Levine speaks BioShock Infinite DLC – Burial at Sea


With the reveal of the BioShock Infinite DLC today, game director Ken Levine spoke to IGN about Burial at Sea, the two part episodic DLC set in Rapture.

“It’s really a story of Booker and Elizabeth again, but set against the backdrop of pre-fall Rapture,” Levine told IGN, “and to have an extended period in pre-fall Rapture without combat, where you’re just living in the space, like you got to sort of live in Columbia at the beginning of the game. Which nobody has ever been able to do before, with those systems and that technology. My favorite BioShock quest is actually in that part, with no combat. He meets an old friend from BioShock 1. Not a very nice friend, but a friend. And in the second half, it takes place in a department store, a Fontaine department store that’s been shuttered and sunk to the bottom of the ocean by Ryan after he takes over. All of Fontaine’s cronies are put into that department store, so that place has gone to hell. It’s very traditional BioShock 1. They’re all spliced up down there. They’re all crazy. You get this mix of pristine Rapture and a very traditional Rapture experience, in a pretty organic story.”

This time around, Booker will have to use Plasmids, not Vigors since the latter are only available in Columbia while the former are present in Rapture where the story is taking place. Plasmids will be drinkable in the BioShock Infinite DLC, not injected.


“Game systems are essentially Infinite game systems. There’s a reason they’re drinkable in this world. You’ll see why,” he said. “We did, however, re-tune the feel of the experience. The system guys have been very hard at work. We wanted the combat, because of the nature of Rapture, to be more player-initiated than it was in Infinite. You know how BioShock game systems are about hearing the enemies at a distance and being able to plan your attack? We wanted more of that. That sort of slipped away from us a little bit in Infinite. Therefore the traps get much more meaningful, I think. We have that system. We did some tweaks to the various Vigors. There’s a new Vigor. There’s a new weapon. And a new plasmid – they’re called Plasmids in this.”

Speaking about Elizabeth, Levine told IGN that she’ll be a little different from the Infinite Elizabeth; more scary and giving off a Bioshock 1-ish aura.

“When you play Elizabeth, it’s even more towards a survival horror game,” he said. “I just played the first prototype of her the other day. We’re almost in beta on part one of the Rapture one. We’re at sort of early stages of the second part, where you play Elizabeth, but I’ve played a prototype of what it’s like to play her. It feels very different. We’re mostly working on the systems side to make things feel different.”

“Elizabeth is much more fragile, in terms of in terms of combat,” he said. “She’s not going to go and wade into it with a Big Daddy. She has to really set up the experience to work for her. She has a sort of combination of Thief and Tecmo’s Deception. There was a game called Trapt on the PS2, I think, that was in the same franchise. Getting her to use the environment, using tears to create things in the environment to lure people into and sneak up on people and avoid people, that’s very much a part of being Elizabeth. It’s an experiment. Every time you go away from the known model, you’re experimenting with things, but we really wanted Elizabeth to feel different. The audience will judge how successful we are. We’re still relatively early on that part.”

Well, this confirms two things: There will be Big Daddies in the game, and we can definitely take on them (Hell yeah!) and Elizabeth will be different. I’m not too comfortable with the second thing, but lets see what changes Levine brings in. We might just end up liking the new Elizabeth too.


Levine said that “it’s important that Elizabeth is a person of multiple dimensions,” but did not give any more information as that would spoil the story. I guess this Elizabeth is a Bioshock 1 version of her. When asked why the DLC wasn’t set in Columbia, Levine said that this was just an idea he had.

“There were some Columbia ideas we kicked around, but I think we also got to the point where we felt like that was the story that we had just told. We had told it to the extent we wanted to tell it,” he said. “But I had this image in my head of this moment in this detective’s office, Booker’s office. Elizabeth walking in dressed like Veronica Lake. And I just fixated on that.”

What are your thoughts on the BioShock Infinite DLC? Let us know in the comments below.