Booker and Elizabeth find themselves exploring the ocean bottom utopia of Rapture in BioShock’s newest downloadable content. Spoilers ahead.
In a two-part DLC storyline, Burial at Sea’s first episode takes place in Rapture on December 31, 1958, the night before the storied fall of Rapture. Players will get to finally live out a normal life in the city, free to explore the life the way it was meant to be lived in …as Booker.
A thousand fans just punched the air. Yes, we will be getting more quality time with both the rugged Booker and the lovely Elizabeth as they stroll through the sunken city and inevitably run into trouble.
It was certainly interesting–if not jaw dropping– to take the idea of Infinite’s paralleling, yet connected universes to cameo Rapture in its ending. Now, Ken Levine and his crew are set to expand on the concept and place these characters into that exact polar opposite environment for a whole new story. Brilliant.
Mad genius Ken Levine says, “It’s really a story of Booker and Elizabeth again, but set against the backdrop of pre-fall Rapture and to have an extended period in pre-fall Rapture without combat, where you’re just living in the space, like you got to sort of live in Columbia at the beginning of the game. Which nobody has ever been able to do before.”
Levine also gives a tidbit of the beginning saying, “My favorite BioShock quest is actually in that part, with no combat. He [Booker] meets an old friend from BioShock 1. Not a very nice friend, but a friend. And in the second half, it takes place in a department store, a Fontaine department store that’s been shuttered and sunk to the bottom of the ocean by Ryan after he takes over. All of Fontaine’s cronies are put into that department store, so that place has gone to hell. It’s very traditional BioShock 1. They’re all spliced up down there. They’re all crazy. You get this mix of pristine Rapture and a very traditional Rapture experience, in a pretty organic story.”
For you on-the-nose gamers, you’re probably wondering how Booker’s combat will be adjusted in that Infinite uses drinkable Vigors and the original BioShock used the injected Plasmids. Levine states that in the Burial at Sea DLC “they’re called Plasmids” and that the “game systems are essentially Infinite game systems. There’s a reason they’re drinkable in this world. You’ll see why.”
He also noted that the differences in the two games’ combat have been taken into consideration. Levine notes that, “We did, however, re-tune the feel of the experience. The system guys have been very hard at work. We wanted the combat, because of the nature of Rapture, to be more player-initiated than it was in Infinite. You know how BioShock game systems are about hearing the enemies at a distance and being able to plan your attack? We wanted more of that. That sort of slipped away from us a little bit in Infinite. Therefore the traps get much more meaningful, I think. We have that system.”
What does Part 2 contain? Playing as Elizabeth. Levine gave gamers exactly what many of them wanted and for the conclusion of the Burial at Sea DLC, the once sidekick will soon be front and center for a “survival horror” gear change, liken to the original BioShock.
“When you play Elizabeth, it’s even more towards a survival horror game,” he said. “I just played the first prototype of her the other day… We’re at sort of early stages of the second part, where you play Elizabeth, but I’ve played a prototype of what it’s like to play her. It feels very different. We’re mostly working on the systems side to make things feel different.”
Meaning that Elizabeth won’t be going toe to toe with a Big Daddy any time soon. Elizabeth will use her ability of creating tears to lure, trap, avoid and sneak up on people.
“Every time you go away from the known model, you’re experimenting with things, but we really wanted Elizabeth to feel different. The audience will judge how successful we are. We’re still relatively early on that part.”
It’s also interesting to note the difference in styles between Infinite and its DLC. Burial at Sea has more of the film-noir, detective-story feel to it, which reminds me of Far Cry 3 and Blood Dragon’s departure in characteristics to tell it’s own story. But as we know, it’s hard to have your “own” story in the BioShock universe.
It’s still early to accurately speculate what Burial at Sea will entail and whether it will do more to connect BioShock’s city with Infinite’s characters, than plopping them in there, but Ken Levine is one of gaming’s great writers and could give us the slip, putting us on our heads at any second when we walk through that underwater metropolis. Elizabeth and the little sisters? Who knows. Burial at Sea will cost $20 for both parts, expect release dates for both parts soon.
Are you excited to explore Rapture again now with Booker and Elizabeth? Watch the trailer and let us know what you think in the comments below!