Warning: Spoilers Abound for Bioshock Infinite and Burial at Sea Episode 1
My knowledge of the original Bioshock is growing as I’m currently playing through it (I know, I suck!). Many people told me playing it wasn’t necessary to understanding things in Bioshock Infinite. But now that I’ve played Burial at Sea Episode 1, I would beg to differ. Thankfully, I knew enough about splicers, Rapture, Little Sisters, Big Daddies, and Sander Cohen to appreciate episode 1, but now that I’m finally playing Bioshock, everything is blowing my brain up even more!
Burial at Sea takes place in Rapture in 1959, which is a year before the events of Bioshock take place. Who knows if it’s necessarily the same Rapture with all the different Tears and timey wimey, wibbly wobbly stuff Infinite taught us. But I like to think of it as the same place.
You play as Booker DeWiit, Private Investigator of Rapture. A sultry, cigarette-smoking Elizabeth comes to you for help; she wants you to help her find a little girl named Sally. Booker agrees because he has a strange desire to help Elizabeth and off to a bustling Rapture they go.
The gameplay is very much the same as Infinite. But everything is more in tune with Bioshock. Vigors are now called by their original name “Plasmids” and you need “Eve” to restore them instead of salt. The advertisements throughout Rapture shouild be recognizable. Little Sisters seem to be at their height of development as you pass by a big line of them in the city. Sander Cohen, who has Sally’s last known whereabouts, is hosting a party that you need rabbit face masks to get into. And once you finally do, that’s when things take a turn for the mega creepy.
The centerpiece of the party is Sander painting and electrocuting some of the party attendees. Once they’ve been killed, Elizabeth and Booker approach him. He makes them dance and electrocutes them until they pass out.
By way of Bathysphere, Sander sends you after Sally into the destroyed area of Rapture full of Splicers. Once you finally start to hear Sally, she’s running around the vents. Uh oh… Those vents seem awfully familiar…
After closing all the vent outlets, Booker and Elizabeth decide to turn up the heat, as it’s the only way to smoke her out –literally. Her screams are painful to hear and Booker tries to coax her out. When he finally grabs hold of her, their worst fears are realized: she’s become a Little Sister.
Sally calls for her Big Daddy and Booker and Elizabeth must fight. After defeating him, his strange visions and memories that kept interrupting the gameplay start to become clearer. He slowly realizes he was Comstock all along and had bargained with the Luteces (yay!) to move him to a new world to forget everything that happened, which includes a most painful memory: when trying to steal Anna from Booker DeWitt, Comstock accidentally kills her when the tear close around her neck, severing her head from her body. Yeeeesh! That’s a little more drastic than just the pinky. Remember that doll’s head he carried around with him? Yeah…
Elizabeth, who seemed to have known all along (or perhaps just now recovered the memory as well) promises him that he will be sorry. And suddenly the Big Daddy’s drill comes through his chest. Auughhhhhhh! The screen fades to black…
This was an extremely emotional ending for me; I’m sure for the rest of you as well. For one, the pinky memory made me cry at the end of Infinite, so this just had my jaw on the floor, followed immediately by wanting to curl up into a ball and cry. Despite the fact that Comstock is awful, I have a lot of attachment to Booker. So, seeing him meet such a terrible end was very painful. Elizabeth has every right to be angry, but it was just so drastic. Drowning him at the end of Infinite seemed fitting, but this… Oi.
Also, Little Sisters creep me out more than just about anything (like…way more than anything in a Silent Hill game) and I have had quite a lot of nightmares following playing this and even more now that I’m playing through Bioshock. Seeing this white-eyed litle girls screaming is very disturbing. But that’s the fun of it, of course.
Episode 1 was awesome and traumatic. I cannot wait for Episode 2! We finally get to play as Elizabeth, which I am SO stoked about. And from the hints we’ve been given from the trailer, Booker doesn’t seem to be completely gone from her–at least the Booker she connected with on such a deep level in Columbia. I don’t even know what to expect from this story as it just keeps getting more and more complicated and mindblowing (in a good way!).
Burial at Sea Episode 2 comes out March 25!