Oh look, here’s a release date for the first BioShock Infinite story DLC, Burial At Sea. This, you may recall, recasts Infinite’s protagonists Booker and Elizabeth in the undersea social experiment that is Rapture, and thus entails both a brand new story beneath the waves and a chance to catch up with old chums such as Big Daddy and his syringe-loving chums. Irrational have been coy about exactly when it’s due out, until about five minutes ago when they brazenly proclaimed it would be on November 12. That’s around one Earth fortnight, or 17 Venusian aafgf-ghhhrnights.
In a faintly sick, navel-gazing sort of way, I’m almost more interested in what the reception to the DLC will be than I am in the thing itself. The backlash – this time from a number of critics as well as the usual pitchfork-wielding commenters – against Infinite was fierce and inevitable. While some of these critiques were as exaggerated as the most superlative-ridden 10/10 reviews, I felt others were bang on target about the game’s struggle to reconcile being the Wizard of Oz, Twelve Monkeys and Call of Duty all at once. A shining soul dulled by its forced marriage to commercialism.
Will awareness of that affect the response of those who gave BI the most breathless endorsements, and will any concerns be addressed in Burial At Sea itself, or are we really only looking at another lavish museum tour filled with pop-up monsters and a twisty tale? The chance to finally see a pre-war Rapture at last is so enormously enticing – I so hope Irrational can live up to it rather than merely rest on manshoot laurels. I fell somewhere in the middle in my take on the game, so I’m simultaneously looking looking forward to Burial At Sea and sadly anticipating style over substance once again.
The November 12 release entails merely episode 1 of Burial At Sea, by the way – a finale, Dishonored DLC style, will follow later.
Here’s an official statement from Mr Levine, if you like: “This is a love letter to the fans, but it’s also the beginning of a story that will give gamers a new perspective on the BioShock universe. With Burial at Sea, we built a Rapture not from BioShock and BioShock Infinite scraps and pieces, but with environments almost entirely crafted from scratch.”