BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea - Episode One
Top Critic Average
Burial at Sea, Episode One is good but not essential - the only piece of BioShock story content you could say that about.
Part 1 of BioShock Infinite's story-centric DLC returns to Rapture but doesn't give you long to enjoy it.
And, of course, it takes us back to Rapture, one of gaming's most compelling spaces, where we can draw expansive parallels between its present and its past and feel clever for connecting the dots. How heavily invested you are in Irrational's artistry will ultimately determine how much you get out of this slender expansion.
The mystery of how these characters fit into this setting is the big draw, but don't expect a complete answer until the second (and final) episode hits
The return trip to Rapture is welcome, but Burial At Sea's first episode is confusing
BioShock Infinite's mechanics don't play nicely with the underwater city of Rapture in Burial at Sea - Episode 1.
Practically oozing fan service from every pore, Burial at Sea is both as glorious and as imperfect as Rapture itself. The visuals are sensational, the combat a reasonably healthy marriage between Bioshock and Bioshock Infinite. Booker and Elizabeth both take well to their detective noir roles. Yet, like the promise of Rapture itself, Burial at Sea's splendor doesn't last forever. Things go unexplained, shrugged off as the too-short DLC rushes towards its conclusion.
I wasn't too impressed by Burial at Sea Episode One, mostly because it just doesn't add a whole lot to the overall franchise outside of the last 30 seconds, and it's simply not compelling enough. While it's quite possible that Episode Two will tie everything together in a neat bow and blow us all away, Irrational Games has yet to make a legitimate case for a return to Rapture.
Burial at Sea is a worthy return to Rapture, but by the end you'll wish you could've spent more time absorbing the sights and sounds of the city's unspoiled areas. The grand tourism of the game's opening versus the constant combat in the rest of the DLC creates a disconnect that makes both halves feel underdeveloped. Hopefully episode two will mend the tear of Burial at Sea's two disparate parts.
Ultimately, the recreation of Rapture is work worth doing, and Irrational Games deserve the credit for the sweat of their brow. Anyone thinking of playing this already has a sunk cost in BioShock Infinite – if three hours of the upper quartile of that game's level of world-building and combat justifies the expense, you should not be disappointed.