Ahead of you looms a dark, moody and mysterious lighthouse sitting in the middle of the ocean, separate from land and lore alike. You’re plonked at its entrance and forced to explore what’s inside, and what’s already a mystery in itself is simply a conduit to more intrigue. Six years ago, you entered a lighthouse and plunged into the depths of the ocean below to explore the vast wilderness of Rapture and the horrors that lay within. This year, that lighthouses thrusts you in the opposite direction to a land sitting not with the fishes but with the birds, and suddenly all that mystery becomes an empty canvas with each piece of the picture becoming apparent the more you explore it.
Bioshock Infinite is just that: an empty canvas waiting to be painted. It has an image that’s destined to be painted the way it was always intended, but the process of getting from emptiness to completion is as satisfying as it should be. With Rapture, the horrors that drove the civilization to civil war and subsequently extinction provided the palette for how that game’s canvas was painted. With Infinite, those same horrors are not immediately present the first time you step into Columbia, but uncovering them amidst an aura of peace and pleasantries packs more of a punch, and provides the backbone for what ultimately becomes one of this generation’s most intelligent and captivating narratives.
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To put it simply: Bioshock Infinite is one of the strongest, more captivating and intelligently written games I’ve played this generation. Its setting is superbly crafted to the point where it becomes a character in itself, its actual characters share interactions that are far outside the typical video game norms, the narrative is compelling and fascinating from start to finish and the overall level of quality from the game is exceptional. When I first played Bioshock back in 2007, I was in awe of what it managed to achieve and how rich a world it did it in. I didn’t think it could happen again but it did with Infinite.
If you don’t buy Bioshock Infinite, or at least play it, you are missing out on an experience that’s simply stunning to behold.