The TRUE story behind Bioshock Infinite and Burial at Sea DLC (SPOILERS AHEAD)

The TRUE story behind Bioshock Infinite and Burial at Sea DLC (SPOILERS AHEAD)

Hey kids! Here is what happened during development of these projects, and more details about the upcoming DLC.

Infinite…no kidding...
B:I had a long and tortured development, and although this has been well documented in articles on Polygon and other places around the internet, there are a number of other important details that were masked pretty well by Irrational. The company is quite invested in keeping its pristine image intact, whilst feeding Ken Levine's cult status amongst the internet faithful. Levine is a good writer and has enough good ideas to make for some notable games, but from what I understand, you really might not want to actually work for him.

Being given a 5 year window to develop a game is something not many developers are allowed by their publishers, and you can be sure Levine maxed out his Bioshock credit with publisher Take Two while waffling back and forth on the direction of B:I. That protracted 5 year period was caused in part by splitting too many resources between the main game and the multiplayer game that was eventually cancelled. After many years of little to show on the actual game, it took the adding of the multiplayer staff, 2K Australia, teans of contractors, and 2 other key lead figures to actually complete the game. Jordan Thomas was siphoned away from 2k Marin and served as co-creative director on Infinite, and after development, his role was either greatly downplayed or not mentioned much in the press or in other Irrational propaganda after the game's release.

Then there is the other lead figure that got the game out the door, Rod Fergusson. With him came crunch overtime. This was nothing new to the company as there had already been crunch periods for pretty demos, alpha deadlines, and such- except now Fergusson was brought into a do or die situation. At this stage regular hours were not even an option for Fergusson to consider. Since Levine's creative direction had taken so long to establish, the 160+ team working for him now had to spend even longer getting the game out the door. There really couldn't be stronger proof that poor management leads to a lot of unpaid overtime.

It's notable that Levine mentions in the press that he's had a lot of failures over the years. It sounds good and humble, helps his image, but its unlikely he would ever own up to his own management failures. But hey, if the game sells and the developers keep quiet then the gamers continue to worship Levine and the publisher really won't give a shit.


Clash in the Clouds ********************************************************************

Another fib perpetrated by Irrational was that the DLC wouldn't be worked on until after development of B:I. This was really quite a load of bollocks- actually, the first DLC pack would be created by 2K Marin. It was supposed to be a full narrative based experience set in Columbia, but after months of Marin's efforts going nowhere- despite multiple visits by Irrational art and design members for weeks at a time to aid them - the project was rebooted and taken over by Irrational. Levine's planning (or lack thereof) had come back to bite him in the ass, and now his own team had about a month to cobble something together. An arena mode was really the only option at that point. From all of this Clash in the Clouds was born.

Nobody wanted this or asked for it… but hey, maybe you bought a season pass and you were owed something to shoot at.


Burial at Sea : Episode I ****************************************************************

While the CitC team were crunching (yet again) to finish up, the rest of Irrational was trying to put together an experience in Rapture for BaS. It came from Levine watching "Dredd" and thinking about Escape from New York. Except the prison of the DLC would be a former department store owned by Fontaine from Bioshock.

I got to play through this first "real" DLC (as did the press a few weeks ago), and here is a walkthrough, description whatever. I don't think or care that anything below is spoiling anything.

Firstly, it's fairly short…a couple of hours, tops. Whether or not that is value for your season pass, I don't know.

Also, its mostly new content…except for the 'Old Man Winter' splicer, he appears as a guy with ice crystals growing out of his body. It turns out that this character model was originally used for Slate in B:I, except that the crystals were supposed to be Shock Jockey crystals. So although Levine tweeted that all DLC content was original, this is a bit of a stretch:



Some of the content in BaS was tweaked from earlier versions: In the early environment in this video (http://www.gamespot.com/videos/irrational-games-on-bioshock-infinite-burial-at-se/2300-6415439/), you can see a turret that rides the skylines ("pneumo" in Rapture). These were to be featured, but Levine cut them, claiming they were not as good as the flying turrets of Bioshock.


PART 1 ***********************************************************************************

- The city of Rapture is an alternate version of the one seen in Bioshock I. It shares a lot of the same history, like Fontaine's rebellion against Ryan, and the horrific events of New Years Eve 1959 and the Kashmir restaurant. It differs in other ways.

- An alternate version of Booker exists here, and is a private detective.

- The older, wiser Elizabeth has somehow traveled through realities (after B:I) to trick Booker into helping her find the girl, Sally. She convinces Booker that this girl is his daughter to get him to participate

- There is no combat in this part, it is much like Booker's original entry into Columbia

-Sander Cohen plays a big role in the first half of the DLC. Elizabeth tells Booker that he will may know what happened to Sally. The two travel through the Rapture streets to his private club, where the doorman informs them that there is a private party inside. All the guests must be wearing special rabbit masks to enter the club.

-Booker and Elizabeth travel through Rapture, stopping at different shops looking for the masks. This serves as an excuse to wander through the environment and learn things through exploration and eavesdropping. Elizabeth distracts various shop keeps while the Booker rummages around in the shop counters until they find the masks.

-After using the masks to enter Cohen's club, they meet with him- he is painting a couple dancing that are attached to live electric wires. He uses the wires to shock them if they fail to dance well enough. Eventually, they displease him and he electrocutes them both while a henchman lifts them up by the wires like dead marionettes.

-Cohen invites Booker and Elizabeth to dance for him in exchange for information about Sally's location.

-They dance for awhile until Cohen is again displeased and shocks them unconscious.


PART 2 ***********************************************************************************

- Booker and Elizabeth wake up in a sub-bathysphere thing (like the kind you entered Rapture in the first place), except this time you are traveling down to the ocean floor where the Fontaine's department store is seen. Booker and Elizabeth explain that the displeased Ryan, cut off the store from the rest of the city and sank it down into an underwater canyon. The store is made of a main structure that looks like a water god (poseiden? or something), chained to 2 smaller buildings that look like seahorses.

- The sub docks at the central building, and Booker and Liz exit to the transit station, which is ruined after months at the bottom. They find a gun, and a Rapture sky-hook and use it to jump over the gate to the station. This is the first time you can pull your gun and the weapon wheel from Bioshock is back.

- At the exit to the station, they see splicers with boxes over their heads chasing the old man winter splicer, who freezes some water into a bridge to escape. Booker kills the box head splicers who turn on him. Through the large window here Elizabeth points out the other seahorse building where Cohen said they would find Sally.

- At the end of the station, Booker and Elizabeth ride up into the department store by elevator. They exit into the large main hall of the store, where visitors can take the tram to the seahorse buildings but the tram is blocked by jets of water. Booker decides to find the ice splicer to get his plasmid powers and freeze his way over to the tram. A sign mentions an ice rink on the top floor where they decide to look for him.

- There is a lot of optional spaces to explore in the store off of the main path to the ice rink, moreso than the linear stuff in B:I.

- The two travel through a lot of other departments, fighting a lot of splicers, in the store to ride the skylines to the top. Skylines are kinda weird in Rapture and I'm not sure why they included them.

- Somewhere on the top floor they find an energy beam gun. The old man winter splicer has to be killed in the ice rink to get the old man winter (ice) plasmid. It's different from the Bioshock I plasmid. It freezes streams of water into ramps, but it also freezes enemies that can shatter.

- Booker and Elizabeth can return to the bottom floor and freeze a ramp to the tram. The tram can be ridden to the seahorse building, but its not an open world thing really just a one way trip.

- Booker and Elizabeth get to the other building and find that Sally is crawling around the vents like the Little Sisters from Bioshock I. They decide to close the vents one by one to funnel her out into the open.

- The two have to close all of the vents in the store, taking them through all the other parts of the store…toy departments, furniture, housewares, etc where they fight a lot of splicers.

- By the time they get to the last vent, they get surprised by a Big Daddy, and there is one big last fight with him. He looks like a the first one from Bioshock I but he can launch his drill at you or other splicers and drag them back to him. This is kind of a bitch whilst you are up above using the hook.

- Booker dies at the end of the DLC. Elizabeth played him for a fool- also I guess its so you can play as Elizabeth in the next DLC, Episode 2.


Burial at Sea : Episode 2 ****************************************************************

There's not too much to say about this since there is a lot that isn't finished, but supposedly Elizabeth won't be able to open tears- something about her powers are gone for some reason. Not sure what the point of that is for the player. I guess its more about the story. Elizabeth will be more fragile and stealthy.

The episode was supposed to link Columbia to Rapture, and explain more about how technology was shared between Rapture and Columbia between Suchong and Fink.

At one point, Elizabeth was to travel back to Columbia through a "tear machine" to steal the tech that keeps Columbia floating. She would return to Rapture to use it to raise up Fontaine's sunken store to escape it back to Rapture with Sally.