Bioshock Infinite is definitely a contender for 2013 game of the year. So what are the best moments in Bioschock Infinite? As the series return to its original creator’s hands, we expected some of the same intense, unforgettable moments of the original Bioshock. Ken Levine did a fantastic job of creating a new world all while keeping similar themes and emotions of the original Bioshock we loved. Here is our list of the top 10 best moments of Bioshock Infinite!
Best Bioshock Infinite Moments #10
Calm Before the Storm
After the baptism, we find ourselves waking up in a garden with three gigantic statues of Franklin, Jefferson and Washington respectively overlooking the pond where we are lying. The striking colors and bright lighting gives the world a vibrant feeling, a complete contrast from the dreary settings of the other Bioshock titles. Walking through the garden, the level of attention to detail in the game is astounding, from the robed monks praying among the trees, to the hummingbirds nestling among the flowery shrubs.
Venturing on, we reach the heart of the city which is bustling with activity. There are tons of things to discover here, from the gossiping of the townspeople to the flying platform containing a barbershop quartet singing “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys, the game gives the impression of a living breathing world.
At this point we have been playing the game for almost an hour and haven’t even drawn a gun yet, but the world is so immersive that honestly we don’t even care. Experiencing this utopian paradise before all hell breaks loose is one of the best parts of the game, and frankly we wish we had more to explore.
Best Bioshock Infinite Moments #9
Church of Comstock
The shuttle eventually lands and continues to descend into a building. During this descent, various signs flash past giving us an inkling of the theocratic nature of Columbia. Finally the shuttle stops and Booker disembarks, while a soft hymnal version of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” continues to play in the background, and finds himself inside a church, that is flooded knee-deep in water with flower petals and candles floating upon it. As we wander through the church we cannot help but be awed by the ornate stained glass windows and giant statues that complete this scene of ostentatious piety. The music too complements this atmosphere so well that I found myself pausing for a moment just to listen to the haunting melody. Moving on, we get the opportunity to listen to an impassioned preacher who baptizes us before we are permitted to enter Columbia.
Best Bioshock Infinite Moments #8
Fair and Raffle
As we continue on, we end up at a fair, complete with stalls containing wonders such as the Handyman prototype and Vigor potions which all serve to reinforce the steampunk feeling of the game. Even so, the overtones of religious totalitarianism that permeate throughout the game are present here as well, most notably in the Dimwit and Duke plays.
Up to this point, Columbia appears to be a veritable Garden of Eden. Although there were signs that all is not right in this perfect society, it is at the raffle that the facade is shattered and the dark shadows of racism and oppression are revealed. The curtain lifts to display a inter-racial couple tied to stakes to be punished for the great crime of loving one another. At this point Booker, as the winner of the raffle is given the opportunity to throw a baseball at them or at the announcer, as per his whim. Either way the scene ends with Booker fighting the guards.
Best Bioshock Infinite Moments #7
First Glimpse of Columbia
The Bioshock games thus far tended to specialize dark and gloomy landscapes, such as the sunken city of Rapture. During the opening moments of the game, Bioshock Infinite too seems to fit into this mold with the boat ride to the lighthouse through the torrential rain.
However our first glimpse of Columbia blows up this illusion sky-high. As Booker is strapped to a chair inside the lighthouse which rockets off into the heavens, we hear a mechanical female voice state the magnitude of his ascent, “Five thousand feet. Ten thousand feet. Fifteen thousand feet.” ending with a monotone “Hallelujah”. As Booker looks out of the window, his exclamation of surprise mirrors our own, as we witness the magnificence that is the floating city of Columbia, amidst a soft piano interlude that perfectly sets the mood for this vista. The zeppelin lazily flying in the distance was a masterstroke, evoking memories of the whale swimming past the player as he first enters Rapture in the first Bioshock game. The beauty of this scene surpassed anything we had seen in a video game so far, and we were barely playing for five minutes. This is when you know you’re in for one hell of a ride.
Best Bioshock Infinite Moments #6
At a certain juncture, Booker and Elizabeth end up wandering through a shantytown. The signs of poverty and destitution is everywhere. The streets are littered with sick and dying people. Entering a bar, we find a group of laborers drowning their sorrows in strong spirits. As we head into the basement of the establishment, we find a guitar lying on a chair in a corner. Elizabeth appears to notice it and mentions that she wishes she knew how to play it. At this point we can interact with the guitar, upon which Booker picks up the guitar and plays along as Elizabeth proceeds to sing a few lines of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken”. This scene echoes of beauty amidst the chaos, and provides an contrast to the death and destruction found just outside.
Best Bioshock Infinite Moments #5
As the game moves on, we encounter Daisy Fitzroy, the firebrand leader of the Vox Populi, who in the latter part of the game holds a child hostage behind a glass wall, forcing Elizabeth to sneak up behind her, while Booker creates a distraction. This situation ends with Elizabeth stabbing Daisy in the back. Overcome with grief at her actions, Elizabeth locks herself in a room in the airship for some time, before finally emerging dressed in the clothing of her mother, signifying her rite of passage from innocent girl to confident woman. In addition, she has cut her hair short as a symbol of the passing of the shy and naive Elizabeth. From here on, it is this new headstrong and hardened young woman who strides alongside Booker on his journey.
Best Bioshock Infinite Moments #4
Anna, A Second Chance?
After the credits end, we find ourselves back in Booker’s apartment. A quick look at the calendar shows a date somewhere in the 1800s, long before Booker met Elizabeth. Booker calls out Anna’s name, as the soft tones of a lullaby drift in from the neighboring room. As we open the door, the lullaby gets louder. As Anna’s crib turns into view, the screen fades into darkness and the song ends, leaving the significance of the scene to the player’s interpretation.
Best Bioshock Infinite Moments #3
Escaping the Tower
Booker finally reaches Monument Island and manages to make it to the tower where Elizabeth is held. Soon after meeting, Elizabeth panics as she hears the tone signaling the approach of Songbird, Elizabeth’s monstrous guardian. The duo rush to the rooftop amidst nerve-pounding music and Booker hooks onto a skyline and zips away, with Elizabeth in tow, just as Songbird swoops in. As the pair speed away, the music raises to a crescendo, while Songbird reduces the tower to ruins in his rage. In this scene, the music is the star of the show, with the musical backdrop serving to instill the sense of urgency and danger that the scene would fall flat without.
Best Bioshock Infinite Moments #2
The Final Baptism
In the end we once again return to where it all began. Booker stands before a preacher and a crowd of devotees in a shallow creek in the midst of a beautiful country landscape. Even though the location is different, it is still eerily reminiscent of the baptism in the beginning of the game as Booker entered Columbia for the first time. The crowd is humming “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” and even the preacher appears to be the same one.
This serene atmosphere and hauntingly beautiful musical score adds to the sense of tragedy as Booker is drowned by the different incarnations of Elizabeth in this exact place where Booker becomes Comstock, and yet there is a sense of peace and finality as well, when all the versions of Elizabeth one by one fade away, marking the end of a story that will linger in your mind forever.
Best Bioshock Infinite Moments #1
The Songbird’s Last Song
Aboard the Hand of the Prophet, Comstock’s airship, Elizabeth figures out how to control Songbird using a device called the Whistler, and Booker and Elizabeth use him to repel an attack on the ship by the Vox Populi and then destroy the Siphon which was inhibiting her power, along with the tower housing it.
The Bioshock Infinite Songbird was designed to act as a jealous boyfriend as the director stated in an interview. The Bioshock song bird was Elizabeth’s protector, prison, and friend for most of her life. This bittersweet and destructive relationship between Elizabeth and the Bioschock song bird comes to a final climax near the end of the game where all truths are revealed.
The destruction of the tower however causes a large electrical storm which disables the Whistler. Free of her control, the enraged Songbird doubles back in an attempt to retrieve Elizabeth. Free from the shackles of the Siphon, Elizabeth displays the true extent of her power and teleports the two of them inside Rapture while trapping Songbird outside in the water. Crushed by the pressure of the water, Songbird finally accepts his fate and holds its hand through the glass against Elizabeth’s as she comforts it in its final moments.
A huge honorable mention has to be the Boys of Silence scare scene which we honestly didn’t know where to add in. It was extremely shocking and memorable, but we decided to leave it off the list as it didn’t play a major role in the story or character development. As we look forward to the new Bioschock DLC “Burial at Sea”, we have high hopes that a return to a pre-ruin rapture will bring more unforgettable moments to the Bioshock series.
I hope you are happy today.