Review: ‘BioShock: Infinite’ takes gamers to an American nightmare – 03/30/2013

Official_cover_art_for_Bioshock_InfiniteWhen “BioShock” was first released in 2007, it was hailed as a crowning achievement for its creative game play and thought provoking story. Also admires of Ayn Rand finally had an easier way of explaining the philosophy of Objectivism.

Six years later, BioShock: Infinite continues the series while truly having outdone its predecessors.

Set in 1912; players take on the role of Booker DeWitt, a former Pinkerton who is indebted to the wrong people. He has been given a second chance by mysterious benefactor who hires him to infiltrate the flying-city of Columbia and rescue a young women named Elizabeth. Upon his arrival to Colombia, DeWitt gets mixed up in a long waged civil war that pits the Founders (an ultra-nationalist faction) against the Vox Populi (a communist-anarchist faction).

Anyone familiar to the BioShock-series would feel comfortable with a game-play that mixes a first person shooter with elements of a role playing game. Player will have to acquire different weapons and abilities (using Vigors) as they fight a diverse gallery of enemies.

However the game play is only a tip of the iceberg as what makes BioShock: Infinite a unique game is the story and the rich literary content.

The setting for BioShock: Infinite has shifted from the Objectivism themed dystopia of Rapture for a nightmare based on the values of American exceptionalism. However gamers have returned to world built around an idea that is now bring its downfall.

Columbia is a stempunk world based on the American dream turned into a nightmare. The ultra-nationalist propaganda that decorate the world tells the story of a city built on American values until its secession over ideological differences. Leading this nightmare is Zachary Comstock, a self-proclaimed prophet and religious zealot, whose followers are whiling to do what is needed to preserver their “American way of life”.

As with the previous game, Colombia is world torn by war over radical interpretations of an ideology. This ideological war was inspired by the political bickering that has plagued our government. The war between the Founder against the Vox Populi was heavily based on the ideological battle between the Tea Party against the Occupy-moment along with political bitterness that has boiled down into petty feuds that are fought only out of hate.

No story is ever complete without a hero and BioShock: Infinite may have given us a protagonist more troubled by his past than Max Payne. Booker DeWitt is a troubled soul haunted by his actions during the Wounded Knee Massacre while having hit a low point in his life after being discharged from the Pinkerton Detective Agency. Top it all off with a history of alcoholism and gambling makes an odyssey into the American nightmare the perfect test for redemption.

With a well crafted story and a well developed game play, BioShock: Infinite is not just a well crafted work of art but it may be one of the best games of the year. It’s available now for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and the PC while Mac users could expect a Summer 2013 release.

Final Score: 5/5

Written for Digital Journal
03/30/2013
Original Article: Review: ‘BioShock: Infinite’ takes gamers to an American nightmare

Review: ‘Resident Evil 6’ for the PC is failure with a new coat of paint – 3/25/2013

Resident Evil 62012 was not a good year for the “Resident Evil”-series, so it comes as a big surprise when Capcom decided to port “Resident Evil 6” to the PC in hopes of a different result.

Set in a world were terrorists using the T-Virus has become common, Resident Evil 6 has gamers taken on the role of Chris Redfield, Leon Kennedy, and Jake Muller (Albert Wesker illegitimate son) as they each try to prevent a global catastrophe.

Already its hard to read the plot synopsis with a straight face (terrorists using zombie virus is very laughable). However a laughable plot is not the only problem this game suffers from.

Let’s start with the most obvious problem; the game is not scary. Resident Evil 6 has a fear factor that is the equivalent to a Twilight-film. Gaming has changed a lot since 1996 but rather than taking advantage of the available resources, Capcom aimed instead for a Call of Duty-style game with zombies.

In an attempt to attract the same ADHD diagnosed audience that is attracted to Modern Warfare; Capcom (like so many publishers trying to attract the casual gamer market) has angered traditional Resident Evil fans.

The only thing that Resident Evil 6 for the PC has achieved is annoyed Resident Evil fans who prefer PC over the console. Overall you can paint over a pile of crap but in the end its still going to be a pile of crap.

Hopefully Capcom learns from this failure and makes an attempt to reboot the game back to its roots of terror.

Final Score: 2/5

Written for Digital Journal 
3/25/2012
Original Article: Review: ‘Resident Evil 6’ for the PC is failure with a new coat of paint