Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea

There'll Be No Accusations, Just Friendly Crustaceans

Bioshock Infinite: Burial At Sea

Last year's Bioshock Infinite was one of the most interesting story-driven titles of this generation. It had its problems, but the plot managed to hold most players attention as it careened towards a rather confusing (and seemingly definitive) conclusion. Burial at Sea seeks to continue this story, however, shifting things back to where the series began, in the underwater Objectivist utopia of Rapture.

Burial presents players with a two-part adventure staring the protagonists of the Infinte, Booker DeWitt and Elizabeth. Though the setting shift from cloud city to the underwater city is probably the biggest and most obvious difference to the main title, there are actually a few twists on the original's formula. Instead of only being able to carry two weapons, both characters can now carry around a small arsenal, with the trade off of having very limited ammunition and resources. This makes for the biggest change, as trying to go in all guns blazing as you would in the main title will quickly see you dead. You are now presented with a number of stealth options, and actively encouraged to use them. The problem with this, however, is that it seems clear that the engine wasn't really built around stealth mechanics, and so much of these segments feel a little stiff and awkward.

That said, if you've enjoyed the series thus far, Burial at Sea is packed with references to the previous games, giving the player a new insight on some events, as well as some background information. It's clear that it was written for the fans, and people already in love with the franchise may find the rougher edges of the the title easier to forgive. It really does bring the whole story full circle - you just have to decide if a bit of closure and fan service is worth the slightly awkward play style. 

This review originally appeared in Empire Times Magazine

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