Parents' Guide to

BioShock Infinite

By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Provocative, violent shooter tackles complex ideas.

BioShock Infinite Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 21 parent reviews

age 16+


Bioshock infinite tackles some complex issues, suchlike religious fanatism and white supremacy, and also the outcome of violent revolution and slave labor, merged in a world of mysticism and prejudice. -Gory Violence: Blood is expelled from the bodies of enemies, and their heads can be blown or cut off. Civilians can be murdered (at the player's choice). - Drinking and smoking: The characters can smoke and drink to recover their energy (although they lose their health if they do so). Some occasional profanities, almost none sexual content.

This title has:

Great messages
Easy to play/use
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 17+


Language: Mild Sex: Mild Violence: Strong, Blood Other: Mild Drug References and Scary Moments

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (21):
Kids say (69):

Few games are bold enough to take on the controversial subjects that BioShock Infinite tackles head first, and fewer still are those that manage to do so with maturity, intelligence, and even a bit of wit. Alternating with impressive agility between thought-provoking ideas and visceral action sequences, the game engages players on emotional, intellectual, and gut levels, resulting in a heady experience difficult to compare to anything else (save perhaps the original BioShock, which managed a similar feat back in 2007).

Even the presentation is something unique. The world of Columbia is a clearly fantastical -- yet weirdly believable -- mechanical marvel. Early 20th century architecture is covered in old-fashioned posters and billboards as traditional music -- such as the classic folk hymn "Down to the River to Pray" -- emanates from phonograph horns throughout the streets. It's a full and beautifully realized environment, the likes of which have not been seen before. Every last brick and stone simply begs to be explored. Its graphic violence and decidedly mature themes may make this game unsuitable for kids, but BioShock Infinite will prove a rare and satisfying treat for grown-up gamers looking for a shooter with substance.

Game Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate