BioShock Infinite Mac Review

by | Sep 17, 2013 | Shooter

BioShock Infinite is a monument to gaming and the fact it reached the Mac only 6 months after the PC release is something to be extremely satisfied with (Mac gaming had a lot of catching up to do).

Developed by Irrational Games, Infinite was originally released on PC and consoles in March 2013. Aspyr was the one in charge of the Mac version, which was released on August 29th. I’m not going to tell you those months were easy, especially as Aspyr didn’t give much information in-between, but given the result, the wait was definitely worthwhile. But the real question is not whether BioShock Infinite is a good game or not (scoring a 94 Metascore, it will be without a doubt one of the best games of the year) but: How good is the Mac version? Should you buy it?

Short answer? There’s a reason why I consider it one of the best 10 FPS games for Mac.

This game is unfortunately no longer supported on macOS and cannot run on 64-bit systems. For more news about BioShock Infinite, you can check out this gaming forum.

Enter BioShock Infinite

To be perfectly honest with you, I wanted to play BioShock Infinite on Mac really bad. I was obsessed with getting my hands on it the moment Aspyr announced it earlier this year. I even decided not to play it on any other platform so I could experience it for the first time on macOS.

With such high expectations, my first moments with the game were somewhat disappointing. I kept thinking “this is a good game but come on, what’s the fuzz all about?“. Boy, I was wrong… For every hour I kept playing, I liked the game more and more, until I got through the ending and just had to sit down and absorb everything that just had happened. The story is really that good. I will not get into the details to keep this review spoiler-free, but this game is a hell of a ride.

The Gameplay itself is top-notch too. This is an action-packed First-Person shooter with lots of guns and explosions but before you tell me you don’t need another Call of Duty, rest assured, BioShock Infinite is a different beast. Like its predecessors, this game is authentic and unique. There are no grenades, fancy thermal weapons nor airstrikes. It only has a handful of different guns. Basic, yet full of personality (like a killer sniper rifle, a powerful shotgun or a kickass RPG).

The game changer here is the array of supernatural powers you will have at your disposal, called Vigors. There are many and will let you “possess” enemy units and make them friendly, absorb bullets, throw angry crows at people and more. Mixing them with guns is a lot of fun and helps the game stand out from the growing First-Person Shooters crowd. This combination of simple yet powerful guns and Vigors made me feel the same way the first BioShock did, and that’s a good thing.

The overall mechanics are polished and solid. The game will do what you ask it to do, making it the more satisfying when you mow down several bad guys with a sniper rifle on low-ammunitions and a small pistol. Some sequences did feel a little too crazy for me at times. To realize I could soak up that much damage without dying cheapened the experience once or twice during my play-time. This is only a small issue but is worth mentioning it.

BioShock Infinite Burial at Sea Mac

Besides shooting people, you will get to explore one of the most fascinating cities I have ever seen in a video-game. Columbia is full of personality and authenticity, which combined create a strong atmosphere. Did I mention Columbia is a flying city? Well, it is, and you will have to use rails to go from flying island to flying island, making the whole experience even more unique. The rail mechanics work well and give you more options when facing bad guys.

All of the above would be enough to make a great game but Infinite goes above and beyond and introduces one of the most memorable Non-Playable Characters ever: Elizabeth. Elizabeth is the charming young woman you will have to save. She looks great, with lots of details giving her an identity of her own.

More than that, her facial expressions are so damn good they make her a human, believable character that you will care for. She is also one of the first NPCs ever that didn’t annoy me at some point. She will not get stuck against a wall or just stand there blocking your way. On the contrary, she will help you (handing you valuable health packs, ammo and more), challenge you and really drive the whole story up to that magnificent climax at the end.


There’s so much to say about BioShock Infinite’s graphics.  They are no breakthrough by any means but still manage to impress. The art-style and attention to detail go very far and help create one of the most beautiful cities ever seen in a video-game. Columbia is so beautiful that I promise you, more than once you will have to just stop and absorb the magnificent vistas it has to offer.

BioShock Infinite Burial at Sea Mac

Everything in this game screams high production value, including the characters. The bad guys around you are well detailed and are easily distinguishable, even from afar. Elizabeth, however, is in another ballpark. Her facial expressions are spot on and make her human and vulnerable. She will definitely be one of the most memorable parts of the game.

The music and sound effects are high quality too and enhance the overall experience. You would be surprised how strong the effect of that stressful combat-music is.

Into first-person shooters? These are our favorites:

Game★ Best OverallBest for MacBookBest Value
GenreCo-opCompetitiveBattle Royale
Release date201220122017




Our rating★★★★★
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Clearly, Aspyr knows how to handle first-person shooters. They did a great job with Borderlands 2 and here they did it again with BioShock Infinite for macOS. I never encountered one single bug while playing this game and ran smoothly all the time, even during sequences packed with bad guys and explosions. Infinite was truly optimized, offering high frames per second (even while recording gameplay with every setting maxed out).

Compared to Borderlands 2 (which was a good port), BioShock Infinite is better, offering better performance and more frames per second. This is Aspyr’s finest port to date and I can only be grateful they did it on such an awesome game.

Minimum system requirements:

  • Operating System: OS X 10.8.4 (Mountain Lion) or later
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2 GHz
  • Memory: 4 GB
  • Hard Disk Space: 30 GB
  • Video Card: Nvidia GeForce 640M, Radeon HD 3870, Intel HD 4000, or better with 512 MB of Video Memory

The verdict

The Good

  • An amazing story
  • Columbia is simply breathtaking
  • Elizabeth is the most memorable NPC I have ever encountered
  • Solid gameplay mechanics

The Bad

  • Some sequences felt a little too out of control

Final Word

Overall, this was definitely an ambitious attempt on behalf of Irrational Games and I’m glad to confirm they pulled it off. They truly created an amazing universe you will want to discover. The story alone is one hell of a ride and the fact you experience it alongside Elizabeth makes it even better. Luckily, the gameplay mechanics, sound, and graphics managed to keep up, making this whole experience all the more immersive.  Aspyr also deserves a word, as they managed to bring this experience to the Mac with no performance sacrifices. I can’t wait to see what both Irrational Games and Aspyr will bring us next.

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  1. Adrian Gaucher

    I find it strange you had such good performance on this I find Borderlands 2 runs flawlessly maxed out and I get lots of chop if I play high on Bioshock

    • Mac Gamer Ric

      I’m surprised you are experiencing this. Myself and others have reported seing better performance on Infinite than Borderlands 2. Then again, it depends on the machine and settings. In any case I still feel their port was solid.

  2. Curlypaws

    I completely agree with the review – an absolutely stunning game that I enjoyed from start to finish. Elizabeth’s character makes the game, and the storyline just draws you in. I wish I could play at a higher resolution, but it played very smoothly indeed on my iMac 2012. It is one of the few games that I want to play through again.

    • Mac Gamer Ric

      Same here, I completely fell in love with this game and Elizabeth was one of the main reasons! And don’t worry, you won’t have to play this game anytime soon as Aspyr will be bringing all the DLC very soon (some DLC is already available BTW!)

  3. Neoptolemus

    Shame this crap of system requirements.. its not even possible to upgrade a HD 3000 to a HD 4000.. wanted this game so badly on my late 2011 sniff

    • Mac Gamer Ric

      Yep, but at the same time, a 3000HD wouldn’t get you far in terms of frames per second… What machine do you have?

  4. Th3taJ

    I originally played this game on PC and it worked really well. However, on my Mac, the mouse seems to jitter like crazy…Graphically it looks amazing and nothing’s faulty over, just when I move my mouse. The jitter hurts my eyes so I haven’t really been able to play it. I’ve tried it on all graphics settings and resolutions without any luck.

    What’s weird is, like I said, the game looks perfect and framerate never seems to drop. I have a really high-end iMac with a 2GB nVidia card and a quad-core processor.

    I can’t of why it would be having this problem. 🙁

    Any tips?

    • Mac Gamer Ric

      First time I hear about that problem :S

      Have you tried contacting Aspyr’s support? You should open a ticket there, they are always fast to answer:

      Let me know how it goes and sorry for not being able to help you more…

  5. Ian

    I took a while, but I finally finished the main game. My head exploded more than once, but it was so worth it. A fantastic game that will probably be one of my favorites for life.

    Now to the DLC 🙂

    • Mac Gamer Ric

      I definitely loved that game, I guess you can tell by the review 🙂 I never actually played the DLC though, too many games in the back log! Let me know how much you like those!

  6. Brian Enck

    How do I tell if my Mac meets the specs required?

    • Mac Gamer Ric

      Easy, just click on the Apple logo in the upper left hand corner of the screen, and then click the “About this Mac” menu option. Then you can compare with the minimum system requirements listed on this page.

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