Bioshock Infinite’s Burial at Sea DLC sinks

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Though I enjoyed Bioshock Infinite, it was probably the biggest disappointment of the year for me. What started as a smart look at another world devolved in to yet another damned shooter. It was good, but I expected better. It felt complete though; I really don’t need to see any more of booker DeWitt, Columbia  or Elizabeth. Or at least I didn’t, until I heard that its DLC was set in gold old Rapture. It’s out today to Season Pass (ugh) holders and those who want to buy some DLC. Is it any good?

It’s a crime noir detective story featuring DeWitt and Elizabeth in a 1950’s Rapture, which alone makes no real chronological sense, but I digress. This is what the scores look like.

  • CVG – 7/10 : While the general gameplay experience has been brought more in line with Infinite’s predecessor, it’s not an exact match. Players will notice the absence of Health Stations and scrounging in dustbins doesn’t yield dividends. Crucially, neither gun turrets nor vending machines can be hacked. Players can only take control of the former for brief periods using the Possession Vigor, but there’s no way to lower Rapture’s extortionate prices for ammo and Vigors.
  • Destructoid – 6.5/10 : I wasn’t too impressed by Burial at Sea Episode One, mostly because it just doesn’t add a whole lot to the overall franchise outside of the last 30 seconds, and it’s simply not compelling enough. While it’s quite possible that Episode Two will tie everything together in a neat bow and blow us all away, Irrational Games has yet to make a legitimate case for a return to Rapture.
  • Eurogamer – 7/10 : Part One of Burial at Sea is predicated on so many constants and variables that it will undoubtedly prove divisive. It feels all too brief, even as half of a two-part whole, but it delivers a rich storyline that builds to a suitably stunning climax. Its standalone price of £11.99 is steep, especially when you consider that there’s little replay value here, yet its production values exceed those of some full-price games. It lacks variety but delivers quality; it offers plenty to ponder but misses enough to do.
  • IGN – 7/10 : Though Burial at Sea Episode 1 may be a short vignette next to Infinite’s novel, it’s still one you aren’t likely to put down for the brief time it lasts — and it’s priced accordingly at $15. Just don’t expect the story to yank the rug out from under you quite so delightfully this time.
  • Joystiq – No Score : Burial at Sea is an all too brief visit to Andrew Ryan’s playground. Its best and most intriguing moments are over far too quickly, and even if you hunt down hidden secrets and listen to every conversation, the adventure tops out at around two hours. It’s an excuse to return to Rapture, but it’s not worth much else.
  • NowGamer – 6/10 : Burial at Sea is by no means a bad game, it’s just one that doesn’t live up to the high standards that Irrational themselves have set and frequently leaves the player wishing they were playing the original Bioshock. 
  • Rock, Paper, Shotgun – No Score : When this first chapter of Burial At Sea ends, far too soon, it does so with an inevitable cliffhanger and a return of sorts to Infinite’s over-arching story. It’s a reminder that Rapture is now just a small piece of that puzzle rather than being lead actor in this performance.

It seems like Burial at sea is decent fan service, but like Infinite itself devolves in to little more than shooting. Will you be going back to Rapture?

Last Updated: November 12, 2013

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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