Chronologically, taking place before the events in Bioshock 1 and 2, you start off in a rowboat on route to a lighthouse as Booker Dewitt. Booker is a private investigator and former Pinkerton Agent. Your job is constantly repeated throughout the game, “Bring us the girl, wipe away the debt.” Simple enough right?
Well, there’s just one problem. The entire city of Columbia sees you as a “false shepherd” who has come to steal Elizabeth, the girl you are sent to retrieve. Now the citizens of Columbia are not as insane as lets say, the splicer’s of Bioshock 1 and 2. The splicer’s, overdosing on plasmids to the point of insanity, attacked you just to kill you. But the people of Columbia follow one man. A man they call their prophet, Zachary Comstock. Comstock seems to have a big religious following, which in essence, has corrupted its citizens to the point where the will of the prophet is the will of Columbia.
And just when you thought things couldn’t get anymore difficult, there is an apposing faction known as the “Vox Populi”. The Vox Populi is a resistance group, whose goal is to rid Columbia of its oppressive grasp upon its people. Again, to recap everything, you are sent to retrieve a girl from a floating city, who is being help captive by a group of over religious citizens, who are also in a war with a group that revolves around anarchy. At one point in the game, they all want you dead and man do they come at full force! But you’ve got plenty of toys at your disposal in this fight.
In the previous Bioshock games, you were given tonics that granted you special abilities; such as shooting electricity from your hands, summoning swarms of bugs, telekinesis, etc. The same method is used in Infinite, this time though; they are referred to as “Vigor’s” instead of “Plasmids”. When it boils down to it, the Vigor’s used in Infinite, are just palette swaps of the Plasmids used in Bioshock 1 and 2. Some new variety would have been nice, but it does not change the fact that using Bucking Bronco (vigor) to leave enemies briefly suspended in the air for target practice, is just awesome.
Having all of your fancy guns and vigor’s at your disposal can be a game changer, but you have a few more tricks up your sleeve. One of them being my favorite, the sky-hook. The sky-hook is both your melee weapon and your mode of transportation from building to building, when there is a lack of solid ground. Using the sky-line in combat not only makes you a harder target to hit, but you can also perform an air strike causing devastating damage to your target.
Whenever you first meet up with Elizabeth, you begin to learn that not only has she been locked away in a tower since she was a baby, but being monitored for research as well. Throughout the game, you’ll notice these small black and white rips of light. These are known as “tears”, small portals that can reveal hidden pieces of the area such as platforms, guns, health and so forth.
When I first read about Infinite and found out you are sent to retrive someone and get them safely back I thought “Great. A game that is nothing but one big escort mission”. This was not the case at hand. When you get into your first fight with Elizabeth at your side, the game will even mention that Elizabeth can handle herself and needs no protection. In fact, she helps out by giving you health, ammo for both your guns and vigors and when needed, can open up tears to turn the tide in a fight. Who’s rescuing who again?
Even though Elizabeth is pretty much indestructible, there still lies a need to protect her. As the game progresses, the relationship between Booker and Elizabeth only grows stronger, as this goes from a simple “rescue/retrieval job”, to survival and your need to see her safe.
I’ll be honest with you. I picked up this game at midnight at my local game store and stayed up all night playing it. If you constantly play Infinite, you could beat it in about 12 to 13 hours, but my god will it be worth it. It feels like it has been quite sometime since gamers have been graced with a title, that feels so well thought out from beginning to end.