Reviews for the Lazy Gamer: BioShock Infinite

Game: BioShock Infinite

Platform: PS3/Xbox/PC

Publisher/Developer: 2K Games/Irrational Games

Genre: First-person shooter

Describe This Game in Three 12 Words: Kicks more ass than Liam Neeson getting his daughter back from kidnapping donkeys.

Plot Synopsis: In 1912, Booker DeWitt, a former Pinkerton detective fallen on hard times, agrees to travel to the floating city of Columbia in order to pay off a gambling debt. His mission is to retrieve a mysterious girl named Elizabeth being held captive by the city's leader/prophet Zachary Comstock, who led Columbia in secession from the United States. Booker must battle his way through the beautiful but strife-ridden city as the religious fanatics and ultranationalists come under siege from an underground equality movement.

Up Up: BioShock is the reason I bought a PS3 in the first place. The third installment in the series tops the original. It isn't just game of the year; it's probably the best game of all least until we finally see Portal 3.

Booker DeWitt is the first truly relatable first-person protagonist I can ever remember playing. It's not that you didn't feel for Jack and Subject Delta in the first two games. Both were sad and powerful figures, but their silence worked against them rather than for them. It's not like Chell from Portal, where pointed muteness is a direct attack against a gabby antagonist. In BioShock, we were always slightly caught between being able to identify with our avatar and being held at arm's length.

As you ramble through the incredible floating city, Booker's personality and interactions bring him to life. Apparently the script for BioShock Infinite is 20,000 words longer than the average novel, and that writing shows.

It pales in comparison to Elizabeth, though. Irrational Games has done the impossible. They have created a competent and enjoyable sidekick. The minutes that you team with Elizabeth change the gameplay completely. She's a helpful buddy, scrounging for money and supplies. You never have to worry about her in combat, and many thanks to whichever video game god finally destroyed Protecteron, the demon of annoying escort missions, to get us here.

She also acts as a moral compass and guide to DeWitt, and just being around her makes you want to do the right thing even more than the Little Sisters did. Having such a powerful foil to play off of is what ensures that BioShock Infinite will hold a place as the highest form of video game art.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jef Rouner (not cis, he/him) is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner