April 20, 2013
BioShock Infinite – First Hour (Part 1)
Last weekend, I finally got my hands on the long awaited title, BioShock Infinite. I wasted over 10 hours on this game last weekend, but I’ll just share my first hour with you.
BioShock Infinite is the third installment in the BioShock series by Irrational Games. It features a similar first-person shooter gameplay style to the first two installments, but in a completely different setting and storyline from its spiritual predecessors.
Because the opening of this game has a lot to do with cinematics and plot exposition, I ask you to bear with me. The meaty gameplay may not come until Part 2.
The game opens with a stormy night as former-Pinkerton agent Booker DeWitt rides in a small dinghy with two other sailors. The two sailors drop him off at a lighthouse as Booker recaps on his mission “Find the Girl and clear all your debts.” I gained control of Booker now, and begin scavenging for items to loot before I climb the lighthouse.
I must point out that the game is extremely detailed in the layout of items. There are items scattered all over the world. From buckets to fridges, safes, cigarettes, you can find useful items almost anywhere. Lockboxes and safes can have anything from money to ammo to cheesecake that heals you. I begin collecting money as I scale this eerie tower.
The lighthouse is abandoned, and at one point I find a bloodied corpse in a chair with a bag over his head. On his chest is a sign that says, “DON’T FAIL US.”
The stakes are high.
As I climb the tower, Booker questions why it’s empty; his question is finally answered when he reaches the door to the light at the top of the tower. There’s a lock with three buttons on it. Booker pulls out a piece of paper with the code, and I hit the buttons in order. Suddenly, lightning starts to strike and the sky begins to glow bright red. The door opens and I enter, sitting in an old barbershop chair in the middle of the chamber. A capsule-like rocket rises up and encloses Booker in the chair and I watch as the rocket ascends into the clouds to reveal an entire floating city.
My pod lands in a dark chamber that looks like a Catholic church. I exit, and begin making my way through the chambers. Booker learns that a man named Comstock is the high priest in this city, as well as its leader. This is the city of Columbia, where Comstock and masses of Christians have migrated to escape from “the sodom below”. They even go far as to call the city in the sky a second ark.
As I explore the numerous rooms of the chapel, I find Voxophones, which the game explains are secret hidden tapes that further delve into the history of the city, as well as foreshadow events to come.
I finally reach a large chapel chamber, where an old man with white eyes greets me, and reveals he is Comstock. In order for Booker to get into the city, he must be baptized in the Spirit of the Lord. Comstock rather violently dunks Booker under the water until he blacks out.
When I wake up, I find myself in a rather garden full of disciples of Comstock. There’s a sinister sense of foreboding, although their words are sincere as they pray to three large statues of George Washington, Ben Franklin, and Abraham Lincoln. As I leave the garden and walk into the town square where there’s a humungous statue of Comstock holding a rifle. I walk through the 1920’s style floating city and see that it functions just like any other city, with hot dog stands, kids play in the streets, stores all up and down the sidewalk.
Booker begins to think about where the girl he’s looking for can be found. He spots an island with a gigantic angel statue off in the distance, and begins to make his way there, of course, not without pillaging every trashcan and alleyway for money.
Although the change in scenery is more pleasant than the previous two BioShock games, which I have only played minutes of, this game is still just as eerie and scary as the first two; the whole time you have a sense that something evil is going on in the city, even as all these people are happily living their lives devoted to Comstock and the Lord.
Will Booker find his target? What is Comstock really doing on this floating city? How much sleep am I going to lose playing this game? Check back later for Part 2 to find out!
Image Credit: Irrational Games