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Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea DLC (PC) Review


At a Glance...

Formats: PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Final Score
8/ 10

User Rating
1 total rating


We liked?

  • Returning to Rapture is glorious
  • Very high production values for DLC
  • Solid story and intriguing concepts

Not so much?

  • Very, very short
  • Pricey for DLC - season pass is the way to go
  • Combat is sparse and ultimately forgettable
  • Thse not already invested in Rapture might get less from it

Final Fiendish Findings?

For fans of the Bioshock Universe, especially those familiar with Rapture, this is an essential extension to the world you know and love.

Posted November 25, 2013 by

Full Fiendish Findings...

Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea offers up the first slice of story DLC for Irrational’s critically acclaimed Bioshock Infinite.

In Burial at Sea we find ourselves back in the shoes of main protagonist Booker Dewitt.  Booker is employed by a slinky, well dressed and almost “Noir” mean looking Elizabeth.  She approaches him in his office to take on a case to help look for a missing little girl.

As Booker follows Elizabeth to get more information on the missing child he suddenly open his office door in to the pristine streets of Rapture.  This is not the Rapture we’ve come to know from the first and second Bioshock titles.  This is Rapture in its prime – although there is plenty of rot just beneath the shiny surface.

This time around the relationship between Booker and Elizabeth feels different.  She appears cold, almost hostile, towards him.  The customary revival scenes from the Bioshock Infinite, where Elizabeth appears concerned over your revival, are replaced with ones where she looks indifferent and at times reticent to revive you.  Her general demeanour seems colder, more businesslike and things never really go beyond a formal exchange.


Graphically the game is still gorgeous to behold.  No expense appears to have been spared with this slice of DLC.  It drips class and demonstrates the same high production values for the main game.  In fact Burial at Sea displays more production values than many full release titles on shelves.  Rapture has been captured in an almost tableau form here.  Newcomers will marvel at the rich look and underwater expanses.  Those familiar with Rapture already will smile smugly to themselves as their inner-nerd is fed by some familiar places, references and characters.

The soundscape also richly apes that of both the first Bioshock and that of Bioshock Infinite.  Taking onboard the same score as well as reusing some of the licensed music from the other games.  Voice work, once again, is superb with Elizabeth’s new found harshness reflected in her vocals.

Enjoyment and value will come on two different levels to Burial at Sea.  Firstly lets deal with those not so invested in the world of Bioshock and who have little or no attachment to Rapture.  For these people Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea will offer a very short slice of gameplay.  They will run through the initial parts of Rapture, head from collection mission to collection mission, enter the lower parts of Fontaine’s factory, fight a few things and finish the content with a mild shrug and maybe a “huh” for the climactic ending.  These people might feel short changed for their £12 investment for just over 2 hours of gameplay.


Then there are those who are invested in the lore and Universe of Bioshock, that know the corners of Rapture like the back of their hands, that will revel in the chance to explore it’s populated corners.  Taking your time to explore and drink in the atmosphere of this familiar yet slightly “off” Rapture for the first 20 or 30 minutes can really set the scene for the rest of the game.  Miss this and you might find things a little lacking.

Elements have been woven in to the Rapture environment that have been taken from the Columbia environment.  Things like the Skyhook make a return as does the upgrade system and Elizabeth’s ability to open tears in between the worlds.  These are implemented with varying degrees of success.  The Skyhook feels like a little out of place but the other aspects work just fine.

Combat is sparse in the first hour of the game with it taking the form of exploration and fetch questing.  Once down in the depths of Rapture though there are plenty of Splicers to deal with.  Combat is functional and serves as a distraction for those looking for the more combat heavy areas of Columbia.  It never really offers the same frantic fights, nor does it lead to the more tense strategic combat elements of the original Bioshock.  It works, as long as it’s not your main focus.


Final Thoughts

Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea is a great slice of Rapture based storytelling.  It fuses so many of the things that I look for in a Bioshock title – the story, environments and character interactions.  It manages to make this short slice of DLC feel like it belongs to the main Bioshock Universe.

Combat is fine, sparse and simple, but fine none the less.  Some of the game systems taken over from Infinite to this DLC stick out a little and offer little to the actual story.

If you enjoyed Bioshock Infinite for the story, rich world and characters then this is just the thing you’ve been waiting for.  If you know little of the previous titles set in Rapture then I’d say maybe this isn’t something you’d find as enjoyable as those that do.  That’s not to say the DLC doesn’t ooze quality.

For fans of the Bioshock Universe, especially those familiar with Rapture, this is an essential extension to the world you know and love.


Zeth is our EU ninja and Editor in Chief. He's been writing about video games since 2008 when he started on BrutalGamer. He's pretty old and has been a gamer since he played Space Invaders as a young boy in the 80's. His genre tastes lean towards platformers, point-and-click adventure, action-adventure and shooters but he'll turn his hand to anything.