It has been roughly five years since the original BioShock was released and the studio behind it (Irrational Games) has been working on BioShock Infinite for about the same amount of time. So it is safe to say that expectations at the arrival of this game have been at an all time high, despite the fact that the sequel to the original game was slightly lackluster.
As expected, the opening of BioShock Infinite is borderline superb, the slow build up to the reveal of the fabled floating city, Columbia, is amongst the best in gaming history. And yes, you can draw parallels to the original BioShock, but this does not take away the feeling of awe when peering out of a small porthole of the vessel that launches you skyward, which then mysteriously guides you through the city in the clouds. During this sequence you catch glimpses of places you want to see more of, and of course you will do as you progress through the narrative.
BioShock Infinite is definitely visually pleasing, and the graphics are further emphasized by the decade appropriate art-style. Everything looks pristine; city dwellers look happy, and the whole environment conjures up an almost heavenly setting. The world that Irrational Games has created is so detailed, you just want to look everywhere and really try and absorb it all.
However, with all this calm and serenity, you the player, and the main protagonist Booker DeWitt know that something is amiss, and have reservations about the place and its leader. Perhaps the developer is trying to say that this is an idyllic city in the clouds, or are they saying the leader Comstock is the "prophet" of a religious cult and their ways of life are "Up in the clouds"? This latter feeling is what came across to me in spades. I found that these metaphors and objects of symbolism are littered throughout BioShock Infinite, and I will try to touch on some more of them in this review. A rare thing to say in a game review.