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Old July 18 2013, 08:52 AM   #25
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Location: San Diego
Re: Bioshock Infinite.

So, I finally picked this up last week on PC for $25 and played through it.

First off, wow, what a visual marvel this game is. You can tell the production values are through the roof. I loaded up Dishonored after I finished Bioshock Infinite and it looked like a total turd. Like 5 years out of date in comparison. I'm warming up to the visuals in that game, as it's simply not the same big budget super title and it does have a lot going for it.

The gameplay didn't really evolve much from the original Bioshock. Vigors felt a bit out of place. The combat was decently fun when I was headshotting normal enemies and bringing them down fairly quickly, but got tedious as I progressed and was exposed to the various bullet-sponge enemies. I really only died in one sequence (on hard difficulty):

Anyway there just isn't a ton to the shooter gameplay. Comparing to Dishonored again, it really lacks depth. Combat is not exciting in this game. There should have been at least one truly crazy skyline ride, ya know, where you have to keep hopping from rail to rail at top speed to avoid smashing yourself all the while shooting enemies that are also on the skylines trying to chase you. But that never really happens.

Finding the audio logs was a bit tedious as well. And I only got around 80% of them despite spending a lot of time checking every nook and cranny. I'm much preferring Dishonored on that front, though I'm starting to find myself skipping or skimming a lot of the books you pick up. But at least it doesn't seem to force you to search endlessly to have the plot revealed to you.

Speaking of the plot, it was highly entertaining. I pretty much saw every twist well before it hit though. The section with Slate is what helped me piece it all together. Probably helps that I was primed to expect a 'twist' after having played the original Bioshock when it was released.

Oh, and I really hate the searching for ammo/food. Panning over every single box/barrel I can see mashing the F button endlessly. Boring.

I did have some technical issues. I needed to manually set a memory pool variable which required lots of research, adding a parameter to the game launcher and modifying an ini file. It was just trying to use too much GPU memory, which caused it to stutter like crazy anytime it streamed in a texture. Really annoying. Really high frame rates, yet so many second-long drops that it was nearly unplayable. Once I got that resolved I got percetly smooth 60 fps with adaptive vsync on maxed out settings and as I said before, it looked absolutely stunning. Maybe a little too crazy on the HDR/Bloom/WhateverItIs but then again that kind of works anyway with the religious heaven in the sky themes.

And they get props for the awesome use of licensed music. Clever.

Overall it was an excellent game, 9/10 territory but I don't think it quite matches up to the original Bioshock. That was a more interesting story, and a better realized, more consistent world.
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