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Set for release on the Xbox 360, the PlayStation 3 and the PC, BioShock Infinite once again puts the franchise back into the hands of Irrational Games. The premise of this iteration, the third in the series, is that the story occurs prior to the previous games in the series, but it is not a direct prequel in any sense of the word.

Right from the start, Irrational Games does a stellar job creating a tense atmosphere in broad daylight on the floating city in which it takes place. It doesn’t rely on the visual motifs as the original title’s crumbling city, but players will still feel the same level of hostility and pure menace through its citizens. The world also looks stellar in all areas as well, offering a great contrast in aesthetics with wonderful graphic quality all around.

Players take on the role of Booker De Witt, who has been hired by a secret organization to rescue and subsequently protect a new companion named Elizabeth, and the pair head off to search for the only man who can help the latter control her apparent powers.

In addition to a rather immersive atmosphere, BioShock Infinite even manages to continue the trend of tugging on the player’s emotions. At some point, Elizabeth’s prior mechanical captor makes itself present, and she turns to De Witt and places her trust in him, asking her to promise to never give into its relentless attempt to “rescue” her from De Witt. This is just one of the many jarring moments that change De Witt’s cynical tenor.

In addition to the main story, players can enjoy 1999 Mode, which offers the same single player story but with a more challenging approach. In particular, players must choose specialization options to dictate which weapons he is most proficient with, making it more difficult toward the end and sometimes requiring players to go back to an early save and redoing his choices. This mode was named after the release year for System Shock 2, which creative director Ken Levine had previously worked on in his career.

BioShock Infinite is set for release on February 26, 2013. This title offers many different aspects that its predecessor, BioShock 2 greatly lacked, which opens up the doors for veterans to return and enjoy the series once again.

 

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