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Hands-on: BioShock Infinite for PS3

Sid Shuman's Avatar + Posted by Sid Shuman on Dec 07, 2012 // Senior Manager, Social Media

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In a clever touch, BioShock Infinite subtly parallels the first moments of the original BioShock. In both games you find yourself adrift, slowly making your way towards a lighthouse that juts proudly from the angry sea. The key difference this time is that you don’t plunge into the frigid depths of the Atlantic, but soar far into the heavens above in search of Columbia, a rogue city-state that seceded from the U.S. in an alternate-history version of 1912.

In both games, things are not as they first seem. BioShock’s undersea city of Rapture ran on ambiguous agendas cloaked in philosophy and punditry, but the world was clearly in its death throes from the moment you entered its haunted hallways. Columbia’s sickness is also terminal but lies deeper, eluding immediate detection. In fact, your first 30 minutes in Columbia are almost idyllic. The glow of candles lights your way into the city and angelic choirs drone pleasantly in the background. It pays to move slowly in order to better soak in the game’s dazzling eye for detail, whether it’s the colorful citizens crowding a carnival, hummingbirds buzzing busily from rosebush to rosebush, or children splashing in the spray of an opened fire hydrant. Columbia is alive.

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Of course, this being BioShock, you know there’s a snake lurking somewhere in this Garden of Eden. And that snake would seem to be Father Comstock, a self-proclaimed prophet of Columbia who preaches self-righteous racial purity. Comstock feuds with the Vox Populi, a rebel subculture with different but perhaps similarly questionable motives. As in BioShock, the battle between these two philosophically disparate forces is the impetus for much of the game’s plot.

You play the role of former Pinkerton agent Booker DeWitt, an experienced but haunted private investigator. DeWitt has been pressured into infiltrating Columbia in order to evacuate Elizabeth, a teenage captive who possesses the astonishing power to open “tears” in space-time. Elizabeth is a frequent companion, and Irrational Games has gone to considerable expense and effort to make her presence a welcome one. No combatant, she’s smart enough to duck out of sight when the lead starts flying and will helpfully lob healing items and ammo when you’re in danger. Better still, she adds a delightful glimmer of humor and innocence to a game that tackles some extremely dark and disturbing themes.

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Compared to 2006’s BioShock, Infinite’s shooting fundamentals feel more confident and satisfying. I played with a variety of weapons — pistol, SMG, carbine, sniper rifle, and RPG — and they all proved to be potent, versatile death dealers. Though the game has shifted to a two-weapon system, you’re still able to upgrade your weapons via vending machines scattered around Columbia, enhancing accuracy, damage, clip size and much more. The revamped control scheme wisely reassigns some key actions, including a dedicated melee attack via the Triangle button and sprinting activated via L3. Overall, the DualShock 3 controls feel solid, familiar, and reliable. While the final version of the game will support the PlayStation Move motion controller, I wasn’t able to try it out this time — we’ll be looking to do so as soon as possible.

Vigors are Infinite’s answer to Plasmids, and they’re a bit more multifaceted here. Each Vigor can be used in two different ways; tap Devil’s Kiss and you’ll lob an explosive fireball, charge it up and you’ll drop a devastating mine at greater cost. Murder of Crows seemed particularly well suited to crowd control, while Bucking Bronco catapults enemies out of cover and into your sights. My favorite was probably Possession, which enabled me to remotely hack enemy turrets and score extra coin at vending machines. As with BioShock’s Plasmids, you can upgrade Vigors to add additional effects and benefits, though the upgrade paths here seemed more diverse.

Finally, it’s worth noting that the PS3 version of the game looked sharp and ran smoothly, even when the scenery soared past in the game’s vertigo-inducing Skyhook segments. Load times were infrequent, too.

Want to know more about BioShock Infinite? Drop me some questions in the comments and I’ll get you answers as quickly as possible.

//Add Your Own

58 Comments   21 Replies

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1

+ bball230 on December 7th, 2012 at 5:07 am said:

https://store.sonyentertainmentnetwork.com/#!/

When is the new Sony Playstation Webstore coming for the US?

I cant wait.


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    + Sid Shuman on December 7th, 2012 at 10:20 am said:

    No news to share right now – we’re testing it in Europe and we’ll update you when there’s more to talk about!


2

+ Berae on December 7th, 2012 at 5:27 am said:

I already pre ordered the game even if I didnt like the 2 other bioshock games that much. This one looks to be different I just hope its not as repetitive as the 1st game.


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    + Sid Shuman on December 7th, 2012 at 10:21 am said:

    I found the environments, weapons, and Tonics much more varied than those in BioShock. There’s a lot of moving from small, cramped locations to massive, sprawling outdoor areas.


3

+ Daigen on December 7th, 2012 at 5:33 am said:

Preordered the Songbird edition! Can’t wait for this game! With it delayed that will give me time to play through BioShock 1 and 2 :P Take your time Irrational… but hurry UP!


4

+ Nick930930 on December 7th, 2012 at 5:35 am said:

I’ll be getting this on PC like all bioshocks, gotta have that 1920×1080 res!

Can’t wait for this game, time to show dishonoured how it’s really done! :)


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    + Sid Shuman on December 7th, 2012 at 10:21 am said:

    I forgive you. ;) Honestly though, PS3 version ran like a champ. Played it for 5 hours and was quite pleased with the performance.


5

+ Nick930930 on December 7th, 2012 at 5:36 am said:

@1 Berae

How…how was Bioshock 1 in any way repetitive? It was easily the best game of this decade.


6

+ seraph979 on December 7th, 2012 at 5:46 am said:

will they change the box art based on the bad initial feedback from a lot of sites?


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    + Sid Shuman on December 7th, 2012 at 10:22 am said:

    I was not able to ask this question. Box art is such a touchy topic these days! ;-)


7

+ ThreeLeggedFreak on December 7th, 2012 at 5:56 am said:

Will be buying this, but where is my Bioshock for Vita Mr. Levine?


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    + Sid Shuman on December 7th, 2012 at 10:22 am said:

    No update on that topic at this event


8

+ PharmBoY044 on December 7th, 2012 at 6:00 am said:

Hey Sid,

Did you happen to get your hands on Bioshock Infinite with the Move?


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    + Sid Shuman on December 7th, 2012 at 10:22 am said:

    Nope! Noted it in the preview. Hope to soon, though.


9

+ snakeeyes211 on December 7th, 2012 at 6:02 am said:

@Sid Would you kindly tell me if the copy of BioShock 1 that comes in BioShock infinite. is it on the disc or digital?


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    + Sid Shuman on December 7th, 2012 at 10:23 am said:

    Not 100% sure but I believe it’s on disc. Let’s wait til closer to launch to confirm, though.


10

+ saab01 on December 7th, 2012 at 6:06 am said:

I love Bioshock but I am somewhat disappointed with no multiplayer it will be hard to drop 60 bucks on this when all I can do is beat the single player twice than sell it to get some of my money back.


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    + Sid Shuman on December 7th, 2012 at 10:23 am said:

    I am extremely, extremely excited by the 1999 Mode. That should hopefully offer a lot of replay value.


11

+ snakeeyes211 on December 7th, 2012 at 6:07 am said:

Would you say that the game looks like the pictures on the PS3 that you have up on the blog?


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    + Sid Shuman on December 7th, 2012 at 10:24 am said:

    Generally speaking, yes. Those are probably from the PC version, but the game looks stunning on PS3.


12

+ snakeeyes211 on December 7th, 2012 at 6:10 am said:

Are the pictures that you have on the blog site is that the way it’s going to look on the PS3?


13

+ snakeeyes211 on December 7th, 2012 at 6:13 am said:

@saab01
Wouldn’t you rather have a rich single player experience then a cookie-cutter multiplayer mode?


14

+ bldudas on December 7th, 2012 at 6:15 am said:

I would also like to know if the copy of Bioshock is digital or on the disk. I prefer a hard copy.


15

+ bldudas on December 7th, 2012 at 6:16 am said:

I’m glad there’s going to be no multiplayer. It’s not needed.


16

+ Stinvil93 on December 7th, 2012 at 6:19 am said:

Great post sidd


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    + Sid Shuman on December 7th, 2012 at 10:24 am said:

    Thanks! Glad to get the feedback.


17

+ hjason1 on December 7th, 2012 at 6:27 am said:

Hope a demo is released..
Game devs need to put out demos more often..
Demos sell games or they make people not wanna buy it.
It all depends on the quality of the demo…

If a game has no demo i don’t buy it..


18

+ Ryumoau on December 7th, 2012 at 7:17 am said:

Wasn’t blown away by the first game and thought the second one was really boring. If nothing else interesting is released around the time as this game, i might just use my gamefly account to rent this for the trophies.


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+ Ryumoau on December 7th, 2012 at 7:23 am said:

@16 then you must not buy very many games. :P


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+ NoGodsOnlyMan on December 7th, 2012 at 7:28 am said:

it seems like this game has hit huge setbacks in its development and the blog here is trying some pr for the last month on making this game relevant again. The reality is that no new gameplay or story elements have been shared, the team making the game has suffer significant personnel losses and infinity has been delayed for way too long.

Infinite= The Last Guardian, both have become irrelevant


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    + Sid Shuman on December 7th, 2012 at 10:26 am said:

    Not at all. They’ve been working on the game for a long time, true, but spinning something to make it sound good isn’t what I’m about. If there are serious problems with a game, the usual solution is that we don’t cover it. I certainly would’t stay up til 4am last night writing this preview if the game was garbage. :)


21

+ Berae on December 7th, 2012 at 7:36 am said:

@4 Nick 930

well, the atmosphere was great but the gameplay felt repetitive. Go there kill the big daddy, hack this, kill the big daddy, hack that. Some others elements were good like you need the fire plasmid to go where there is ice, I hope they exploit more this element, like you have to go back later to open areas that are optionnal


22

+ Lugoves on December 7th, 2012 at 7:38 am said:

Day one Digital download be available? Pre order? PS + Bonus Dynamic Theme?


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    + Sid Shuman on December 7th, 2012 at 10:27 am said:

    No word on these yet, stay tuned closer to launch – March 26th is the new date.


23

+ lllxSAVAGExlll on December 7th, 2012 at 8:10 am said:

The game has been delayed a month


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+ Almighty_Dada on December 7th, 2012 at 8:11 am said:

The store keeps going so slow that I have to quit and restart all the time. I thought you liked my money? Well I hope this get fixed, otherwise the old store was just fine to me.


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    + Sid Shuman on December 7th, 2012 at 10:28 am said:

    The team is definitely monitoring feedback – thanks for providing yours.


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+ Elvick_ on December 7th, 2012 at 8:20 am said:

The artists working on this game should be proud. Beautiful


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    + Sid Shuman on December 7th, 2012 at 10:28 am said:

    It is one handsome, handsome game.


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+ Emerald_Swords on December 7th, 2012 at 8:39 am said:

Hopefully those are ps3 pictures and not from the PC.


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+ PhoenixDowny on December 7th, 2012 at 8:49 am said:

This is exciting news. However, I’m more excited for the PS Vita BioShock that Ken Levine promised us.


28

+ Elex163 on December 7th, 2012 at 9:11 am said:

That picture at the top of the post, should’ve been the cover art.


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    + Sid Shuman on December 7th, 2012 at 10:28 am said:

    Yeah I like it more too ^_^


29

+ FreshRevenge on December 7th, 2012 at 10:03 am said:

I have a question? Did they change Elizabeth outfit or is that part of the story? I like the other outfit. it makes her stylish and sexy but sophisticated at the same time.

Also I have this on preordered:)


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    + Sid Shuman on December 7th, 2012 at 10:29 am said:

    I wondered that too. I feel like she showed more skin when we’ve seen her in the past, I really liked her more demur look in the version I played. She’s a great character, very sympathetic.


30

+ Welmosca on December 7th, 2012 at 10:09 am said:

@ 5 Nick930930 – Well no…that is Uncharted 2 Among Thieves.

@ 10 saab01 – I can’t believe in what you’re saying…damn MP is the sickness of this gen…Usually the games that don’t have MP tends to be better.MP do nothing but takes away space that could’ve been used in the campaign…thats why there are so many games with 8hours long to beat.

@ 15 bldudas – I agree 100% with you…I couldn’t have said better myself.

Anyway I can’t wait for Bioshock Infinite,I have Bioshock 1 and 2 and both are fantastic games…Infinite looks even better.


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+ goodguy_reuben on December 7th, 2012 at 10:28 am said:

I can’t wait to play this.I never played Bioshock 2 though.Do I need to play Bioshock 2 to fully enjoy this?


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    + Sid Shuman on December 7th, 2012 at 10:29 am said:

    Not at all, they are unrelated. That said, BioShock 2 is pretty good!


32

+ dizeeStL on December 7th, 2012 at 10:30 am said:

Is the game in 3D?


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+ smoothboarder540 on December 7th, 2012 at 10:34 am said:

@30 Some of us that like to be competitive in video games really enjoy multiplayer. I get way more use out of games that have it. So instead of shelling out $60 a piece for games to keep me playing I can play a bit of cod, bf3, Gotham city imposters, or NFS. Even Bioshock 2. How often do you really replay the single player of these expensive campaign only games anyway? This game is one of the few exceptions for me though. I am perfectly fine with this being single player only because I’m sure it will be a really great game.


34

+ BlindMango on December 7th, 2012 at 10:37 am said:

@1 – bball230

Haha, I was so surprised to see your name right there! Small world!

Also, nice question =P


35

+ DarkOne_PR on December 7th, 2012 at 11:04 am said:

ok ok this game its gonna be awesome we all know that… so PLS ANY info on Bioshock Vita???? now thats the news i want to hear….


36

+ Folklore_Legendz on December 7th, 2012 at 11:05 am said:

it’s sony intersted in investing for a bioshock vita game? cause if levine wants to make a vita game then, i guess is up to sony to convince 2k. it’s seens that sony work out a deal to make bioshock infinite compatible with move, so why not also a vita game? it will sell the hardware, i guarantee it!!.


37

+ Folklore_Legendz on December 7th, 2012 at 11:18 am said:

sony promise to get a bioshock vita game and it isn’t happening, what’s the deal!?. the same thing happen when they promise a resident evil game for the psp, and it never happen. please tell me that this is not the case here, the vita is failing cause it has no compelling software!!. we need a good fps (killzone), rpg (legend of dragoon or demon souls), and racing game (gt). but most importantly, we need a grand theft auto game or skyrim for the vita.


38

+ Evil_Cachito on December 7th, 2012 at 11:51 am said:

If I recall correctly, Ken Levine did say he regreted announcing the Bioshock title for Vita when he did, because Irrational hands were still going to be full with Infinite for a long while and he wasn’t willing to launch a port or something that had already be seen in the franchise.

They may have problems with estimating their timing, but to me it’s completely worth it.


39

+ Kchow23 on December 7th, 2012 at 11:56 am said:

Going on a Bioshock Infinite blackout since I already know it will blow minds, but please let Bioshock come to the PS Vita and let it be a high quality title.


40

+ ChizFreak on December 7th, 2012 at 11:57 am said:

@38 true that Vita needs more games. BioShock Vita would be a good reason for people to buy Vitas, like was Call of Duty Vita, yeah it was crap, but it sure sold some Vitas. Uncharted, Gravity Rush, and Soul Sacrifice, those are big games of Vita right now; and Soul Sacrifice it’s not out yet.

And if a game like Demon’s Souls or Dark Souls were to be released on the Vita, I would drop on the ground and start crying of happiness, they are my favourite games of all time, and there are already plenty of Dark Souls/Demon’s Souls audience attracted to the Vita because of Soul Sacrifice, which looks somewhat similar to these games.

Really Sony, just talk about it with From Software, make a Souls game for Vita, or just port one of the Souls already released, and you will have a console seller right there. PLEASE


41

+ ChizFreak on December 7th, 2012 at 11:58 am said:

@40 Sorry I meant @37 (Folklore_Legendz), not @38.


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+ FreshRevenge on December 7th, 2012 at 12:41 pm said:

Hey Sid
Ken Levine, said the blue dress is not being replaced but the picture that we see is early ingame. So this makes me a happy camper on this game! I tweeted about this and he responded, Blue Dress is not being replaced!


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    + Sid Shuman on December 7th, 2012 at 1:39 pm said:

    Ok, got it :) Thanks!


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+ shadysaiyanz on December 7th, 2012 at 12:54 pm said:

@28 – I was gonna say that haha.


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+ Welmosca on December 7th, 2012 at 1:45 pm said:

@ 33 smoothboarder540 – Well I agree with you in some points…I’m not saying that I hate MP…of course that I play too and I enjoy a lot…the good ones…but its like a cancer…nowadays every developer tries to put MP in their games even in the games that don’t need…look at AC,Dead Space 2 and above all God of War.AC2 is a lot better because there is no MP(can’t talk about AC3 though)…DS2 MP is a complete flop…we could get longer campaigns instead of unnecessary MP…and God of War is the worst of them all that MP is so unnecessary…I love that game with so much passion…now I’m sure that the campaign will be shorter.And the worst of all there are people that dont even buy the game for the single player experience…fake gamers….


45

+ Welmosca on December 7th, 2012 at 1:45 pm said:

..to answer your question…4 to 5 times I replay the campaign of these games…I do every single thing that is possible to do in the game.Look at Batman’s,Castlevania,Darksiders they’re one of the best this gen and they’re all single player only…what I’m trying to say is that there are few devs out there that can put MP on a game without leaving unbalanced.I mean with a 5hour long campaign with all their focus on the MP.Uncharted 2,KZ3 and Resistance 3 are good examples of great campaign and MP now BF3 and CoDs are nothing but shorter games with all the focus on MP.And no I’m not a hater.


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+ NoGodsOnlyMan on December 7th, 2012 at 1:48 pm said:

Sid
Thanks for taking the time to reply to my post

I want Infinite to be great, is a game i have been waiting since it was announced. By irrelevant i dont mean to bash the game or your blog, but this game needs some good pr asap and if the ps blog does it so be it, that is what the blog is for for keeping gamers on the loop of what is coming.


47

+ BlueBl1zzard on December 7th, 2012 at 2:18 pm said:

@Welmosca I think multiplayer is a hit or miss feature that some developers do right. I gotta disagree with you about AC’s multiplayer though, AC brotherhood was one of my favorite multiplayer experiences in recent years. Same with Burnout Paradise. So yeah I agree that multiplayer isn’t perfect in every game, I like to see developers experiment with new ideas.


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+ DarqueDragon on December 7th, 2012 at 2:22 pm said:

I so cannot wait for this game. When I heard Ken Levine was back on Bioshock, I was immediately sold. The original game was one fo the best I ever played. I was a bit disappointed with Bioshock 2, but still a decent game.

I might be in the minority here, but I am glad there is no multiplayer. This allows them to focus purely on the single player experience and make it the best it can be. Plus, I hated Bioshock 2′s multiplayer.

And now, a few questions for you, Sid (wonder if I will get any answers, though):

1. How are the powers? Are they exciting to use, or are there only a few useful ones and the rest are just kinda blah?

2. How is the interaction between Booker and Elizabeth? It is entertaining, or does it get old quickly?

3. How easy is it to use the Skyhook? Also, I noticed you called them “Skyhook segments”. Does that mean you only use them at key points in the game (like the Bathyspheres), or can you use the Skyhook any time you want?

4. Do you know approximately how many hours the game will run?


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+ smoothboarder540 on December 7th, 2012 at 3:41 pm said:

Yeah, I agree with BlueBl1zzard that AC has good multiplayer. It’s competitive and requires you to think more than most games. But I also agree that games should just have mp tacked on like Bioshock 2. It’s fun but very barebones.


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+ smoothboarder540 on December 7th, 2012 at 5:37 pm said:

*shouldn’t


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