I’m a huge fan of the bioshock franchise, I even like the second game even though it’s universally panned. I played the first bioshock with the idea that it was survival horror game but it’s more of an eerie thriller due to it being a well rounded FPS. Its sequel was just more of the same in a less eerie way. The 3rd however transformed preconceptions of what players were going to experience. THIS IS A SPOILER WARNING. I’m going try and be spoiler free but due to this games characters and location, that might be difficult.
Burial at Sea is a DLC story to tie into the main plot of Bioshock infinite. Normally I would start with the positive in a review and end with the negative but in this instance, I need to mention the bad first. This game last about 2-3 hours and costs $15. I understand that game development is expensive and that if you do the math on the average length of a standard FPS, $15 for 3 hours seems right. I disagree, by the end I was satisfied due to it feeling like a conclusion to this story but its still incredibly short. This is the only mark against it I found, because it’s really that good. It has noir-esque feeling about it that I loved, especially the intro.
You play as Booker Dewitt again, but this time in Rapture, the underwater city from the original Bioshock. the date is December 31st, 1958, a year before the civil war that decimates Rapture. A young voluptuous woman knocks on Booker’s door, as Booker wakes, she enters and shortly reveals her name to be Elizabeth, the same Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite...well, kind of. She asks for your assistance in finding this little girl for unknown reasons. Of course you agree and you head through a Rapture never before seen through the eyes of the player. This was easily the most enjoyable part for me as I was intrigued with how alive Rapture felt. It wasn’t the barren wasteland as I had known it before. People standing around and having conversations, doing things like shopping, drinking, dancing and even casually smoking.
This takes about the first hour of the game because you are later taken to a section of Rapture that was buried a while ago, Fontaine Futuristics. the remainder of the game takes place here because this is where you’ll find the little girl you agreed to help look for. This is also the location of the majority of combat. The controls are exactly the same as Infinites because you are controlling Booker again. It’s explained that the enemies are the followers of Fontaine and without EVE, they are slowly mutating and turning into splicers. What makes them really interesting to fight is they are a mix between the enemies from the main story of Bioshock Infinite and splicers from the original Bioshock. You get that eerie sense of dread again from the first game which is nice and something Infinite couldn't duplicate.
Overall, Burial at Sea is a fun and exciting revisit to Rapture, albeit short and a bit overpriced. This is a must download for any fan of the franchise and I for one, am incredibly excited for the next installment because cliffhangers suck. I give this game an 8.5 outta 10.
-Gregg Dietz (@ChubRockGeek)
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