Elizabeth, the damsel not-so-in-distress of Irrational Games' BioShock Infinite, won't be just "Booker in a dress" when players step into her shoes in the upcoming Burial at Sea add-on storyline, level designer Amanda Jeffrey told IGN.
According to Jeffrey, making Elizabeth more action-oriented — more like Booker DeWitt — just because players will be controlling her in the first person would be a betrayal of her character.
"With the player getting the opportunity to see how Liz is experiencing the world through first person, we have to be ever so careful to not betray what the player has already experienced of Liz in Infinite and what they're going to experience of Liz in the first part of the DLC," Jeffrey said. "That's always foremost in our mind, because Liz is such a different character to Booker, and if we were to just put Booker in a dress, then that would be the most awful betrayal of what we're doing for Liz, and players would just feel like it was a cheap way out, and that's not something that we want to do."
Playing as Elizabeth will be less about combat and brute force and more about being aware of the environment and strategizing — even avoiding combat completely, Jeffrey said. Whereas Booker is "very much about storming the gates," Elizabeth is more thoughtful and aware of her surroundings.
"There's all of these different kinds of ways of being more thoughtful, and — I hesitate to say it — almost more feminine way of approaching a problem, where there's all of these people and, to be very brutally honest about it, they have the advantage in strength," Jeffrey said. "But Elizabeth has the advantage in smarts."
Jeffrey added that Elizabeth's secondary ability in Burial at Sea will be her Tear abilities from Infinite, although the design team currently is unsure how they will work when she is playable. BioShock creator Ken Levine added that this Elizabeth will be aware of the events that took place in Columbia, though he did not confirm she is the same version from the original game.
"I'm not gonna say what happens, but at the end of the first part of Burial at Sea, Elizabeth goes into another sort of realization and, to put you then in her shoes, we thought was gonna be something very powerful," Levine said. "She's affected. She's definitely changed by what she's done. I will say certainly you are picking up after the events of Infinite, and this is a person who has seen all the things you've seen in Infinite, and that's had an effect on her."
Check out our interview with Levine and impression of Burial at Sea here.