BioShock Infinite: the Digital Foundry verdict
"What we love most about BioShock Infinite is the way in which technology and game design come together to deliver a unique experience."
Despite our concerns with performance on console, Irrational Games still manages to deliver an engrossing experience across all formats, where the core experience is so strong that the game is an essential purchase no matter which platform you own. The extra clarity afforded by the PC version better represents the stylised artwork on offer, while smoother frame-rates certainly make the combat sequences so much more enjoyable to play, with more responsive controls delivering an extra dimension of precision needed in fast-paced shoot-outs. If you have the hardware capable of running the game smoothly, the PC version is the game to buy.
However, the console releases are still outstanding releases that come highly recommended. The shooting isn't as much fun when frame-rates are crashing down but most of the other elements that help make BioShock Infinite such an accomplished release are fully in effect. The more responsive PS3 game gets the nod for delivering a more consistent, flowing gameplay experience. The addition of tearing isn't particularly attractive, but the extra controller response is preferable during intense combat scenes. Alternatively, those especially susceptible to screen-tear may prefer the 360 version, despite it featuring heavier dips in performance in more demanding scenes.
Overall, BioShock Infinite is certainly one of the most entertaining games we've played in a long, long while. At its core, the power/weapon-based combat is similar to previous games in the series, but what sets this sequel apart is how all the different elements come together coherently to form a compelling, irresistible experience, where Elizabeth takes centre stage. Impressive AI and animation are combined with excellent dialogue and delivery that help to give her real character throughout the whole adventure, even if some of the gameplay mechanics surrounding her are a little underused. What we love most about BioShock Infinite is the way in which technology and game design come together to deliver a unique experience. With this philosophy in mind, we're excited by the possibilities next-gen platforms represent to a developer like Irrational. Let's hope we don't need to wait another five years to see its next game...