Review: BioShock Infinite: Burial At Sea Is Short But Sweet
Will this return to Rapture be of any good?
- Worth The Time?Definitely
- Things LovedEverything you love about BioShock Infinite is here, new mechanics improve gameplay, story has a lot of depth, Rapture is as beautiful as always, returning characters from the original BioShock are great, exploration is fun, whole bunch of collectibles to find, the Radar Range is hilarious to use.
- Things HatedVery short, not a lot of value for money considering the steep price, only one new vigor, abruptly ends out of nowhere.
- RecommendationBioShock fans should definitely get this.
- Name: BioShock Infinite: Burial At Sea
- Genre: FPS
- Players: 1
- Multiplayer: No.
- Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
- Developer: Irrational Games
- Publisher: 2K
- Price: 1200 MSP, $15 PSN & Steam
- Reviewed On: Xbox 360
Oh Rapture. By now almost every gamer worth his/her salt has explored this underwater utopia already. From horribly disfigured junkies to big ass metal behemoths, this place has it all. With BioShock Infinite’s first story driven DLC pack, they aim to take us back to a time where Rapture was still functional and a thriving underwater metropolis filled with rich and accomplished people rather than doped up tweakers that shoot at little girls. But does it accomplish such an ambitious feat? Read on and find out.
When Burial at Sea starts it puts you into the shoes of disturbed detective Booker DeWitt at his already familiar detective office. He then gets a visit from a mysterious girl called, you guessed it, Elizabeth. She asks him to help search for a mysterious girl that Booker might be interested in. And so begins a journey through Rapture in all its splendour. The game takes place on the eve of Rapture’s downfall with everything still relatively intact and used for their intended purpose.
At the very start of the DLC you can walk around one of Rapture’s main areas and visit shops, diners, bars all while listening to the people around you talk about their lives and Rapture. Not to mention the place is gorgeous. This is pre-destroyed Rapture so everything looks elegant and the people are well-dressed and well-mannered (although a little on the pretentious side). It really is a great experience to walk among the hallways of a place that we only know as some sort of abandoned hellhole from the previous games. Any BioShock fan would freak out at this point because it gives you the lore and context that was not covered in the previous games.
After doing some stuff in this area and meeting a particularly psychotic individual which all fans would fondly remember, you are then sent to a department store filled with the usual drugged out psychos and tasked to do some more stuff. I don’t want to spoil this “stuff” because the story is very tightly interwoven into the progression of the areas, which is a point in the game’s favour. All you need to know is that you go from the idyllic setting of pre-fucked Rapture to a more mildly fucked version of Rapture with a bunch of goons that shoot freeze rays out of their hands.
The mechanics are pretty much the same as the original BioShock Infinite game, but with some added tweaks. You are not confined to a two weapon load out and the weapon wheel from the original game makes a return, which is great. The only catch is that you have reduced ammo capacity so conservation must be employed. There’s also a bit more focus put on stealth where you can sneak behind enemies and kill them with the Grabber, Rapture’s version of the Skyhook. Skylines are replaced by the Pneumo postal service’s rail lines and function exactly the same.
There’s only one new vigor on offer which is rather disappointing. It’s called Old Man Winter and it’s basically a freeze ray that freezes enemies and make them weak enough to break. It’s a good vigor and one that is fun to use when there are a swarm of enemies, but being the only vigor available, it’s rather underwhelming. There is another new addition in the form of the Radar Range ray gun. It’s basically a microwave gun that heats up enemies until they spectacularly explode, damaging everything around them. It’s extremely fun to use and an excellent crowd control gun which you will need because they constantly swarm you with enemies.
There are a whole bunch of collectibles such as the famous Audio Logs that still retain their trademark impact. They are quite tricky to find and some good exploration is needed if you want to collect them all. They mostly chronicle the changes that Rapture underwent and the motivations behind some of the key characters. It’s a very welcome addition for long time BioShock fans.
Now, the big negative. Burial at Sea is very short. Me, being the compulsive explorer that I am, took much longer to finish it and it still only clocked in at around 3 hours. It stops seemingly out of nowhere, albeit very grandly with another mindfuck ending to wrap your head around. The ending is also chock full of spoilers of the main game, so don’t play this unless you finished BioShock Infinite already. It does get you excited for the second part, but I feel like they could have extended the game time a lot more.
Regardless of its length, Burial at Sea accomplished most of what it set out to do. Delivered a fantastic story, gave you the opportunity to explore Rapture in all its splendour and provided a fun gameplay experience. There is certainly far worse DLC out there and Burial at Sea is good enough to receive a strong recommendation. If you’re a BioShock fan, even more so.