The Breathless Infinite

Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Bioshock Infinite is on the lips of many a gamer these days. Site after site sings it's praises, from exciting gameplay to enticing narrative. Having recently completed it myself, allow me to add my voice to the chorus. I loved Bioshock Infinite; From the beautiful artistic design to the exemplary voice acting, the haunting score to the exciting combat.

Of all the aspects I enjoyed while playing Infinite, the pace and structure of the story is what I enjoyed the most. Bioshock is already well known for it's story. Infinite has managed to fill the gigantic clanking shoes of it's predecessor.

The original Bioshock offered a puzzle-piece styled story; each small piece of information built up a picture of what was going on, and while the player could guess at the whole, those last pieces turned the whole image on it's head. Those stunning "oh shit" moments made the first playthrough something really special.

Infinite handles things a little differently. While still packed with plenty of revelations, the player is able to glean a basic idea of what is happening fairly early in the game. Each other piece of exposition- be it told by characters, kinetiscope or voxophone- adds more depth and clarity. If Bioshock is a puzzle, Bioshock Infinite is an out of focus picture. By the last moments of the game, things are clear - or clearer depending on who you ask- and you can sit back and stare, breathless at what you behold.

By the end of my nine hour journey through Columbia, I could scarcely articulate what I had seen. While Infinite has only one ending, the way you get there is as important as any cutscene or set piece. It's different from Bioshock's pivotal, revelatory moment, but unlike some of my colleagues, I don't think it's any less a masterpiece.

I will be revisiting Infinite soon. A second playthrough is nigh on necessary to really grasp the depth of the story. By the time I have finished it, I hope to have more to say about the game as a whole. Until then, even if you don't particularly care for the genre, Bioshock Infinite is an FPS well worth stepping outside your comfort zone.