I realize that I’m a bit late to this game, but I just finished it the other day and felt like putting out some of my thoughts. There won’t be spoilers until the second page, so you can get a general idea of what I thought without having the ending ruined.
I actually started watching a Let’s Play of it on YouTube before playing the game. But between that player being absolutely terrible at the game (and wasting a ton of time walking in circles) and me having just enough of an interest to try it out, I decided to run to Best Buy and get a copy. Not literally, I didn’t want to freeze to death.
I didn’t have much of an interest in playing it around release time because the entire concept just seemed goofy. Flying city in 1912? Museum displays attacking people? Pulling weapons, ammo, and other equipment out of thin air? I never played either of the first two games, so I don’t know how they compare in most regards. For some reason an underwater city doesn’t sound as ridiculous though.
One of the first things to come to mind while playing was that the artstyle reminded me a bit of Borderlands. Obviously Bioshock Infinite is a lot more colorful and certainly has some pretty views (not as pretty as Borderlands 2‘s double rainbow), but the thought didn’t really stick for long while I played.
On the combat system – as a whole I enjoyed it even though it wasn’t perfect. Because of Elizabeth’s role in combat to provide ammo and other supplies, there is no incentive to conserve ammo. If you fire aimlessly until your gun is almost empty, she’ll just throw you another one with more ammo – and that’s assuming that you aren’t taking advantage of the tears (pronounced like tearing a paper, not like having a tear in your eye) that provide you with weapons, ammo, health, vantage points, and more. I was just glad that I didn’t have to protect her as well.
My favorite part of fights was the mobility provided by skylines – rather than running back and forth to cover, you can zoom around the area, gunning enemies down on your way. This makes it very easy to get out of tight situations and to find a better area to take cover.
The “vigor” powers reminded me of biotic and tech abilities from the Mass Effect series. Except the vigors become completely overpowered against standard enemies and completely useless against the strongest, whereas biotic/tech abilities can be used in nearly all situations. As an example, once you get the “Bucking Bronco” vigor (shown above), you can throw a large stretch of enemies into the air, where they’ll take increased damage and be unable to fight back – the only enemies this doesn’t work on seemed to be turrets, Patriots, and Handymen. So with this one vigor alone, you could guarantee yourself enough time to recover your shields, get to cover, or simply put plenty of bullets into your enemies.
Unfortunately, 12 hours of gameplay with minimal replay value is a bit disappointing. The game is very linear, and all “optional missions” (I think there were about 5 or 6) only require a bit of backtracking rather than exploring new areas. Based on one part of the late game, people seemed to think that there were two possible endings, but unfortunately there’s only one. I’ll definitely play it again at some point (and possibly get the DLC), but I don’t see myself having any interest in doing so in the foreseeable future. In my 12 hour playthrough, I acquired 77 of the 80 voxophones, most of the infusions, and most of the other achievement-related items – if I got that close to completing them without even trying, actually doing so would probably add less than an hour of play time.
The little bit of “exploration” in this game is basically walking around and checking every box, barrel, and corpse for money and ammo (think Fallout 3/New Vegas except far denser in their placement) or waiting until you have enough lockpicks to backtrack and open whatever door or safe you couldn’t get through before. The lockpick system is fine, especially when considering some of the payoffs being gear and enhanced health/shields/salts, but needing to check every item around you for supplies can be very irritating.
The story was pretty straightforward for the most part. It was never anything amazing, but since the game was very much story-driven, it was always progressing, even if that progression came by way of a bunch of tasks that barely seemed to have relevance to the main plot. However, my main issue came in the end, with an infodump filling in all of the blanks and an ending that just doesn’t feel like a satisfying conclusion to the story (more on that on the spoiler page).
Spoiler-free summary: I definitely enjoyed the game, but it had some obvious flaws. The story felt a bit disjointed, the vigors were either completely overpowered or utterly useless, the ending was a bit disappointing (it made sense, it just felt like a dumb way to end the story), and the replay value is basically nonexistent unless you really like the combat.
Would I recommend playing the game? Sure, but I’d advise borrowing it from a friend over buying a copy.
THERE WILL BE SPOILERS ON THE NEXT PAGE! You’ve been warned! You can select the second page down below the related posts. There are also spoilers in the comments, so tread lightly!