Robotic George Washington’s with gatling guns, do you need more?

Published On April 16, 2015 | By Aaron | Married Man's Games

Well if you insist.

Exchanging the Randian bootstraps of the original for the floating sky city of American exceptionalism, Bioshock Infinite dreams big. It was free last month on Xbox Gold Games, this month we had Terraria which I will also be reviewing in a few days, spoiler it has sucked the wife in big time. And also Gears of War: Something which I will not. Now available for the 360 is Assassins Creed 4: Pirates! And Army of Two. I just downloaded the ninja pirate game so I may do a review on that later, but I tend to find those games pretty and neat for about 30 minutes and then never touch them again.

Bioshock Infinite sucked my wife into the story and I think that right there makes it a good game worth at least the download and in the $5 dollar bin pickup worthy. She tends to ignore a lot of what I play and I don’t blame her, watching someone play a multiplayer first person shooter is disorienting and boring for a lot of people.  This FPS caught us both up in its story and we powered through it in about 3 evenings. I played it on easy as I tend to do when I want to play a game for story, so I may have missed nuances.  This is an old game so I’m not going to be spoiler averse, but I’ll try not to reveal too much.

Obligatory Team America song link. From the South Park guys so don’t be surprised.

Interestingly set near the original Gilded Age, Infinite shows an America I think most of us will recognize as being part of the past, and sometimes disturbingly part of our roots. It also tries to do a Butterfly Effect time travel story and only truly struggles near the end. About the ending all I’ll say is usually I say show don’t tell, but they needed to tell a little more. I’d recommend watching or reading an explanation of the ending after you finish it. They went for something subtle and I appreciate storytelling like that.

The mechanics are fairly similar to the original Bioshock games, if you’ve played those you’ll recognize everything instantly. I found my plasmids/biomagic abilities far easier to use effectively on groups, and let me say lightning traps are the way to kill everybody. Plant those things everywhere, and I mean everywhere. Traps are your seeds and fields of electrified enemies that inevitably respawn when you come back into an area are the easy money and ammo harvest you’ll get.

The whole game is an escort mission but that’s not as awful as it sounds. Elizabeth is a useful person to be around, she’ll give you ammo, health and other things as you need them. Best of all you do not have to worry about her being hurt, so watch out for your own skin in a fight.

So being in the clouds they had this awesome idea of hooking onto a cable and flying around the city. It seems awesome at first but I ended up really hating the skyhook parts. Your results may vary. Saves are run very weirdly on the 360 version as well.

The whole spirit of ‘Merican Exceptionalism is the setting of this story and it’s jarring how close it seems for all it being set a hundred years ago. The racism of the era and of that sort of demagogue the games antagonist is was not toned down in the slightest but it wasn’t shocking for shock value like the GTA series seems to do.  The Pinkerton and labor struggles in the story were influenced by the Occupy Wallstreet movement by the writers I believe, so there’s some fun history to wiki if you like doing that.

If you’re a history or political science nerd, this game will tickle your interests. It’s a solid FPS adventure game, with a nice steampunk feel.  It entertained the wife so I’ll say it’s worth being a married man’s game, I’d pay 5$ for it.

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About The Author

Bearded dilettante of philosophy and politics, gaming and technology, storytelling and media. I sometimes aim to be funny, only very occasionally relevant.

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