Bioshock: Infinite “Burial At Sea” DLC – Predictions, Hopes, Dreams, and Ugly Crying

originally posted on gameskinny.com on July 30th, 2013.

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It’s a rare morning when I’m happy to be awake, but thanks to Irrational Games and creator Ken Levine, I was delirious with joy soon after I woke. After months of waiting, we finally have news on the much-anticipatedBioshock: Infinite DLC story pack (along with the combat-focused first DLC, released this morning), a two-parter titled Burial at Sea. As a huge fan of the film noir genre, I’m all about the Dick Tracy-styled trailer, and as a fan ofBioshock, I know that the veil of classic 50’s sleuthing is just that. Unfortunately, details are abundant, but vague – the trailer gave us a new Elizabeth, seemingly darker and more grown-up, with a specific task set for Private Detective Booker DeWitt. This leaves die-hard fans and coffee-charged writers to imagine, predict, and write articles at 9 in the morning instead of getting ready for work.

Let’s get the negative out of the way first: No Daisy? No Vox? No Lutece? No sign of the Columbia we were shown in the demos? While it was easy to anticipate that we’d be traveling through the several worlds, or versions of Columbia that we saw back at E3 2011, it’s also somewhat refreshing to know that the story won’t rely on old (but quite impressive) skyhook battles left on the cutting room floor. Daisy and the Vox Populi, the vigilante horde from Bioshock: Infinite, have been given no mention at all, but one can hold on to the hope that we’ll see them again, perhaps in a different, more understood role. Still, it is the ’50s, so the entire aspect of radical racism from their roots probably won’t be too far off. While fans had anticipated a DLC based around the Vox, it seems we won’t be seeing them in a starring role any time soon.

What fans can look forward to is playing as both Elizabeth and Booker, a reunion where neither of them seem to acknowledge knowing each other, and a Rapture filled with life on the eve of it’s tumble into destruction. That in itself is enough to get the cogs of a fan’s imagination going.

It is easy to assume that we could be dealing with a much older Booker, from a timeline that changed: A Booker who decided against repaying the debt, escaped to Rapture, and has been pursued by Elizabeth through a tear. It is easy to assume that this Booker will once again discover Elizabeth origins, and remember the instances of the original game. It is easy, but not at all fun, and if there’s anything the Bioshock series must be, it is fun. Also, terrifying and brain-exploding, but primarily fun.

With Irrational Games, it will most likely be too hard to determine what’s really going on until the end.

Let’s think about what we’ve been told so far, and bring in old factors of the game: In Burial at Sea, you are given the chance to play as both Booker and Elizabeth, but who will be with them? Looking back on a LinkedIn listing mistake made by a senior animator at Irrational, which let fans in on the fact that work was being done on a new companion character, one can assume that there are three options available: Booker, one of the original Infinite characters (Daisy? Luteces?), or a completely new character, which many are already anticipating will be the first Little Sister – if promotional photos have indicated anything.

Given that this doesn’t seem to be an alternate universe – yet it is, in a way – there seems to be a little catching up to do between Booker and Elizabeth. I stand by the theory that an older Elizabeth created a tear for reasons unknown to track Booker down and convince him to solve her problem – but also, of course, see him again. With Irrational Games at the helm, it will most likely be too hard to determine what’s really going on until the end.

With several previous DLC stories from other studios falling short (hi, Tyranny of King Washington) it is fine to feel weary of story-based DLCs. Without being too much of a fangirl, though, one can anticipate something better than that, given how critically acclaimed Infinite was. One can only hope.

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