Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Shoot Gamer’s Review – ‘BioShock Infinite’

What be this then? Seems the Man With The Wooden Finger hath travelled back to the dim, distant era of the Year of Our Lord … Twenty Thirteen. Oho! – there’s a rib-tickler! Nay, the first-person shoot-‘em-up ‘BioShock Infinite’ is in actuality (or at least in this actuality) set in 1912 Anno Domini. As former Pinkerton (look it up, curious gamers!) agent Booker DeWitt thou travel to the floating city of Columbia in order to bring back a girl and wipe away your debt. And glory be! – what a beautiful city it is. In a medium that flings off the assembly line one dark, dystopian future after another, this colourful, cravated, barbershop of a game feels like a vintage store dream. I have no love for shooters – and the gameplay in this particular shooter could be described as “no more than adequate” – but I was stuck to my keyboard, driven by momentum across the planks, all the while raiding corpses and pocketing Silver Eagles. (It also helped, that in keeping with my shoot gaming, I early on locked the easiness level on to its highest setting.)

The distinguishing point of ‘BioShock Infinite’ though must surely be the fair damsel Elizabeth (aka the Girl You Must Bring). Blue-eyed Beth is by you for the majority of your journey, tossing ammunitions, salts, and ‘health’ – ‘health’ here being an object you can heave – over to your fingers just at the moment when you are nearing your death-bed. Many of the story’s cut-scenes also revolve around her, including the wit-twisting ending, which me being now in the year 2014 I foolishly spoiled for myself in my obsession with all things Infinite …….. But onward! Blood and organs aside, BioShock Infinite could be just the tonic for the literary-minded that would otherwise dismiss modern arcade games as pubescent tomfoolery. Aesthetically it cannot be faulted; even the moniker Booker DeWitt rolls off the tongue like a silver pearl. Story-wise it holds your interest right until the final door is opened. And that shooting … well, sometimes you just have to shoot your way to where you want to go.

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