It shouldn’t be a hard sell, take one of the best games of this year and its smooth and fluid gameplay. Take the brilliantly crafted characters of Booker and Elizabeth and take them out of the city in the clouds, placing them lovingly back on not so solid ground under the sea in Rapture.
Going back to Rapture should be a wonderful thing shouldn’t it? When you emerge in Rapture during the course of Bioshock: Infinite it is full of wonderment, a place just aching to be re-explored and here it is on a silver platter, a Rapture realized a few months before its inevitable fall.
This is an alternate reality where Booker is a private investigator based in Rapture, he still has the notoriety of being the town drunk and is really still a hideous loser, in pops Elizabeth, a mysterious dame who stands there smoking pushing Booker into taking the case of finding a young girl he believes dead.
From there it is a series of fetch quests until you reach a sunken part of Rapture then its back to the basics, punch, shoot, skyhook and vigor your way in and around.
The ideas are all there and the attention to detail is staggering, there is lots to see and do but something feels… off. When in the active hustling, bustling Rapture streets it feels good, hearing people talk like they are infallible. Later though when in the sunken wreck of a part of Rapture that once was it reverts to the views of Bioshock 1 and 2 with very little of the high octane action of Bioshock: Infinite.
I can see very much what they were doing with the game and Ken Levine himself has said they have crafted an experience and not just a story, plus I understand they recreated Rapture on the new engine using no resources of the old game but there is a feeling missing.
When playing Bioshock: Infinite I was protective of Elizabeth, I wanted to help her and save her. I wanted Booker to be a better man, but here in Rapture I feel no connection to either of them. Elizabeth is stronger now and I respect that but the story feels disconnected.
The noire feel of the start had me intrigued enough to keep playing but when the action ramps up again I am already bored. I wish it could have been one of the two, a fast paced action setpiece or an exploration detective game. Either would have been miles above this mishmash of the two.
I really wanted more than some fetch quests and a few splicer battles, I see that there is possibly an interesting story there but just when it gets interesting it ends and with only a couple of hours having passed in real life I feel it could be a waste of money for anyone who either wants more of the same or a good look at a Rapture untouched by the addictive self destructive persons that the good people become.
At the price point of £11.99 it feels like too little for the price
I mean I loved walking around the active Rapture but when in the sunken remains I feel bored.
The second chapter is going to have Elizabeth as a playable character so lets hope there is more to that than this.
If only it had delivered on the promise of an investigative detective story instead of falling back into splicers and maniac territory.