Review: Bioshock Infinite: Burial At Sea Part 1

Photo courtesy stuff.co.za
Photo courtesy stuff.co.za

Bioshock Infinite is still in the running for my Game of the Year and the wait for Burial at Sea has been a long one. Infinite released in March and Burial at Sea did not see release until mid-November. Even for a piece of single-player DLC that is a long wait and there is no telling when we will see Part 2 surface.

Irrational has given us an interesting premise to start with sending us back to Rapture with an alternate version of Booker and a more mature femme fatale Elizabeth. The first twenty minutes of Burial at Sea does feel like something new and wonderful for the series and not one gun shot is fired. We get to see Rapture in all its glory. The Rapture we have only heard about in audio logs. Shops are open for business, residents walk up and down the passageways and Big Daddy’s are swimming the deep working to keep Rapture in pristine condition.

Once Booker and Elizabeth are sent down to the sunken Fontaine’s department store is when Burial at Sea becomes more familiar to Bioshock fans. This is not a bad thing but it certainly feels like territory we have been over before. Twice, actually. There are dark corridors with water leaking through, splicers running around and even a creepy baby carriage connecting us to the original game. Don’t get me wrong, it is an enjoyable experience, it just quickly becomes a case of been there, done that. They could have kept me in the brightly lit wonders of the city the entire time for what it is worth.

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The gunplay you know is back with very few changes. Guns are mapped to your right hand and plasmids are back (not vigors, this is Rapture) including Shock Jockey, Possession and the new (yet not) Old Man Winter. With the shortened length of the DLC it feels like we are quickly forced to find the plasmids instead of relishing in them after plenty of time searching. I think it would have worked better to start you out with two of them and find the Old Man Winter. While in combat using the mix of weapons and plasmids are as fun as any other Bioshock title.

A little piece of Columbia makes its way to Rapture with Booker’s ability to use skyhooks (called air grabbers) to maneuver around, reach new areas and give you the upper ground in firefights. Elizabeth is in her giving mood again as well tossing you eve, health and ammo when you get yourself in a pinch. She can also use her tear ability to create weapon barrels, gun turrets and even a samurai warrior to slice up splicers. The mix of Rapture and Columbia works very well.

The long wait for Burial at Sea makes the story’s length a disappointment. You can finish in one sitting of about 90 minutes. I took around two hours taking my time to walk around and enjoy the sights of a living Rapture in the beginning. Knowing all you know from finishing Infinite takes away a little of the mystery in Booker’s reasoning and his relationship with Elizabeth. They do a good job throwing a wrench into it at the very end that does get you interested in what Part 2 has to offer when they give you control of Elizabeth for the first time.

Where do you go after you know the story of Infinite? It seemed definitive and perfect so returning to Rapture seems a bit anti-climatic. As I said I wished we could have seen more of the Rapture we are offered at the start of Burial at Sea. We have seen the beaten down and dilapidated underwater city before. Let’s get more of a look at it during its apex. Maybe with Part 2 we can get some more of that. With Part 1 there is not a whole lot of different ideas, just a mixture of previous games into a short Bioshock cocktail.

NERD RATING- 7.5/10


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