Game: Bioshock Infinite – Burial at Sea (Episode 1)
Format: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Developer: Irrational Games
Publisher: 2K Games
You know how Columbia was a fantastically exciting new setting for the BioShock universe?
You know how you didn’t miss the eerily creepy underwater setting Rapture provided for the first two magnificent instalments of this ultimate retro shooter goodness?
No, neither do I.
I miss Rapture. There, I said it!
Well, you’ll never guess what; It seems 2K are sympathetic to my cause and have seen fit to deliver me back to the salty, watery deeps I remember so fondly…
So, it’s back to Rapture we go with Burial At Sea (Part 1) immediately delivering that familiar briny feel that I’ve been secretly hankering for ever since I watched Rapture drown…
As ever we’re determined not to spoil anything plot wise, which can particularly be a challenge when discussing the merits of a game so rich in background, ambiance and story.
Let’s focus then, on mechanics, quality and the experience.
There are no surprises here in this regard, which is no bad thing. Slipping back under the waves is just the pleasure I wanted to it to be, except this time I have rails to exploit… Oh, and then there’s the small matter of my new companion, Elizabeth.
It is a fascinating thing to see the melding of my favourite aspects of Rapture with what are arguably the best bits of Columbia.
Suddenly the Rapture I remember seems colder, darker, and much, much lonelier.
Whilst the rails are a fantastic mechanic whose added power I personally welcome to Rapture, even if, in this setting, they don’t necessarily make as much sense as on Columbia, and the new options available to Booker to deal with foes and environmental challenges also work very well in my view it’s the addition of the ever present Elizabeth that really reinvigorates Rapture for me.
No longer a solitary desperado, surviving in the dark depths through some personal drive to continue, it is Elizabeth I have to thank for my newly rediscovered delight in Rapture 3.0.
Putting aside the fairly considerable “retconning” which has enabled these additions I certainly feel they add considerably to my engagement with the story.
For someone as familiar with Rapture as I might humbly claim to be it is particularly interesting how, even despite the excellent companion I have with me on my visit this time the game world manages to surprise, confuse, challenge and maybe even frighten me on occasion.
As I think about how my return has impacted on my love for the BioShock world I can’t help but think what it will be like for those who will be experiencing Rapture for the first time.
All in all it will be a hugely positive experience for hardened Raptureites and new visitors alike, and I certainly hope those venturing under the seas for the first time will be inspired to stay a little longer, perhaps with the first two games in the BioShock saga as their vehicles to do so…
If Infinite was your first BioShock experience come on down and smell the sea weed for the first time, you’re going to love the views… although wellies / boots are recommended.
If you will be returning to Rapture for the second, or maybe even third, time then remember what you learnt, for it will prove useful, but also be open to the new ways Rapture can surprise you, it’s a whole different kettle of fish now…
Rapture, sweet, salty, humid Rapture… Oh how I’ve missed thee!
Rapture 3.0, now with more rails & companion!
Sky rails? Underwater? Wha?
Is that door SUPPOSED to take that long to open?
But wait! I want to stay longer!!
Overall: 4 out of 5
Burial at Sea (Episode One) for Bioshock Infinite is available on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC for roughly £10 / $15.
Remember, if you are a Bioshock Infinite Season Pass holder you can download this DLC for free from within the game’s main menu.