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BioShock Infinite - Burial at Sea Episode 2 Review

Discovering Where Sea Meets Air
by Joe Juba on Mar 24, 2014 at 11:00 PM
Reviewed on PlayStation 3
Also on Xbox 360, PC
Publisher 2K Games
Developer Irrational Games
Rating Mature

Irrational Games created two of the most memorable settings in gaming history: the underwater utopia of Rapture and the airborne city of Columbia. We saw these two fantastical worlds intersect in the first episode of Burial at Sea, but how are they connected in the larger BioShock universe? The second episode answers that question, picking up the story immediately where the last one left off.

In the first episode, Booker delivered scaled-back mechanics from the base game. You control Elizabeth this time, and it requires that you change your whole approach. She lacks Booker’s offensive options, and she also doesn’t have a friend tagging along to throw her health and ammo when the situation gets grim. The result is tense and deliberate stealth-focused action that has a lot in common with the classic Thief games (a connection made even clearer by the non-lethal “1998 Mode” homage).

The gameplay shift opens up new opportunities for powers and weapons. A tranquilizer-laced crossbow bolt is ideal for single-enemy situations, but your mission isn’t always so easy. If a room is full of splicers, you can fire a noisemaker to make them crowd together, then shoot knockout gas to take them all out of commission. Combined with old and new powers, your skillset has plenty of flexibility.

Elizabeth’s coolest ability allows her to see enemies and notable objects through walls. She can also use this power to turn invisible. I spent more time isolating and avoiding enemies for knockouts than I did in full-blown combat. The stealth adds more of a cat-and-mouse flavor to your encounters, but you still have the tools to fight if you mess up. This is still a BioShock game (don’t expect to be memorizing patrol patterns or anything so intricate), but the additions build on the old mechanics in ways that we didn’t see in the previous installment.

This episode concludes the Burial at Sea story arc, which is one of the highlights of the whole experience. I don’t want to ruin anything, so I’ll just say that fans of the series will enjoy the returning characters and the way the worlds of Rapture and Columbia intertwine. Finishing Episode 2 is bittersweet, since it’s the last piece of content created by Irrational Games as we know it. However, Burial at Sea also ties together the landmark creations of the talented team in a satisfying way, making it an appropriate curtain call for this amazing studio.


Conclude the story-based DLC for BioShock Infinite by further exploring the connection between Rapture and Columbia
The core game and the first episode of Burial at Sea looked great, and nothing has changed
Familiar actors reprise their roles as key characters from the BioShock series
Straightfoward controls hold no surprises for anyone who has played BioShock Infinite
Elizabeth has a stealthier and more tactical playstyle, which is an interesting change of pace
Moderately Low

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BioShock Infinite - Burial at Sea Episode 2cover

BioShock Infinite - Burial at Sea Episode 2

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