Bioshock Infinite – Burial at Sea

I didnt buy into the hype surrounding Bioshock Infinite. Although breathtakingly pretty and a lot of fun, I thought it wasnt a particularly worthy successor to the previous Bioshocks. The lack of the manic splicers and their insane ravings took away much of the earlier games’ atmosphere. Hordes of foot-sloggers who were far too easy to kill were not a suitable replacement, and despite the best efforts of the Crow Men, the Fire Guys and the RPG dudes, they just werent as memorable as the splicers. The Handymen were less intimidating and easier to kill than the Big Daddies, and its a simple fact that Columbia’s prettiness doesnt make for the same brooding atmosphere of the decaying Rapture. From a purely personal, masculine viewpoint, I was very annoyed that the voluptuous, very adult Elizabeth who was featured in the promotions and even the cover art bore little resemblance to the childlike waif who actually featured in the game. Apart from anything else, there was so little similarity between BI and the Bioshocks that I really questioned whether thay could be considered paret of the same series. It appears that I was not the only one to question BI’s Bioshock credentials because now 2K have produced DLC which (surprise, surprise), attempts to bed BI within the Bioshock world, by producing a game that uses characters, weapons etc from BI but set within Rapture. It certainly grabs your attention (not for long though, you can blow through the whole thing, including expoloring all nooks & crannies in about 2 hours), both by showing Rapture before it imploded, something I suspect fans had been asking for, and by its almost schizophrenic juxtaposition of 2 completely different games. The creators must have had some fun coming up with compromises (Big Daddies or Handymen? Plasmids or Vigors? Hand Cannon or Pistol?). The game seems to wobble wildly between the two at times, and you’re not sure at times whether you’re playing DLC for BI or Bioshock. The ending though, without giving anything away, is bure BI, and its made quite clear that is the first of a series clearly intended to bed BI once and for all within the Bioshock universe. The potential for collisions between Columbia and Rapture is infinite and exciting and for that reason I will be waiting eagerly for the next installment. If nothing else, it has caused me to go back and revisit BI, to see if I can glean any hints from there as to where this series might lead. I just love it when games can make that sort of thing possible.

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