Ken Levine is a genius. There is no arguing with that. What he managed to do with the Bioshock Series left me speechless, literally. With Irrational Studios officially closing their doors following the release of the second episode of Burial at Sea, you would certainly expect this last chapter to be a proper send off to the series, and you would be right. Episode One of Burial at Sea was good, and the already complex story line of the main title became more and more intricate. Episode two doesn’t defer, in fact it even goes as far as tying in the narratives of Bioshock Infinite and Bioshock. I’m not going to shed light on the story line, cause it really is a masterpiece, and all fans of the Bioshock series will be left astounded by how the story brings the trilogy together.
Following the events of Episode one, you take the role of Elisabeth who is now not in possession of her mystical powers any more, and must rely on her physical abilities to survive. Due to Elisabeth’s weaker abilities, this episode takes a surprising and remarkable stealth approach. I’m not talking about some simple stealthy elements to an action game, but a full blown challenging stealth game which changes the dynamic of the game we are used to completely.
The environments feel vast and more substantial, allowing more room to explore and more goodies to discover. The environment design is yet again brilliantly put together, with the visuals being extremely detailed. Screen tearing is still predominant which really doesn’t allow you to appreciate the beautiful aesthetics. The pacing is great, and the strong focus on stealth allows combat to be more strategic in its execution, giving way to a more immersive experience.
I know that Bioshock Inifinite was my Game of the Year 2013 pick, but I wouldn’t let that effect the overview of this episode. The Bioshock series was one of the best of its kind. The way the story unfolds across all installments really pushes the boundaries of story telling in video games. I enjoyed every single second in this voyage through Rapture and Columbia, and really wish the best of luck to all those involved in the series who have been affected by the closure.
Overall Rating: 9.5/10