As gamers loaded up BioShock Infinite’s Burial at Sea: Episode 2 DLC, they did so with a ton of expectations. While many games use DLC as a way to tell side stories or to add extra gameplay opportunities, the Burial at Sea DLC has thus far been as integral to the BioShock Infinite brand as the main game. In fact, now having played it to completion, it may be the single most revelatory piece of content in the whole BioShock franchise.
After almost a decade’s worth of questions, fans wanted answers. They didn’t want loose hanging threads, and they certainly didn’t want the type of ambiguity that has long permeated this iconic franchise. And while Burial at Sea: Episode 2 doesn’t go through an itemized list, it does neatly tie the storylines of Infinite and BioShock 1 together, while also providing back-story on the world’s of both.
But while we could go on for days about Burial at Sea‘s various revelations, from Songbird’s imprinting on Elizabeth to the origins of the Big Daddy and Plasmids, it’s best to keep this particular post focused on the ending. More specifically, though, we want to focus on the major revelation of Burial at Sea: Episode 2 — that Elizabeth was responsible for it all.
See, in her quest to reclaim the Little Sister named Sally, Elizabeth partakes in a fairly long series of fetch quests for Atlas. Atlas wants to take revenge on Rapture and Andrew Ryan, but has no way of getting back to that underwater utopia. That is, he didn’t before Elizabeth came along.
Thanks to her efforts, Atlas eventually returns from the murky depths of the sea to take revenge on all of Rapture’s inhabitants. At the same time, though, Atlas’ end-goal of destroying Rapture is incomplete. There is still a piece of the puzzle missing – the “Ace in the Hole.” Keen observers will put it together fairly early on and assume that the “Ace” in question is actually Jack from the first BioShock, but that shouldn’t diminish the ending’s impact.
Like a gothic version of Back to the Future, Burial at Sea: Episode 2 reveals that it was Elizabeth who, in an effort to free Sally from Atlas, actually gave Atlas the activation phrase “Would You Kindly,” and therefore set the events of the first BioShock in motion. But, in doing so, Elizabeth succeeded in her mission, as Jack does eventually defeat Atlas and frees Sally from Rapture.
Sure, it’s a little too tidy for BioShock, but the ending does provide the type of closure fans feared they might never see. It takes the concept of multiple realities and uses it to wrap up the events of both BioShock Infinite and BioShock 1 in a way that makes sense for that world. Like a great series finale, the DLC lets all the fan-favorite characters make one last appearance, but it smartly uses them to move the story forward. There’s also a surprisingly bittersweet tone to the ending, as Elizabeth willingly trades her life for the life of Sally.
Personally, what Irrational was able to pull together fit the bill nicely as a BioShock send-off. It provided some much-needed answers but made sure those answers worked within the confines of this universe. Stay tuned for our full thoughts on the DLC in our Burial at Sea: Episode 2 review.
But what did you think of Burial at Sea: Episode 2‘s ending? Was it as satisfying as you’d hoped it would be? What about the whole of Burial at Sea? Did you like the story Irrational chose to tell?
BioShock Infinite — Burial at Sea: Episode 2 is out now for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.