BioShock: Infinite: Burial at Sea DLC for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC
I decided to review the two parts of this DLC as one, as it really does tell one whole story. Fittingly for being the last piece of the BioShock world developed by Irrational Games, Burial at Sea is a love letter to fans of the series, typing up the disparate plot elements of BioShock and BioShock: Infinite into a coherent whole, and creating an incredibly satisfying coda for the series.
After Elizabeth’s drowning of the Booker/Comstock’s at his baptism, one final Booker still exists, living out a life in the underwater objectivist city of Rapture, not long before its civil war and subsequent fall into chaos. This Booker is also a private investigator, and is visited by a new, sultry Elizabeth who hires him to investigate a missing girl named Sally.
To say anymore would be to give the game away. Suffice it to say, Burial at Sea is an absolute must for any fan of the BioShock series, offering a satisfying conclusion to both the original and Infinite, telling a story which is just as twisty and complex as the originals. It’s packed with shocking moments, and fascinating reveals about the BioShock multiverse. I really want to gush about particular plot points, but I’ll try to show some restraint.
For the first half of Burial at Sea, the gameplay is pretty similar to that of Infinite, but sadly slightly worse. I wasn’t a huge fan of Infinte’s frantic combat, but I enjoyed the large open areas and zipping around the skyrails. These fast paced mechanics just don’t work quite as well in the claustrophobic confines of Rapture. Happily, the second (and much longer) part of Burial at Sea shifts gears significantly, taking a more stealth oriented approach. It’s not perfect, and the usual irritations of inserting stealth into a game not specifically built around stealth are in abundance, but it’s still a step up from the frustrating chaos of Infinite.
Burial at Sea is a decent length when both chapters are combined, and as with the originals there are plenty of secrets to uncover as you pick over Rapture with a fine tooth comb. The audiologs are still fascinating, and Rapture remains one of gaming’s greatest locations to explore.
Speaking of Rapture, it sure is nice to be back. Infinite’s Colombia was beautiful, but Rapture always appealed to me more. It’s possible the greatest gaming setting of all time, and I just love spending time there. Sadly, the attractive prospect of exploring Rapture pre-fall isn’t capitalised upon, with most of the DLC contrived to take place in area already collapsed. The character models for minor NPCs are still decidedly hideous, but the new models for Elizabeth and other major characters are very nice. The voice acting is, of course, fantastic, with Courtnee Draper in particular cementing Elizabeth as one of the greatest game characters of all time. The return of BioShock figures such as Andrew Ryan and Atlas are made all the more exciting by the return of their original, excellent, voice actors.
Look, Burial at Sea isn’t like other DLC. If you care a single jot about this series, it absolutely has to be played. It brings the series full circle, and although 2K Games may attempt to churn out more BioShock games without Ken Levine, this may be remembered as the true end of the series. Let the circle be unbroken, and play Burial at Sea.