My vacation in Bioshock: Infinite

Looks like the vacation is prematurely over. Been recalled from Columbia, but although I haven’t uncovered all its secrets, I have completed the main tour.

Oct22-Screen04-Web Columbia is a city in the clouds. Set in 1912 and made to float on high by complex quantum mechanics it is a beautiful town when you arrive. It is also devoutly religious, with the citizens swayed by their leader and Prophet, Father Comstock.

While the place is quite lovely, I’m not here for the scenery. Because of what I owe on the surface, I’m up here to abduct the one thing these Columbians hold dear, their “Lamb”. Upon delivery to my mysterious employers, they will “wipe away the debt”.

Yes, I’m a bad person, and I know it. My presence here will disrupt the peace of this miraculous floating city and make the inhabitants very upset with me. But I never imagined that my actions would spark off a civil war, and at the same time uncover the horrifying plans Father Comstock has for the world below. The Lamb I came to take is the key.

Although I don’t have much justification for my actions, it makes me feel better that the privileged Columbians are white supremacists who keep black slaves and exploit Chinese labourers and craftsmen. It doesn’t help that the freedom movement (a.k.a. Vox Populi) is intent on wiping out their previous masters, so it doesn’t look like I’m on anybody’s side in this war. I just want to get off this cloud city with my prize and shoot everyone who tries to stop me. Simple enough.

patriotfight_ONLINEMy assets are a wide range of weapons starting with an effective sky-hook which doubles as a melee weapon as well as a means of zipping around town on sky-rails which are normally meant for mass transport. All other hand weapons are upgradable, though I prefer the carbine as rapid-fire one-shots are more accurate than auto-fire. There are also Vigors to collect: biological enhancements that allow me to do superhuman things like set people on fire or electrocute them from a distance. Occasionally, I also find articles of clothing that amplify the effects of my fighting capabilities with brief invulnerability or to extract more hurt, for example.

lizbook_ONLINEMy fourth, and probably best asset, is the Lamb herself: a 17-year old girl by the name of Elizabeth. She sees me as her best ticket out of town. Because she is special, she is confined, groomed, experimented on and her only friend before my arrival is a giant bio-mechanical monstrosity she calls Songbird. Did I say she was special? She can open doors to other realities and make them real in this one. Apart from gun turrets and medical supplies which she can call into action to help our escape, she also keeps me stocked on the fly with weapons, ammo, and salts which power the Vigors. And she’s someone to talk to in between lulls of fighting. Closest thing I’ve had to a friend for a while too.

Elizabeth also revives me when I die in combat. I doubt she has a divine resurrection power. It’s more like she reaches into another reality in which I haven’t died yet and pulls that me into her current reality. To me it’s like coming back to life, but in fact I’m just being replaced by another me. Head-scratching stuff.

While we’re running and gunning to find an airship to take us back to the surface, I’m constantly discovering new information about the origins of the city and further details about my mission. These little clues seem almost trivial at first, but eventually they amount to a mind-blowing (or is that boggling?) truth, so intricately woven I’m still struggling to wrap my mind around all the facets and implications of it today.

Bioshock: Infinite is a first-person survival horror (though perhaps not as creepily horrific as Bioshock 2) shooter that has thrilling gameplay with strategic elements and a powerfully gripping, well-paced storyline you just have to see through to the end. Fortunately, it’s not an epic that takes too long to play through — just a couple of days if you must look everywhere for everything (and even then, I haven’t found everything yet) and a few in-game surprises that are really cool. Even the post-game credits shows off a making-of clip if you are patient enough to get to plus an end-credit scene that adds a bit of closure… we hope.

Bioshock: Infinite is available in stores and via Steam now.

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