Bioshock Infinite: Burial At Sea Episode 1 Review
Back to the future?
Burial at Sea is a two part story driven DLC for the incredible Bioshock:Infinite. The first part or the first episode has been out for quite some time now and the second one will release next month, but till then you have more than enough time to experience the exquisite first episode.
Surprise, surprise, we are back in Rapture, the underwater utopia from the first Bioshock game, before everything went to hell. Coming from a binge playthrough of Infinite like I did, the whole idea behind Burial At Sea makes a lot of sense and don’t worry, I will be very careful with spoilers. You play as PI Booker DeWitt, a Booker if you know what I mean, and you are hired by an Elizabeth to help solve the mystery of disappearing children, but in a Bioshock fashion, there’s more to it than meets the eye. Just know that if you liked the Infinite storyline and you understood the mindfu*k ending, you will definitely like what you get here, especially in the ending… phew what a cliffhanger.
And you know I could talk in details about what happens in the game, I can talk about the femme fatale type Elizabeth or the crazy characters that return from the first game. I can talk about the fantastic utopian like atmosphere in Rapture and how beautiful everything looks in the game, but I can’t really allow myself that cause I would spoil the experience for anyone that might be reading this. As you might have already read on the internet, Burial at Sea is a very short DLC. You might have read that it can be finished in under an hour and although that might be totally true, that is the wrong way to play it. I finished it at around 2 and a half hours, but I didn’t rush it, I took my time and I enjoyed every second of it. That’s the way it is meant to be played, slowly moving towards the objectives, exploring every nook and cranny of Rapture, inhaling and relishing every second of it. But if you buy this and the only thing you want is just more of the kinda boring gunplay Infinite had, then this is not a game for you.
I said kinda boring gunplay, cause that’s the truth, in my opinion, about Infinite’s and all Bioshock games gunplay. I didn’t really liked it, as I didn’t really liked the one the first Bioshock had. Emptying a clip on an enemy and he is still standing…meh. I and I believe many of you out there, don’t like bullet sponge enemies. We have become so used to the 3-5 bullets and dead gunplay of Call of Duty or Battlefield that any other FPS that doesn’t feature a similar gunplay well, we just find it strange and boring. The introduction of powers called Plasmids or Vigors in Infinite that allowed you to fire lighting, ice, fire etc. apart from the gun “saved”, in my opinion, the Bioshock games. They made it more enjoyable as different combinations between powers and weapons resulted in some satisfying moments. But I wasn’t and still ain’t crazy about it.
So to get back to Burial at Sea, nothing has really changed. The guns still feel the same, the enemies are still bullet sponges and Plasmids are still fun to use. The sky hook from Infinite returns with a different name that I forgot and although it doesn’t really make any sense within the context of being in confined underwater spaces, it is still cool to use it. But there is one important part in Burial at Sea that actually has changed from Infinite, the scare factor.
Bioshock was a scary game, for me. The jump scares were fricking scary, I will never forget the part with the doctor behind or the creepiness of the mom singing a lullaby. Also Each encounter with the splicers or big daddies was tense as didn’t really had much ammo to fight back. All these things were missing in Infinite campaign, you always had a ton of ammo, salts, health and Elizabeth helped a lot. Burial at Sea reintroduces the tense moments of the first game. The game is dark and sometime creepy, the enemies can be a challenge to fight, ammo, health and salts are scarce, like super scarce and when all of these elements combine the result is great. You’ll have to hunker down and strategize before each encounter much like in The Last of Us as you cannot really go in gun blazing like in Infinite without dying. It plays great and I am really glad they went back to their roots.
Visually Burial at Sea looks gorgeous. Rapture before the fall is incredibly detailed filled with 60′ like architecture, neon signs and posters. It’s a breathing city full of light, colors and life. The same cannot be said for the sh*tty part of Rapture, the underground prison or the “burial sites”. These environments are dark and ransacked by the splicers. Dead bodies and messages written in blood on the walls set the tone and create a tense situation. And the use of musical and sounds effects spikes only increase that tension and it’s bloody good. The voice acting is perfect as ever with a darker dialogue and tone especially Elizabeth. Everything is combined perfectly to create a tense and gratifying atmosphere you’ll definitely want to experience.
Burial at Sea is a great piece of DLC. Even though it is extremely short and the gameplay is pretty much what we are accustomed to a Bioshock game, the intriguing story and the beautiful setting in Rapture make Burial at Sea a must play for every Bioshock fan.