The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Bioshock Infinite lives up to hype, offering intense action that won’t soon be forgotten

Set in 1912 in Columbia, the floating city in the sky, Bioshock Infinite looks at the dark side of propaganda and exceptionalism while telling the story of Booker DeWitt and Elizabeth. Photo courtesy 2K Games
Set in 1912 in Columbia, the floating city in the sky, Bioshock Infinite looks at the dark side of propaganda and exceptionalism while telling the story of Booker DeWitt and Elizabeth. Photo courtesy 2K Games

By Kenney Kost/managing editor

Exploring themes of American exceptionalism, racism and separation of church and state, the video game Bioshock Infinite lives up to the hype and delivers an intense roller coaster ride with an ending that is both mind-bending and beautiful.

“Bring us the girl and wipe away the debt.”

These words are scrolled onto a piece of paper nailed to the lighthouse door that starts the game. This phrase is pivotal to the plot and prompts main character Booker DeWitt to begin searching for the girl, Elizabeth.

DeWitt is transported to a floating city in the sky called Columbia, a city built at the turn of the 20thcentury to celebrate American pride. After an incident during the Boxer Rebellion where Columbia fired on a group of Chinese, America disowned the city, and it disappeared into the sky.

Upon arriving at Columbia, everything appears normal. Citizens walk the streets, vendors sell goods, shops with patriotic memorabilia line the streets and a fair takes place.

The farther DeWitt travels into the city, the more it becomes clear the city has plunged into madness trying to maintain control of its citizens and stop the rebellion of the Vox Populi.

The Founders are the city’s elite ruling class. Racially proud and zealously religious, this group goes to great lengths to push its agenda. Propaganda lines the streets from both sides of the conflict asking townsfolk to stand up for either American exceptionalism and racial purification or total equality for all.

Central to this conflict is Elizabeth. DeWitt begins the game in search of her and soon finds her in a tower protected by the giant Songbird. Once players manage to escape Songbird with Elizabeth, the game really takes off.

Gameplay revolves around the use of vigors and firepower. Vigors are basically like plasmids from the first installment in the series. Once DeWitt attains said power, he can then upgrade the vigor with money and one of the vigor vending machines. Firearms can be upgraded as well though this installment has no alternate ammo-types.

There are several ways to tackle the gameplay, but mixing vigor powers and firepower is the main theme of combat. For example, Murder of Crows releases a swarm of crows that send enemies into hysterics while trying to swat the crows down. During this distraction, players can blast away from a distance to take them down.

The game also has several opportunities to use the environment in battle. Oil slicks and water puddles line the walkways and can be ignited with Devil’s Kiss, a fire vigor, or Shock Jockey, an electrically charged vigor. Proper use of the environment allows for taking down multiple foes and clearing a room fast. Skylines play into combat though they are more a mode of travel between floating buildings than anything else.

Though Elizabeth follows DeWitt for the remainder of the game, it is not a glorified escort quest. Elizabeth takes care of herself during battle and even helps DeWitt when needed. She will scour the battlefield for useful items such as ammunition, health packs and salts, which power vigors.

Another way Elizabeth helps, and central to the plot of the story, is the use of tears. She can tear through this universe and pull things from an alternate universe onto the battlefield, ranging from cover to pulling in automated rocket launchers or turret guns.

Several enemy types appear throughout the game, though none are as iconic as the Bigdaddies from the first installment. Basic human enemy types are scattered throughout the world representing people from both sides of the conflict. Firemen and Crow Zealots are tougher to take down and immune to certain vigors. Motorized Patriots, Handymen, Sirens and Boys of Silence all require different strategies to take down and mastering these strategies is not an easy task.

Irrational Games creative lead Ken Levine was heralded as writer of the decade after his work with the first Bioshock. He delivers another masterpiece in Bioshock Infinite. People who consider themselves gamers need to visit Columbia at least once. It will leave jaws on the floor and heads spinning for days after the final credits roll.

“Bring us the girl and wipe away the debt.”

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