Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episode One Review

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Hey guys! I finished Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episode One recently and I felt like it was pretty rich DLC (compared to some DLC’s out there) coming after Bioshock Infinite‘s story. I’ll have a full review of Burial at Sea Episode One below. For those of you who do not know, it is with a heavy heart that I must share the sad news of Irrational Games.

Irrational Games, who developed System Shock 2, Bioshock, Bioshock Infinite, and the Burial at Sea episodes, announced on February 18th that the company would be closing its doors. Co-Founder of Irrational, Ken Levine, stated that he has plans to start a “smaller, more entrepreneurial” project for Take-Two Interactive. Click here for an article Gamespot published when Irrational Games announced it would be shutting down. With this new “endeavor,” I’m sure Ken will continue to push creative content that we all know and love. I wish Ken all the success in the future with his new project. Click here for a message from the man himself, Ken Levine. Now, onto the review!

Setting

Just like in Bioshock Infinite, you play as Booker DeWitt. But instead of Columbia as a setting, the story takes place in the underwater city of Rapture right before its fall. You might remember Rapture if you have played Bioshock and Bioshock 2. Burial at Sea Episode One takes place one year before the events in Bioshock. Booker DeWitt is a well-known private investigator and lives out of his office in Rapture. A mysterious woman named Elizabeth comes to Booker on the eve of 1959 and asks him to investigate the disappearance of a young girl named Sally.

Elizabeth doesn’t reveal why she wants Booker to investigate Sally’s disappearance but mentions to Booker that she is alive. Listening to Booker and Elizabeth’s conversations about Sally indicate that Booker deeply cares for the little girl. As Elizabeth is about to leave Booker’s office, she mentions that the artist Sander Cohen might have information regarding Sally’s whereabouts. I won’t go into much more detail about the plot but this DLC does have some connections with Bioshock Infinite‘s story.

Gameplay

Gameplay is very similar to Bioshock Infinite but it does go back to the original Bioshock roots. Instead of having Vigors as powers, players will once again have Plasmids, multiple weapons, tears, and new gear to utilize throughout this episode. Unlike Infinite, the player can carry and swap all six weapons instead of just two at once. The first half of Episode One focuses mostly on the exploration of Rapture and the second half focuses on combat mechanics, which are very similar to the first Bioshock game. I liked how Episode One had scarce resources and forced the player to make decisions on where to go based on what they had in their inventory. Elizabeth still finds some supplies but the player must be conscious of what they use.

The Presentation

The Unreal Engine 3 is once again used (just like for Infinite) and this DLC features the city of Rapture rebuilt from scratch, using a very limited amount of assets from Bioshock. I thought this was very smart of Ken Levine and the team to do, so Rapture could look its best when played in the Unreal Engine 3. Rapture looked fantastic to play in and the visuals were very strong once again. Even with a lot of bleak colors in Rapture, there is a whole lot of character that comes out of the city. Cinematic sequences were done very well and the feeling of a creepy Rapture environment was definitely brought back. I particularly enjoyed the “boss battle” at the end of Episode One and how the final reveal sequence was handled.

Score

I really liked Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episode One and how it connected to the story in Bioshock Infinite. This is a very strong story DLC and lasts for a good four to five hours. That is great content compared to some DLC that is put out there for games nowadays. I give Burial at Sea Episode One a 9/10, as the story was a strong addition to the narrative that Bioshock Infinite laid out. If you have Bioshock Infinite, you have to get Burial at Sea stat!

Can you guess what game I will review next?

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Of course I have to go in order! I cannot wait until Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episode Two drops next month. It will be interesting to see what Episode Two has in store for finishing the Burial at Sea story. In the meantime, I think I will play a couple of games on my Steam list and play RESOGUN on my PS4. Have a great week everyone! Until next game (DLC).

– John

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