Bioshock Infinite: Burial At Sea -
Episode One
Developer: Irrational Games
Publisher: 2K Games
Release Date: Out Now
Players/Online features: One
Words By:

Please note: This review may contain spoilers of the main plot in Bioshock Infinite. It’s recommended to play through the story mode prior to playing this content.

This DLC for Bioshock takes the player back to the undersea city of Rapture, brought so vividly to life in the original Bioshock game and clumsily re-sold to an eager public in Bioshock 2. The DLC has a 1950’s slant with an alternative reality Booker as a private investigator in Rapture down on his luck, when a dame (Elizabeth) walks into his office to offer him a job. So begins a brief revisit to some familiar scenes and characters with Elizabeth tagging along to open Tears into alternate dimensions to aid in shooting baddies.

As far as gameplay is concerned, it’s almost identical. The introduction of a new (but unsurprising) power, and a new (and under-utilised) weapon do little to alter the game experience. Perhaps the 1950’s femme fatale Elizabeth simply isn’t as nimble but, unlike the original Elizabeth she did get in the way from time to time both in combat and even just walking around Rapture. Also, pressing X to accept her help with found supplies when in the thick of fighting often clashes with pressing X to reload, so you miss out on helpful stuff.

The odd silver lining to this is that there rarely feels the need to have all that power…

Another common element that is unchanged is the feeling of not being able to have everything. There is enough money floating around for you to upgrade one plasmid power, but not another, or a weapon upgrade. While this is likely to be an explicit design decision by Irrational to ask players to prioritise in-game, it seems a shame to limit choice. As far as escapism goes, why wouldn’t a player want beefed up powers to unleash upon hordes of splicers? The odd silver lining to this is that there rarely feels the need to have all that power, as there are so few bad guys. Where’s the fun in having the powers if you get so few opportunities to use them?

The big issue with this DLC is that it is short. With luck you will experience two to three hours of play time at the very most, and half of that will be exposition. Looking at the experience objectively, it is hard to justify the cost for the brevity of the story. It is like reading half of a first chapter of a book.

This DLC requires a leap of faith. Buy a single episode and the cliff hanging nature of the end of the story may make you more inclined to buy the next to see what happens, which is a bit pricey at £11.99 standalone. The Season Pass (which includes both Clash in the Clouds and both Episodes 1 and 2 of Burial at Sea) costs £15.99, although Episode 2 is still in development. Buy a season pass and you’ve committed yourself to both episodes, but at least you haven’t paid as much. The bottom line for episode one is that it’s more of the same but in Rapture, and it’s all over before it gets started.

Best Bits

- Back to Rapture.
- Interesting plot fragment.
Worst Bits

- It is only a story fragment.
- Hardly the “Circus of Value.”
- So many toys, but few enemies to use them on.

by: Jason Rainbird

Copyright © Gamecell 2013