Review: ‘Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea’ is everything you wanted in a Bioshock

The first installment of the story based DLC for Bioshock Infinite is here and boy is it a doozey. There will be slight spoilers of both Bioshock and Bioshock Infinite, so tread lightly.

Burial At Sea drops you off in Booker Dewitt’s office, as well as Booker Dewitt. If you’ve finished Bioshock Infinite, you’ll know that you aren’t the Booker Dewitt in the Bioshock Infinite universe. You’re Booker Dewitt in the Burial At Sea universe, Elizabeth walks into your office, looking to hire you for your services. You’re a private detective, Elizabeth is looking for a missing girl, not just any girl, your girl. You then open a door and you’re back in Rapture.

The one thing the Bioshock games have done extremely well is creating an atmosphere. Both Bioshock and Bioshock Infinite create a world that’s extremely rich and feels very much alive. What’s impressive is both games have such a decidedly different tone and atmosphere, Bioshock being a very dark, eerie and overwhelming sense of helplessness, Bioshock Infinite on the other hand has some of the darkness in it, but when it’s contrasted with the bright, colorful and alive world, it makes you feels that much different and refreshed.

Being in Rapture when it’s alive and in it’s hayday is a thing to behold — it’s absolutely stunning the level of detail that’s been put into Rapture. While walking around and exploring the world Rapture, you’ll hear things like bellowing roars from the whales swimming around. Listening to the conversation of each of its inhabitants, you can actually tell if they are upper, middle or lower class — you can almost envision what their home life is like. I remember one conversation in particular where a woman and man took opposite sides of a political argument and the man was very dismissive of her. I can picture him in their house, ignoring her, never letting her make any decisions, not satisfying her emotionally, I know it may not seem like much, but little details like this is what makes the Bioshock series so great.

Without spoiling anything, the combat is a combination of both the original Bioshock and Infinite. You’ll be using plasmids even though they are the same abilities you used in Infinite, battles will take place in big open spaces with air hooks much like in Infinite. Due to the splicers being back, combat feels much more hectic and hair raising. The splicers act as you would expect, unpredictable, and out of control, this combined with the world of Rapture, captures that terrifying feeling the first Bioshock had. You can’t escape from them, their insane muttering and screaming, attacking you like a bonafide psycho will send shivers down your spine — it’s horrifying.

In my playthrough of Burial at Sea, I noticed that ammo was hard to come by, even though Elizabeth does hand you some at times. It forces you to have a plan of attack instead of going in guns blazing. With that said, going into a battle low on Plasmids and ammo was still a genuinely fun experience. Waiting until a good amount of the splicers were in water so I could use the shock jockey on them, then using possession to control one of the other splicers and hiding until he took the rest out — it was a pretty sadistic yet satisfying reward.

Without giving away too much, while this is just part one, Burial at Sea does have an ending to it, so feel free to purchase it without having a cliffhanger ending. This DLC totals in around two to four hours, depending on your play style, I finished it around three hours and I spent sometime exploring the world trying to find all the voxophones and upgrades. The only thing is, if you haven’t played both Bioshock 1 and Bioshock Infinite, this DLC will leave you extremely confused and unhappy. As it’s a fan service of sorts, it gives a taste of Bioshock 1, with all the improvements of Infinite. If you enjoyed either one, you’ll end up very happy with your purchase.

Published on November 24, 2013 at 6:55 pm
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