‘BioShock Infinite’ Creator Defends ‘Burial At Sea’ Length

BioShock Infinite creator Ken Levine is defending the length of the new “Burial at Sea Episode 1” DLC, which can be finished in under two hours.

Levine told Eurogamer that developer Irrational chose “quality over quantity” for the $15 DLC.

“If you zip through it then it’s not a hugely long experience but if you dig deep it’s probably three hours plus, if you really dig deep. But it’s not the longest thing in the world,” Levine said.

“I think there are definitely people who are like, ‘Well, I want hours and hours of gameplay.’ I think if that is your primary metric, this probably isn’t the thing for you,” he added. “If you want to feel like ‘Wow, I just got a whole new experience’ – that’s what you get out of this.”

Levine said he is often asked by journalists to tell their audience why they should buy something, but he is uncomfortable answering the question because he doesn’t know what the customers’ household budgets are.

“We chose quality over quantity. As a gamer that’s a choice I usually make,” he said. “Very few people would judge a movie based on how long it is.”

Players might also be tempted to compare “Burial at Sea” to BioShock 2‘s “Minerva’s Den” expansion, which can take 4.5 to 6.5 hours to complete.

“We had a choice. ‘Minerva’s Den’ is terrific – I love it and it is effectively what we call a ‘kitbash’ of BioShock 2. They take existing assets and modify them to make a new story. They did an amazing job with that,” Levine said.

“But we wanted to do something completely different. If you look at it, [Burial at Sea] is really the first level and a half of a new game – or maybe not a new game, but of a sequel,” he added. “And we knew that meant it wouldn’t be the longest gameplay experience.”

“Burial at Sea Episode 1” takes players back to Rapture, the underwater city where the first two BioShock games took place. Ken Levine previously explained that the combat in “Burial at Sea” is different from the combat in BioShock Infinite.

“There are smaller scale combats that give the player much greater opportunity to observe the space ahead of time and set up the combat situation to his or her taste,” Levine said. “Therefore traps become much more meaningful than they were in Infinite. So stealth becomes a larger component … We generally think combat is a little more deadly but a little less frenetic.”

The BioShock Infinite DLC “Burial at Sea Episode 1” will be released Tuesday, November 12.