So if you haven't been following my Twitter, I got my computer back. Also my parents are out for the next two weeks in Turkey.
Anywho, let's just skip to the part I really want to talk about: Bioshock Infinite.
[SPOILER FREE! DON'T WORRY!]
I recently got some cash and decided to invest it in a Bioshock: Infinite because of all the rave reviews I'd been hearing about it, and I think the $60 I paid was worth it in the end.
If you've been avoiding this game purely on the basis that you haven't played the first two, don't worry. THIS GAME TAKES PLACE IN A SEPARATE UNIVERSE. You don't have to have played either of them to enjoy this game. (However, if you at least know the premise of the first game, you'll appreciate it a lot more, especially later on.)
The year is 1912. You play as Booker DeWitt, a detective with a shady past who's on a mission to find a young woman named Elizabeth, who's being held in a strange city in the clouds called Columbia. This seemingly bright, heavenly floating city has a darkness that you discover very quickly; The city is run by frighteningly zealous people who quite literally worship the founding fathers of America, and are led by a xenophobic, prophecy-spewing self-proclaimed Prophet of the Lord named Father Comstock, who the people look to as their president and messiah. (So basically it's a Fox News Channel dream come true, lol.) However, all is not as it seems, and by the end your mind will most definetley be spinning trying to comprehend exactly what you're experiencing. Elizabeth herself is a mystery; the journey will lead Booker to discover the truth about who and what she really is and why she's so important, while also allowing Booker to come to grips with his own past. This story is the kind of story that could only be told by a game-it's enriched by what the players themselves explore and observe. Personally I thought I had the story all figured out about 10 minutes in, and while some of what I was initially predicting came true, there were massive, important chunks of the storyline that I didn't see coming. And of course, there's that thing you'll hear people talking about the most: the ending. I have never seen an ending to a game's story so mind-bending that literally made my jaw drop, until now. Going on just the story alone this game would be worth it.
Elizabeth herself is a beautifully realized character who is without a doubt the game's heart-she's a strong female character with an almost classic Disney feeling who will go from curious and innocent to a million other things by the end. Also stealing the show is an odd couple known as the Lutece twins, whose appearances are both comical and thought-provoking at the same time. You'll see by the end that there's something very, very strange about these two...
In the gameplay department, I wasn't personally as blown away, but what's there was good and fun, and in the end, isn't that the most important thing? It's a very intense FPS, but with some interesting twists that kept my attention. Apart from the gunplay you'll be picking up these supernatural powers called "Vigors" which are this game's version of the "Plasmids" from the previous two games. You'll often find it best to chain certain powers together with blasting away for best results, and that adds some much needed variety. You have your standard fireball and lightning throwing powers, but then you find stuff like the ability to turn an enemy into an ally, knock people into the air, or everyone's personal favorite vigor-the "murder of crows". How can you not say yes to summoning a flock of crows to attack your enemies? On top of that, Columbia is covered in roller-coaster-like sky rails-these serve as both pathways to travel to the various islands that make up Columbia, and create an interesting twist to the combat-you'll zip along these rails to quickly reach different parts of battlefields, to avoid enemies, or to shoot from, and even leap down from and smash a baddie's face in. While for the most part the game's difficulty stays in a sweet zone of being challenging but not frustrating, the final battle is oddly off the mark and will probably anger some due to the odd, out-of-left-field difficulty spike. Elizabeth herself won't pick up a gun and fight beside you, but she will be there to supply you, and her assistance always comes at the right moment. Apart from that, she has her own reality-bending powers to assist you with, which prove handy in combat.
The art style is a major highlight of the game-it's Disney-esque with a sort of turn-of-the-century, steampunk-ish classic Americana feeling with lots of intense colors and bursts of science and religion taken to their most extreme. Music also plays an important role, not only in setting mood and tone, but helping to subtly tell the story of what's really going on. You'll find some of the songs have a much deeper meaning in the game's context.
Admittedly, not everyone's going to get into how violent the game can get sometimes, but looking past that, you'll find an impressive action/adventure story that respects your intelligence (And blows your mind out into space) with gameplay that keeps your heart pumping. I highly recommend this game. Get it when you can.
Second row is Bioshock Infinite themed!