Review Round Up - BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episode 2

By Luke Caulfield , Updated Mar 25, 2014 12:38 PM EDT

That's it ladies and gents. With the release of Burial at Sea's second episode for BioShock Infinite today, we close the book on the floating city of Columbia, the sunken metropolis of Rapture, and world of BioShock.

Luckily though, the franchise is going out with a bang, as the second episode is getting far better scores than the first. See what the critics are saying below:

StrategyInformer, 9.5/10 - "Burial At Sea: Episode 2 combines a cool fan-pleasing story, enjoyable new gameplay (that you'll wish Bioshock had attempted more), wonderful level design, a satisfying conclusion to the series, and I haven't even mentioned how great Rapture looks and sounds. Irrational Games as a developer may have become unwieldy, but damn they know how to make a great game when they try. Episode 2 may be only 6 or so hours long but it does its job perfectly, and that job is sending off Bioshock (and Irrational) with style. It's better than Episode 1, and despite being "just" DLC is still one of the best games I've played in a while (better than Thief for sure). If you're a fan of Bioshock you'll be crying by the end, simply because it's over. You'll be shocked at how great it all was."

GameInformer, 8.5/10 - "I don’t want to ruin anything, so I’ll just say that fans of the series will enjoy the returning characters and the way the worlds of Rapture and Columbia intertwine. Finishing Episode 2 is bittersweet, since it’s the last piece of content created by Irrational Games as we know it. However, Burial at Sea also ties together the landmark creations of the talented team in a satisfying way, making it an appropriate curtain call for this amazing studio."

Eurogamer, 8/10 - "While its narrative achievements are significant and Burial at Sea: Episode Two is enjoyable to watch and listen to, it's also fun to play. As with Episode One, its mission objectives boil down to basic fetch-quests, but the stealth mechanics suit the mood, feel well integrated and are enjoyable. It's also a poignant release, for it's not only the concluding part of Irrational's BioShock story but the final chapter of the studio itself. Impressively crafted and polished, it's a fitting end to Irrational's body of work. The story of BioShock might belong to Ken Levine and Irrational Games rather than to its players - but it's a story that's been well worth telling."

, - "It's a shame, then, that the BioShock Infinite creators in our universe chose to serve up Burial at Sea as two complementary products, because Episode Two is much stronger. Had Burial at Sea been released as one cohesive whole, the mediocre opening hours we know as Episode One might have been forgiven. As it stands (in this reality), "Burial at Sea Episode Two" is longer, it delivers a better story with more emotional drive, and its combat feels fresher. Even its obligatory shock ending feels more in line with BioShock's pedigree...the star of Burial at Sea Episode Two is the world itself, or worlds in this case, and the story surrounding them. Episode Two touches on the keystones of the BioShock series, from the relationship between Big Daddies and Little Sisters to the multidimensional oddities of BioShock Infinite. Even if the bizarre collage of colliding realities doesn't really make sense – I'll let the dedicated fans work that one out – it's fun to learn more about Rapture and Columbia, and how these seemingly disparate worlds tie into one another. Uncovering these details is far more entertaining than dropping your umpteenth Splicer, and I won't spoil the surprises here. It's unfortunate that Burial at Sea has been released in two parts, because players turned off by Booker's disappointing detective story may never experience Elizabeth's interdimensional trip through Rapture and Columbia. For everyone in our universe, I hope you paid for the season pass."

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - "Like Burial At Sea Part 1 before it, Part 2 is also beautiful, almost incomparably lavish in both appearance and sound, and astoundingly rich with moments of deft, playful and sinister world-building, but it’s wonderful to finally have a slice of Infinite in which the artist’s control is not quite so total. Creeping allows more appreciation of what’s been built, and part 2 lasts so much longer and is so much more elaborate that it doesn’t bow out with part 1′s deflating sense that we’d just been on a glorified museum tour. To my mind it’s better realised than Infinite itself too – which may have much to do with the sense that for all its absurdity and heightened sci-fi, Rapture remains a more believable, achievable and fascinating place than the more Disneyland-like Columbia, as well as that its shadows and quiet can now be travelled through in kind...I could probably write forever about what I think the BioShock games did wrong, but I wouldn’t for one single second want a world in which they didn’t exist. BioShock’s many sins are as fascinating and informative as its many triumphs. And in the end, inna final analysis, BioShock ends with a tantalising, bittersweet glimpse of what might have been – an evolution into stealth, into non-typical protagonists, into… well, rather out of the flat circle and the great chain."

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