I wasn’t keen on the first Bioshock game. I felt that the controls were sloppy – the gunplay particularly so – and the Plasmid mechanic seemed uninspired. These are, admittedly, faults often acknowledged by fans of the 2007 title, which is praised more for its story and immersion. However, I wasn’t immersed. The world didn’t engage me, therefore I wasn’t compelled to hear its story, and thus I didn’t like the game. I never bothered to play the sequel, Bioshock 2, but after hearing so much praise for Infinite, I felt that should give the franchise another chance.
The first level of Bioshock Infinite involves doing nothing as the main character is rowed to a lighthouse. There is dialogue occurring throughout this boat journey, however it is not interesting. The sloppy controls from the first game make an immediately noticeable return, despite the game employing a different engine. Infinite runs at 30 frames per second and is controlled from a first person perspective, so it is effectively unplayable. The frame rate can be unlocked, which makes the controls feel slightly less awful, at the cost of horrific screen tearing, which also renders the game unplayable.
The second level involves walking around a gaudy village. Early on in this level there is a scripted sequence during which a Beach Boys song is played, which I am told is a brilliant piece of game design. The graphical style is overly bright and polished to the point of being almost sickening.
Half an hour or so into the second level I got to the first bit of gameplay, when my character was attacked by armed policemen. I hadn’t enjoyed the setting or plot thus far, and the combat was simply shocking due to the controls not functioning properly, so I stopped playing the game at this point. Apparently at the end it turns out that the protagonist and the antagonist are the same person, which doesn’t sound very interesting.