Bioshock Infinite

Here we go again (no spoilers!)

Did you like Bioshock? I mean, really like it? Get Bioshock Infinite. You’ll love it. If you didn’t like the first one, don’t get this.

Bioshock, and its writer Ken Levine, came in for some criticism for making a point about videogames (you have no free will, you just do what the game designer tells you to do) and then ignored that point (by making you do what the game designer told you to do). Clearly, old Ken took this criticism to heart and made this game.

Bioshock Infinite should really be called Bioshock 1.1. Sure, it’s got a new setting, and it’s got a lady called Elizabeth that follows you around, but the actual gameplay, the things that you do for the 25 hours you’ll be playing for (if you play it on Hard and obsess over finding every hidden secret thingy like I did, cos all the reviews told me to); it’s all been done before. Left-click to shoot a gun. Right-click to shoot a plasmid from your hand (although they’re called vigors in this game). There’s even the old Audio Diaries that play dialogue (they’re called Voxophones here).

So, if it plays like a game from 2007, why play it?

It is very clever and it makes you think and sometimes it makes you think “I’ve heard that before” and sometimes it makes you think “hmmm there’s a point to all this” and then it eventually kind of shows you the point and then your brain explodes.

Bioshock Infinite has one of the smartest time-travel, alternate universe plots I’ve ever seen. The ending makes your brain explode. And then once you’ve put it all back in your skull, you’ll be thinking about everything you’ve just done for 25 hours (or however long your play-through takes).

I finished it six days ago, and I’m still thinking about it all, still coming up with theories, still reading fresh perspectives on the internet about it that I haven’t thought of.

Honestly, this game deserves to be looked back on in the future the same way Hamlet is still revered. Irrational Games might just be the video game generation’s Shakespeare. I know that’s a wanky thing to say, but DAMN; Bioshock Infinite is a work of art.

Good points, well made. Good work, Ken.

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