Well, as expected (thanks to the trailer) we are back at Rapture, experiencing the mystery of the underwater world before its fall. There were many high hopes to seeing the world of Rapture before its desolation. The bigger question is…will we still get a great story that adds to Infinite, to the original Bioshock, or maybe…both?
Graphics: In the same vein of Infinite, the graphical textures are the same, but the lighting is dramatically different. The beautiful Art Deco is back. Everything you have come to love about the original Bioshock (visually) is here, but this time it is much more vibrant at first, and then you will see some of the dim atmosphere that you have come to expect. It is nostalgic, and will take you back to familiar territory.
Audio: All the familiar sounds of December 1958 Rapture are here. The groans of the Big Daddy to the beautiful music playing off the vinyl records. There are plenty of isolated conversations as you pass by the residents of Rapture. You even get to listen to some of those familiar splicer discussions. The audio was solid, familiar, but nothing really ground breaking…but honestly, does it need to be?
Gameplay: There isn’t much of a change in gameplay style from Bioshock Infinite. The skyhooks found their way back. Permanent effects of Possession is available. Not all the vigors (or plasmids) transferred from Infinite like the Crows one. However, each piece seems to fit the atmosphere. It simply feels like Infinite injected into the Bioshock atmosphere. I will say the splicers and Big Daddy returns with a vengeance though. This game wasn’t forgiving, and I died plenty.
Story: Now how do I stay spoiler free? Here is the safest gist I can offer. The DLC is reported as being about 1.5 hours of gameplay, where as I spent nearly double that time searching every nook and cranny (plus dying…lots of dying). It is clear that in the trailer, you are Detective Booker, being asked for assistance by the mysterious woman, Elizabeth. She doesn’t appear to be the book reading, partially naive, really strong and smart young lady that we have all come to know and love. This Elizabeth has angle, and I am convinced she has already seen too much.
Without giving the story away, most of what you pick up are some familiar characters that you knew from the original Bioshock. Once names are dropped, you know you are going into something dangerous, and your Booker is more than apprehensive, revealing his familiarity with the world. As for Elizabeth, she has a plan and knows how to execute, but the player should still be able to tell from conversations in the first hour that something is more than off with Elizabeth.
Final: The jarring shortness of time in this game did make me feel like much was lacking. The ending did come suddenly, but it doesn’t change the fact that the ending was spectacular and frightening in its own right. I say get the Season Pass to get the most of your money. If you want more of an in-depth explanation, please look to my next blog.
See you on the other side, folks.