Irrational Games' BioShock Infinite finally releases this week and it seems as if the wait was worth it.
In our BioShock Infinite review we said the game's "sky-high with character, conspiracy, controversy and chaos".
Although we said it doesn't innovate as much as we'd expected, we think it's still a "great all-round" game with "razor-sharp shooting".
Critics from all corners of the internet have now started to deliver their verdicts and we've rounded them up for your consideration. Below you'll find links to reviews, along with scores and brief excerpts.
- CVG: 9.1 - Sky-high with character, conspiracy, controversy and chaos. A great all-round shooter, even if it doesn't innovate as much as expected.
- OXM UK: 9 - As frustrating as that is, we can't wait for the public discussion to begin around Infinite's story and conclusion. If the game misses its full potential, that's as much a testament to the ambition behind it. And let's not forget that the impeccable dialogue, art, sound, acting and cast of characters. With BioShock Infinite, Irrational feels like it's leaving all of Bioshock behind. Hopefully that's not true: we're not quite finished here, yet.
- Destructoid: 10/10 - As a game, BioShock Infinite has its successes and its falterings consistent with any suitably complex piece of interactive entertainment. As a story, as an exercise in drawing the player into a believable and relevant world, as proof of exactly what a videogame can mean to a person ... Well, I already said it. BioShock Infinite is damn near perfect.
- Edge: 9 - BioShock Infinite is a sequel, in short - more so than BioShock 2. Irrational has made a game in thematic dialogue with its predecessor, with the same interests but different tastes, and one that expands mechanically and technically on what came before. And it's given us a city in the sky that reflects upon the one beneath the waves.
- OPM UK: 10 - Bioshock Infinite serves as a reminder why. For it's not polygon counts or real-time light-source manipulation we actually long for, but moments like this. Moments when incredible art design means a game will look beautiful a decade later. Moments when characters and their relationships are so well realised that we actually start to care. And moments when a story is so well-spun and high-flown it leaves you reeling at its conclusion. If Half-Life and the original Deus Ex stand as the apotheosis of the narrative-driven shooter, and Bioshock brought the genre to PS3, then Infinite is the latest game to join these hallowed ranks. This is a masterpiece that will be discussed for years to come, and praise doesn't come much higher than that.
- Eurogamer: 10/10 - What a ride
- Joystiq: 5/5 - While the end of 2013 will be filled with talk about a new generation of video games, BioShock Infinite's narrative will stand out as an achievement, helping put a cap on a generation that propelled narrative as a focus for the industry. Undoubtedly the finest game crafted by Irrational Games, BioShock Infinite is one of the best told stories of this generation. It simply cannot be missed.
- PC Gamer: 91 - Slightly muddled, but it's a muddle of beautiful scenes and spectacular combat set in a breathtaking place.
- RockPaperShotgun: No score - Infinite's a triumph in terms of fantasy-architecture spectacle and bringing superb flexibility to the modern rollercoaster shooter, but in other respects it's a step down from the player agency and even the singular aesthetic of BioShock. Not that it needs to, as it is most certainly a game in its own right rather than mere offspring, but I'm not convinced it will live quite as long in our collective memory.
- God is a Geek: 9 - A beautiful example of single player gaming being King, there are no distractions apart from the ones inside the game itself, and as you use your sky hook to move around with breathtaking abandon, you'll wish every game could be this thought-provoking, because like the very best games out there, BioShock Infinite stays with the player long after the credits have rolled. You'll be dissecting this one for months to come. Bravo, Irrational Games. Bravo.
- ShopTo: No score - It has to be said that thanks to the brilliant storytelling, the outstanding performance of the cast and the simply wonderful design, Bioshock Infinite is a must play title. It may not be perfect, however every second you spend in clouds of Columbia will be time well spent.
- ShackNews: No score - This journey was an incredibly gorgeous ride with a partner that was as interesting as she was complex. Irrational's ambitious take on a new dystopian society does its predecessors proud, with Comstock and Fitzroy worthy of sharing their place of enmity with the likes of Andrew Ryan, Frank Fontaine and Sofia Lamb.
- VideoGamer: 8/10 - BioShock Infinite might just be one of the most compelling games of this generation. For all its flaws, it has an odd power, an insistence that players find out how the story concludes, and even then the Vox phones dotted around are worth going back for (Preston, Comstock's ally, in particular). A sense of dread and unease that will linger unless solved, especially where the Lutece family and their sheer oddity is concerned. Elizabeth's strength drives the story, and her insistent search for the truth nicely counterparts Booker's shady past.
- IGN: 9.4 - In total, BioShock Infinite is a brilliant shooter that nudges the entire genre forward with innovations in both storytelling and gameplay. It trips over itself in a couple of spots, but not in any way that should keep you from embracing it with your utmost enthusiasm.
- Polygon 10/10 - I'm still thinking about BioShock Infinite now, days after finishing. Irrational built a believable, fantastic world rooted in dark pieces of American history. But for everything it has to say, for all the questions it asks -many of which have no easy answers - BioShock Infinite's big thoughts and complicated narrative don't obscure the brilliant action game that carries those messages through. It's hard to know if Infinite will prove to be another major point of artistic discussion and development of the medium the way that BioShock was. But in every way, BioShock Infinite lives up to the promise of its legacy, and it looks poised to establish a new one.
- GamesRadar: 5/5 - Incredibly, BioShock Infinite delivers on your years' worth of expectations, then exceeds them. Regardless of your affinity for the FPS genre, Infinite deserves your attention, and it's the kind of landmark experience that happens only a few times in a gaming generation. Even after the game is over, Elizabeth--and Columbia--will stay with you.
- GameInformer: 10 - Infinite is more than a new setting, story, and characters; those elements are seamlessly integrated with complex themes, a mysterious plot, and entertaining combat to create an amazing experience from beginning to end. Familiar threads run through it - a lighthouse, a strange city, a charismatic antagonist - but they are homages to the past rather than attempts to recycle it. The core of Infinite is unlike anything else on land, sea, or air.
- Digital Spy: 5/5 - While it was a risk to move away from the depths of Rapture and into the clouds of Columbia, Irrational Games has once again crafted a dazzling new world, which succeeds in taking the franchise to stunning new heights.
- GameTrailers: 9.4 - BioShock Infinite is both art-house and grindhouse, managing to offer something for everyone. There's drama, philosophy, and shocking violence, then there's combat, abilities, and gear -- there's even numerically quantified damage for the stat-obsessed. It's enhanced by thoughtful plotting and great characters and wrapped up in a beautiful world and calamitous physics. Heady and bloody, it's a tesseract worth tackling, and even if you can see its seams from time to time, its ambition cannot be denied. Suspend your disbelief, and you can soar to the sky.
- GameSpot: 9.0 - As the story circles back on itself, you're left wondering whether redemption cleanses us of our atrocities, or simply invites us to commit greater ones. Once the finale comes, you will want to play again, watching each event and image through the lens of information you can never un-know. BioShock Infinite is more than just a quality game: it's an important one.