Review: BioShock Infinite
BioShock Infinite harbours some lofty ambitions as it paints its picture of American exceptionalism
Michael Plant is chief editor and writer of gaming ezine and blog GamesCatalyst.com, as well as editor of 'The Independent'’s games review printed in the Saturday supplement 'Information'. Established in February 2011, Games Catalyst endeavours to bring its unique brand of fact and satire to the videogaming community and, in tandem with 'The Independent', hopefully turn a few non-believers on to gaming while we’re at it.
Wednesday 27 March 2013
Welcome to Colombia, circa 1912. A city that physically floats above 'Sodom', where white men celebrate the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, and the flag of choice is more Star and Stripes, than Stars.
BioShock Infinite harbours some lofty ambitions in more ways than one as it paints its picture of American exceptionalism, so depicting the nightmarish undertones of an alternative American Dream. With appearances being ever deceptive however, Colombia itself is a beautiful study in soft hues and shimmering reflections, a deliberate contradiction to the violence going on beneath the surface. Similar in temperament too is protagonist Booker DeWitt, a man out to serve his own selfish needs who, in his freeing of the trapped 'Lamb' Elizabeth, might just be able to shake his own chequered past. It's in examining the relationship between the two and revealing the machinations of Colombia that Infinite is at its strongest; though, this being a shooter at heart, there's plenty of time for such contemplative moments to be broken up by bloody gunplay as Booker uses both bullets and Vigours – elemental magic ranging from fire to lightening – to wage war. Never does the action quite live up to the story, but Irrational has at least done a good job of promoting exploration over shooting and it’s here, in the savouring of the deftly laid nuances, where Infinite shines.
PS3, Xbox 360, PC
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