Mateusz “Sketch” Gorski ’18, Entertainment/News Editor
“The mind of the subject will desperately struggle to create memories where none exist…”
- R. Lutece, Bioshock Infinite
Bioshock is a popular video game series that started with the first game released in 2007, where you explore the ruined underwater city of Rapture in the 1960s. In this game and its sequel, Bioshock 2, you fight against mutants, psychopaths, and enormous robots by using guns and a variety of special powers called “plasmids.” The games are heavily story-based, following the journey of a man trying to escape this run down city under the Atlantic Ocean, all while uncovering the secret, gruesome past of this once beaming empire.
Bioshock Infinite is the third game in the series, although it does not take place in Rapture. The game follows a similar narrative, but it creates an entirely new and complex story that will take a few playthroughs to understand. Set in 1912, you play as Booker DeWitt, a war veteran, who takes an odd job to retrieve a girl from a tower named Elizabeth in order to pay off his gambling debt. Soon, however, he is blasted away into the sky by a strange rocket, taking him to a hidden city in the clouds called Columbia. This seemingly wonderful empire in the sky is ruled by a religious prophet known as Father Comstock, who is said to have a God-given ability to foresee the future. Naturally, all of the citizens follow his lead and live their lives worshipping him and the founding fathers of America, who they see as angels who have rightfully given them their land.
However, there is a dark side to this “paradise.” Racism, cults, strange experiments, and supernatural occurrences show the corruption of Comstock and the people who worship him. He has foreseen Booker’s arrival to retrieve Elizabeth, who is actually imprisoned in a tower and guarded by a powerful robotic bird. Apparently, Elizabeth is said to be the daughter of the prophet, the lamb that will take his place as ruler of Columbia, and Booker is the false shepherd who has come to lead his lamb astray. Upon finding Elizabeth in her tower, the audience learns that she is there against her will, and she wishes to go out and see the world. We also learn of her strange ability to tear open windows to other universes, realizing that Comstock has been using this power in order to rule over Columbia. After breaking her out of her prison, the rest of your adventure is a fierce battle pitting you against the entire city, while also leaping through space and time trying to escape the clouds of Columbia.
Reintroducing the plasmids from the first two games, now called ‘vigors,’ you can acquire an arsenal of unique powers and abilities while you use them to plow through multiple enemies at once. Joining you in your fight, Elizabeth is not just a very well-written character, but also a very helpful ally on the battlefield, supplying you with health, ammo, and even money throughout your journey. Later in the game you will be able to use her dimension-tearing powers to your advantage by summoning objects from other dimensions, and even escaping through different realities.
This game’s entire story is based of the ‘many worlds interpretation’ theory. Infinite realities, universes that branch from different timelines that are the exact same as our reality, but entirely different at the same time. By using this concept, Bioshock Infinite opened up complex story that only theories and interpretations can coherently explain. With many branching timelines, side stories, secret pasts, and plenty of optional exploring, this game allows you to uncover the story by yourself and lets you connect the dots. The secrets and story deems the game worthy of multiple playthroughs, as well to continue to enjoy the visuals and well-developed characters.
If you want to challenge your imagination and enjoy a genius story, pick up Bioshock Infinite. This game will not disappoint, and you will have a lot of fun battling your way through waves of enemies while discovering, uncovering, dimension hopping, and reality tearing through the skies.
“There’s a world of difference between what we see, and what is…”
- Elizabeth, Bioshock Infinite