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BioShock

Review: BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episode Two

Mar 25 // Chris Carter
BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episode Two (PC [reviewed], PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)Developer: Irrational GamesPublisher: 2K GamesReleased: March 25, 2013MSRP: $14.99 (included in Season Pass) After a fantastic opening that links the worlds of BioShock and Infinite, this episode of Burial at Sea picks up right after the prior DLC, but this time we're in control of Elizabeth. Elizabeth will find herself drawn into both the world of Rapture and Columbia, as she interacts with a variety of characters from both franchise worlds. She'll have to do this by way of stealth, and without the use of her magical "tearing" ability (which is explained by way of the narrative). Just in case you need a quick refresher, a "Previously on BioShock" video is very helpful for those of you who forgot the gist of the first game.  Simply put, the transition into Elizabeth not only works on a macro level, but the stealth ploy is actually fun, as well as unique. Instead of the same old "shoot everything" strategy typically employed by Jack and Booker before her, Elizabeth must instead rely on tools like sleeping darts and stealth knockouts to stand a chance. Irrational really took a chance with the switch to a lower-key approach, and it paid off. In a nutshell, Elizabeth's style is Thief-like, which is a good franchise to draw inspiration from. This dedication to stealth is seen through nearly every facet of her gameplay. When slinking around carpeted floors muffle her steps, and objects like broken glass or puddles can give her away. Through the use of a brand new Plasmid called the Peeping Tom, she can also see through walls and momentarily cloak herself, adding a new dimension to your approach should you wish to use it. I had a lot of fun coming up with new ways to utilize Elizabeth's style, and it felt like I was playing something utterly different -- which is an accomplishment for a DLC episode, in my mind. [embed]272421:53113:0[/embed] Although she might have less health than Booker she is still very much a formidable hero with a variety of weapons at her disposal like Noisemaker Darts to distract sentries, and gas darts to put multiple foes to sleep -- plus, she still has a few standard guns like the handcannon and shotgun. Her only real weakness is the inability to take out enemies with melee attacks if she's seen, but a quick cloak or a few moments of going into hiding will fix that. In addition to the uniquely improved gameplay, you'll also get a lot more big-picture story in Burial at Sea Episode Two. I'm talking tidbits fans really want to see, like more info on Big Daddies, Little Sisters, and a lot of the big personalities in the Bioshock universe. You'll also see a few appearances from the Lutece Twins, and characters you didn't necessarily get to hang out with in person in past games. If you were disappointed by the lack of new revelations presented in Episode One, you'll get them here. Although the length of a game doesn't typically bother me, the fact of the matter is you're getting more bang for your buck with Episode Two, as the core story will last you around five hours. The environments as a whole are also much larger than Episode One, so it's really easy to get lost as you look for secrets and experiment with Elizabeth's newfound tactics. Irrational also went above and beyond with the implementation of 1998 Mode -- a new difficulty level that challenges you to complete the entire DLC without killing a soul. I never thought the core game's 1999 setting really added anything significant as it was basically the exact same experience, but with even more emphasis on stealth, playing 1998 felt like a whole new game. It was so fun in fact that I was compelled to go back for a second playthrough of Episode Two immediately -- a feeling I didn't experience with the first DLC.BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episode Two blows Episode One out of the water. It improves upon nearly every shortcoming of the first outing, and with all of the lore additions it's a must-play for fans of the series. It's worth picking up the Season Pass just to see this story through to the end.
BioShock DLC REVIEWED photo
Irrational's swan song
BioShock Infinite had an interesting run, with player reception all over the board. Some loved it, some hated it, others reveled in its celebration of violence, some disapproved. It's probably going to be a long time bef...

Deals photo
Deals

Thief, Tomb Raider, and more half price on Xbox Live


Deals for Xbox 360 and Xbox One
Mar 25
// Jordan Devore
Xbox One deals straight from the console's digital marketplace itself are a welcome sight indeed. This week's Xbox Live sales are available to Xbox 360 and Xbox One owners alike from March 28 - 30: Thief (50 percent off), Tom...
BioShock statue photo
BioShock statue

Is Elizabeth your spunky waifu? Why not buy a $250 statue?


Highway robbery at sea
Mar 11
// Steven Hansen
Here's a thing you can buy if you have too much money on your hands and don't want to give it to those in need: this limited run Noir Elizabeth BioShock Infinite statue is available for pre-order. It's $250, but only 400 were...
BioShock photo
BioShock

Irrational devs recall proudest moments from their last BioShock DLC


I'm getting a little veklempt
Mar 11
// Conrad Zimmerman
In this reflective look back at the soon-to-be released final DLC for BioShock Infinite, members of the team at Irrational Games talk about the elements of the experience they are most individually proud of. There are also l...
1998 Mode photo
1998 Mode

Irrational introduces 1998 Mode to BioShock Infinite DLC


Get your stealth on
Feb 27
// Brett Makedonski
One of the biggest and most widely-held criticisms of BioShock Infinite had to do with all the violence. Many thought that it did a disservice to the narrative by being too over-the-top. Irrational aims to make amends of...
Bioshock Vita photo
Bioshock Vita

So...whatever happened to Bioshock Vita?


Remember that?
Feb 21
// Chris Carter
Remember when Ken Levine went on stage at E3 in 2011 and held up a PlayStation Vita, championed the hardware, and noted that Bioshock would be coming to it? Well... he just disbanded Irrational Games. CVG reached out to ...
Irrational Games closing photo
Levine forming smaller team focused on highly-replayable narrative-driven games
"I am winding down Irrational Games as you know it," wrote co-founder Ken Levine in a post that comes as an utter shock. "I'll be starting a smaller, more entrepreneurial endeavor at Take-Two. That is going to mean ...

BioShock Infinite photo
BioShock Infinite

Burial at Sea video reintroduces some familiar faces


Steven's better with the sea puns
Feb 12
// Brett Makedonski
It's not often that I post a video and recommend that nobody actually watch it, but here we are. Just like the preview clip from two weeks ago, this Burial at Sea: Episode Two behind-the-scenes video is full of spoilers...
Hats! photo
Hats!

BioShock themed goodies come to Team Fortress 2


Free with BioShock: Infinite Season Pass
Feb 09
// Wesley Ruscher
Who doesn't love a shiny new hat, or two, to wear during their Team Fortress 2 shenanigans? Well if you've been looking to spruce up the old noggin with a little BioShock love, then Irrational Games has a treat for you.....
Bioshock DLC photo
Bioshock DLC

Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea 2 will drop in March


Finally, you get everything you bought with your Season Pass
Feb 05
// Chris Carter
Yesterday, we got word that Bioshock Infinite's Burial at Sea Episode 2 would be a tad longer than the first, now we know the exact release date -- a worldwide release of March 25th for PC, PS3, and 360. The DL...
BioShock DLSea photo
BioShock DLSea

BioShock Infinite's next Burial at Sea DLC will be longer


DLSea
Feb 04
// Steven Hansen
One of the (perhaps less serious) criticisms levied at the first part of BioShock Infinite's Burial at Sea was that it was rather short at its hour or two run time. I'm not one to be upset with games for being too short, but ...
Burial at Sea photo
Burial at Sea

The Burial at Sea: Episode Two trailer might ruin the fun


It gets a little spoilery
Jan 28
// Brett Makedonski
So, I have about a million things that I want to say about this BioShock Infinite Burial at Sea: Episode Two trailer, but can't for running the risk of spoiling it for those that want the purest experience possible. If ...
 photo

Podtoid 279: Troy Baker's Next-Gen Ice Bucket


Also: Beards
Jan 22
// Max Scoville
An outbreak of evil fungus resulted in the untimely deaths (and scheduling conflicts) of Jonathan Holmes and Andy Dixon, so this week's gritty post-apocalyptic Podtoid is only Max Scoville, Conrad Zimmerman, and Caitlin Cooke...
BioShock movie photo
BioShock movie

Here's some concept art for that dead BioShock movie


It captures the games quite well
Jan 17
// Chris Carter
The folks over at Comic Book Movie have picked up some concept art for the defunct BioShock film, which was set to be directed by Gore Verbinski, and written by The Last Samurai's John Logan. The project fell apart over ...
BioShock Infinite free photo
BioShock Infinite free

BioShock Infinite your next PlayStation Plus freebie


Plus Proteus on sale
Jan 13
// Steven Hansen
Bioshock Infinite will be free for PlayStation Plus subscribers tomorrow. Now its price matches the amount of American flags and murderous patriots in the game. Freedom! Maybe at that price you can then stomach its premium DL...
BioShock Infinite photo
BioShock Infinite

The Tea Party doesn't understand BioShock Infinite


Conservative group confuses satire with propaganda
Dec 16
// Alessandro Fillari
Satire: the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues. It's not every day when an ultra-c...
Deals photo
Deals

Amazon has the BioShock Triple Pack on PC for $15


Required playing
Nov 25
// Jordan Devore
As part of its Black Friday deals week, Amazon has five noteworthy discounts on digitally-distributed PC games, including BioShock, BioShock 2, and BioShock Infinite bundled together for $15. It was not long ago that I was th...

The best and worst games of the week

Nov 16 // Wesley Ruscher
BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episode One (PC [reviewed], PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)Developer: Irrational GamesPublisher: 2K GamesReleased: November 12, 2013MSRP: $14.99 (included in Season Pass) Don't expect a whole lot of playtime without the second piece of the package, as Episode One's narrative will last you a solid hour or so, and you can tack on another hour or two (at maximum) if you want to explore everything. While I don't want to spoil it for you, Burial leaves off on a massive cliffhanger at the very end, which is pretty much the only point where it feels relevant. 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. Verdict: 6.5/10 Read the full BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episode One review XCOM: Enemy Within (PC [reviewed], PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)Developer: Firaxis GamesPublisher: 2K GamesRelease Date: November 12, 2013MSRP: $29.99 (PC download upgrade) / $39.99 (Console disc) If you haven't played the newest XCOM yet, now is a perfect time to do so with the Enemy Within package. For all the XCOM veterans out there, you'll find a solid amount of new activities to engage in, as well as an unprecedented amount of squad customization. In other words, this is now the definitive Enemy experience. Verdict: 9/10 Read the full XCOM: Enemy Within review Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus (PS3)Developer: Insomniac GamesPublisher: Sony Computer EntertainmentRelease Date: November 12, 2013MSRP: $29.99 (Ratchet & Clank: Quest for Booty included for free) Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus doesn't make great strides to change up the series, but fans won't be disappointed. Nexus is short, sweet, and to the point, with hardly a dull moment in sight, making it a fitting conclusion to the Future series. When you add in the fact that the game is budget priced and you get Quest for Booty for free, it only sweetens the deal. Verdict: 8/10 Read the full Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus review Football Manager 2014 (PC [reviewed], Linux, Mac)Developer: Sports InteractivePublisher: SEGARelease: October 31, 2013MSRP: $49.99 / £34.99  ...this year's edition is building on what was already established; it will please longtime fans and keep them engaged as Football Manager 14 gives them all the depth and options they would want. There could still be more done to ease new fans into the series but that will maybe have to wait until next year. Verdict: 8/10 Read the full Football Manager 2014 review Beer Pong! (PlayStation 3)Developer:  JV GamesPublisher: JV GamesReleased: October 22, 2013MSRP: $4.99 There's just no reason to play this. Beer Pong! is a joyless shell a college drinking game. It revolves entirely around mechanics that do not function with any sense of accuracy or precision. Save your money and play the real thing. Or do anything else. Anything at all. Verdict: 1/10 Read the full Beer Pong! review Final Exam (PC, PSN, XBLA [Reviewed])Developer: Mighty Rocket StudioPublisher: Focus Home InteractiveReleased: November 5, (PC, PSN); November 8, 2013 (XBLA)MSRP: $9.99 ...it’s not the worst of games. It does an admirable job bringing some modern systems into an old school brawler and at a more than affordable price. It controls well and the visuals are mildly entertaining with all the gooey giblets that are constantly flying around. It’s just  a game you'll go through once and never go back to again. Verdict: 5/10 Read the full Final Exam review Resogun (PlayStation 4)Developer: HousemarquePublisher: SCEReleased: November 15, 2013MSRP: $14.99 (Free for PlayStation Plus members) Resogun is a satisfying arcade-style game with a next-gen look and feel -- the ideal system launch game. It’s an eye-searing blur of a loop that you’ll be happy to jump into again and again. Don’t miss it. Verdict: 9.5/10 Read the full Resogun review Knack (PS4)Developer: Sony Japan StudioPublisher: SCEReleased: November 15, 2013MSRP: $59.99 Knack is still a fun romp, and definitely worth a play. It’s easy to pick up, a joy to look at, and and some of the boss battles are pretty great. My recommendation is that you take it in smaller doses, or try out the drop-in/drop-out cooperative play, which will definitely help when the going gets tough. It’s not the next blockbuster platformer you'd want out of a launch title, but you need a break from shooters or want something with some personality, Knack is worth a look.  Verdict: 7/10 Read the full Knack review Killzone: Shadow Fall (PS4)Developer: Guerrilla GamesPublisher: Sony Computer EntertainmentReleased: November 15, 2013MSRP: $59.99  like Killzone: Shadow Fall for its change of direction from previous series games, as well as its change of pace over other first-person shooters. Guerrilla has tried a few new things this time around, and should be commended as such. I welcome the almost sandbox-ish level approach, and the stealth segments did a nice job of breaking up the standard shooting action. It’s really nice when gameplay concepts win out over big set pieces and cinematic events.  Oh, and it’s beautiful. A stunner. Killzone: Shadow Fall is the game that will make you happy to own a PS4. This needs to be on your PS4 launch game list. Verdicts: 9/10 Read the full Killzone: Shadow Fall review The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (3DS)Developer: Nintendo EAD Group No. 3Publisher: NintendoRelease Date: November 22, 2013MSRP: $39.99 A Link Between World's main problem at the end of the day is a complete lack of heart. There's no defining moment, no memorable villains or characters, and no truly "new" items that make their mark on the series. It's certainly playable in every sense of the word, but I didn't feel the magic I had felt so many times before. In fact, the only real legacy it leaves behind beyond being a serviceable Zelda game is its welcome streamlining, which I hope is carried over to future iterations. It's a great way to return to the world of Link to the Past, but outside of some welcome streamlining, it doesn't surpass it, or even meet it. Verdict: 6.5/10 Read the full The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds review Risk of Rain (PC)Developer: Hopoo GamesPublisher: Chucklefish GamesRelease: November 8, 2013MSRP: $9.99Rig: AMD Phenom II X2 555 @ 3.2 GHz, with 4GB of RAM, ATI Radeon HD 5700, Windows 7 64-bit All things considered, Risk of Rain is a lot of fun. Though it is held back by its technical faults (which can be reasonably expected from a project created by two students), it has the right stuff to elicit the "just one more run" response that roguelike games are known for. With a little more polish, it could be truly great, but as it is now, it's still totally worth checking out. Verdict: 7/10 Read the full Risk of Rain review Contrast (PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 [reviewed], Xbox 360)Developer: Compulsion GamesPublisher: Focus Home InteractiveRelease Date: November 14, 2013MSRP: $14.99 (Free on PlayStation Plus) There really isn't a whole lot to Contrast throughout its roughly three hour tale. It's a perfect game to pick up on PlayStation Plus for free, but if you're a non-subscriber or you're musing on another platform, I'd wait for a sale. It does a nice job of weaving a sweet little tale of a young girl and her struggle to maintain her innocence in a (literal and figurative) dark and dreary world, but it's nothing special, and nothing you haven't really seen before. Verdict: 6.5/10 Read the full Contrast review
Reviews!!! photo
Review Round-up: Week ending 11/16
The Playstation 4 dominated this weeks review schedule and rightfully so. Killzone: Shadow Fall, Knack, Resogun, and Contrast dominated our postings -- and as of last night my Facebook wall (please turn off your notifications...

Review: BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episode One

Nov 11 // Chris Carter
BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episode One (PC [reviewed], PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)Developer: Irrational GamesPublisher: 2K GamesReleased: November 12, 2013MSRP: $14.99 (included in Season Pass) The setup is as simple as it gets -- in a seemingly alternate universe, another version of Elizabeth comes to the office of Booker Dewitt asking him to find a child named Sally. After "pressing X to light cigarette," bada bing bada boom, you'll jump into Rapture rather quickly -- as in, less than a minute or so, as it's literally right outside your door. At first, Burial's rendition of the classic underwater dystopia feels like a different Rapture. This time around, it feels like an actual community, rather than a series of desecrated halls with Disney robots spouting classist social commentary. But that feeling is fleeting, sadly. There is no "God Only Knows" moment of clarity like in Infinite. You simply get to see a brief glimpse of Rapture with regular people in it, doing regular things, augmented by predictable discussions like "What if the Big Daddies rebelled?" and other half-hearted fanservice teases. The facade quickly devolves even further after the first quest (a series of errands), and you embark upon the real bulk of the game -- the messed up part of Rapture we all know so well on the eve of its collapse. At first, you may feel excited at the prospect of returning to these hallowed halls, eager to see how all of your old favorites are doing. But you'd be extremely disappointed once you dive in, as there is very little here to placate you outside of the mere existence of Rapture in the DLC. Burial at Sea is content with namedropping characters from BioShock, but not actually providing anything substantial outside of a five-minute conversation with Sander Cohen, followed by more namedropping. [embed]264966:51208:0[/embed] It knows its audience, and it's very much fanservice from an environmental perspective, since much of the selling point is the mere return to Rapture. Not much happens as you're spelunking through it, however, because you're basically just fighting splicers (again) until you reach the poignant conclusion. Eventually, Burial lets you know that it is intertwined with the main story (you should complete Infinite first to fully understand the end of the DLC), but it isn't until this brief moment that anything important actually happens. What is neat about Burial is the juxtaposition of Booker knowing intimate details about Rapture while Elizabeth pretends to know nothing. There's one part specifically where she explains her wormhole power as a "new Plasmid," and you can almost feel the shiftiness of her eyes in her voice. I would have loved more exploration of these themes, but there's one major problem: this Elizabeth just isn't compelling enough. Period. Don't be fooled by the "noir" setup in the intro -- that theme is not carried into the DLC proper. Burial's version of Elizabeth is less endearing, less interesting, and gives you no real reason to care about her place in the narrative. She'll still throw you health, EVE, and ammo just like Infinite, but now more than ever she feels like a delivery system rather than her own entity. With Infinite, I was always left guessing at how Elizabeth would react to a certain situation, and I'd feel like I was in the same moment right alongside of her -- sharing those experiences. But in Burial, she conversely feels predictable and soulless, adding nothing more to the plot than fundamental intrigue and a new outfit. Gameplay-wise I think Burial is a step in the right direction for a potential Bioshock 4, as it feels like a slightly refined Infinite. The weapon wheel returns (thank goodness), allowing you to switch between any given tool in your arsenal at any time, rather than pointlessly limiting you to two tools. The Skyhook is also back in the exact same capacity, but this time it's called an "Air Grabber," as to fit into the Rapture-centric lore. A new weapon called the Radar Range is extremely fun to use, and functions like a high-powered microwave laser gun, adding a bit of silliness to the proceedings. The design is tweaked as well in Burial, with a mostly positive outcome. In the original BioShock combat felt unique, in the sense that one Big Daddy could be the difference between life and death. But with Infinite, forced wave-based arena combat sections often made a mockery of the original's design, seemingly doing nothing more than padding the game for the sake of it. In that sense Burial feels like a solid compromise, because while combat isn't quite as nuanced as the original, it definitely feels less forced than it was in Infinite, and strikes a good balance that should placate the majority of fans. Elizabeth's tearing power can still be used to summon objects like samurais (yeah, you heard me), robot patriots, gun stashes, and medical supplies just like Infinite, which helps add another tactical layer to combat on top of those refinements. Don't expect a whole lot of playtime without the second piece of the package, as Episode One's narrative will last you a solid hour or so (which isn't a problem for me, but a fair warning), and you can tack on another hour or two (at maximum) if you want to explore everything. While I don't want to spoil it for you, Burial leaves off on a massive cliffhanger at the very end, which is pretty much the only point where it feels relevant. 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.
BioShock DLC REVIEWED photo
A conflicted return to Rapture
BioShock Infinite was one of the most polarizing releases in recent memory among the gaming community. While a number of critics lauded it as an apex for Irrational, many fans were left feeling underwhelmed by certain facets ...

BioShock Infinite DLC photo
Start your journey next month
2K has just announced that the first major DLC for BioShock Infinite, Burial at Sea: Episode 1, will be available on November 12th for $14.99 (or included with your Season Pass). This date is a worldwide release for the PS3, ...

Ken Levine photo
Ken Levine

Levine to receive recognition at Golden Joystick Awards


The show's first ever Lifetime Achievement award
Oct 23
// Brett Makedonski
Ken Levine, one of the most well-known and respected developers in the videogame industry, will be honored at this year's Golden Joystick Awards with a Lifetime Achievement award. Throughout the course of the show's 31-year h...
2K Marin layoffs photo
2K Marin layoffs

BioShock 2, The Bureau dev 2K Marin 'essentially' closed


Bureau of bad news
Oct 18
// Steven Hansen
Yesterday, Polygon got word of a massive layoff that hit BioShock 2 and The Bureau: XCOM Declassified developer 2K Marin. "We can confirm staff reductions at 2K Marin," the statement read. "While these were difficult decisio...
Deals photo
Deals

Get Borderlands 2: Game of the Year Edition on PC for $18


Also, Civilization V for $9 and BioShock Infinite for $12
Oct 11
// Darren Nakamura
[Update: Borderlands 2: Game of the Year Edition has sold out at this price. The other deals still appear to be available.] It was only a couple of days ago that the Borderlands 2: Game of the Year Edition launched in North A...
Jimquisition photo
Jimquisition happens every Monday!
You were promised an episode on season passes, in the wake of Jimquisition complaining about downloadable content. There is a season for all things, and that season has come to pass. Here is a nice little bit of shouting on why season passes are ridiculous, and why it would behoove you to pass up on the bloody things.

BioShock Infinite DLC photo
Spoilers, obviously
BioShock Infinite's Burial At Sea Episode 1 is on the way, and you can get a quick look at the first five minutes courtesy of Irrational Games above. Although there are obvious spoilers as to the setup of the DLC, not a whol...

Ken Levine on the evolution of Elizabeth in Burial at Sea

Oct 04 // Caitlin Cooke
In Burial at Sea: Episode 1, Elizabeth seemed a little bit jaded, if not completely cold, in comparison to her personality in BioShock Infinite. I asked Ken to elaborate on what's happening with her character, and he explained, "In [Burial at Sea: Episode 2], there will be even more changes and each experience. It's really about taking Elizabeth from the woman you met in the tower [in Infinite], this naive person, to the person at the end of Infinite who's gone through some terrible things, [then] to this femme fatal, opaque, cold and then going inside and seeing what caused all of that." "When you get to the end of this, where does that leave her and what does this experience do to her? We basically want to show you the world from her perspective [...] that's a journey that you can complete only when you step into her shoes." After learning about the "lighthouses" from BioShock Infinite, it can be confusing to understand where Burial at Sea falls in the timeline and how it fits into Elizabeth's world. Ken Levine clarified that "This is 'Elizabeth prime,' this is the Elizabeth that went through the experiences in BioShock Infinite and this is the Rapture from BioShock. We're not splintering that." Elizabeth's combat style in Burial at Sea: Episode 2 hasn't been announced yet, but the gameplay will be more of the survival-horror variety. Ken elaborates on the gameplay that "It's probably even more resource management intensive and stealth oriented. Elizabeth is a different person, she's not a "guns blazing" person. "Without going into too much detail, it's the world through her eyes. Each game (BioShock Infinite, Burial at Sea: Episode 1) are bespoke experiences, we're working on game experience stuff that varies from each of them." Perhaps we will be getting a completely different gameplay mechanic when we step into Elizabeth's shoes. There is no official release date for Burial at Sea: Episode 2, but I imagine we'll have our answers when it's most likely released sometime next year.
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A cold, jaded lady
Warning: Minor plot/theme spoilers  BioShock Infinite - Burial at Sea: Episode 1 ends on an interesting note to say the least, and I'm curious to see what is in store for the next episode. When it was announced, Burial a...

Preview: BioShock Infinite - Burial at Sea: Episode 1

Oct 04 // Caitlin Cooke
[embed]258998:49773:0[/embed] BioShock Infinite - Burial at Sea: Episode 1 (PC [previewed], PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)Developer: Irrational GamesPublisher: 2K GamesRelease: Holiday 2013 Elizabeth informs you that she knows a crazy artist named Cohen (sound familiar?) who may know the whereabouts of Sally. After viewing the new areas Rapture has to offer, your first objective is to procure a rabbit mask that will grant entry into Cohen's secret party. This task introduces a new aspect of gameplay where Elizabeth distracts shopkeepers as you wait for the right timing to sneak into the back areas. I found it highly enjoyable and tense (in a good way), but also very brief as this particular mechanic doesn't show up again in the DLC. Once you steal this mask, you enter Cohen's crazy little party. From there, those of you who have played the original BioShock can assume things get dark and twisted very fast. Note: This is the last of the story I'll reveal.  The combat mechanics in Burial at Sea, including Plasmids, are very much the same as in prior BioShock installments. However, this time around resource management is much more prevalent than it was in Infinite. On medium difficulty I found myself often running out of bullets and Eve, thus having to conserve my resources to ensure I could make it through to the next area. This was intentional from a gameplay perspective, and I actually found myself getting more out of the combat situations versus the rushed combat mentality of BioShock Infinite. Enemies are different this time around as well. They were much less likely to rush at me, and often times I could observe them milling about before they were even alerted to my presence. This gave me time to plan my attacks in advance, making it easier to strategically place Plasmid traps and route enemies. Despite the lack of resources I ended up feeling more accomplished at the end of my battles, which is something I didn't really feel in Infinite despite the numerous and often large amount of enemies. The setting in Burial at Sea is gorgeous and colorful -- all assets have been redone, breathing in new life to Rapture. Bars, shops, art galleries, and even slot machines adorn the main area. One of the settings, a derelict department store, is an interesting space in its own right. Clothing, electronics, toys and various other relics from Rapture in the 1950s are scattered about in a creepy yet eye-catching way. The pacing and overall design felt much more open than Infinite as well. So much more open in fact that at one point I had accidentally skipped two parts of a quest because I bypassed it. Enemies had cropped up in the meantime making it harder every time I made a mistake in my path selection. Hidden areas are still prevalent in Burial at Sea, with Elizabeth always at the ready to help pick locks. Audio diaries are scattered about, providing extra context to what's happening in Rapture at the time and also some interesting tidbits regarding a certain "phenomena" occurring. I highly recommend not skipping these! I fully completed this DLC and truly enjoyed it. In fact, I loved it so much that it makes me wonder why it's not a standalone game. I felt like it blended the best parts of both BioShock and BioShock Infinite; the combat was challenging and thoughtful, the story was captivating, and the pacing was perfect. Infinite was a fantastic game in its own right, but bringing Booker and Elizabeth to Rapture is literally a whole new world. Burial at Sea: Episode 1 does not have a specific release date, but they do anticipate it coming out before the holidays. We'll do a full proper review closer to release. In the meantime, enjoy this ominous "Fact from Myth" video which foreshadows what may have happened after Elizabeth and Booker meet in Rapture ... [embed]262949:50775:0[/embed]
BioShock Infinite photo
All assets have been redone, breathing in new life to Rapture
Warning: minor plot spoilers I swore hand over heart that I would not spoil the resolution of Burial at Sea, so that will remain a mystery until the rest of you fine citizens get to enjoy it before the holidays. However, to g...

BioShock photo
BioShock

BioShock 2 drops GFWL, adds Minerva's Den on Steam


Celebrate good times
Oct 03
// Jordan Devore
It's been a long time coming, but Minerva's Den for BioShock 2 is worth the wait. The beloved DLC is now yours if you already owned the core game on PC -- otherwise, it's on sale for $4.99. What's more, Steam Achievements, Bi...
2K Games photo
2K Games

Rod Fergusson heading up new 2K Games studio


Working on an unannounced project
Sep 26
// Jordan Devore
Former Gears of War producer Rod Fergusson left Irrational Games earlier this year after joining the team during the tail-end of development on BioShock Infinite. The fact that he moved on is no secret, but he has only today ...
 photo
Jimquisition happens every Monday!
This week, Jim loads his gun and shoots holes in the argument that certain games suffer from ludonarrative dissonance, just because they're violent. Because really, people, that's not even what ludonarrative dissonance is! If you're gonna use big words to sound smart, use 'em correctly ... guttersnipes.


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