While we’re not quite finished with our BioShock: Infinite review yet, we figured that we’d bring you a few impressions of the title’s PlayStation Move controls to tide you over while you wait. Sony made a big deal out of the support during its E3 press conference in 2011, hauling creative director Ken Levine on-stage to confirm the feature. But given the platform holder’s silence in recent weeks, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the option hadn’t made the final cut. Thankfully, we can confirm that the peripheral is definitely still compatible with the hotly anticipated first-person adventure – but does it offer a viable way of playing the game?
Quite simply, the answer’s yes. The implementation is not too dissimilar to other PlayStation 3 first-person shooters such as Killzone 3, with the Move device working as a pointer in conjunction with the Navigation controller or DualShock 3. The game automatically detects whether you want to use the wand, and asks you to complete a short calibration sequence in which you point at two targets on the screen. From there you’ll need to pair the device with your chosen secondary handset, and then you’re pretty much ready to go.
Using the Move does shuffle the game’s button prompts around a bit, so it will take some getting used to if you’re already accustomed to playing the title with the DualShock 3. Fortunately, the in-game button prompts adapt to whichever device you’re using, making the adjustment feel as seamless as possible. The majority of the inputs are remapped to the motion wand’s face buttons, but, like many other Move games, you do have to thrust the device forward in order to launch a melee attack. This works reasonably well, but it can cause the camera to spin around if you swing too hard. As such, it’s best to flick the device, rather than actually thrust it.
There are several control presets available, spanning Casual, Standard, and Expert. Each setting adapts the dead zone and turning speed slightly, as well as the level of auto aim. When you’re moving the pointer around the screen, it will automatically attach to points of interest if you’re using the easier modes. The aforementioned Expert option turns this off entirely, creating a sterner challenge. We actually found that we preferred the Casual mode the best; while purists may find this option a bit easy, we didn’t feel that it detracted from the gameplay. Regardless of which option you select, though, manually lining up your shots up with the Move feels very satisfying.
If you don’t find any of the presets appealing, there’s also a custom option, which allows you to tweak the game’s dead zone, sensitivity, turning speed, and auto aim to your own personal preferences. Fiddling about with these settings will allow you to happen upon a solution that suits your playstyle, but it will depend on your tolerance for messing around in menu screens rather than actually playing. If you haven’t got much patience, then you’re probably better off sticking with one of the presets, or simply using the DualShock 3.
During our time with the Move, we didn’t notice any instances of input lag or cursor drift. In fact, we played with the motion controls for just under two hours, and didn’t have to recalibrate once. Assuming you maintain a fairly static sitting position, you shouldn’t have too many issues in this department.
The only real downside is that the game doesn’t make more use of the motion controls. Simple gestures such as pulling levers could have easily taken advantage of the peripheral’s technology, but they’re assigned to button presses just like on the DualShock 3. The device’s tracking orb also stays the same colour at all times, which is a shame as it could have been used to give feedback on whichever Vigor (or Plasmid) you currently have selected.
However, these niggles aside, the game plays fine on the Move. The implementation is unspectacular yet perfectly functional, and if you’ve enjoyed playing other first-person shooters with the device, then you’ll feel right at home here. Regardless of how you opt to control it, though, the real draw is Columbia itself. We’re not quite at the end of BioShock: Infinite yet, but we’re confident saying that it’s one of the strongest PS3 titles in some time. You’re not going to want to miss out on this one.
Do you intend to play BioShock: Infinite with the PlayStation Move? Do you wish that more games would support the peripheral? Let us know in the comments section and poll below.
Do you intend to play BioShock: Infinite with motion controls? (24 votes)
Yes, I prefer playing first-person shooters with the Move
I'll probably use a mix of the DualShock 3 and Move
No, I'm sticking with the tried and tested DualShock 3
Please login to vote in this poll.