Columbia is going to be a rather dangerous place when you set foot in it this week with BioShock Infinite, the long awaited follow-up to the underwater epic that Irrational Games created years ago. This time you're up in the sky, fending off against mechanical madmen and other dangerous foes while trying to escape with a mysterious girl named Elizabeth. That's just the least of your worries once the Songbird, a giant mechanical creature, shows up to take her back.
So you're going to need firepower, and lots of it at that. Fortunately, along with being able to generate super powers via Vigors, you'll also be able to get your hands on some really cool weaponry over the course of the game. Some of them will be a short in supply when it comes to ammunition, but the effect they'll leave on your foes – especially once you mix the Vigors in – is immeasurable.
Here now is a small but handy weapons guide letting you know what kind of items you'll have for shifting the tide in your favor. It may not always be an easy task, but if you aim true and stay in the fight, you may just get out of Columbia alive... maybe.
This is going to be your most basic primary tool in the game, and it'll serve its purpose throughout your journey. The Sky-Hook has two distinct utilities, the first is helping you get around with the rail lines that are scattered throughout Columbia – they'll be just what you need when you need to get somewhere in a hurry. The second is being able to use it as a melee weapon, whether you're shredding someone's face with the three rotating scoops or shoving someone off a platform at a vicious speed. Regardless, make sure you have this on hand for close encounters, but don't rely on it too much when it comes to facing an army.
Like BioShock's Launcher weapon, the Barnstormer isn't exactly overflowing with ammo – you only get three shots at best – but against bigger enemies and warships, it'll be your best friend. The Barnstormer fires rockets that are capable of bringing down bigger targets with ease, and is also custom fitted with a scope so you can aim at something long-range like a zeppelin poseing a threat as it comes closer to port. You won't find too many of these in the city, so when you get one keep it handy.
If you're the type of person who enjoys sniping, the Bird's Eye is the weapon for you. Though it sucks when it comes to close range combat, it's an efficient weapon with flawless long-range accuracy, as well as the ability to zoom if you need to take a precision shot. If you hit a human in the right place – even a heavily armed one – you can take them down with just one shot. Just be advised that it uses bolt-action, which means you'll be delayed between shots.
A typical semi-automatic pistol, this one is carried by most civilians throughout Columbia. Though it's limited when it comes to firing at long-range targets, it is quite sufficient for close-range combat with 18 rounds in the magazine and a decent aiming set-up.
China Broom/Vox Heater
If you like shotguns – or just have a thing for old-fashioned blunderbusses – the China Broom is right up your alley. This gun can hit multiple targets in close range with just the right shot and also packs a punch against those with stronger armor. However, it's slow to reload, so if Booker DeWitt misses he may leave himself in a bad spot when it comes to facing off against an adversary. Aim tight and fire away.
A semi-automatic rifle that seems to be the best average weapon on hand, this one has a solid rate of fire when it comes to firing at several enemies as well as better ammunition capacity so you don't have to worry as much about reloads. However, it's got a shorter range than most weapons and also isn't as accurate as the rest of the bunch. Use it when you're surrounded.
This is one of those limited weapons that you won't be able to get your hands on until you take down the Motorized Patriot that's in possession of it. Once you bring them down it's a major advantage, as this revolver is capable of decapitating or dismembering an enemy with a single bullet fired in the right spot. Ammunition is very limited, so use this one wisely.
Another weapon that you won't be able to acquire until you bring down the Motorized Patriot possessing it, the Pepper-Mill is ideal when it comes to firing on large groups of enemies with its automatic firing mechanism and better-than-usual bullet capacity. Just make sure you use it only when necessary - better to have it and not need it than the other way around.
Triple R/Vox Repeater
Another great automatic weapon that you'll want to get your hands on, the Triple R/Vox Repeater is capable of holding 45 rounds in a magazine, so you have plenty of ammo when the situation calls for it. It can do fairly moderate damage to targets and is good for skirmish battles with larger enemies when you don't have a China Broom handy. The iron sight aiming helps too.
Finally, this high powered grenade launcher is going to be great for taking on groups of enemies. Its short range makes it hard to shoot when you're on the run, but when the opportunity is right, it's pretty cool to see its explosive effects at work.
There are many other weapons scattered throughout the game, and some of their effects with the vigor capabilities are quite devastating. But we'll cover that in a future strategy article to give you the most out of your visit to Columbia.
BioShock Infinite is available now for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.