Few games this year have inspired as heated and varied of a debate as BioShock Infinite. One might argue that the need to confound is in developer Irrational Games‘ DNA, but it’s also what makes these games’ stories so intriguing. With that mind, it should come as no surprise to learn that Infinite‘s first story-based DLC, Burial at Sea: Episode 1, features a conclusion that’s equally as complex and well worth discussing.
While Burial at Sea takes players to the underwater of utopia of Rapture, and features a completely different incarnation of Elizabeth and Booker (more on that in a bit), its story still seems to factor into the larger Infinite universe. And that’s not just in terms of this version’s “constants” and “variables” either. Follow us as we delve deeper into Burial at Sea: Part 1‘s ending, and beware there are spoilers from here on out.
Burial at Sea‘s story begins rather innocuously, with Booker (our hard-boiled detective) taking a job from Elizabeth (our Femme Fatale) to find a missing girl named Sally. Many girls have gone missing from Rapture, but this one in particular seems to be connected to Booker in some way.
As Booker and Elizabeth set off in search of Sally, they explore several locales around Rapture, but they spend most of their time in the Fontaine Department building. There they discover Sally’s whereabouts, and there they also discover how this version of Booker and Elizabeth, as with all other previous incarnations, are connected.
As it turns out, the quest to save Sally was mostly a red herring, meant to trigger Booker’s memory. There is still some purpose to Sally’s existence — we eventually learn that she is Booker’s adopted daughter, and one of the first Little Sisters — but the truly shocking and discussion worthy moment in Burial Sea has little to do with that revelation, and has everything to do with Booker.
In this version of the Comstock/Booker story, Comstock tries to kidnap Anna from an alternate reality, but ends up decapitating the baby rather than merely slicing off the tip of her finger. And so, instead of building Columbia and taking up the mantle of “The Prophet,” this version of Comstock seeks refuge in Rapture as Booker the detective. However, Elizabeth won’t let this version, or any version, of Comstock exist, and so she sets in motion this plan that will force Comstock/Booker to confront his past before ultimately meeting his end at the drill of a Big Daddy.
Obviously, there was a lot to cover in such a short amount of time, but most details seem fairly clear. This version of Comstock was not killed by Booker’s sacrificial act at the end of BioShock Infinite proper, but was no less evil. Why exactly he was not killed isn’t nearly as clear, but some might argue that because this Comstock doesn’t become The Prophet, Booker’s drowning didn’t affect him.
If that is the case, then it might be safe to assume that the Booker who wakes up at the post-credits scene in Infinite might be the same Booker in Burial at Sea. Many thought that scene might be Irrational Games messing with fans, but it makes sense in this context. That being said, there are still a few questions raised by the ending that are not implicitly explained, and most of them have to do with this incarnation of Elizabeth.
The good thing about Burial at Sea, though, is we get an Episode 2, which will likely further explain the purpose of this Elizabeth. As we already know, Episode 2 will let gamers play as Elizabeth for the first time, which is exciting in and of itself, but it will also presumably provide fans with even more insight into the overarching narrative in Infinite. In fact, if the teaser image for Episode 2 is any indication, we might also learn more about the nature of the Little Sisters in this next DLC.
Make sure to also read our BioShock Infinite – Burial at Sea: Episode 1 Review for our full thoughts on the story DLC.
What did you make of Burial at Sea: Episode 1‘s ending? What are your theories about why this Booker is alive and who this Elizabeth is?
BioShock Infinite — Burial at Sea: Episode 1 is out now for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.