exploring every nook and cranny. Interesting NPC dialogue, fantastic propaganda posters, and plenty of gorgeous visuals can be passed by if you’re trying to sprint through the game. Thanks to the level of detail Irrational put into the game, Columbia is a world that you’ll want to take your time visiting.
A companion that adds to the experience
Escort missions are one of gamers’ most hated elements of action games, and for good reason. Few things are more frustrating than having to reload a checkpoint because of the actions of some idiotic AI. Thankfully, that’s something you’ll never have to worry about in Infinite. Elizabeth is the complete opposite of a chore to protect. She makes interesting observations about the world and the story, and even helps you out in the middle of battles. Columbia without Elizabeth would still be beautiful, but Bioshock Infinite would lose a major part of the experience.
An ending that matters
If a good chunk of your social circle or workplace is made up of gamers, odds are you’ve walked by some hushed conversations in the last month. That’s because Infinite features one of the most complex, rewarding, and memorable endings ever seen in the gaming medium. It involves numerous twists and turns that take some time to process. Also, it leads directly into...
A unique reason to replay
You’re not alone if you spent hours on message boards and YouTube after beating the game, attempting to iron out every detail of the conclusion. Thankfully, playing through the game again is similar to watching movies like The Sixth Sense or Fight Club for a second time. Little things that seemed inconsequential or random on the initial playthrough carry much more significance once you know where the story’s going.
No tacked-on multiplayer
Many publishers and developers in this generation have shoehorned multiplayer into games that really didn’t need it. While it wasn’t Irrational’s title, 2K decided to include a multiplayer component in Bioshock 2. No one was asking for it, and it didn’t exactly catch fire. It’s telling that no one on the quick-to-complain internet has taken issue with multiplayer’s absence in Bioshock Infinite.
Expanding the series, not rehashing it
Bioshock 2 wasn’t a trainwreck, but it didn’t come anywhere near capturing the unique experience of the original game. While Bioshock Infinite carries the name of the series, it’s one of the only real ties to the original (despite existing in the same universe). Rather than rehashing Rapture, Irrational went above and beyond with an entirely new setting and story. Instead of giving us the “been there, done that feeling” that likely would have come with another trip to Rapture, the developer gave us what is bound to be remembered as one of the greatest game settings in the industry’s history.
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