Home » Bioshock Infinite Review: First Impressions

Bioshock Infinite Review: First Impressions

Bioshock Infinite is a First-Person Shooter game developed by Irrational Games and 2K Marin, and published by 2K Games for the PC, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and OS X platforms. This is just a quick summary of my thoughts on the game so far:


Bioshock Infinite takes place before the events of the original Bioshock. While I’m not exactly sure when these events take place, I do know that the floating city of Columbia was created at least 40 years prior to Rapture, leading to the conclusion that this is before Andrew Ryan built his aquatic empire. The story begins with a New York private investigator, Booker DeWitt, who apparently owes some kind of heavy debt to someone. Aboard the a small rowboat with him are an anonymous man and a woman, who bring him to the eerie lighthouse where the Bioshock series began:


An image of the Bioshock Lighthouse.

This is where it all takes place.


Booker, the protagonist you control throughout the game, gets off the row boat and makes his way up to the stairs, but the two people you traveled with, on the other hand, stay on their boat and leave you stranded at the lighthouse. Relucantly climbing the stairway of the lighthouse, Booker is met with constant reminders that he must pay his debt, including a gruesome image of a man tied to a chair:


A grisly image of a beaten man tied to a chair.

Welcome to Columbia, there’s more than where that came from.


Booker eventually reaches the top and rings a number of bells, which in turn, cause the lighthouse to emit deafening foghorn sounds to communicate with the city of Columbia. Booker then gets in a chair, and is jettisoned to the heavens above in order to reach his destination. Booker arrives in the city intact, discovering that there is some sort of fanatical obsession with a pretentious Prophet, “Zachary Hale Comstock”, who appears to serve as the main antagonist, and “Elizabeth”, a girl who Comstock refers to as “The Lamb”, who is supposedly the city’s savior. Booker makes his way through the utopian city, trying to get onto the monument island in order to rescue the girl, he finds however, that he gets more than what he bargained for:


A sideby comparison of Booker's hand with the false prophet sign.

“What the hell?”


Bioshock Infinite is a first person shooter at its core, and anyone who’s played the previous Bioshock games will have no trouble adapting to this one. There are a few differences between this game and the prequels, so I’ll go over the contextual differences first. Plasmids are now known as “Vigors”, they still provide similar powers like before, Possession for example will let you control machines, and one of the upgrades to that will let you control humans as well. Eve, which was essential in utilizing plasmids is now known as “Salt” (I’m confused at the name change but that’s me).


Now for the mechanical differences: upgrades for Vigors are picked up at specialist vending machines, which use the universal currency of dollars (which are called silver eagles in this game) as opposed to Adam, which had to be harvested in the prequels to upgrade plasmids. A shield is a new mechanic in the Bioshock series that protects you while in danger and recharges while not taking damage. Make no mistake though: health is still prevalent in this game and can be affected if enemies damage you past your shield or if you consume an item which lowers your health such as cigarettes. A new feature is Gear pieces which you wear that provide passive bonuses such as increased critical damage. Another new feature to the game is side-quests and the ability to make choices, for example:


An image illustating the "A or B" choice feature in Bioshock Infinite.

Guess which one everyone picked.


And unlike the previous games in the series (with the exception of Bioshock 2 near the end) the girl, Elizabeth, joins you as a companion and aids you by tearing holes in the fabric of space, helping you out in a number of ways.


Elizabeth tearing the fabric of space in Bioshock Infinite

Except maybe that one.


Let’s talk about the visuals next: Columbia is the perfect representation of a utopian city: Columbia represents not light, but blight, and it does this very well when the golden city gets ugly with Booker and depravity starts to seep through the cracks. The dinner table inside the Raven cultists mansion reminds me of the famous scene from Great Expectations with the untouched dinner table:


A laid out dinner table, touched only by age.

The ravens look like they’d enjoy the food.


So far, my experience with the game has been fantastic, the story was riveting and I can’t wait to play more and do a full review. If I was to give this a rough rating off the bat I would say something like:


Bioshock Infinite First Impressions: 8/10


So far so good.


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3 Responses to “Bioshock Infinite Review: First Impressions”

  1. Gerrit says:

    Hi, I just wanted to say thanks for sharing your thoughts and impressions of Bioshock Infinite. I noticed you mentioned in your “Borderlands 2 Gear Giveaway” that people could do you a favor by commenting here because the page was so high maintenance.
    So if you are still kindly giving away or duping items I would very much appreciate your Flame of the Firehawk, Hiyu Skullmasher, and Onslaught Veruc. But what would also be awesome is if you might still as well have the level 30 Conference Call you mentioned briefly in a previous post. I would understand if the Fire Onslaught Veruc was out of the question or the Resolute Shredifier, I know someone beat me to the punch. Thanks for doing all this Haydn! 🙂

    • Haydn says:

      Yeah no problem. Thanks for reading it. I’m working on the revised review which is much better than this one, but because I get comments every couple of hours, I can’t really concentrate on my articles, so I feel a little burnt out because of it. I have the Flame of the Firehawk, an Onslaught Veruc, and possibly a level 30 conference call. I don’t really know where you heard about that last one, and maybe it’s just an error in writing on your part, but I do have one yes.

  2. Gerrit says:

    Sorry I forgot my steam i.d. is Gerrit. Here’s a link. 🙂

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