Thursday, 4 April 2013

LADY ELEANOR VIDEO GAME REVIEW: Bioshock Infinite - Take 2 Interactive

Release Date: 26/03/13
Publisher:  Take 2 Interactive

Indebted to the wrong people, with his life on the line, veteran of the U.S. Cavalry and now hired gun, Booker De-Witt has only one opportunity to wipe his slate clean. He must rescue Elizabeth, a mysterious girl imprisoned since childhood and locked up in the flying city of Columbia. Forced to trust one another, Booker and Elizabeth form a powerful bond during their daring escape. Together, they learn to harness an expanding arsenal of weapons and abilities, as they fight on zeppelins in the clouds, along high-speed Sky-Lines, and down in the streets of Columbia, all while surviving the threats of the air-city and uncovering its dark secret.

BioShock Infinite is a first-person shooter with role-playing elements. As Booker, the player moves about the various structures of Columbia using a grappling hook, a series of railways connecting the buildings called the Skyline, and other transport means to search for Elizabeth. The player will gain weapons which can be used in numerous ways within the environment, including on the Skyline, to defeat enemies. Booker gains powers and abilities by using ‘vigors’ and wearing gear that are found through Columbia. Vigors grant activated powers such as telekinesis, electricity manipulation, or animal control, while selected gear are passive abilities that can improve the player's strength or damage resistance. With gear, the player has four available slots, and has to make decisions on which combination of offensive and defensive capabilities work for them. The key to success is to use vigor and weapons strategically – the player will be rewarded for considering all elements of the combat scenario and utilising the tools at Booker’s disposal in the best way possible!

Key Features
The City in the Sky – Leave the depths of Rapture to soar among the clouds of Columbia. A techno¬logical marvel, the flying city is a beautiful and vibrant world that holds a very dark secret.

Unlikely Mission – Set in 1912, hired gun Booker DeWitt must rescue a mysterious girl from the sky-city of Columbia or never leave it alive.

Whip, Zip, and Kill – Turn the city’s Sky-Lines into weaponized roller coasters as you zip through the flying city and dish out fatal hands-on punishment.

Tear Through Time – Open Tears in time and space to shape the battlefield and turn the tide in com¬bat by pulling weapons, turrets, and other resources out of thin air.

Vigorous Powers – Throw explosive fireballs, shoot lightning, and release murders of crows as dev-astatingly powerful Vigors surge through your body to be unleashed against all that oppose you.

Custom Combat Experience – With deadly weapons in one hand, powerful Vigors in the other, and the ability to open Tears in time and space, fight your own way through the floating city of Columbia to rescue Elizabeth and reach freedom.

1999 Mode – Upon finishing BioShock Infinite, the player can unlock a game mode called “1999 Mode” that gives experienced players a taste of the kind of design and balance that hardcore gamers enjoyed back in the 20th century.


Having been a fan of Bioshock since picking up the second instalment I couldn’t wait to see what Take 2 Interactive would do when they took the reader into the skies. Giving the player something a little more open with an appearance of something that had infinite space rather than the oppressive feeling that the player was subjected to within Rapture.

It’s a whole new world design, various floating platforms and whilst you get that feeling that life has something unique for the citizens, you soon learn that appearances can be deceptive as Booker delves beneath the cities sheen into the dark murky world of Zachary Hale Comstock, prophet of the city of Columbia.

The game design is not only imaginative but there’s so many distractions to keep the player looking round each section carefully, whether its searching for sightseeing items like binoculars or the various movie players, tracking down trash cans to see what’s been thrown away like silver dollars and foods or seeing what the inhabitants are up to in this apparent paradise.

Add to this cracking characters with Booker and Elizabeth (whose interaction within the game grows and blends wonderfully well as they get to know each other) working in conjunction with Booker handling the combat while Elizabeth opens tears and picks locks, really brings new elements to the game. Whilst this alone for most players would be enough, throw into the mix Villains that vary in toughness and change strategies to give the player a challenge and it’s a game of multiple options, especially when you add the use of Vigors (Bioshock 2’s Plasmids) alongside a whole new set of hardware.

All in, this game is massive, the scenery breath-taking and when added to a storyline that twists and turns throwing the viewer a few curves that, when blended with Take 2’s ability to take the player into someplace new, all round made me a very happy gamer, especially when I found even more on a secondary play through looking to complete some of the challenges.

Lady Eleanor is Falcata Times Mistress of Mayhem, be it in the Horror Genre or on the console, she gives it her all and loves to blow the hell out of anyone who gets in her way.  You can often find her perusing the game sites to get the latest gossip on what’s arriving next or checking out the latest movie/book releases to see what grabs her attention.

In addition to this Lady Eleanor is a lifelong fan of pin up and in particular the Fetish Queen of the 50’s Bettie Page and whilst the name is an alias, its due more to her love of a song by the same title by the group Lindisfarne rather than her dominating presence when she lays down the law.

(Artwork by Isis Sousa for Falcata Times)

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