When BioShock Infinite was first released, it was touted to be a strong candidate for 2013′s Game of the Year. It featured a world that both reflected and parodied America, an NPC companion who actually helped instead of hindered, a combat system that consolidated those of the first two games, the insane plot twists, and so on. For everything that detractors would put up against it, including that whole moaning about ludonarrative dissonance, perhaps it was merely because it was a concept so complex that it wouldn’t be executed perfectly without taking more time than it had. What it does have now though is a DLC to deepen the experience just a bit more.
Burial At Sea is the long-awaited DLC for BioShock Infinite, teased and advertised for most of the second half of 2013. It takes Booker DeWitt into an alternate reality as a private investigator in Rapture, which matches up with the theme of BioShock Infinite’s storyline. It’s New Year’s Eve 1958, an important date in the history of Rapture, and Elizabeth walks into DeWitt’s office. This Elizabeth is not the doe-eyed maiden from the main game, but a smooth-talking femme fatale with an air of mystery about her. Like in a Dashiel Hammett novel, she comes in asking for help, and Booker just can’t deny a damsel in distress.
This DLC is all about revisiting Rapture. While Columbia is quite a wondrous place, it can never replace Rapture as a memorable setting in the BioShock series. However, it does have Infinite’s combat system that you can now use in Rapture, which is a good thing to have after going through the first two games to really give a varied experience. Also, it’s not a totally separate arc from most of Infinite since Columbia and the main storyline still gets referenced, so it’s still tied into the game itself. In this DLC, you get to see Rapture before its fall from grace, which is good for those who are interested in BioShock lore.
Some may feel that the mechanics and storytelling from Infinite don’t work that well in Rapture, mostly because of what had already been established in the first two games in that particular setting. It builds up a noir feel that is different from the first two games, so you get to experience Rapture like you’re Humphrey Bogart. But with all of the twists and turns that most people who played BioShock Infinite had already seen, there aren’t a lot of surprises that can be had in this DLC. It’s also too short to offer any compelling mystery and intrigue, but it does get quite close with what it does have. It’s only the first episode of this side arc, so there’s more to come.
Whatever criticisms you may have about BioShock Infinite, there really isn’t a proper argument that paints it as a bad game outright. At the very least, this DLC adds more to the already wondrous theme and ambience by throwing in a familiar one for good measure, but with a slight twist to boot. If you really liked BioShock Infinite, then this DLC should be of some interest to you. If not, then perhaps you can just watch playthrough videos on YouTube and be done with it. However, what this DLC represents is an exploration for Irrational Games of the world they had created and the world that preceded it.
If you are to get this DLC, then it means that you really do like BioShock Infinite. If not, then either you wait for either a sale or some future release of BioShock Infinite with all the add-ons included at a reduced price if you don’t own the game already, wait for the next episode then get both to get a better experience, or just don’t get it at all if you’re not interested. It’s not really a crucial DLC, but merely an enhancement of the singleplayer experience that BioShock Infinite is all about.
It’s all about knowing if it’s worth your $15 or not, and it will be only if you liked BioShock Infinite.
Tested in PC. Final Score: 7/10