These days, new game releases are met with a certain amount of skepticism. Today's gamers are used to the over-hyped, over-promised, and over-priced games that are churned out by major publishers and not so easily led astray. Only occasionally does a game come close to the expectations and hopes assigned to it. This year and with a current Metacritic rating of 96, that game is Irrational Games' third installment of the BioShock series, BioShock Infinite.
BioShock Infinite is a first person shooter played with RPG Story elements. The player follows the story of Booker DeWitt, a former Pinkerton agent, as he works as a private investigator. The action takes place in a floating city-state called Columbia and is set in an alternate version of the early 1900s that embraces technology ahead of its time giving the game a heavy steampunk feel. Large balloons hold aloft the city and the streets are patrolled by automatons that take on the image of historical personalities like George Washington. These defense units appear to have a corrupted memory of the city's past as they unrelentingly persue the game's protagonist.
The gameplay is based upon Booker's search for Elizabeth through the city of Columbia. Booker uses basic weapons specific to the period of the game, but he also has access to time rifts in the town to pull weapons and useful artifacts from different periods. Likewise, the rollercoaster-like Skyline, which connects the sections of Columbia together, can be used as a quick means of escape and as a melee weapon itself.
As with many visually stunning next generation games, the recommended system requirements for PC systems show that low-end computers may have issues running the game adequately. The game requires at least a Quad Core Processor, 4GB of systems memory, a Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 or Radeon HD 6950, and as much as 30 GB of free space on a reliable Hard Disk or Solid-State Drive. These specifications make the prospects of adequate gameplay on a two-year-old system questionable.
Overall, BioShock Infinite looks to be a critical and financial success. The stunning graphics, haunting story, and fast-paced gameplay are sure to make BioShock Infinite a staple in every FPS and RPG gamer's stable of games.
BioShock Infinite was released on March 26, 2013 on all major platforms. It has a suggested retail price of $59.99.