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If this is to be Irrational's last hurrah then it's a mixed but compelling swansong for a company that often took bold, divisive design and narrative avenues. It might not hit the highs of some of its best work, but it's a fitting testament to the studio's unbridled creativity and theatrical magnificence.
The finale to the Bioshock Infinite saga is upon us and it's a sad time truth be told. But how will this farewell uphold and can our Liz dig deep to finally once and for all escape her birdcage
BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episode 2 definitely feels worthy of the BioShock name, and delivers a fitting conclusion to the franchise. If Episode 1 was a bit lacking in both depth and length, Episode 2 is filled with the same brilliant direction Infinite had, making it easy to overlook its few lacking areas while being engrossed in the convoluted story, enjoying the flavorful dialogue and the gorgeous visuals.
BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episode 2 puts me in kind of an odd position. Originally we said that Episode 1 wasn't particularly worth it because of its samey combat, short length, and unsatisfying story. But now that Episode 2 is out, we would like to go back and change our opinion. Episode 1 is entirely worth owning, if only for the sake of playing Episode 2. As for Episode 2 itself, it's a phenomenal entry in the BioShock saga, and should be downloaded by anyone who has the original game. It might be a little frustrating to anyone who was used to running and gunning their way through Columbia, but once you get used to the stealth gameplay you'll find that this may be the most well designed chapter of BioShock yet.
In terms of narrative it's as dizzying, exhilarating, and divisive as the series has always been, arguably providing some of its most memorable sequences yet, and for fans it's something that not only has to be experienced, but savoured.
Overall, everything in Burial at Sea - Episode 2 is done well and careful consideration has been put intoeverything. Whilst on the short side, It's a brilliant end to the Burial at Sea storyline and a brilliant way to finish off BioShock Infinite.
Part Two of Burial at Sea delivers on the promise set out in Part One, and is a fitting close to BioShock Infinite in general. It's become cool to hate on Infinite in recent times, but bandwagons be damned, this is a fantastic piece of content, if a little pricey. You already know you're going to play this if you grabbed Part One, but I'm here to tell you that you won't be disappointed with Part Two.
So in all, great stealth coupled with awesome voice acting and background score packaged with an amazing end to the Bioshock Infinite story line, we get a true masterpiece and a fitting end to Irrational Games, the studio that was. As long as we are talking about Irrational Games and Ken Levine lets assume a moment of silence to grieve over their closing and to hope that 2K Marin takes the opportunity to create more awesome Bioshock games seriously. We at GD wish Ken Levine "infinite" success with his future story driven adventures.
It's hard not recommending episode two for anyone that remotely cares about Bioshock. While we won't spoil the surprises here, the sheer scope of the episode and what it accomplishes with the story makes it feel essential. Even more importantly, episode two is the best kind of DLC by being both distinct and deeply connected with its associated game. If you're willing to invest in the struggling first episode, episode two considerably strengthens this interesting extension of Bioshock's world.
While not everyone will be satisfied with the ending, most of our questions end up being answered in one way or another. Of course, this leads to some other questions, but the BioShock saga, at least the one that involves the cities of Rapture and Columbia, is laid to rest at the bottom of the sea. But who knows? With all of this talk about constants and variables, we may yet see another lighthouse, another man and another city.
Irrational also went above and beyond with the implementation of 1998 Mode -- a new difficulty level that challenges you to complete the entire DLC without killing a soul. I never thought the core game's 1999 setting really added anything significant as it was basically the exact same experience, but with even more emphasis on stealth, playing 1998 felt like a whole new game. It was so fun in fact that I was compelled to go back for a second playthrough of Episode Two immediately -- a feeling I didn't experience with the first DLC.BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episode Two blows Episode One out of the water. It improves upon nearly every shortcoming of the first outing, and with all of the lore additions it's a must-play for fans of the series. It's worth picking up the Season Pass just to see this story through to the end.
BioShock Infinite Burial at Sea Episode 2, for the most part, is a fitting end to the entire series. It brings everything full circle and connects the first game with the third game. Playing as Elizabeth, you're forced to be more patient in going through the game as well as using some different techniques than if you were playing as Booker. The game crashes were certainly far more than what I've experienced in the past. Sometimes frustrating, sometimes confusing, Episode 2, while not the crowing achievement for Irrational Games' last effort, was a good end and a better DLC than Episode 1.
While Episode 1 doesn't manage to live up the heights of the previous Bioshock games, Episode 2 closes the book on the series that not only extends the world of Bioshock, but also creates the sweetest farewell to a beloved franchise.
While its narrative achievements are significant and Burial at Sea: Episode Two is enjoyable to watch and listen to, it's also fun to play. As with Episode One, its mission objectives boil down to basic fetch-quests, but the stealth mechanics suit the mood, feel well integrated and are enjoyable. It's also a poignant release, for it's not only the concluding part of Irrational's BioShock story but the final chapter of the studio itself. Impressively crafted and polished, it's a fitting end to Irrational's body of work. The story of BioShock might belong to Ken Levine and Irrational Games rather than to its players - but it's a story that's been well worth telling.
Burial at Sea was a little over excited to return to Rapture, donning a film noir trilby that soon fell off to reveal clunky set piece combover, but Part Two is far more comfortable in its own skin. It integrates the fighty and the talky enough to make Rapture feel a more dangerous and believable place, discards the impenetrable conceits with which the first DLC began, and brings an almost seven year old series full circle and to a satisfying end. What a wonderful trick, and a fitting note for one of PC gaming's best loved studios (as we know them, at least) to bow out on.
It's goodbye to Irrational Games, but at least the studio got the chance to finish off the series with a standing ovation, a satisfying conclusion that will help fans remember it for years to come.
In the end, Burial at Sea finishes on a much stronger, series-apt note than the one it began on, and it's impressive how Irrational Games drops curtains on its universe with something truly unexpected but wholly fitting. With so many extravagant worlds existing behind an infinite number of doors, you might feel sad that you only experienced two of them. It's credit to Irrational Games, then, that by the end the two is all we needed.
BioShock Infinite adapts to stealth with surprising ease, and the art design is as spectacular as ever. Irrational's final release may somewhat lose the plot, but if you've been on board this long you can likely tolerate the incredible leaps of faith it demands.
I finished the episode with most of the hidden items under my belt in just over four hours, which in addition to the three hours of Episode 1, feels like a fair return for the season pass' asking price. The gameplay and AI feels stripped down, but this is all about tying up the loose ends. As we've come to expect with every Bioshock game, the final revelations are nothing short of breathtaking and every shot from last few minutes is framed so beautifully that you'll want it on your wall. Irrational Games, you will be missed.
Burial at Sea: Episode 2 is a perfect send-off for a franchise that defined a generation of console shooters. It isn't without its faults, but the new stealth gameplay is a welcome re-purposing of the tried and true BioShock mechanics. More importantly, Episode 2 is a marvel of storytelling: a careful navigation of the existing BioShock universe that provides new insights into a narrative that was already rich with detail. Finally, against all odds, Irrational stuck the landing, bringing everything full circle as only they could. Needless to say, this is a must-play for fans of BioShock.
The lengths to which Burial at Sea: Episode 2 goes to distance its gameplay from BioShock Infinite's blueprint is outmatched by the indulgent spectacle of its writhing narrative - a risk not fully conscious of its consequences. Through success, failure, and to simply admire the sunset of a generation, the conclusion of Burial at Sea remains a worthwhile experience.
Boasting a new focus on stealthy gameplay and a fascinating (if convoluted) conclusion, Burial At Sea - Episode 2 ties the BioShock series together in ways both surprising and confusing.
With Burial At Sea episode two, Irrational closes another circle, bringing the series back around to the first game. It is all of the wonder of Elizabeth confined to a smaller, half-known narrative. There is a thin line between giving people the things they are asking for and giving them exactly what they've already had. This game walks that line—in ever-shrinking circles.