BioShock Infinite’s Ken Levine and level designer Amanda Jeffrey spoke with IGN recently regarding the ability to play as Elizabeth in the upcoming Burial at Sea DLC.
According to the duo, playing as Elizabeth will allow you to make use of her Tear abilities, and since it is played in a first-person perspective, switching over to her from Booker in Episode 2 shouldn’t break the experience.
“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 told IGN.
“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.”
According to Jeffrey, playing as Elizabeth means more strategy and trying to avoid combat instead of seeking it out.
“We’re still trying to work out exactly how extensive Liz’s tear abilities will be in the playable Liz sequence,” Jeffrey continued. “I hesitate to say too much about what we have just now, because it’s entirely possible it will change in the next few weeks. I will say, though, that Elizabeth and her tear abilities are not necessarily a ‘win button.’ She has an understanding of this universe and the various universes that she can visit, and she knows, once again, constants and variables.
“There are some things that she can change, and some things that just won’t make a difference if she changes them or not. So she’s not entirely godlike in her abilities. She will have far more powerful ways of interacting with the world than we saw in Infinite proper, but at the same time, it won’t just be a case of walking to a space and going, ‘I’m just going to press a button, and now happy ending for everyone!’ Because, on the one hand, that wouldn’t be any fun.”
Episode 2 of Burial at Sea is still early in development, as you probably gleaned from the quotes above, not all of it is ironed out yet especially with Episode One in beta.
However, Jeffrey said that while Episode One will tell the story of Booker and Elizabeth in Rapture, the second part of the DLC “is very much her story.”
“Booker’s character has a smaller arc than Elizabeth’s does because you play him,” added Levine. “It’s more of just about discovery rather than transformation with him. That was a choice we made, so with Elizabeth, by the time you get to the second part of Burial at Sea, we felt that we had developed her enough that actually an interesting thing to do was to merge the player with her.
“I think we had established who she is. She’s different. She’s got a sort of different role to play in Burial at Sea in terms of where she’s at in her arc.”
BioShock Infinite’s Burial at Sea Episode One will arrive in the fall and a release date has not been set for Episode 2.