One of the most talked about titles of 2013, not to mention a surefire Game of the Year contender, BioShock Infinite offered a solid mix of intriguing story and characters paired with enjoyable shooter gameplay (read our BioShock Infinite review). The critical acclaim and overwhelmingly positive response from gamers set the bar extremely high for Irrational Games as they prepared to make good on promised season pass DLC add ons – set to be released in three separate installments.
The first add-on, “Clash in the Clouds,” has already been released and provides players with “Horde Mode” style gameplay, challenges, and unlockables – whereas two forthcoming pieces of DLC will present players with new story material as they revisit Rapture in “Burial at Sea.” In “Burial at Sea: Episode 1” players will, once again, step into the boots of Infinite protagonist Booker DeWitt as he journeys with Elizabeth to the infamous city under the sea – prior to its collapse. Then, in “Episode 2,” gamers will take control of Elizabeth – an experience that director Ken Levine promises will be “very different.”
Speaking with the official PlayStation Blog, Levine offered new (albeit carefully worded) details about the upcoming single player DLC:
“It’s very important to us that playing as Elizabeth feels very different from playing as Booker. She’s a different person, and having gone through the experiences of Burial At Sea: Episode One has a substantial effect on her too. So we’re spending a lot of time working on how she feels and how she plays.”
Fans should be safe to assume that the character’s ability to open rifts will play heavily into the experience – especially considering that Elizabeth never fired a single gun during the entire Infinite campaign. As a result, it’ll be very interesting to see how Irrational Games intends to shift Elizabeth from a coin and resource collecting sidekick, who (indirectly) assists in combat encounters, to a functional combatant that can (directly) take out enemies in a firefight.
Could the “substantial effect,” presumably emotional fallout (maybe the death of Booker) or a physical change (possibly experimenting with Plasmids), result in a harder and more aggressive Elizabeth? One that is capable of using her supernatural powers in a new, and deadly, way?
That said, players shouldn’t expect the Booker episode to simply be a retread of Infinite‘s combat, set in Rapture, as the director now claims that all combat in “Buried at Sea” will be “quite different“:
“The combat is quite different in Burial At Sea than it was in Infinite. There are smaller scale combats that give the player much greater opportunity to observe the space ahead of time and set up the combat situation to his or her taste. Therefore traps become much more meaningful than they were in Infinite. So stealth becomes a larger component. We generally think combat is a little more deadly but a little less frenetic.”
“Smaller scale” encounters where players can “observe” and “set up,” prior to engaging enemies, is an especially enticing tease – given that one of the most enjoyable (and terrifying) aspects of the original BioShock was choosing when to attack one of the iconic Big Daddies. Fighting a Big Daddy meant examining the environment for hackable objects as well as spots that could provide protection, among other considerations – and allowed players time to stock up on ammunition or other upgrades that might provide an upper hand. Conversely, Infinite‘s Handyman fights were triggered by story events – forcing players to make use of weapons and Vigors already in their inventory.
Neither combat setup is outright better than the other (just different); so, even if certain gamers were happy with how enemy encounters were trigged in Infinite, they’ll likely still enjoy the opportunity for a bit more pre-battle strategery in “Buried at Sea.”
Levine covers a few more topics in the interview (including why Irrational Games chose a return to Rapture as well as how the team approached redesigning the city), but remains extremely tight-lipped about “Buried at Sea” specifics. We’ll keep you up to date as further official info is revealed – so, in the meantime, check out the “Buried at Sea” trailer below and/or read the full interview with Levine – HERE.
BioShock: Infinite is available now for the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. The “Buried at Sea” DLC does not have an official release date yet.
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Source: PlayStation Blog