Xbox 360 Review

BioShock Infinite – Burial At Sea Episode 2

Irrational's swansong ties most of BioShock's threads together in a fitting ending

This is the end. But it's no ordinary ending to a game series. The release of Burial At Sea Episode Two marks the end of an era in terms of story-based gaming as it is the final release from Irrational Games.

The studio clearly knew that their days were numbered before co-founder Ken Levine announced the impending closure and so they've put special care into the creation of the Burial At Sea story DLC to offer BioShock fans one final conclusion to the story that began with lighthouse and a plane crash in the Atlantic off the coast of New England.

After journeying through the falled utopia in the clouds that was Columbia Burial At Sea takes Booker DeWitt and Elizabeth back to the familiar underwater surroundings of Rapture before the fall in search of a little girls called Sally who has become one of the Adam-harvesting Little Sisters. BioShock Infinite – Burial At Sea Episode 2

Episode Two begins with Booker dead and players taking control of Elizabeth. This change has redefined the way Irrational wants players to play BioShock Infinite as Elizabeth is no way the hardened warrior that Booker was. Burial At Sea Episode Two now becomes a game of stealth as Elizabeth continues to search for Sally, who is now in the clutches of Rapture's self-styled man of the people, Atlas.

Irrational has introduced some interesting new tools to aid Elizabeth in her quest including a crossbow with tranquiliser, noise-maker and gas rounds and the new Peeping Tom Plasmid that allows her to become invisible and see enemies through walls.

Empowered with these new toys Burial At Sea's Rapture becomes a new animal with Elizabeth dodging Splicers and crawling through ducts to help out Atlas in exchange for Sally's freedom. And it's fun. The stealth dynamics really work well with Elizabeth as the focal point and, while it's not Thief or Metal Gear Solid V in terms of the level of detail of the stealth mechanics, sneaking around Rapture works exactly as you'd want it too.

Elizabeth does have access to the Shotgun, Hand Cannon and Radar Range as well as the Old Man Winter, Possession and new Ironsides Plasmids as well as the Crossbow and Peeping Tom. They are much more tailored towards a guerilla approach especially given that Elizabeth can carry a very limited supply of ammunition. BioShock Infinite – Burial At Sea Episode 2

This really is fan service DLC and the main draw is the story. Levine has managed to bring back all of the main voice actors from BioShock with Atlas, Fontaine, engineering genius Suchong and Rapture founder Andrew Ryan all playing key parts. Booker is dead but, in a curious twist inspired by the interplay between Gaius Baltar and Caprica Six in Battlestar Galactica, he speaks to Elizabeth over her radio sometimes confusing the other characters as to who she is talking to.

All of this leads up to a conclusion which will tie up the BioShock and BioShock Infinite storylines together as well as fans are ever going to get in an entertaining enough fashion to even make you want to go back and play the series from the beginning again. It does leave some questions un answered but then it wouldn't be a BioShock game if it didn't tease you a little bit.

There's a certain beauty to the way Irrational has rounded out the BioShock series. It offers just enough to satisfy many fans' need for closure while leaving the door open for whatever tale may come next. It's just sad that that tale won't be told by Irrational Games.

BioShock Infinite – Burial At Sea Episode Two is out now to download for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 and it does require Episode One to play.