Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episode Two Review

bioshock infinite burial at sea episode 2

Hey guys! I’ve recently finished Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episode Two and I wanted to give you my full review! First off, I was blown away again by the creative team at Irrational Games for making such a strong, rich, and beautiful entry in the Burial at Sea storyline. It really shows how much heart and soul they pour into these Bioshock games! The level of detail in the story, environments, and mechanics are extraordinary, which really pays off for the player. Spoiler Alert! In my review, I’ll talk about some important plot points that occur in this DLC. I know that quite a lot of people might have finished the Burial at Sea story, but just wanted to give a heads up to those who haven’t!

Still reading? Good!

Setting

Instead of playing as Booker DeWitt, Burial at Sea Episode Two puts the player in the role of Elizabeth. Elizabeth previously appeared in Burial at Sea Episode One and also in Bioshock Infinite. Players get to experience Elizabeth’s point of view of the underwater city of Rapture during the start of its fall. This is the beginning of the Rapture Civil War. This war was the most destructive conflict in the history of Rapture. The war mainly pit two superpowers against each other for power and control of Rapture. These two titans were Frank Fontaine (who is actually Atlas) and Andrew Ryan. Frank Fontaine is a criminal mastermind and the leader of the opposition in the power struggle, which essentially led to Rapture’s downfall. Andrew Ryan is the founder of Rapture and the owner of Ryan Industries. These two characters play a role in Burial at Sea Episode Two.

Elizabeth finds herself in a bright and cheerful 20th century Paris. As Elizabeth is walking down the streets of Paris, she spots Sally (the little girl who Booker DeWitt was tasked to find in Burial at Sea Episode One) and starts to run after her. As Elizabeth chases after Sally, Paris starts to become dark and creepy. She realizes that her memories of Comstock, Columbia, and Sally continue to haunt her. Elizabeth wakes up in a Toy Department shortly after the events of the previous Burial at Sea episode. Atlas (Frank Fontaine) and his men search for supplies and before he can shoot Elizabeth, she has a vision of Booker. Booker guides Elizabeth and has her convince Atlas that she can help him escape the sunken department store. In exchange for her help, Elizabeth wants Atlas to return Sally to her. Atlas agrees and leaves Elizabeth to explore the store.

The voice of Booker comes back in Elizabeth’s head and states that he is simply a part of her subconscious. Nonetheless, Booker helps guide Elizabeth through certain danger in the store and in certain mental situations. In her travels, Elizabeth discovers that she can use the Lutece Particle that kept Columbia afloat to lift the department store back to Rapture. She gathers the Particle by going through a Tear (a rip in dimensional time and space which reveals an alternate universe) and comes back. Once she returns, she comes face to face with Andrew Ryan through a video monitor. Andrew Ryan gives her a choice to either join him or die at the hands of his security. Elizabeth eventually escapes and uses the Lutece Particle to float the department store back to Rapture. As the building starts to rise, Atlas captures Elizabeth.

Atlas overdoses Elizabeth with a truth serum in order to discover the whereabouts of the “Ace in the Hole.” Elizabeth wakes up two weeks later with the Rapture Civil War well underway. Atlas threatens to torture her and Sally unless Elizabeth gives up where the “Ace in the Hole” is located. Elizabeth has a vision of one future she witnessed previously and tells Atlas she knows where the “Ace” is. Atlas holds Sally hostage until Elizabeth retrieves the “Ace in the Hole” for him. The “Ace in the Hole” turns out to be a simple piece of paper with the coded message: “Would You Kindly.” This is the sleeper trigger phrase for Jack, who is the main character in Bioshock, which is used to control him. Atlas begins to plan for Jack’s arrival to Rapture to kill Andrew Ryan. Seeing no use for Elizabeth anymore, Atlas fatally strikes her and leaves her with Sally. Sally begins to sing to Elizabeth to comfort her. As Elizabeth is dying, she realizes that Jack will actually break the circle of violence in Rapture. Elizabeth dies happily, knowing that matters in Rapture will be resolved. I was not ready for the feels at the end of the game! Below is a video of that beautiful scene with Sally and Elizabeth:

Gameplay

The gameplay is similar to Burial at Sea Episode One. Episode Two mostly features stealth-style gameplay as you take control of Elizabeth. This is a nice departure from the previous action driven Episode One. The player is now able to pick locks but cannot hold as much ammo as you could in Bioshock Infinite or Burial at Sea Episode One. Elizabeth can hide from her enemies and crouching makes it harder for enemies to spot her. Since the player is encouraged to use stealth tactics, it helps to take enemies out one by one or in small groups.

The Presentation

Once again, this episode uses the Unreal Engine 3 and the city of Rapture is re-built from scratch. Rapture looks beautiful as ever in Episode Two. Like I mentioned before, the level of detail that went in creating all the different assets for Rapture’s environments is really remarkable. I thought the execution of sequences from the beginning to the end of Episode Two were done very well. It seemed like every piece of dialogue that came from a character had meaning behind it, it wasn’t just used as a “filler” to take up time. The story was executed very well and it was cool seeing the Bioshock world come together. After you finish Episode Two, you can see how the Bioshock Infinite story links to the story in Bioshock. It finally all comes together and makes sense!

Score

I loved playing through Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episode Two, seeing how it connected to the stories in Bioshock Infinite and also in Bioshock. This DLC delivers a great story through Elizabeth’s eyes. It took me about five and a half hours to complete. At the end of the game, my mind was just blown in what I experienced with Elizabeth. Bravo Irrational Games! It’s sad to see that this is Irrational Games’ last Bioshock game, but we will definitely see what the future holds for the Bioshock universe. I give Burial at Sea Episode Two a 9.5/10, as it ends the Bioshock Infinite storyline on a very powerful note.

The next game I will review is:

resogun

RESOGUN, which is an arcade style, side-scrolling shooter and is developed by Housemarque. It is published by Sony Computer Entertainment exclusively for the Playstation 4. Players battle enemies in side-scrolling worlds and must rescue trapped humans in fast-paced gameplay. I will have much more on RESOGUN and on the Playstation 4 in my next review. Have a great week everyone! Until next game.

– John