One of the 2013′s most celebrated titles, BioShock Infinite offered exciting evolutions of the core franchise game mechanics while also telling a mind-bending story. For some, the game fell slightly short of the ground-breaking first entry in the series while others felt as though it was the best BioShock yet; however, there was one thing that most players could agree upon – they wanted more of it. Like most developers, Irrational Games had planned DLC for the title, offering a Season Pass option at launch, with add-on content set to release over the following year.
Back in July of 2013, the studio unveiled their first piece of DLC, “Clash in the Clouds,” a horde mode that allowed players to fight waves of increasingly difficult enemies across various maps, while attempting to fulfill bonus challenges and other criteria. Reception to the add-on was slightly underwhelming, since most players were eagerly awaiting the “Burial at Sea” story DLC. Months later, Episode 1 of “Burial at Sea” was released to a more enthusiastic response (and ending on a cliffhanger that reignited discussion among fans). Now, nearly one full year to the day after the core BioShock Infinite experience launched, gamers will finally get see what Irrational Games has in store for part 2 of their episodic add-on.
“Burial at Sea” Episode 1 followed Infinite protagonist Booker Dewitt in an alternate reality where the character is a private investigator living and working in Rapture (before the underwater city fell to ruin). The gameplay was, for the most part, similar to Infinite, with minor BioShock refinements: reintroducing plasmids in place of vigors and allowing Dewitt to carry more than two weapons at a time.
That said, Episode 2 (which the developer has confirmed will release on March 25, 2014) is expected to be see significant changes to the core formula, since players will actually take control of Elizabeth – a character that was mainly used for support in Infinite.
Here’s what Irrational Games had to say about “Burial at Sea – Episode 2″:
BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea – Episode 2 is built almost entirely from scratch by Irrational Games, the studio behind the original BioShock and BioShock Infinite. The narrative of this add-on content pack concludes the storyline of BioShock Infinite and Burial at Sea, as seen through the eyes of a new player character, Elizabeth, and features all-new stealth-oriented gameplay, as well as new weapons and modes.
Given that most BioShock franchise combat is based on a combination of gunplay and magic powers, it’ll be interesting to see how Irrational Games ensures that Elizabeth (who never picked up a gun or vigor in Infinite) and her “stealth-oriented gameplay” will still provide a familiar albeit different BioShock experience. A teaser trailer for the episode put would-be players in the perspective of Elizabeth (following the dramatic fallout from Episode 1) but ended before actual combat starts.
While the stealth approach to gameplay in Episode 2 remains a mystery (for now), fans will be relieved to know that the add-on is slightly longer than Episode 1. Most gamers were able to complete the first “Burial at Sea” section in two to three hours but fan-favorite creative director, Ken Levine, has confirmed that gamers should get five to six hours out of Episode 2.
In the press release, Levine also opened-up about the “Burial at Sea” storyline – which he promises will conclude the DLC add-on plot:
In Burial at Sea – Episode Two, we are delivering a story that involves nearly every major character from the original BioShock and BioShock Infinite. It is a story that will give gamers a new perspective on the BioShock universe and conclude the story of BioShock Infinite and Burial at Sea.
Among a host of minor gameplay details that we expect to be revealed in the coming month, one especially big question remains: will the full “Burial at Sea” narrative tie directly into the events of the original BioShock? It’s great to hear that Infinite and “Burial at Sea” will be see resolution in Episode 2 but what about the original BioShock - which was pulled back into the mix when Irrational Games decided to revisit the iconic setting in their Infinite add-ons? Players who have finished part 1 will have encountered plenty of familiar faces, so it will be exciting to find out if Levine and his team end the reality-hopping Infinite storyline with direct links (or possibly alterations) to BioShock‘s story.
BioShock: Infinite is available now for the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. “Burial at Sea – Episode 2” will release on March 25, 2014.
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Source: Irrational Games and Ken Levine