The late Roger Ebert was once quoted saying “video games are not art.” It’s a claim I found strange coming from a critic who spent much of his early career defending genre films when others simply labeled them as trash.
If he were still alive I would pop a copy of “Bioshock Infinite” on his lap.
“Infinite,” the newest game in the exceptionally ambitious “Bioshock” series, left me breathless, soul crushed and unable to sleep as I pondered what I had experienced.
It’s brilliant story fools in the beginning with its apparent simplicity.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one.
There’s a beautiful princess locked away in a tower, and our hero must traverse an incredible world in order to save her.
But that’s where the simplicity ends and the typical “Bioshock” flavor enters with a fictional 1912 where a floating city called Columbia, touting American exceptionalism, has seceded from the country and has become a sort of ye olde death star.
It uses this base to build towards something truly insane and philosophically challenging.
Each new chapter in the “Bioshock” series acts as an examination and meditation of philosophical outlooks and scientific probabilities.
When playing this series the gamer is immediately confronted with a story that would be considered complex for a novel and a level of world making that staggers the senses. All the while, the player is tied to a satisfying and visceral first person shooter with shotguns and superpowers.
I can’t recall an experience quite like “Infinite.”
I had a blast shooting guys with a hand-crank machine gun while it waxed poetic on concepts of trans-dimensional travel and Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” played in the backround.
To try to go into further detail on this game or any in this series will be a lost cause and spoil the fun so I’ll simply close with this: Buy this game. Buy it and see what video games are capable of. A five out of five.