BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episode One

First of all, if you are going to start playing the BioShock Infinite Burial at Sea DLC without finishing BioShock Infinite, then you are a person who makes interesting life choices, but you probably won’t understand much of what is going on. It also means that to review the DLC, there will be some spoilers if you haven’t finished the original game, so either go back and do that right now, or at least consider yourself warned.


OK, so towards the end of BioShock Infinite, the ‘Infinite’ nature of the sequel was revealed when Elizabeth showed you a sea of multiple lighthouses, and took you back to Rapture from the first couple of games, trapping the nightingale underwater (a sound effect that was incredibly also in the original game). The DLC takes you back to Rapture, as another Elizabeth and another DeWitt, this time Booker has set up his own Private Detective agency in the sunken city, and Elizabeth hires him to find a missing child called Sally. In Rapture, being a lost little girl isn’t necessarily the most hopeful of situations.

It’s still a wonderful world to see in all its grandeur

The best part of the DLC comes at the beginning, when you get to see an unruined Rapture. Like at the beginning of BioShock Infinite, it’s great to see the design work that Irrational Games has put in, especially seeing Rapture in all it’s glory rather than the ruined cityscape we’re used to seeing. There isn’t any combat in these earlier missions, which play out more like a very basic point and click adventure. It’s still a wonderful world to see in all its grandeur, and an early moment when you come across the little sisters for the first time is wonderfully eerie in the same manner as the barber shop quartet signing an out-of-time version of a Beach Boys song was.

The problems come in when the combat starts. From the shiny new Rapture, you are taken to a ‘pre-ruined’ part, and then you are back in the dripping world of BioShock that we all know and love. When you are there, you have the combat mechanics of  the new BioShock in the setting of the old, but it feels like you’re a little hamstrung. To make sense of the plot of the DLC, you need to have finished the original game, but you are set back to square one, having to obtain new weapons, mods, gear, and plasmids (which apart from the fan-created Old Man Winter, are exactly the same as the Vigors in infinite, although you’re limited to Possession, Shock Jockey, Devil’s Kiss, and Bucking Bronco).

The Sky-Hook mechanic is also in the game, due to the introduction of pneumo tubes. It seems cool, but also presents the biggest problem with the DLC. It feels added on, rather than an integral part of the game experience. You need to use it at one point to jump over a gate, but then you can easily go through the rest of the DLC without having to use it. The same with the Old Man Winter Vigour, you need to use it just once to freeze a flow of water to use as a platform. There’s no chance to lure enemies onto an ice bridge only to melt it with Devil’s Kiss or to form your own Sky-Hook (sorry, pneumo) tracks by shooting exposed pipes. Elizabeth’s tear ability also makes it’s way to Rapture, but there is no real need to use it; again it just feels like an unnecessary extra.

An unnecessary extra is probably a good way to round up this DLC. If you were a big fan of BioShock Infinite, then this will extend your experience by another hour or two (more if you go back through the map to unlock all the secrets and the new radar weapon). At the end of it, I was left with a feeling of ‘is that it?’ Especially as the end of the DLC presents an enemy which fans of the first two BioShock games will have faced many times in the past, and will surprise them when it turns out to be an end of DLC boss. It also seems that the second chapter of the DLC will be played from Elizabeth’s perspective, which makes Booker DeWitt’s tenure in Rapture seem even more brief.







One response to “BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episode One”

  1. Arkayla avatar

    Spot on review. I thoroughly enjoyed dithering about in a bustling Rapture before being a little let down when combat happened, pretty much exactly how the main game went down.

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