Never rule out magick and witchcraft.
She's actually not a damsel in distress tho, that's the thing. She ends up being a partner and not the usual escort mission baggage, and without spoiling anything, Booker is the one "in distress."
Overall though the game is pretty cliche in many respects, sure. But what *isn't* cliche in videogames? I think the more important thing is what you try to do with those cliches, and Infinite does a pretty good job using its heavy hands to rub one off.
IMO, simply put, without certain "cliches" there wouldn't be genres.