Rapture, Playable Elizabeth and More In BioShock Infinite DLC
Well it’s about bloody time Irrational…
That was probably the thought going through most people’s heads on Monday, when Ken Levine tweeted that Irrational Games was ready to finally unveil their DLC plans for one of the finest games of this generation, BioShock Infinite. And you know what, the wait was definitely worth it.
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Well, in a manner of speaking, because the more interesting bits of this three-part Season Pass have yet to receive release dates. The first little bot of DLC, which has already been released, will be set in Columbia and act as a sort of “horde” mode for those looking to flex their Vigour muscles once more. Clash in the Clouds will pit you against 15 waves of enemies across four different maps, providing Leaderboard support and unique objectives for you to show off with. It’s not the kind of DLC you may have wanted to hear about, but thankfully the next two bits are right up the BioShock fans’s alley.
Be warned, some spoilers for BioShock Infinite’s main story might follow.
So, remember at the end of Infinite, where Elizabeth magically teleported you to another dimension? One where a city was built under the sea rather than in the sky? Well, Rapture might have made a brief appearance there, but it’s the home of a two part story driven DLC package, named Burial at Sea. This brand new story will introduce you to a Rapture before the war, as you step into Booker’s shoes once more and partner up with a more noir looking Elizabeth. Irrational seem to be sucking all that they can from BioShock’s connected universes, and creator Ken Levine says that this was an idea that just wouldn’t leave him. While the first episode will allow you to play as Booker, the second part is even more interesting, as players will play as the dimension tearing Elizabeth for the first time, in what Levine describes as a more “horror survival” title.
Check out the video below for a tease of what’s to come in Episode 1 of the Burial at Sea DLC.
In an interview with IGN, Levine spoke about Booker and Elizabeth in Rapture, and how gameplay might differ due to the new setting.
“It’s really a story of Booker and Elizabeth again, but set against the backdrop of pre-fall Rapture,” Levine told IGN, “and to have an extended period in pre-fall Rapture without combat, where you’re just living in the space, like you got to sort of live in Columbia at the beginning of the game. Which nobody has ever been able to do before, with those systems and that technology. My favorite BioShock quest is actually in that part, with no combat. He meets an old friend from BioShock 1. Not a very nice friend, but a friend. And in the second half, it takes place in a department store, a Fontaine department store that’s been shuttered and sunk to the bottom of the ocean by Ryan after he takes over. All of Fontaine’s cronies are put into that department store, so that place has gone to hell. It’s very traditional BioShock 1. They’re all spliced up down there. They’re all crazy. You get this mix of pristine Rapture and a very traditional Rapture experience, in a pretty organic story.”
That right there is incredible tantalising, the prospect of experiencing Rapture before the fall. Am I supposed to be this giddy with excitement?
Burial at Sea will reconcile things such as Booker, who uses Vigors in Columbia, living in Rapture and using Plasmids. Granted these Plasmids will be drinkable like Vigors.
“Game systems are essentially Infinite game systems. There’s a reason they’re drinkable in this world. You’ll see why,” he said. “We did, however, re-tune the feel of the experience. The system guys have been very hard at work. We wanted the combat, because of the nature of Rapture, to be more player-initiated than it was in Infinite. You know how BioShock game systems are about hearing the enemies at a distance and being able to plan your attack? We wanted more of that. That sort of slipped away from us a little bit in Infinite. Therefore the traps get much more meaningful, I think. We have that system. We did some tweaks to the various Vigors. There’s a new Vigor. There’s a new weapon. And a new Plasmid – they’re called Plasmids in this.”
When playing as Elizabeth on the other hand, she doesn’t have the abilities nor the expertise that Booker does so gameplay will feel more survival horror than action. This should provide some great variety to the gameplay and give Rapture a different feel.
“When you play Elizabeth, it’s even more towards a survival horror game,” he said. “I just played the first prototype of her the other day. We’re almost in beta on part one of the Rapture one. We’re at sort of early stages of the second part, where you play Elizabeth, but I’ve played a prototype of what it’s like to play her. It feels very different. We’re mostly working on the systems side to make things feel different.”
This difference will result in Elizabeth’s gameplay also being far more tactical and focusing on setting traps much like the original BioShock.
“Elizabeth is much more fragile, in terms of in terms of combat,” he said. “She’s not going to go and wade into it with a Big Daddy. She has to really set up the experience to work for her. She has a sort of combination of Thief and Tecmo’s Deception. There was a game called Trapt on the PS2, I think, that was in the same franchise. Getting her to use the environment, using tears to create things in the environment to lure people into and sneak up on people and avoid people, that’s very much a part of being Elizabeth. It’s an experiment. Every time you go away from the known model, you’re experimenting with things, but we really wanted Elizabeth to feel different. The audience will judge how successful we are. We’re still relatively early on that part.”
Levine also hinted that “it’s important that Elizabeth is a person of multiple dimensions,” but wouldn’t say more for fear of spoiling the story. As for why the DLC won’t be set in Columbia, Levine said it’s as simple as a good idea that was stuck in his head.
“There were some Columbia ideas we kicked around, but I think we also got to the point where we felt like that was the story that we had just told. We had told it to the extent we wanted to tell it,” he confessed. “But I had this image in my head of this moment in this detective’s office, Booker’s office. Elizabeth walking in dressed like Veronica Lake. And I just fixated on that.”
As DLC goes this sounds very promising and with Irrational exploring the parallel universes theme that came up in BioShock Infinite it will be great to see what they come up with for future episodic DLC.
A release date has yet to be announced for either episode of Burial at Sea but Episode 1 will enter beta soon. Clash in the Clouds is currently available for download.