When Booker drinks the Devil’s Kiss Vigor he says “You only live once.” Was that deliberate?
Bioshock Infinite is a game and I really like it so I’m going to make this quick so I can get back to playing Bioshock Infinite. Sure, I already completed it. But I could stand to do it again. You know how it is.
Bioshock Infinite is the sequel/prequel/ I don’t even know to Bioshock 1 and Bioshock 2. The first two Bioshocks took place in the dystopian underwater city named “Rapture” in the 19Whatever’s. Bioshock Infinite however takes place in the utopian city in the sky named “Columbia” in 1912. Quite the change of scenery. So, I don’t even know if this game has anything to do with the other two.
I’m going to keep the story as spoiler free as possible. And no, I’m not just saying that to get your guard down to spoil anything. There’s too much to cover for me to be able to spoil the ending easily without you noticing.
Seriously. There’s a lot to cover.
I guess as is the case with most games. You play as a character. This particular character is Booker DeWitt. As is customary, the character has a profession. Booker is a private investigator. And in typical video game fashion, the character is sent on some sort of quest. In Booker’s case, he is sent to a lighthouse to retrieve a girl and bring her to New York… Unharmed. (I deliberately made that last part sound creepy, but it’s not.) Booker is brought to the lighthouse by two wisecracking smart people. Who probably become important, but I wouldn’t know. Booker climbs to the top of the lighthouse to see what’s what. There he notices three bells. He rings the bells in a special order and then the sky goes all cray and red and alla “BWEEEEOOOOMMMMM!!!” and then Booker’s like “WHADDA POOP!?” and then the lighthouse light is like “Bloop bloop” and then a chair appears in it’s place and Booker decides he want to get a haircut. But then it clamps him down and some stuff folds up around him and he’s like “nuh-uh. I don’t want no haircut tonight.” Then suddenly the chair’s like. “I ain’t no barber chair son. I’M A MOTHER BUCKING ROCKET!” and then SHEOOW POOOWWW WOOOOOOOO!! THEY’RE FLYING THROUGH THE AIR WOOOSSSSHHH POOOKKKHKKH SHAZAM! THEN THEY BREAK THROUGH THE CLOUDS AND!!! BEEWWWW SHOOSH BAKAM! THEN THEY LAND AND IT’S ALL! KRUNCCHCKCHKCHAEOIJNTLJERSTNBP[WRRRRRRR ;8,MGEW/JTR.D 8NGVYI-G 9V3UJ6. U,MNWETRPH[J and it’s all fine.
Booker gets off the rocket and says. “I want my money back. That haircut sucked.” And the rocket replies” Nuh-uh son. NO MOTHER BUCKING REFUNDS!” and it shoots away to probably kill some pigeons or something. Unfortunately for Booker, he lands up in some city that’s kind of floating in the sky. Unfortunatelier for Booker he also landed in some welcoming area that’s completely flooded. Intentionally though. Makes it look cool. Booker makes his way down to where some preacher’s preaching. (I guess if they made a video game about him that would be his profession.) Booker tells the man of the Lord that he requires passage into the city. The holy man tells him that the only way into the city is through the “sweet waters of baptism.” Then he drowns Booker. The end. Actually Booker just wakes up looking at some majestic statue of Benjamin Franklin. Booker makes his way through the city and ends up signing for some raffle accidentally. Hey, he’s a bit slow. Give him time. And as luck would have it. Booker wins said raffle. And gets to claim his prize. Throwing a baseball at a newlywed couple. Which at its essence doesn’t make sense. So take into consideration that this game is set in the early 1900’s. Also take into consideration that black people were not well respected in the early 1900’s. Also take into consideration that the groom is white and the bride is black. Also take into consideration that the city of Columbia is filled with racists. Then maybe this situation makes sense. Take into consideration that I’m not good at explaining. So, if you’re any sort of good human being you’ll choose to throw the ball at the announcer. Unfortunately for Bad-Luck Booker. Two cops notice that he has the letters “AD” branded on the back of his hand and grab him. The whole AD thing is explained later. Like 5 seconds later by the announcer. He says “where’d you get that brand? Can I get one too? Because that brand is the brand of the False Shepherd. Who is not a good dude.” Yes, basically Columbia believes that some person with the letters AD branded on the back of his hand will show up from the “Sodom Below” and steal their Lamb. The whole Lamb thing is explained later. But right now Mr. DeWitt’s got himself in a heap of trouble and he can only use one thing to save himself. A baseball. Booker throws the ball in the air and it’s all like PWEEEOOOOHHH in slow-motion and then the cop looks at it like “OOOHHH” and then Booker grabs the other cops hand which so happens to be in some kind of hand glaive. And he shoves it into the first cops face like BRRR-KNKNKNKNKCHCCHCHCHHHHHH! And the cops like “Oh gee, oh my. There happens to be a whirring hook inside my cranium. I say good chap, please do remove this rotating wheel of death from my frontal lobe and you shall be greatly rewarded.” But alas. Booker DeWitt has no shortage of wit and begins using the device known as a “Sky-hook” to eradicate the lives of a couple dozen men of the law.
The Sky-hook lends itself to some interesting gameplay opportunities. Aside from using it to grind up people’s heads like some kind of terrifying peppermill. The Sky-hook can also be used to get to beneficial vantage points up above your enemies. You can also use the Sky-hook as a mode of transportation. There are these rails in the sky all over Columbia which you can jump on with your sky-hook. Then you can zip around and act all cool.
Eventually, after much bloodshed. Booker finally finds the girl and returns her to New York… Unharmed. Maybe. I’m not spoiling anything. He could actually fail his quest in the end. You never know.
So, here’s the coolest part of the game. The girl, Elizabeth. Her whole roll in the game is to be awesome and make you question the laws of escort quests. How it kind of starts is with Elizabeth showing up and Booker saying he’s going to get her out of the city. I obviously took this to mean I was going to be protecting her the entire time and if she dies then I’ll have to restart from the last checkpoint. But in a very short time it becomes apparent that Elizabeth is far more good than bad. She actually ended up protecting me more than I protected her. When I was low on health she would chuck a health pack to me, when I was low on ammo she would throw me another gun. She can also open up tears. (Not like tear that sad people do. But tear that cheap jeans do.) and what tears allow you to do is summon extra things into the world to help with combat, like some health packs or an animatronic president with a Gatling gun… that sounds ridiculous to say aloud. And you never have to worry about keeping her safe. She knows what she’s doing.
But with such a great thing there comes a distinct disadvantage. Whenever Elizabeth isn’t around I become really sad. I almost feel cheated when she leaves me and I have to fight by myself. I guess that’s actually a really smart idea gameplay wise. You start the game off and play for a solid two hours without Elizabeth so you know that Booker is fully capable of fending for himself. He can use guns aplenty and Vigors, which if you’re a fan of the previous Bioshocks, can be easily compared to Plasmids. So at the end of the day, you know the game isn’t any worse at its core without Elizabeth, it’s just greatly improved when she’s present.
What I’m saying is
Flying solo = yes
Elizabeth = very yes
Something else I should mention are the Vigors. Vigors allow Booker to do some crazy stuff, like throw fireballs or throw a group of people into the air. Unlike the previous Bioshocks where you had access to a whole bunch of Plasmids and could only equip a certain number at a time. In Infinite, you only get eight and can have all eight equipped at all times and have two that you can easily switch between in a jam. And like I said before, the Vigors are crazy. Especially when you pick one up. Like for example the Undertow Vigor, which showcases some nasty looking barnacles showing up all over Booker’s forearms. And the barnacles are bleeding. But it’s fine. The screen flashes white and his hands are completely normal again.
I guess the only negative thing is… it’s a little racist..? That’s honestly the worst thing about Infinite. It portrays the times accurately. You know. As accurate as it can, given the circumstances.
So I guess if I were to give this game an honest appraisal I would say.
OHMIGAWSH! BIOSHOCK INFINITE IS THE SINGLE GREATEST GAME EVER MADE! IF YOU DISAGREE THEN YOU CAN GO JUMP OFF A FLOATING CITY!
Now if you’ll excuse me. I have some Bioshock Infinite to play.