Bioshock Infinite (360/PS3/PC) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 07-27-2013, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Overall rating:
4/5




Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
78 (PC)
64 (PS3)





Platform(s): Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC
Developer: Irrational Games
Publisher: 2K Games
Genre: First Person Shooter
ESRB Rating: M (Mature)

Length: 10-15 Hours
Difficulty: Variable
Game Modes: Single Player Campaign

Full Game Size: 6.6GB (360/PS3), 14.9GB (PC)
Disc Install Size: N/A(360/PS3), 17.4GB (PC)
Resolution: < 720p (PS3)
Frame Rate: 30fps

Audio Format(s): Dolby Digital (360) DTS, PCM 5.1 (PS3)
Spoken Languages: English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish
Subtitles: English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish
Starring: Troy Baker, Courtnee Draper, Kiff VandenHeuvel

Directed by: Ken Levine
Music by: Garry Schyman
Written by: Drew Holmes

Release Date: March 26, 2013

Versions Tested: PC, Playstation 3

Synopsis:

BioShock Infinite puts players in the shoes of U.S. Cavalry veteran turned hired gun Booker DeWitt. Indebted to the wrong people and with his life on the line, DeWitt has only one opportunity to wipe his slate clean. He must rescue Elizabeth, a mysterious girl imprisoned since childhood and locked up in the flying city of Columbia. Forced to trust one another, Booker and Elizabeth form a powerful bond during their daring escape. Together, they learn to harness an expanding arsenal of weapons and abilities as they fight on zeppelins in the clouds, along high-speed Sky-Lines, and down in the streets of Columbia, all while surviving the threats of the air-city and uncovering its dark secret.


My Take:

As a spiritual successor to the critically acclaimed Bioshock, Irrational Games leaves behind the depths of the ocean and the sunken city of Rapture, setting out towards the floating city-in-the-sky of Columbia. Whereas Rapture imagined a isolated utopia founded on the principles of objectivism taken to the extreme, Columbia projects early 20th century white america into a cloud roaming metropolis that literally and figuratively sees itself above the masses below. White supremacy, barber shop quartets, quantum physics, snake oil salesmen, manifest destiny, reverence of the founding fathers and good old fashioned dirigibles—it's all there in spades. Although hardly a place most of us living today would want to inhabit, it has an undeniable old fashioned charm. Columbia is so magnificently designed and fully realized, that it's simply a joy just to walk around and soak it all in. But shortly after arriving, you'll have to reign in your desire to see the sights - just like Private Joker says in Full Metal Jacket: "I wanted to meet interesting and stimulating people of an ancient culture...and kill them." While on the surface, Bioshock Infinite aspires to be more thoughtful than the typical game, it’s true colors are a sci-fi shooter with a candy coating of antiquated American culture. This is no mere vacation in paradise, this is a full scale invasion by a one man army.

Booker Dewitt is a honest man, led astray by poor choices made with good intentions. Turning to drinking and gambling to assuage his guilt, he has one last chance at redemption. His mission is simple: "Bring us the girl, and we'll wipe away the debt." His target, Elizabeth, is a run of the mill damsel in distress with mysterious powers, locked away in a tower and guarded by a monster...stop me if you've heard this all before. While frequent attempts are made to humanize their relationship, it rarely comes off as believable. Overall, the character interaction is about on par with a SyFy channel movie...and no, that’s not a compliment.

Despite that, the solid core gameplay and the impressively realized world of Columbia come together extremely well. Even though frequent and lengthy combat sequences stand between you and the next sight to behold, the arsenal of weaponry and magical powers at your disposal keep the gameplay fresh throughout the experience. As ham fisted as the characterization may be, the plot is consistently engaging, even though it has enough twists and turns to make M. Night Shyamalan blush. Just like Columbia, you'll constantly want to know whats around the next bend, and it rarely disappoints once you arrive. Although not the masterpiece that many had hoped for, it’s still an excellent game.




Parental Guide:

Extreme violence, occasional racism.



AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 90-100 / EXCELLENT = 80-89 / GOOD = 65-79 / AVERAGE = 55-65 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 55

**Ratings are judged against the state of the art in contemporary games. As technology rapidly improves, standards will raise appropriately.**


Audio: 60

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

  • Low Frequency Extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

  • Positional/Environmental Cues: attachment.php?attachmentid=109942&d=1210373647

  • Detail/Realism: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue/Mix Quality: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692



Unfortunately, Bioshock infinite’s audio presentation does little to impress. When it’s not outright disappointing, it’s aggressively mediocre. Dynamics are fairly squashed, and there is little weight to effects - some of the guns sound like little more than pea-shooters. LFE is present at a bare minimum. As far as I can tell, the center channel is only for Booker’s voice. Reverb is present and well done, but occlusion is either missing or so faint that it might as well be. The effects are average at best, and the entire presentation is a little too thin on bass. Occasionally I had difficulty making out some of the dialogue. It could have been worse...but it could have been much, much better. The soundtrack and voice acting are quite excellent, its just unfortunate that the rest of the audio couldn’t reach a higher standard.


Video: 68 (PS3), 96 (PC)

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Aliasing: (PS3)attachment.php?attachmentid=109940&d=1210373637 (PC)attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Frame Rate:(PS3)attachment.php?attachmentid=109942&d=1210373647 (PC)attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Calibration Adherence: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Technical Quality: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Art Design/Production Values: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699


On the other hand, Bioshock Infinite fares quite well when it comes to the video presentation. The core presentation on console is about what you’d expect from a late generation game - the resolution is sub-720p (PS3), and the frame rate frequently dips when the action gets going. But it’s mild enough that it’s not too large of a concern, and it’s hard to expect more at this stage. Naturally, these are non-issues on the PC. No need to fiddle with any settings on calibrated TVs either, although the image is rather dark and saturated, my impression is that it’s artistic intent and not a gamma issue. The rendering quality is quite good, particularly on PC, where high end effects are well used, but it doesn’t break any new ground. More than anything, it’s the art design of Columbia that truly stands out and impresses - despite all the issues, that alone makes it one of the most visually impressive games I’ve played.


Game Design: 88

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Overall Gameplay: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Controls/Feel: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Interface: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Stability: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Load Time: (PS3)attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692 (PC)attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699


Although the gameplay does little to change the formula from the original Bioshock, it’s still solid gameplay. The combat can get a little repetitive by the end though. Although I loved exploring Columbia, and the scavenger hunt for the hidden voice recorders drives you to search every corner, there’s far too many of them. Without finding them all, the story will be that much more baffling. Controls are tight, but it can be a little tricky to manage shooting, aiming, and your magic power use and selection. The interface is straightforward, and I didn’t encounter the slightest bug during my playthrough. Load times are generally under 10 seconds on PC, around 15 seconds on PS3 - but transitions between levels dump you out to a load screen, which breaks the flow of the game.

Bonus Features:
None.



Final Thoughts:


Bioshock Infinite is one of those games where although individual elements may be lacking, the positive aspects shine so brightly that they temporarily blind you to it's flaws. The solid gameplay, engaging plot, and more than anything else, the magnificently realized fantasy world of Columbia come together to form a truly special experience. While marred by a less than stellar core presentation on the consoles, if you have the opportunity to visit Columbia in it's full glory on a gaming PC, your eyes will rarely be disappointed.



Mark D'Aria
AVS Forum Video Game Reviews




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Panasonic TC-P60ST30 60" 1080P 3D Plasma Display (Calibrated with i1 Display LT)
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Sony Playstation 3 Slim (500GB Seagate Momentus XT Solid State Hybrid HDD)
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post #2 of 15 Old 08-05-2013, 02:03 PM
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Great review! .. I personally have had the privilege of playing on a gaming PC with everything set to maximum - and it is far and away one of the most beautifully rendered games I've ever played. In fact that's what kept me playing more then anything else, the chance to see what the next area had in store for me graphically. Story wise, I was a little let down actually. Maybe because I had been expecting this for SOOO long, my expectation was unrealistic in grasp - I enjoyed the story line from the first two Bioshock games, especially the first, much more. I found at the end once I had pieced everything together, that the over all experience was worthwhile - but think that what started out as a GREAT premiss got a little convoluted for me along the way. In any case still very much worth playing in my estimation!

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post #3 of 15 Old 08-05-2013, 07:04 PM
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4 out of 5? Next you will tell me that "The Last of Us" is a 3.5?

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post #4 of 15 Old 08-05-2013, 08:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by stepyourgameup View Post

4 out of 5? Next you will tell me that "The Last of Us" is a 3.5?

Agree with it myself. Especially if you were brave enough to head into 1999 mode, where you see just how broken many of the mechanics are once they're scaled up, and how utterly bland all the weapons and plasmids were. There's really no strategy to the gameplay or gunplay, and the AI makes DOOM blush. All the weapons end feeling the same, with the only difference being range / level of zoom.

It's a visual, audio, and technical masterpiece that ultimately fell hollow. And the plot itself ended up trying to have it's cake and eat it too; where it's epilogue pretty much confirmed by throwing it's hands up at the problems it introduced.
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post #5 of 15 Old 08-05-2013, 08:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by stepyourgameup View Post

4 out of 5? Next you will tell me that "The Last of Us" is a 3.5?

Nah...already reviewed TLOU, it easily earns the full 5/5. As much as I liked infinite, I didn't feel like it fully came together. It was like they really wanted to make something more than your average shooter, and that first hour had a lot of promise...but by the end, it had fallen back completely on killing everything in sight. TLOU nailed it and raised the bar in all the places where infinite stumbled (mainly character interaction and audio)...so it's kind of hard to put them on the same level in light of that.

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post #6 of 15 Old 08-06-2013, 05:33 AM
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Love all the Bioshock games and currently getting my butt kicked by the siren in 1999 mode.
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post #7 of 15 Old 08-06-2013, 11:54 AM
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I thought I'd mention, for those with a 2.35 screen, there is a native mode in the game that supports that aspect ratio (21:9).  I use it as a demo in my room. :) 


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post #8 of 15 Old 08-07-2013, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Mean Gene View Post

Love all the Bioshock games and currently getting my butt kicked by the siren in 1999 mode.

Same here. Even though Irrational games did not develop BS2, I thought it was great.

Infinite is a great game and looks pretty darn good on my 55" Panny Plasma via the Xbox 360. I played the game with wireless turtle beach headphones and thought the sound was top notch too...but what do I know.

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post #9 of 15 Old 08-07-2013, 10:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by properbostonian View Post

Same here. Even though Irrational games did not develop BS2, I thought it was great.

Infinite is a great game and looks pretty darn good on my 55" Panny Plasma via the Xbox 360. I played the game with wireless turtle beach headphones and thought the sound was top notch too...but what do I know.

For what it's worth, the audio is as good as most other games nowadays. If you're only using wireless turtle beach headphones, you wouldn't even be able to hear the the difference between something that scores a 60 like infinite and a 100 like TLOU. On a good 5.1 system with ample power and a powerful sub, the difference can be night and day.

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post #10 of 15 Old 08-08-2013, 04:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by properbostonian View Post

Same here. Even though Irrational games did not develop BS2, I thought it was great.

Infinite is a great game and looks pretty darn good on my 55" Panny Plasma via the Xbox 360. I played the game with wireless turtle beach headphones and thought the sound was top notch too...but what do I know.

Been selling by backlog of unplayed games but will never get rid of my bioshock trilogy. Getting out of gaming but will always go back for a runthrough of rapture and columbia. (Street Fighter IV is staying too)
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post #11 of 15 Old 09-30-2013, 08:06 AM
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When it’s not outright disappointing, it’s aggressively mediocre. Dynamics are fairly squashed,

Totally agree...
Games sound is too often poor in dynamics, this is very bad for big sound systems.... mad.gif

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post #12 of 15 Old 10-16-2013, 04:49 PM
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i agree. Surround sound needs to be improved with the release of ps4....
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post #13 of 15 Old 02-19-2014, 09:42 AM
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Irrational Games is shutting down. Hopefully Take 2 will not destroy the franchise with any subpar follow up games.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57619046-93/bioshock-studio-irrational-games-closing-its-doors/?part=rss&subj=news
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post #14 of 15 Old 02-19-2014, 10:36 AM
 
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I've have a love hate relationship with the last two installments, that said I'd hope they at least try in the next one and don't give in to pressure to return to Rapture. I'm not sure Take Two can shed that need.

The worrying thing is they're divesting the team mostly, so all the talent and direction behind the art is being spread to the wind. Basically one of the few thing that made Bioshock Infinite stand out to me.

That said GG Cambridge is already picking up the scraps and asking Irrational Employees to apply. smile.gif


Edit: a must read http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/211139/Irrational_Games_journalism_and_airing_dirty_laundry.php
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post #15 of 15 Old 02-25-2014, 11:52 AM
 
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So with Irrational gone, looks like next gen ports probably won't be happening.

I have no idea why they didn't go the tomb raider route and be ready for Jan/Feb lul. With almost 10 million next gen consoles, little to play, and a relativly easy porting from PC process, they could have recouped a few more sales.
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