BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episode Two - reviews of finale

Mar 27, 2014

BioShock game gets 'mind-bending send-off' to saga of existentialism and quantum mechanics

What you need to know
The final chapter of alternate reality game BioShock has been released in the UK. Episode two of BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea, from Irrational Games, concludes the multi-dimensional saga with role-playing elements exploring the nature of choice.

Burial at Sea is set in the underwater city of Rapture where a character called Elizabeth tries to solve the disappearance of a mysterious girl named Sally. In this instalment, Elizabeth loses her dimension-shifting powers, and the first-person shooter style play of previous games gives way to greater reliance on stealth. 

What the critics like
Over its five hours, the subtle story and change to stealth-driven gameplay of Episode Two "brings brilliant closure" to the BioShock games, says Ryan McCaffrey on IGN. It's been a hell of a ride from the bottom of the ocean up to the clouds and back again, and this is a carefully crafted, appropriately mind-bending send-off.

With excellent graphics and an engaging script, this is "a satisfyingly ambitious" swansong for BioShock, says Roger Hargreaves in Metro. It makes you ponder everything from your own life choices to the implications of quantum mechanics - a laudable achievement for any video game.

"Impressively crafted and polished" Burial at Sea: Episode Two is enjoyable to watch and listen to, and fun to play, says Stace Harman on Eurogamer. It not only concludes the story arc and ties together /BioShock/ and BioShock Infinite, it also enhances the game's overarching exploration of existentialism - while offering players plenty to do.

What they don't like
Despite this episode being significantly more substantial than the first, "it's let down by an overarching plot that feels inconsequential", says Phil Savage on PC Gamer. Elizabeth makes a likable lead, but the many unfilled plot holes make for an unsatisfying resolution.

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