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Game Review: BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episode 2

Irrational Games deliver their farewell with an enticing journey in Burial at Sea Episode 2

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Platform: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC
Release date: March 25, 2014
Developer: Irrational Games

BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episode 2 is the final DLC expansion added to Irrational Games' AAA title, and it fulfills the expectations that its predecessors fell short in delivering. Combing the experience that both episodes in Burial at Sea create, it serves as a fitting conclusion to the narrative behind the BioShock and BioShock Infinite universe.

Burial at Sea Episode 2 features the main bulk of content in this two-part DLC, with the previous episode establishing a narrative which left fans yearning for more after its climactic finale. Elizabeth is now the main protagonist in Burial at Sea Episode 2, which makes for an unusual but thrilling experience. Immediately resuming from the final moments of Episode 1, Elizabeth is now determined to make amends for what happened to Sally but unfortunately awakens to find a new obstacle in her path: Atlas and his minions. With Atlas taking Sally as his hostage, Elizabeth strikes a deal in which she will find him a route back into Rapture in return for the girl.

Episode 2 retains the expectation that is held for a BioShock narrative, which creates an engaging and exhilarating story over the course of the DLC. Irrational Games combine both the universes of Rapture and Columbia in Burial at Sea and explain how the events from BioShock and BioShock Infinite are intertwined with one another.

Gameplay is the focal point of Episode 2 and it certainly delivers in this aspect. In contrast with its predecessor, Episode 2 has the player using the newly implemented stealth mechanics to work in their favour. Elizabeth has now lost the ability to create 'Tears' in the universe and is extremely vulnerable compared with her counterpart, Booker DeWitt. Stealth is exceptionally integrated in the DLC and fully utilises the environment of Rapture in forming a perfect atmosphere for these mechanics to effectively work. New Plasmids are introduced including 'Peeping Tom', which allows for Elizabeth to turn invisible and see enemies through the walls. The crossbow is another welcomed addition to this title and all these new features emphasise the need for the effective use of stealth in Burial at Sea.

Episode 2 includes the introduction of a lock picking mini-game, which requires the player to successfully crack their way through a lock with Elizabeth. This additional feature should really have been integrated into the main campaign, but at least it has been added in the DLC. It doesn't rival the same challenge that hacking offered in BioShock, yet it can still make for some tense moments with increased difficulty on certain locks. Burial at Sea's scavenging missions are tedious and not really what you would expect in the DLC, which ultimately makes some of the tasks feel like they are never-ending.

Visually, Rapture is the same as it is in the previous episode. The return of familiar faces from the first title creates some truly nostalgic moments and they are brought to life in the Infinite style artwork. With the DLC featuring more than five hours of content, the broken down environment of Rapture suits the dark narrative of Elizabeth's journey.

BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episode 2 is an excellent farewell from Irrational Games and it truly lives up to the reputation as a successor to its predecessor. With both Burial at Sea episodes creating an experience which helps complement each other in what they can offer, now would be the time to snap both of them up and venture into the mysterious underwater utopia of Rapture for the final time.

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