BioShock Infinite had some of the highest highs of anything I played this year, and has some of the most memorable moments of any game I played this year. Sadly, these peaks are found in between some increasingly low lows, and they constantly detract from how incredible the rest of the game is.
I love the world of BioShock Infinite; Colombia is one of the most beautiful places I’ve visited in a game this year. I could have stayed there longer than I did, soaking in the atmosphere, running around with interesting characters and seeing incredible setpieces. There is so much environmental storytelling and world building in every corner, and I loved staring at each little detail the game offered me. But that’s not what I spent most of the game doing.
For as much as I loved parts of Infinite, I found several hours of it to be insufferable. Shooting isn’t the game’s strong suit, and that’s the majority of how you’re forced interact with the game. Infinite never maintains the satisfaction and surprise I found while playing the original BioShock, and I kept wanting to enjoy the gunplay until the credits rolled. I found a few sequences so awful to play that I was ready to turn the game off and not come back. But I always did, because everything else about it was just so good, and that’s what I find so heartbreaking about Irrational’s latest attempted masterpiece.
BioShock Infinite is worth playing for how amazing the best parts of it are. If the combat had worked more for me, I could have called it one of the greatest games ever made. But even with it’s flaws, and even as I dread ever playing through those combat sequences again, I still found it to be one of the most profound narrative experiences of 2013.
In Honorable Mentions, the best games of the year that didn’t make the top ten are given their moment in the spotlight. While they might not be among HippoChippies’ ten best games this year, they were very, very close to making it there. This year, it came down to a list of 19 games that was trimmed into the Game of the Year list. This is one of the nine that almost made it.