BioShock Infinite reviewed (PC): A star, and a new standard, is born

BioShock Infinite

By on March 26, 2013 at 7:11 am

There’s very little to say about BioShock Infinite that you haven’t already heard — other than “well, how does it actually play then?” After spending the last few days with the game, we’re ready with our thoughts in this video review below. Take a look.

Good:

  • Staggeringly well-realised world, full of life and detail
  • An engaging storyline with a genuinely compelling ending and a great cast of characters
  • Finally, an AI companion that doesn’t make you want to track down and murder the developers
  • Meaty, satisfying combat with plenty of tactical options
  • Skyhook and skylines make for awesomely dynamic movement, especially during combat
  • Superlative PC support with impressive range of options
  • No awful boss battles

Bad:

  • Enemy AI seems occasionally reluctant to engage
  • 10 – 15 hours is too short a time to spend in Columbia

You can buy a Steam key for BioShock Infinite for a tidy $52 through our partners at Green Man Gaming. Product for this review supplied by 2K Games.

39 comments (Leave your own)

After a review like this, I will certainly be getting the game for PC. Thanks guys!

 

Can’t wait to get my hands on some trash can cake!

Game looks great, glad it doesn’t sound like they’re just cashing in on the Bioshock name, can’t wait to play this! (The main question is do I finish Tomb Raider and HOTS before starting lol)

 

Great review, now i most diffidently look forward to playing it.

 

*waits for video to be uploaded to GON*

I guess i’ll have to wait and see whether this one was overhyped like the first one. :P

“Staggeringly well-realised world, full of life and detail”

This is probably the big one to me. Rapture’s world was so dead, empty and lifeless for me, it killed the illusion that this might have actually been a real place when all you ever encounter is hideous monsters who are only trying to kill you. Every inch of that game, felt like a game.

“Finally, an AI companion that doesn’t make you want to track down and murder the developers”

Alyx from Ep1?

 

exe3: This is probably the big one to me. Rapture’s world was so dead, empty and lifeless for me, it killed the illusion that this might have actually been a real place

Columbia is actually great for this, as at least half of the game is spent with the world still ‘normal’, people walking around, doing things, talking to each other. It only starts to fall apart later, but because it’s happening around you it feels like a natural progression.

exe3: Alyx from Ep1?

Alyx was definitely great, but Elizabeth is an order of magnitude better.

 

I’d just like to say the voice over seemed easier to understand this time. (although I did watch this one at home so maybe that helped?)

At any rate, the game sounds really good. I most certainly want to get my hands on this now.

 

Tim Colwill,

Keen! Won’t be able to play it anytime soon though. Hopefully the ‘big twist’ doesn’t get spoiled to me this time like “would you kindly” did. :P

 

How is the optimization? I’m thinking of picking it up later today but I’m not sure if my GTX 480 will be able to run it with decent frames.

BTW, fantastic review!

 

vcatkiller: I’d just like to say the voice over seemed easier to understand this time. (although I did watch this one at home so maybe that helped?)

Thanks man, glad to hear it. I’m working with a new microphone now, but I’ll keep tuning it!

alexd: How is the optimization? I’m thinking of picking it up later today but I’m not sure if my GTX 480 will be able to run it with decent frames.

BTW, fantastic review!

Thanks :D

I played it on a 670 on max settings so I don’t really know how it’ll compare, but there’s a very broad range of options so I suspect you’ll be able to turn it down to a level that works for you. And hey it plays on consoles, so :P

 

New nVidia drivers came out today with performance improvements for Bioshock Infinite.

 

•Superlative PC support with impressive range of options

Er, yeah except you forgot to mention in the ‘bad’ catagory the horribly consolized checkpoint save system and complete lack of regular/quick save options – something that has oddly enough been kept all hush hush until now. (haven’t watched the vid yet – at work)

Apart from that, yeah it’s quite amazing so far, will have to give those Nvidia drivers a look see as I too am getting a bit of slow down here and there.

 

Good checkpoint system>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>regular/quick saving imo. I’m a chronic quicksaver as i’m afraid to lose progress in a game so not having to press F5 every 10 seconds thus taking me out of the game is a huge plus for me. The only time to complain about a checkpoint system is when the checkpoints are poorly placed.

/edit

Just watched the review. Omg that last bit was creepy. XD I’ve had almost no interest in the game so far but now you’ve made me want to play it. T_T

 

stoibs,

Seems to have been a design decision. Levine had said in 1999 mode he wanted the player to rely on manual saves, but now, as you say, they’re not present. I personally think it’s a good thing though – I’m playing on 1999 and, since resources and cash are so scarce, I’d be reloading my quick save when I die instead of taking a rez. It’s a pretty good system so far – haven’t got that far yet, but a couple of careless deaths and you’re out of cash, and screwed.

 

stoibs: Er, yeah except you forgot to mention in the ‘bad’ catagory the horribly consolized checkpoint save system and complete lack of regular/quick save options – something that has oddly enough been kept all hush hush until now. (haven’t watched the vid yet – at work)

I guess that’s because I don’t think that’s a bad (or good) thing! It doesn’t bother me at all.

Also how are are checkpoints ‘consolized’?!

 

What do you mean? Consoles don’t have an F5 key you see, and pressing the F5 key to quick save every 5 seconds because you’re paranoid about death is a really important gameplay mechanic, apparently.

 

exe3,

While the performance did increase with these new drivers, they also caused two BSOD so far on my GTX 670 sli

 

ooshp,

I actually played about 10 mins into the game, quit out and put in the Konami code to play in 1999 mode, figuring that “oh I will actually be able to save my game in this proper mode”

We were promised a true classic 1999 First person shooter experience for the hardcore in this mode.
Doesn’t anyone here who seems to like jumping on me for whatever reason remember some of these quotes?
===
“In 1999 mode if you keep charging your resources to come back, be prepared to load a save game.”

“As a gamer it all depends on the day, hour, or how I’m feeling. I’ll play both hardcore and casual games. BioShock Infinite’s 1999 mode is tough and frustrating. You’ll move forward a few feet, die, and load a save game. I love that on some days. Other days I don’t want to deal with it.”

Game saves? Well, yes, there will be those, but according to Irrational Games Creative Director Ken Levine “there are game saves, and you’re gonna f***ing need them.”
===

I’ve got nothing against a game including checkpoints, just don’t make that the only method (Did everyone all of a sudden forget the Hitman Absolution anger surrounding the removal of this feature – yes ‘removal’ as much like Hitman, this was present in the previous 2 Bioshock games also….why take steps backwards..?)

This is more about being outright lied to and false advertising, I’ve been choosing when and where I choose to save my progress in my games for about 2 decades now, I simply cannot fathom why anyone anywhere would deem it a “good” idea to remove that freedom from the player. I’m actually curious as to what 1999 changes now; I’m still tripping over food/salt/cash at a very ‘non’ scarce rate.

 

It’s fun to play, but it does have some problems that, so far, I’ve only seen RPS really cover – ie namely repetitive faces and voices. The aiming for me is very imprecise as well, which I hate, iirc it was something I hated about the original Bioshock as well, that “floaty” feel. I’ve had to do a lot of stuffing around with sensitivity settings on my mouse and in game to get something that feels comfortably playable to me as well as turn off mouse acceleration or the whole game is a blur even at my slowest settings. I would love to be a default function to incorporate the skyhook as a weapon rather than pressing V to melee whenever I want to.

There is a surprisingly a fair amount of gore in it, thanks to the Jukebox in Siberia, sorry I mean Skyhook :P and I’m enjoying the story so far, i’ve also eaten every bit of food, activated everything and scavenged in every bin I could find so far, so at this point my gameplay is 50% action and 50% dumpster diving.

The lack of a free save feature is likewise annoying, checkpoints always irk me.

 

Nice review Tim! I totally just asked Jess if it was worth it, assuming the GON review was a day or two off >_>.

 

vencha88:
Nice review Tim! I totally just asked Jess if it was worth it, assuming the GON review was a day or two off >_>.

Haha no we actually got early copies this time! For once. So that was good.

 
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