Full game review

The first DLC for Bioshock Infinite, Clash in the Clouds, was fun enough in it’s own right but not what players had their sights set on.  No, that would be Burial at Sea, the two-part campaign bringing us into a pre-destroyed Rapture as Booker and Elizabeth.  Part one has been out for some time, but I finally got around to playing it today.  If you’ve played the main game, you really should play Burial at Sea. *** Spoilers for the main game may follow ***

No Gods or kings, only Elizabeth

  • TL;DR: A very good return to both Infinite and Rapture
  • Platform: Xbox 360
  • Score: 8.2
  • Hours Played: 3
  • What I Played: Entire campaign
  • Recommended: Yes

Burial at Sea is a proper Bioshock story mixing the latest characters, Booker and Elizabeth, into the environment that captivated many gamers back in August 2007, Rapture.  While the main game takes place in 1912, Burial at Sea takes place in 1958.  It starts off in a familiar location, Booker’s office, with a pounding on the door.  In walks Elizabeth, asking for your help to find a little girl, Sally.  It’s unknown at first just why Elizabeth wants to find this girl and what connection she has to Booker, but trust me when I say it’s a story worth learning.

It’s been six years (whoa) since we first played in Rapture and it is truly breathtaking in Burial at Sea.  Not only is it visually stunning, but being set earlier than the original Bioshock let’s us see a different side of Rapture.  From old timey barkeeps wiping down their bars to copious cigarette smoking and shoe shine stations, it’s clear that we are in the 1950s.  Big Daddies are portrayed as construction workers and peace keepers.  One of the first scenes shows a Big Daddy working underwater before shooting his drill like Batman’s grapnel accelerator and shooting off to a new work site.  We even see some Little Sisters before they are fully transformed — it’s a creepy site.

Not quite gone, but still creepy

The gameplay in Burial at Sea is more akin to a standard Bioshock game, unlike Clash in the Clouds which dropped us into some horde-style combat.  The weapon wheel returns from Bioshock 1 and 2, replacing the carry-two system from Infinite’s main campaign.  A fan-made plasmid, Old Man Winter, enters the mix.  It’s similar to the original Bioshock’s Winter Blast in that it freezes enemies, allowing you to shatter them.  There is also a new gun, the Radar Range, which is essentially a portable microwave.  If you focus on an enemy long enough, they will explode and damage other nearby foes.

While the play style is more traditional Bioshock, the combat is frustrating.  You’ll be struggling to find money and bullets throughout your time in Rapture.  There are only a few plasmids and guns available, and while you can upgrade your plasmids, you can’t enhance your weapons.  Using base-level guns with low ammo and hardly any infusions leads to quite a few deaths, even on medium difficulty.

Thank you, Misses Bubbles

It’s hard to really grade Burial at Sea Part 1 because, by it’s very nature as part one of two, it’s unfinished.  Sure, the gameplay can be frustrating, but the story is wonderful and leaves you off at a point with great suspense.  I’ll have to look back on part one after part two comes out, but for now, Bioshock fans should give Burial at Sea a shot.

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