Video Game Review: Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea Parts 1 and 2 DLC (2013)

Details: Science fiction, action, first person shooting game. Spent about thirteen hours playing the main game and this DLC (downloadable content) on the PC.

I can’t review the Burial at Sea DLC without saying a few things about Bioshock Infinite first.

I loved the art in Bioshock Infinite. The world, the characters, the design, it was all amazing to look at. And while I didn’t love the story, I enjoyed it enough. I have a weakness for science fiction.

With that said, I hated the gameplay in Bioshock Infinite. It was outdated and no amount of skyhooking was going to change the horrific shooting mechanics. It just felt wrong. Moreover, collecting health packs suck. Having a handful of mediocre weapons suck. The powers weren’t bad, but their implementation wasn’t great either. And the saving… the lack of point to point saving/mandatory checkpoint saving is a luxury for those with the time to play a game straight through in one sitting. For those of us with jobs and other things we have to do, the inclusion of checkpoint saving alone forces us to guess where our progress is or play through the whole game in one sitting.

When playing through Bioshock Infinite, it became clear to me that what Ken Levine really wanted to do was to make an adventure game because he has no idea what a good shooter feels like. He likely threw in the first person shooting mechanics just to satisfy his bosses and warrant the triple A pricing of Bioshock Infinite ($60 when it first came out). This would also explain why he suddenly fired all the employees at at his studio, shut the studio down, and started a little independent game making studio of five people after Bioshock Infinite was released (dick move Levine).

With all that said about Bioshock Infinite, it should be a little clearer now why I actually enjoyed the Burial at Sea DLC, at least more than I did the main game.

Firstly, it’s short. You can beat each part of the DLC in about an hour or two. So at the very least, the crappy save system won’t be an issue because you’ll likely finish the game before wondering where the random checkpoints have left you this time.

Secondly, while the game does have shooting elements in the game, it feels like the developers tried a number of other things and created a game that is more adventure than action. The story takes precedence and, accordingly, the player can get through the game without playing as much of the outdated shooting mechanics as was necessary in the main game.

Additionally, the ending to Burial at Sea Part 2 was actually pretty good. Hit me in the feels a little.

Score: 6/10 The main game of Bioshock Infinite is a 4/10 for me. I did not enjoy playing that game and will likely never buy another Bioshock game unless it’s on sale at Steam… for a dollar.

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2 Replies to “Video Game Review: Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea Parts 1 and 2 DLC (2013)”

  1. I’m with you on the checkpoint system. Anytime a developer tries to get rid of menu saves, I feel like he’s giving a big middle-finger to busy gamers.

    Thanks for the review. Just started Burial Pt. 1. Glad to hear it’s worth finishing.

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