Review: BioShock Infinite Burial At Sea Episode 2 Is An Amazing Send-off
The final chapter has come for the BioShock universe and with Burial At Sea Part 2, it gives it a worthy send-off
- Worth The Time?Yes and for BioShock fans it's essential
- Things LovedIrrational has really captured the essence of playing as Elizabeth. The stealth focus gives some much needed variety in terms of gameplay. The narrative is masterfully crafted. Comprehensive information given about the whole mythos of BioShock. The intro sequence is one for the ages. Great length for a DLC pack. Different locations gives it variety. Superb voice acting as usual. Truly emotional and hearth wrenching sequences throughout the entirety of the experience. Unbelievable value for money.
- Things HatedThe stealth gameplay isn't that deep and there's a lot of problems with it. Some Vigors can become broken with upgrades. Respawning enemies inside already cleared out areas become a pain.
- RecommendationBioShock fans, go get it, it will blow your mind. Everyone else, play all of the BioShock games and get this, it will blow your mind. If you don't like BioShock then this wouldn't blow your mind. Simple as that.
- Name: BioShock Infinite: Burial At Sea Part 2
- Genre: First Person Shooter/Stealth
- Players: 1
- Multiplayer: No
- Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
- Developer: Irrational Games
- Publisher: 2K Games
- Price: $15
- Reviewed On: Xbox 360
Burial At Sea Episode 2 is the last installment to the BioShock franchise and man is it a ride. If you want, you can view our original BioShock Infinite and Burial At Sea Episode 1 reviews before reading this review. What’s so special about this one you may ask? Well, you play as Elizabeth instead of Booker for this one. She is no longer throwing you ammo and making remarks about wanting a puppy, but doing the actual dirty work and rummaging through a trashcan for peanuts duties. But this time, in the shadows.
The DLC starts off in an idyllic representation of Paris, much like Infinite did with the slightly racist twenties Disney world. All of the French cliches are there such as a little boy selling baguettes and painters painting a river and trying to seduce the stones at their feet. This sequence was very impactful and left me with a smile on my face throughout the whole venture. Everything was so picturesque and beautiful, but I knew everything will go up the Eiffel Tower’s sewage system pretty soon. It did. And here is where I need to stop as far as plot is concerned.
To describe anything in this plot would be a spoiler. Not just a spoiler of part 1, but of the original BioShock and of Infinite. All I can say is that this DLC plays out mainly in Rapture and on Columbia and Andrew Ryan is also there. Not just Andrew Ryan, but almost everyone of importance in the BioShock universe. This is the swan song of the series and trust me when I say that Irrational went all in on this one. BioShock fanboys would be in absolute heaven with this installment because of all the lore and attention to detail that they put in with regards to the mythos.
The DLC pack answers a lot of questions that BioShock fans as well as critics had for the game. They might have been shoehorned in for the purpose of silencing the voices, but the explanations made a lot of sense. Things such as how Vigors worked and how they were somehow inferior to Plasmids, the origin of the Big Daddy and Songbird, how Rapture fell on New Years and a whole bunch more. It acts as a sort of cement insulation for all the plotholes and it pulls it off beautifully.
Okay, enough about plot, what about this talk of playing as Elizabeth? Well, instead of exploding heads with electricity you are now bound to the shadows with a crossbow that fires tranquilizer bolts and hitting people over the head from behind. Yes, there are stealth mechanics in this DLC and it even includes the obligatory “crawling around in vents” trope. With Elizabeth being smaller and less muscly than Booker, she has to find new and creative ways to get around enemies. Here is where a new Vigor gets introduced called Peeping Tom that turns you invisible as long as you have the Eve to support it.
Along with the Peeping Tom Vigor, Elizabeth also has access to an assortment of stealthy gear. The most relevant of which is a crossbow that can fire tranquilizer darts, gas darts that knock out enemies in a radius and noisemaker bolts that set off an alarm wherever they land as a distraction method. They add a new dimension to the traditional BioShock combat formula, but unfortunately, they suffer from the same fault. It’s just not as good as other offerings out there.
The stealth is a bit clunky with AI randomly spotting you from a mile away for no good reason and shadows don’t really offer that much protection from watchful eyes. Also, the Peeping Tom Vigor can become quite broken when you acquire both upgrades for it. Basically it allows you to remain invisible without using Eve as long as you’re not moving. This then allows the scenario where an enemy can be right in front of you and you can simply vanish from sight with no penalty or Eve usage. I’ve had scenarios where I turned invisible, let them turn around and then beat them across the head, knocking them out. I even took out a whole room by standing behind a box and taking everyone out one by one.
Don’t let these criticisms cloud your judgement of the gameplay because it still remains fun and competent. It’s exciting to stealth by enemies or skillfully take them out one by one using your arsenal and sometimes the combat can get pretty hectic. There are still weapons available to use and they work much like they did in Infinite, but Elizabeth has no shield and only has health kits so storming the castles isn’t a profitable option. Weapon usage is only a viable option when you’re completely out of other options.
Irrational did an incredible job with the intricacies of playing as Elizabeth. As you might know, Elizabeth knows how to pick locks and they implemented a lock picking mini-game that requires good timing to pull off where you have to select the correct tumbler in order to open the lock. She’s also much more educated than Booker and can solve riddles and problems and they highlight this in the game with mini-cutscenes that turn the world into paper and giving this sort of schematic layout to everything. She even holds her guns differently.
As I’ve said, I can’t really reveal anything about the story because I would just spoil everything and anything if I reveal any details. But this DLC should be played only if you’ve played through the first BioShock, Infinite and Episode 1 of Burial at Sea. I would go so far as to say it’s essential. Everything connects with one another and to receive the full experience, you would need to know who all these people are and what the events are that they are talking about. If not, you will be lost. It will make zero sense. Even people that have finished all the games would be a little confused at times.
The DLC is very sizable and it will definitely give you value for money. I believe my playtime was close to 7 hours and that was without extensive exploring. That’s longer than some AAA games we get these days. Just know that you will get every penny worth of the asking price and then some.