March of 2014 saw the second part of Bioshock Infinite’s downloadable content finally released. Burial At Sea part 2 marks Irrational’s final project and quite possibly, Ken Levine’s farewell to the Bioshock series. Prior to its release, Levine had announced that this installment would feature a more stealth oriented game style instead of the more run and gun gameplay of the main game. Fans eagerly awaited the continuation of the story and hoped that the new style of play would be able to live up to the hype after the disappointingly short campaign of BaS part 1.
The reason the gameplay in this episode of BaS was designed to be different is because the main character you’re playing is Elizabeth. In accordance with this, the team at Irrational made sure that it would be harder for this female lead to blast her way through the level as opposed to Booker. Instead of focusing on running into a room and shooting everyone, the focus of the game shifted to sneaking past enemies. To emphasize this, the sound of footsteps suddenly became an important part of the game. Stepping on things like puddles of water or pieces of glass would alert enemies to your presence while carpets and rugs would muffle the sound. Furthermore, Elizabeth is not able to damage enemies with melee attacks so if she gets spotted by an enemy she is forced to hide instead of trying to go head to head. A mini game for picking locks was also added which made opening doors or deactivating turrets a lot more entertaining.
A great part of what has made the Bioshock so successful is the story. True to its legacy, Burial at Sea part 2 delivers an amazing narrative that gives a satisfying ending to the series as a whole. Despite the massive cliffhanger that the previous chapter left off on, part 2 has the audacity to begin in Paris. The unrealistically happy environment gives the player a sense of dread knowing that things are only going to get worse from here on out. The voice acting talents of Courtnee Draper (Elizabeth) and Troy Baker (Booker) were joined by a lot of the voice actors from the original Bioshock game.
The game was not without its flaws however. There were a few more weapons as well as vigors/plasmids that made the game a lot easier to play. The main offender for this was the Peeping Tom plasmid that allowed the player to go invisible and also gave vision of where enemies were located. If this plasmid is upgraded, it can be used infinitely as long as the character doesn’t move. It seems fair enough but can easily be exploited by alerting enemies to your presence (while cloaked) and knocking them out as soon as they get close. Another little thing that bothered me was that there did not seem to be many sound hazards like broken glass and when these things appeared, they could easily be avoided by going a separate route or jumping onto a ledge.
Burial at Sea part 2 offers a new way to play a Bioshock game but its gameplay is far from amazing. The new mechanics are not too spectacular and the plasmids offer easy ways to be exploited. Despite all of this, the shining brilliance of this DLC comes not only from the narrative but also in exploring some new areas of Rapture as well as getting a glimpse of its history. The Burial at Sea series isn’t a piece of downloadable content that fans of the series would want to have, it’s something they have to have. Not only is this the last piece of content that Irrational will create, it is the conclusive chapter of the Bioshock saga.
TL;DR: Gameplay isn’t too radical but it is a must have for fans of the series.
Rockit Raccoon Rating: 8/10
Game Rankings: 84%