What we want from BioShock Infinite's DLC
Have you finished it yet? Once you’re through puzzling over the game’s conclusion, you may well be thinking about where the promised story DLC will take you next. We’ve put together a short list of tweaks and twists we’d like to see - but we’re sure you have more and better ideas. Let us know in the comments. Of course, spoilers lie within.
A pilotable haberdashery shop
One of the great things about Columbia is that it’s not a single, monolithic floating structure, which is what everyone else would have done with the idea. It’s modular, and bits of it can fly off and link up with other bits. One of the crap things about Columbia is that this is never used or explored. I want a pilotable independently-run gentleman’s outfitters, which for story purposes I must ride to different locations, and eventually pilot in fierce dogfights against heavily armed airships while maintaining a strict standard of sartorial elegance.
More radical rifts
Early previews of BioShock Infinite suggested a less prosaic use for the rifts than simply summoning turrets and medpacks. Elizabeth resurrected a horse (temporarily) in one memorable trailer, while the doors that appear alongside freight hooks were originally intended to open up, allowing you to pop out elsewhere in the level. Presumably some of this posed problems in implementation and had to be axed - but it seems like tearing holes in space-time should offer wilder solutions to combat and level navigation than they currently do. It would be great to see something startlingly different on the other side of the tears, too. Clearly rifts offer windows onto the future, as well as parallel worlds, and yet most are mildly differentiated Columbia variants - hardly making the most of “Infinite” possibilities. Dinosaurs? Jet fighters? A world where everything is made of dinnerware? Why not? That said, whether tears are accessible at all depends very much on the narrative direction of the sequel - there’s no reason to expect that Elizabeth will be along for the ride.
An undeniable compulsion to experiment with different vigors
Though the ability to shoot man-eating crows from your hands doesn’t get boring fast, Infinite’s arsenal of vigors offers lot more to explore. While this means there’s room for real expertise to flourish, and makes multiple playthroughs rewarding, anecdotal evidence suggests a lot of players just missed out, opting for the path of least resistance instead. Even though Infinite barely punishes failure, once I’d found a vigor combo that I was comfortable, I was reluctant to invest upgrades in anything else. The climactic battles should have been showcases for Booker’s vast repertoire of interacting vigors - but mostly I just stuck with what worked. I don’t deny that’s ultimately my fault, but DLC scenarios could do more to coax lazy/over-cautious players like myself out of our natural inertia, helping us to explore new vigors and providing the resources to deploy multiple solutions in combat.
Booker’s love of bin-raiding is already the stuff of memes, but aside from the amusing weirdness of scavenging corpses for their hidden bounty of pineapples and sausages, the sheer amount of loot changed the relationship between player and environment in a distracting, negative way. Frequently, I’d find myself ignoring the spectacular setting and making a beeline straight for the nearest trashcan. Ultimately, I wandered through the world spamming the “om nom” key, stuffing everything I could into my face without spending a second to identify it. Save me from myself, Irrational.
An expanded and differentiated armoury
There are an awful lot of very similar, vaguely described guns in BioShock Infinite and only two weapon slots. Like the vigors, there’s a reluctance to experiment, particularly once you’ve put money into upgrading a reliable range weapon and a reliable heavy weapon - a combo that covers the majority of combat encounters. One extra slot in your arsenal would invite players to fill it with whatever new weapon they encounter, and perhaps encourage them to change their favoured tactics as a result. Meanwhile, more obviously differentiated weaponry wouldn’t leave you confused as to whether or not to pick up a “heater” or a “repeater” or a “burst gun” - names which mean pretty much nothing.
No ghostly bullet-sponges
Because: come on now.
Let’s not be Booker again
The multiverse allows Irrational to take the narrative in any direction it wants - and perhaps return to the same characters in some parallel plane. They could, for instance, retell the story of the Booker who ends up martyred for the Vox. But it seems like Infinite has already concluded that character’s arc. Returning to it might feel messy, and narratively unsatisfying - partly because the player might not want to inhabit a Booker who makes a different set of choices, and partly because we already know how it ends. Instead, it might be better to explore another part of Columbia as another character entirely. In a mirroring of Bioshock 2, in which you play as a Big Daddy, you might embody one of Columbia’s mechanical monstrosities - say, a Handyman, or even an alternate-universe Songbird? I wouldn’t bet on the latter though; expecting Irrational to whip out free aerobatic movement is a flight of fantasy in itself.