BioShock Infinite Review
Infinite is not as cohesive as its predecessors, but it presents a complex narrative and proficient combat
Elizabeth helps during combat, yet she never feels part of the action. She avoids combat by hiding behind objects or just crouching out in the open. You might know enemies are around because you see her in a cautious state. She’s impervious to bullets, explosions and Vigor powers. Her only interaction during combat is through the player. She throws you health and ammo when the game decides you need them. This transforms her from a tangible character into an invincible game aid whenever there is action. Detaching her from the combat creates an irreparable separation between Elizabeth and the world of Columbia.
Elizabeth provides aid during combat, unfortunately you can't use her as cover
Elizabeth’s ability to open space-time rifts changes the player’s focus during combat. You can bring in hooks which allow faster movement or surveillance. You can materialize a turret that gently chews through enemies. Rifts are exclusive to areas and although you can only use one at a time, you may open different ones at the press of a button. Using rifts aggressively tends to merely elongate the action over more traditional methods. Sometimes it’s more fun to ignore the rifts altogether. Rifts rarely improve the combat and only serve to keep the player busy when they could be focusing.
Sky-lines increase the speed of combat in a handful of areas. These are circular, suspended tracks that the player can traverse with the help of a Sky-hook. You can gracefully attach to these lines and use them for respite or attacks from above. Moving on Sky-lines is highly refined. Soaring around combat zones and detaching or reversing can feel athletic. You can crash down on enemies and quickly recover only to pull the same move further down the line. Jumping aboard gunships or shooting enemies off Sky-lines is fun while it lasts. Still, Sky-lines aren’t used as much as they could have been, but they may have become tiresome if used in every combat scenario.
The mystifying tale in Infinite survives all the way to the end and beyond. The lengthy finale doesn’t neatly explain all that has come before. Interesting themes, like slavery and religion, have faded by the conclusion. It’s certainly not as succinct as the clever ending in the original BioShock. Thankfully the story’s main objective, to make you ponder, is achieved with divine force. If you assemble the pieces to Infinite’s peculiar story, you should appreciate the effort required to create it. A smart story will always make you think and Infinite does not disappoint in this regard.
Elizabeth ponders how she will tolerate babysitting the player for 10 more hours
Bioshock Infinite contains a stunning world and a fitting introduction. While the world isn’t as interwoven or engrossing as Rapture, it has appealing aspects from an artistic perspective. The puzzling story requires contemplation long after you put down your Sky-hook. The pacing is not as balanced as its predecessors because of a sloppy middle act. Although Elizabeth is a smart AI partner, she still needs some work before she doesn’t act like a set of routines with amazing eyes. Columbia is a city built on strong foundations, but BioShock Infinite does not reach the lofty heights of its predecessors.