Bioshock Infinite: Burial At Sea Episode 2 has launched after much anticipation and just as I hoped it was much better then episode 1. It still wasn’t great but that really just proves how piss poor episode 1 was. Before I continue I am going to point out this review will contain spoilers.
So to begin we’ll start with what my expectations were. All I really wanted was something better then interesting one. To do that it just had to simply be longer than 1.5-2 hours, had to have an understandable plot as well as change up the play style. Episode 2 did work on each of these points but didn’t really do too great a job at any of them. Knowing we would be playing as Elizabeth, I expected to finally be able to play with tears at my leisure and have the ability to all the god like powers she possessed. Of course that wasn’t the case.
We begin as Elizabeth wakes up to Atlas and crew picking us up with the corpse of Booker lying next to us. Right as Atlas is about to have you killed a ghost Booker appears and tells us how to talk our way out of being killed. You are quickly left alone to explore Rapture on your own discovering why you no longer have any powers. This of course gets mixed in with the whole gibberish plot of episode 1 and then we are back to exploring rapture doing missions for Atlas all on a quest to rescue Sally, the little sister from episode 1. I still can’t explain why this was going on from episode 1. The story was just told so poorly. Luckily as you progress through episode 2 more and more of the pieces do come together. In fact by the end of episode 2 almost all of it made sense. The problem was that while I understood everything that had occurred I wasn’t sure why. Why did any of this happen? The ending results in the beginning of Episode 1 teaching us that the good ending of Bioshock 1 was the canon ending but it doesn’t explain why any of it had to happen. Thinking about it there were better ways to actually accomplish the goal making the entirety of the two episodes seem like a complete waste. That said it wasn’t all bad. There were some truly beautiful moments in BaS episode 2 as well as many explanations as to why things are how they are and how much of the things in the Bioshock universe came to be.
Irrational did manage to actually change the gameplay to make it feel new. Playing as Elizabeth feels worlds away from playing as Booker. No longer does running in guns blazing work. The core of the episode is built around stealth. The stealth system works very similar to that of Dishonored. Anyone who spots you will have a little bar appear over their head until it gets full in which case they’ll pull out a weapon and prepare to search for you. Additionally we have access to a new vigor called Peeping Tom which while standing still allows you to see your enemies through walls. Unfortunately I actually thought this hurt the game. Having the power to see my enemies from anywhere turned the game into a lot of just waiting for an enemy to enter a certain path so I could silently kill and then move on to the next. I also liked how sneaking up on an enemy going unnoticed allows for one quick bash to the head to kill them, but if they have noticed you melee attacks do no damage. None whatsoever. It just seemed like a very weird broken system that melee from behind will kill but melee while noticed is useless. You’ll certainly stock up on weaponry throughout for those times you do end up going loud but the sneaking melee technique seemed to almost always be the best route. BaS episode 2 was also decently lengthy. My play through came in somewhere between 4.5 and 5 hours to complete which is over double the length of episode 1.
Overall, Bioshock Infinite: Burial At Sea Episode 2 was good. It was significantly better than Burial At Sea Episode 1 was fell short of Bioshock Infinite. The episode was of decent length and was at no point boring and did end up giving us a brand new way to experience Bioshock. It was unfortunately not in the way that we wanted to see. Story wise it started making no sense but in the end did come back together, only for us to be slightly upset and wishing it hadn’t went together. It’s certainly worth a play through as it still tells the canon story of an incredible universe and is still very well made but unfortunately compared to the base game did fall flat.
• New stealth play style
• Decently long
• Brought the stories of the Bioshock Universe together
• Combat system seemed off
• Ruined the way we see much of the Bioshock universe
• No special powers for Elizabeth
Bioshock Infinite: Burial At Sea Episode 2 is out now for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC