Tuesday 26 March 2013

Bioshock Infinite

In my free time (yeah, right) I play games. Board games and computer games. I've loved my Playstation for as long as I can remember. As I gained more children I lost more playing time, but I still manage to have a turn occasionally.

I got the platinum trophy for Bioshock (did everything you possibly can with a degree of skill), completed Bioshock 2 a few times and have been waiting a long time for this one.

If you don't play games - but want to impress your other half or stun your teenage kids with your encyclopaedic knowledge, then this is for you -

If your child is playing this then it is an 18 rated game because you kill humans.

Generally you only kill people who are already shooting at you, and most people are just innocent passers-by (at least for the first portion of the game). If there is a red bar above a persons head, they're going to attack and you should probably stop them - now is the time to shout 'look, over there, the guy with the gun, hit him, hit him again' until the red bar vanishes.

The player is a man brought to this cloud version of the 1900's World Fair to rescue a young woman named Elisabeth. He travels there in a glass elevator - however he isn't in Wonkaland, he's in a place called Columbia which is an entire massive town built on top of a layer of cloud (in the 1890's they invented secret engineering techniques which are to this day kept secret from us plebs).

'Columbia' has been purpose built up in the clouds by a bunch of crazies from the US government. The founding men in charge of this land are God-like in the eyes of the misguided folks who live there. Most people in the game are actually drug-addled psychopaths who are fighting each other in a civil war between the rich and the downtrodden.

The crazies spent most of their time encouraging Scientists to invent superhuman powers (called vigors) to be used by the locals. These are collected, bought and implanted by the player. They are powered by 'salts' which is the blue bar at the bottom left of the screen. When it runs out, no special powers....boo. The powers have giveaway names like Shock Jockey and Bucking Broncho.

The player finds useful stuff and picks it up until their ginormous pockets can take no more - objects glisten, so to earn Brownie points say something if you see a shiny that the player is walking straight past. Stuff is also hidden in bins, bodies, cupboards, all over the place. People who die often turn into a small box full of treasure, which you can loot.

Food gives the player health, cigarettes remove health (red bar at top left of screen). If you're really dying you can buy a hot dog from a street vendor.

Cigarettes give the player salts, alcohol removes salts (remember, the special powers thing?)

Alcohol gives the player pishedness, so don't drink too much or it might go a bit blurry. It does however also give you health so sometimes you just need to stop and have a drink. It's remarkably like real life.

Medical kits give you.....erm...health - duh.

Salts make the special powers work.

The aim of the game is to find out why you're actually there and what's going on, which is a whole load of 'yeah, okay'. You do know you need to rescue Elisabeth. She has spent the last few years in her own version of The Trueman Show. She's been living in a cupboard, so she's read loads of quantum physics, but her social skills aren't great. Later on in the game she'll no doubt have secret abilities and powers, but you don't know about that yet. Every now and again she chucks stuff at you that she picked up off the floor and she can pick locks.

Elisabeth can rip holes into another world. This world is sometimes Paris. You can't go there, but sometimes she can bring stuff back - flowers and some of Harry Potters Dementors seem to be popular choices.

You can spend money at vending machines. You can buy chocolate and bullets and all sorts of useful tat.

You can hook your hand onto rails that run around the entire town and slide about like a roller coaster. You can even speed up and slow down. It's waaay cool.

You find out the back story by listening to tapes, watching films and chatting to locals. Most of this is drivel at the time, but makes sense later, you don't need to really pay attention unless you intend to discuss it at length on a philosophical level. Just be certain that the people who hired the player to rescue the girl will have a hidden agenda, and will probably also have accidentally created a man-tearing monster who will later on try to kill you.

Every now and again the player gets to a really action-packed bit. This is the equivalent of a 'level boss' at the end of a level. There can be a huge thing to kill, or a horde to dispatch. It will usually have some excitement music and it isn't the time for you to walk in front of the telly or demand that your teen goes to bed. If you want to be popular wait until the music has stopped and then make your move.

There are loads of different clothes this guy can wear that enhance his performance. I've not seen disco-pants yet, but they may be in there.

It autosaves. This means as the player moves through the game it saves the position ready for when you die and have to repeat what you just did, only in a far more skilful way. When it says 'autosave' at the bottom right of the screen, you are safe to tell them that 7 hours is enough for today, maybe you should think about going to bed.......or washing....

If you do play games then this is for you -

Yeah, it's really good, we're enjoying it so far, as we'd expect. More reminiscent of Bioshock 1 than 2 actually, huge map, same familiar controls, different abilities which is nice. The clothes thing takes a bit of remembering and I keep expecting him to carry Elisabeth around. Weird how they felt they needed to have loads of water everywhere when it's set up in the sky rather than down in the sea....


  1. I love games, and have been known to waste I mean play for a few hours, but Spyro was our one and Tetras before that! Now its flipping Bejewelled, so I guess I am more a puzzle person than a shoot-em up person...

    1. I do like puzzles - this game does have a strong puzzle element, unlike some of the more obvious 'just blast it' Call of Duty type games my teenage boys play. My justification is that it keeps your brain active :D

  2. You really ARE a geek ;-) I'm bad at shooty your games, I just panic and puts the wrong buttons. I like the 'run around collecting stuff' games most but particularly enjoy the LEGO games. This one sounds a bit beyond me.

    1. The Lego games are excellent for beginners, and you'd be surprised just how similar the controls are. I think you'd be better than you anticipate.

      Geek...tsk :D

  3. I'm very skilled at playing LEGO games. I have fully and obsessively completed both LEGO Batman and Harry Potter 1-4. That's my main problem with computer games, if I like them I get sucked in and can't drag myself away from them!

    1. Yeeeay, that's the stuff! They are addictive. I'm surprised my fella hasn't brought the PS3 away with us - he has before! I think that's why I try and avoid unless we have a specific game I want to play. It eats time and you can't play when the kids are there until they're old enough to go 2-player with you :)