1) Audio Logs – The Audio logs are back and better than ever in the form of Voxaphones. It is great to feel like you are being rewarded for the things you are doing in the game, and the audio logs do that perfectly. Not only are they challenging to find but they also give you a genuine insight to the story. I would go as far to say as you cannot fully understand what is going on without listening to them. This means that you will be going back and replaying the game to find them, meaning you can see every nook and cranny of Columbia while doing so, giving the game great replay value.
2) Elizabeth – Not only is Elizabeth a great character but we also loved her for the way she is used in the game to help us. Her ability to pick locks was a great way to earn the right to open new areas without the need to perform an unconnected minigame yourself; it helped keep the flow of the game going as well. Her abilities in battle are another reason why we love having her around. With Elizabeth chucking you health, ammo and salt, the combat feels hectic in a good way, while allowing you to focus more on the battle at hand. As the game unfolds it was great to understand her as a character, bringing personality and a level of intuitiveness that belied someone in her situation. You will find her interacting with the environment, whether it is taking a close up look of a certain object or pointing out something of interest. Upon separation you feel as if you are almost incapable of surviving, the game becomes quiet and almost lonely without her, you find yourself emotionally attached.
3) Juxtaposition – The original Bioshock had an amazing atmosphere, I mean it was incredible, but it didn’t have one thing that Infinite has and that’s Juxtaposition. Seeing Columbia in its full glory as you arrive, full of wonder and questions, only made it so much more eerie and unnerving to see the city in ruins. This is seen in the characters as well, without spoiling anything there is a particular scene that gave my bones a slight chill.
4) Heavy Hitters – There is nothing more combat altering than fighting a group of normal enemies when one of these guys appears, let alone two. The heavy hitters establish their name by being the type of enemy that will have you mostly on the back foot in a firelight, blasting away clip after clip. Ranging from a pyromaniac throwing fireballs, to the minigun wielding George Washington known as the ‘Patriot’. The great thing about them is that they are well spread throughout the story, appearing enough times to reduce wear out, as well as leave you wondering when you will encounter one next and if you’re prepared enough to face one.
5) 1999 Mode – The developers said that they wanted to include a mode that took gamers back to the days of extremely hard games, ones that you really had to work for in order to succeed and beat the game. 1999 mode was born and issued a warning to ‘average gamers’ not to play this at all. The challenge was irresistible and completing this gave us a sense enormous satisfaction.
So now onto the not so good features of the game. We couldn’t bring ourselves to put ‘bad points’; mainly because there are no real bad points! But we’ve committed to this now, so here we go.
The Not so Good
1) Unexplained Points – It’s a Bioshock game Ladies and Gentlemen so we were all waiting for the twist, and what a twist it turned out to be! Even so, we felt that there were some points that just weren’t covered in the game. After collecting all audio books, some original confusion will have been covered, but without giving away any spoilers, not enough explanation was given to certain events. The biggest one, why Comstock is a racist after we find out his origins? If anyone can tell me why, please do.
2) Unnecessary weapons – The weapons throughout Infinite are all good in their own rights, giving a level of versatility to the game play and allowing players to mix up how to tackle situations, however most of them become obsolete rather quickly, such as the pistol, unless you have upgraded them. In which case there are better weapons to be spending your hard found Silver Eagles on, such as the hand cannon. This is commonly more apparent in parts where ammo might be scarce in the harder difficulties, where plowing away with a machine gun seems like chewing through unnecessary ammo as opposed to neat head shots to do the same job. This is highlighted more so by the fact that you can only use two weapons at any time, thus meaning you have to be more logical with your spending. Or you will find yourself running around the battlefield picking up anything you can get your mittens on to little effect.
3) Unvaried Locations – Again I have to say that this game is beautiful. The atmosphere is amazing and it does a great job to suck you into the game’s world. However, compared to the original Bioshock we felt that there was not as much variation in the levels. Bioshock saw you in forest areas, underwater tunnels (obviously) as well as a variety of city environments that made Rapture feel very different. Infinite takes place very much in a city and the only real change is either the city looking nice, or the city destroyed. It would have been nice to see more environments even if the segments were short.
4) Gear – Much like in the original, gear allows you to customize various elements to give you an edge in combat. However we felt that the gear was, a lot of the time, extremely uninteresting. Most of the gear that you pick up will not be used, and I was very annoyed at the times I had used loads of lock picks to gain entry to an area where all there was to offer was a piece of gear that I would never wear. If you bought the season pass you were rewarded with 4 gear items, and I found myself using a few of these all the way throughout the game. Having completed the game 4 times, I never felt like swapping gear midway through a battle in order to give myself an advantage, and I often just immediately dismissed most items I came across. Very disappointing.
5) The DLC: Considering how fantastic the game was, I was rather disappointed with the DLC. Overall I found it to be a very short and not brilliantly satisfying experience, certainly not what I wanted after such a long wait. I must admit though, exploring a pre Bioshock Rapture created a nice juxtaposition, which made the chaos all the more frightening. It’s just a shame that it couldn’t quite live up to the fantastic reputation of the main game.