Note: this blog has been migrated to Medium, with the articles here available to preserve permalinks. Please see this post at https://medium.com/@ianrbuck/burial-at-sea-review-55f8f14d9bb0
Bioshock Infinite is still my favorite game of 2013, and I'm not expecting that standing to change anytime soon. So believe me when I say that I've been looking forward to a story-based DLC for the game since I preordered the season pass.
Burial at Sea takes Elizabeth and Booker to Rapture, which is familiar to those of us who played the first two Bioshock games and made a brief cameo in Infinite's main storyline. Speaking of which, you absolutely have to finish the main game before playing this DLC because it doesn't make sense without a lot of information from the end of the main game.
Many of the same themes abound in this DLC- Elizabeth talks about settling debts, they are searching for a girl, etc. Much like in the main story you have the opportunity to walk around the city and listen in on conversations before you're forced to go on a bloody rampage. Luckily this time you do all of your rampaging in an area of the city that is uninhabited except for Fontaine's outlaws who have been trapped there, Arkham City-style.
All of the citizens seem interested in talking about the power struggle between Ryan and Fontaine, but the artist Cohen is the major player from the first game who makes an appearance in Burial at Sea. And he is every bit as off-the-wall as he was back in 2007.
The combat is more similar to Bioshock Infinite than the original, though with far fewer weapons and plasmids available. They even brought back the skyhook, though in Rapture it is called an air grabber.
It took me about 3.5 hours to play through the whole thing, and I would be surprised if anyone varied too much from that- there isn't a whole lot of exploration you can do.
If you want to know if this DLC is worth $15, ask yourself this- how did you feel about the ending of Bioshock Infinite? If you thought it was deep and thought-provoking, go buy this DLC right away! If you thought it was utter crap, you won't appreciate this DLC. Personally, I enjoyed it a ton and I can't wait to see what they have cooked up for Episode 2.
EDIT: you can now read my review of Episode 2.