BioShock InfiniteBioShock Infinite is a first-person shooter video game developed by Irrational Games, and published by 2K Games. Previously known as "Project Icarus" in development, it was released worldwide on the Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 platforms on March 26, 2013. BioShock Infinite is the third installment in the BioShock series, and though it is not part of the storyline of previous BioShock games, it does feature similar gameplay concepts and themes. The game's concept and setting were developed by Irrational's creative lead, Ken Levine, who took inspiration from both historical events at the turn of the 20th century, as well as more recent ones at the time such as the "Occupy" protests.
Set in 1912 during the growth of American exceptionalism, the game has protagonist, former Pinkerton agent Booker DeWitt, sent to the floating air-city of Columbia to find a young woman, Elizabeth, who has been held captive there for most of her life. Though Booker rescues Elizabeth, the two are pursued by the city's warring factions: the nativist and elite Founders that strive to keep the city for pure Americans, and the Vox Populi, rebels representing the common people. Booker finds Elizabeth to be central to this conflict, and learns that she possesses strange powers to manipulate rifts in the space-time continuum that ravage Columbia.
The player controls Booker throughout the game, eventually working with the AI-controlled Elizabeth. Like previous BioShock games, the player uses a combination of weapons, gear, and psychokinetic powers granted through vigors. Elizabeth's powers can also be used to help fight hostile forces. In contrast to the limited spaces of the underwater city of Rapture, the open-air city of Columbia provides for more combat challenges, including combat that takes place aboard the city's Skyline rollercoaster-like rail system. The game also features an optional "1999 Mode", harking back to games like System Shock 2 where decisions made by the player have a more permanent impact on the game.
BioShock Infinite won numerous pre-release awards for its display at E3 2011, including "Best of Show" from the Game Critics Awards. Upon release, the game received critical acclaim and was favorably compared to, with some even considering it had surpassed, the original BioShock game. The game's plot and visual aesthetics were particularly praised (with its ending sparking debates across internet forums), while the combat received a divided response with some praising its new additions and others criticizing its simplicity. Its themes of political and religious beliefs, and the use of excessive violent imagery have also raised controversy. Take Two has reported that over 3.7 million retail copies have shipped within the first two months of the game's release.
In 1912, Booker DeWitt is taken by the Lutece twins to an island lighthouse off the coast of Maine; the structure houses a rocket silo which transports Booker to Columbia, with the mission from Luteces to "bring us the girl and wipe away the debt".
Booker's presence in Columbia goes unnoticed until a citizen identifies the letters "AD" branded on Booker's hand, a sign of the False Shepherd that Comstock prophesied would corrupt Elizabeth and bring about Columbia's downfall. Now a wanted man, Booker fights his way to Monument Island where Elizabeth is held within a tower, discovering along the way a large device at its base called the Siphon. After freeing Elizabeth, Songbird attacks and destroys part of the statue, and Booker and Elizabeth narrowly escape with their lives. The pair work towards the aerodrome, planning on taking an airship to Paris, a city Elizabeth has always wanted to see. When Booker directs the ship to New York City with the intention of delivering Elizabeth, she knocks him out. He awakes to find the airship under the control of Daisy Fitzroy and the Vox Populi. Fitzroy offers to return the ship if Booker recovers a shipment of weapons from the slums of Columbia.
Booker rejoins with Elizabeth and they venture deeper into the city. While Elizabeth uses her ability to manipulate tears to aid their journey, she grows disturbed by the physiological and psychological consequences of manipulating reality on Booker and the other citizens of Columbia. One tear leads them to a world where Booker has become a martyr for the Vox Populi cause, leading to open warfare between the Vox Populi and Columbia's Founders. This universe's Fitzroy believes that this Booker undermines her Booker's sacrifice, threatening to weaken the Vox Populi cause, and so turns her forces against him. Elizabeth kills Fitzroy to prevent her from executing a Founder boy.
As they prepare to leave Columbia by airship, Songbird attacks and they crash back to Columbia. While continuing their search for escape, they begin to unravel a conspiracy behind the founding of the city. Comstock had taken Elizabeth as his adoptive daughter to groom her as the city's leader. He had the Lutece twins construct the Siphon to subdue her powers before plotting their murder along with that of his wife to conceal the truth, and blamed their deaths on the Vox Populi. Elizabeth is captured by Songbird and taken to Comstock's mansion. Booker follows but is drawn into the future by an elderly Elizabeth who has suffered decades of torture and brainwashing in Booker's absence; she has inherited Comstock's cause and wages war on the world below. She reveals that Songbird would always stop his rescue attempts in the past, and implores Booker to stop this future from coming to pass by offering him the means to control Songbird.
Booker returns to the present and rescues Elizabeth, and the pair pursue Comstock to his airship. Comstock demands that Booker explain Elizabeth's past to her, and why Elizabeth is missing a finger. Booker becomes enraged and drowns Comstock. Booker denies knowledge about Elizabeth's finger but she asserts that he knows, but does not remember. Booker decides to destroy the Siphon so Elizabeth can access her full power and learn the truth. With Songbird under their control, the pair fend off a Vox Populi attack, before ordering Songbird to destroy the Siphon. When the device Booker used to control Songbird is destroyed, it attempts to attack him. Elizabeth opens a tear, transporting the three of them to a Rapture; Booker and Elizabeth remain safe inside, but Songbird appears outside and is crushed by the immense pressure of the ocean.
Elizabeth takes Booker to this reality's surface and lighthouse. They travel through the building's door to a place outside space and time containing countless lighthouses and alternate versions of Booker and Elizabeth. Elizabeth explains that they are within one of an infinite number of possible realities both similar and drastically different due to choices that have been made. She shows that on October 8, 1893, Robert Lutece approached Booker on behalf of Comstock, requesting that he "give us the girl and wipe away the debt," referring to Booker's infant daughter, Anna DeWitt – Booker's "AD" branding. Booker reluctantly agreed to sell Anna but soon changed his mind. He arrived too late to stop Comstock escaping through a tear; the closing of which severed the child's finger. Comstock subsequently raised Anna as Elizabeth, his daughter. Due to the severed finger, Elizabeth exists in two realities at once, giving her the ability to open and create tears at will. Later, Robert, angry at Elizabeth's treatment and Comstock's betrayal, convinced Rosalind to help him bring Booker to the reality where Columbia exists to rescue Elizabeth.
Elizabeth explains that whatever actions Booker makes against Comstock, Comstock will still remain alive in at least one of these universes; the Luteces have tried to enlist a Booker from different universes numerous times to end the cycle. The only way to break the circle is to prevent Comstock from being born in the first place. Elizabeth transports Booker to the place he went to be baptized and cleansed of his sins after his actions at the Battle of Wounded Knee. Booker avoided baptism at the last moment, while in another universe he took the baptism, found religion, and became Comstock. Comstock, aware of his identity to Booker, engineered Anna's abduction to provide him with a blood-related heir for Columbia, as he had become sterile from exposure to the Luteces' technology. Booker and Elizabeth are joined by alternate versions of Elizabeth from other universes. Booker allows them to drown him, preventing his baptismal choice from ever being made and thus stopping Comstock from ever existing. One by one, the Elizabeths begin to disappear, the screen cutting to black on the original.
In a post-credits scene, a Booker awakens in his apartment on October 8, 1893. He calls out for Anna and opens the door to her room before the screen fades to black.
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