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New ‘Bioshock Infinite’ game ahead of its time

Every story has its beginning, climax and end. “Bioshock Infinite” is more than a story; it’s a gateway for new discoveries and possibilities in the franchise’s universe. It’s a tale that you will fall in love with no matter how many times you play it. “Bioshock Infinite” is a game that you will never forget.

“Bioshock Infinite” takes place approximately 50 years prior to the original. This time around, players take control of Booker Dewitt: a man who must travel to the flying city of Columbia, and capture a girl named Elizabeth in order to pay off his gambling debt. During his time in the gorgeous city of Columbia, Dewitt must figure out how to safely transport Elizabeth back to New York while not losing his life to Columbia’s hostile inhabitants.

The story of Infinite is wonderful and complex. It is brilliantly injected with themes such as religion, racism, anarchy, democracy and murder. All of those intense subjects are wrapped up in a clean, tight little package for the player to experience. It’s extremely well paced, and never lets up for a second. In the end, it will blow your mind on so many levels.

In the original Bioshock, the player was introduced to a substance called the plasmid that rearranged the character’s genetic code, and in-turn gave the character special powers. The plasmids were powered by another substance called eve.

In Infinite, plasmids have been renamed as vigors and eve is now called salts. The player is in control of eight vigors and each has two upgrades.

The vigors are a joy to use, and allow the player to get creative during combat. For example, the player can float enemies in the air and burn them on fire simultaneously. With eight different vigors to choose from, the player can kill enemies in any way he or she chooses.

Graphically, Infinite is aesthetic eye candy. It retains its cartoonish looks from the original while providing an early colonial American-esque spin on every aspect in the game; this ranges from the architecture all the way down to the weapons.

Every level in the game is brightly colored, and beautifully shaded. It’s a game that people will continuously want to go back to.

Another notable visual design is Booker Dewitt’s hand animations. Booker’s left hand adapts to whichever vigor is equipped. If the Murder of Crows vigor is equipped, Dewitt’s hand will briefly grow long black nails, envelope itself in crow’s feathers, and then return to normal again.

The enemy A.I.’s death animations are glorious. Enemies’ heads will explode, and their neck-holes will spurt out streams of blood. Sometimes, their skin will melt off, and their skeletons will turn to ash. Bioshock Infinite is gory and charming all at the same time.

The gameplay is phenomenal.

The fight sequences are smooth, and killing enemies is a blast. The gunplay is so good that players may forget that the vigors exist.

The enemy A.I. is ridiculously smart, and will surprise the player with ambushes. The player will never get tired of the enemy types, because they are constantly changing throughout the game until the very end.

During combat, players can traverse the area, and reach enemies that are above them by using the skylines. The skylines are good way to escape if the player feels overwhelmed during combat or wants to get the jump on enemies.

Bioshock’s biggest innovation is its friendly A.I. Elizabeth.

She’s beautiful, funny, smart, interesting, well rounded, powerful and, most importantly, realistic. During combat, she will help Booker out by throwing him ammo, salts and health. She can also open tears in the fabric of space and time to give Booker more strategic options such as cover, turrets and sky-lines. If Dewitt dies, Elizabeth will revive him by injecting him with a syringe. Infinite is a giant escort mission in reverse, and Dewitt is the one who is being escorted.

When she is not in a combat situation, Elizabeth is usually leaning up against walls, having conversations with Booker, or checking out items that are interesting to her. Elizabeth’s eyes and body language draw the player in, and help her convey her emotional status. It’s so easy to become attached to her. She is, without a doubt, the best friendly A.I. to date.

There is a plethora of collectible items in Bioshock Infinite. Players can collect voxophones, diaries, phials, sightseers and gear. The voxophones act as audio diaries, while the sightseers act as visual diaries. Phials allow the player to upgrade his or her health, shield and salt meters. Gear acts as perks that grant the player other special abilities. There are also tons of easter eggs hidden within the game, and players will have to play the story multiple times to find them all.

Each weapon has its own weight and is fun to use. One of the better weapona is the Hand Cannon, which is on par with Dirty Harry’s Smith & Wesson Model 29; it will literally shatter an enemy’s skull to pieces in one shot.

“Bioshock Infinite” is game that is ahead of its time. It’s mature, classy, brutal and fun to play. As its predecessor, Infinite will be a household name that will be praised, and will be a huge inspiration for future titles.

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