Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Gaming Review -- Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea: Episode 2

Today I'm doing something a little different and reviewing a new videogame release. I don't know if this will become a regular feature here, but anyway--here's my review of Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea: Episode 2.

This DLC logically picks up after Burial at Sea: Episode 1. Elizabeth is enjoying Paris, but then she suddenly finds herself back in Rapture. The rebel leader Atlas (who fans will remember is actually the villainous Frank Fontaine) has taken Elizabeth and Sally (the Little Sister she had come to Rapture to rescue) prisoner. Booker, despite having been gutted at the end of Episode 1, appears to Elizabeth and tells her to make a deal with Atlas to get him back to the civilized part of Rapture in exchange for their safe release. The plan involves securing a Luteche particle (which keeps the floating city of Columbia in the air) and using it to lift Atlas' buildings off the ocean floor. Atlas agrees, but can he be trusted? Probably not.

Episode 2 is far superior to Episode 1 which was ruined by a ridiculously short play time and illogical decisions made by Elizabeth. I'm happy to report that Episode 2 has none of those problems. Unlike the 90 minutes of Episode 1, this one took me hours to get through, and those hours were well spent. You fight your way through not only Rapture, but Columbia as well, thus making for a rich variety of locales.

This time you play as Elizabeth after she loses her godlike powers which we enjoyed in Episode 1 and the main game. Her vulnerable status requires a different approach to combat since ammo and plasmids are scarce. You have to pick your spots and use stealth to take out enemies. It isn't quite as fun as in the Batman Arkham games, but it's still refreshing to not just mindlessly blow away splicers. You also run into Big Daddies, but it's best to avoid them altogether.

The plot is far more engaging than in Episode 1 and features some surprising moments. At least one character from the main game will be seen in a new light after you go through this. And the satisfying ending ties it all together.

Finally, I must commend Courtnee Draper for her outstanding voice work as Elizabeth. She really brings the character to life with an emotional punch.

If you're a fan of the Bioshock games, you absolutely have to get Burial at Sea: Episode 2.

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