Have you ever tried to write a dissertation after a magnificent trip to an exotic country? Approximately the same task is faced by any browser BioShock Infinite. The feeling of blissful happy fatigue overwhelms you after passing, you want to quietly revive the best moments of the past day or repeat the celebration. After all, this is the creation of Irrational Games. BioShock Infinite – a gaming holiday, causing a riot of emotions and thoughts. After this, the least you want to do is dry analysis and objective evaluation. It is difficult to hold onto the position of a cold reviewer and not enter into the role of the glorifier of laudatory odes. However, we will try our best.
The main thing that distinguishes BioShock Infinite on the background of most high-profile novelties of recent times is the amazing wholeness and unity of all elements of the game. There is nothing superfluous here – neither the “pasted” RPG-component nor the far-fetched plot turns. The gameplay, script, graphics, music in synchronic sound create a truly stunning Steampunk atmosphere. When you walk through the sunny streets hovering above the firmament of Columbia, you hear pleasant music from every radio device, pick up all the rubbish, and your actions are accompanied by a characteristic “BioShock” crash and crunch, then you realize that the world of Infinite is completely unique, and only finding in it becomes a real holiday.
The level designers have done a great job, I’m not afraid of this word. The external appearance of Colombia will make the hearts of even the most demanding graphics enthusiasts. Locations are diverse, the scenery throughout the passage is constantly changing, every square meter of the city is full of some small details. I want to walk around this world, peering into every corner, listening to all the dialogues of random passers-by, looking through sets of funny pictures in each kinetoscope.
City view at the beginning of the game
The BioShock Infinite script at first seems moderately banal and not too prominent – Mr. Booker DeWitt goes to the flying city of Colombia to find and return to the earth a frail, mysterious girl, Elizabeth. In fact, the plot turns out to be a complex mosaic, which the player has to add up. It is somewhat like the films of David Lynch – the narrative fabric is torn, the sequence of events is broken, and only the ending, at first puzzling and bringing to the holy awe, gives the clue.
Contrary to our expectations, the finale is the one – the occasional choice options ultimately do not influence anything. However, tell me: how often did the denouement of the game make you spend hours remembering all the details of the plot, with long mental speculations trying to close the gaps and want to re-pass – more attentive, slow and thoughtful? The plot of BioShock Infinite will not leave anyone indifferent – after the finale, you either have a long session of independent brainstorming in search of answers, or short-term surfing on fan forums. In the center of history is the traditional psychoanalytic problematic of internal conflict and repression. Correctly beaten and built into the narrative, it gives Infinite a special dramatic flavor and tends to philosophize.
The plot abounds with all the most successful pieces of the popular science genre. Here there is a place for parallel universes, and quantum paradoxes, and time travel. What is very important, all these fashionable inclusions do not look at all pretentious – the final picture of what is happening in the game justifies the presence of “mystical” elements.
What exactly is Elizabeth! This pretty beautiful creature, the very embodiment of innocence, femininity, and love of life. She – like the heroine of Disney fairy tales: as kind, friendly and cheerful. Lonely locked in a tall tower, Elizabeth only dreams of Paris and dancing. The game has no hint of an erotic component – and it pleases. Otherwise, the atmosphere would lose a large part of its fabulous color.
Gameplay functions of Elizabeth are not limited to the delight of our eyes. The young lady, for a long time of her imprisonment, had time to read more than one library, from which she learned about the device of door locks, and therefore to unlock the closed door or the safe with treasures for her nothing stands. The main character needs only to provide the girl with the right amount of master keys. Elizabeth is otherwise completely self-sufficient; moreover, in a difficult situation, the lady is happy to come to the aid of DeWitt, throwing him cartridges, a first aid kit or a bottle of salt.
The latest in the world BioShock Infinite performs the function of mana – it is spent on the use of a local analog of plasmids (new abilities are acquired after the tasting of a special kind of drinks). Colombian energy is a very useful thing. With their help, you can “tame” an enemy turret or throw a group of opponents into the air for a couple of seconds, pour all the fire or cause a flock of hungry crows. Although the arsenal in the game is rich enough, it is extremely difficult to manage one firearm. And if at first you easily cope with frail enemies in close combat, then at later stages of passage, snipers, missile men, all sorts of robotic guards enter the case. At the highest level, the difficulties of battle really turn into a serious test. In these conditions, the key to survival is the ability to find an approach to each type of enemy, and also competently combine “spells” with certain types of weapons. For example, if you attack an armored mechanic on the forehead, you can spend all the ammunition almost in vain – the weak point of the boogie is the light circle in the center of the chest, where you want to aim.
Especially exciting is the action in the locations with airborne – the local transport system. Battles here reach a higher level of epic. Ride on the rails, shooting a couple of weak enemies; landing, crush with a savory blow of the hook someone’s unhappy head; ordering Elizabeth to materialize the turret, raise the crowd of enemies in the air and substitute them for machine-gun fire; and then deal with the “thickest” enemy, throwing him “fireballs” and giving him a dozen missile salvos, – after that you feel only boundless enthusiasm. But to show the world heroism and feel like a tough uncle will not always work out – the local system of conservation in the face of the evacuating DeWitt Elizabeth will remind of itself quite often.
View of the airway, and local police
Nothing in the Infinite hangs over an unnecessary appendage, does not cause irritation or boredom. The same goes for the RPG component of BioShock. “Pumping” is subject to everything: both the weapons and abilities of DeWitt and his constant characteristics – the maximum level of health, shield and salt reserves. In addition, Booker can put on four pieces of clothing at the same time, which give the hero various bonuses. The importance of “upgrades” is felt quite strongly – twenty-five percent of the additional damage from a shotgun or the amplification of some energy significantly affect the gameplay. All this kindness is worth a lot of money so that as you pass you will not be able to realize all the possibilities for the growth of the protagonist. The feeling of a constant material deficit gives an additional incentive to search the corpses of opponents and interior items.
Of course, the dullest pessimists and the nastiest snobs, even in the divine creation, will find faults. Somewhat frustrating, for example, is not always the rational behavior of enemies. However, all this is so insignificant in comparison with the merits of the project, which gave us Irrational Games, that complaining about them would be an extreme degree of impropriety. Voltaire once said: “If there was no god, he ought to come up with it.” To paraphrase the words of the French philosopher, one can say: “If the BioShock Infinite had the downsides, they should have closed their eyes.”