BioShock Infinite DLC's playable Elizabeth won't be "Booker in a dress"

Irrational Games level designer Amanda Jeffrey says playing as Elizabeth in BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea won't be like playing Booker.


BioShock Infinite

Irrational Games has spoken about playing as Elizabeth in the upcoming BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea DLC, saying that the team is working on making sure the sequences don't feel like playing "Booker in a dress."

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"With the player getting the opportunity to see how Liz is experiencing the world through first person, 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," said level designer Amanda Jeffrey in an interview with IGN.

BioShock Infinite's Burial at Sea, which is set in Rapture as opposed to BioShock Infinite's Columbia, is split over two parts, with the perspective changing from Booker to Elizabeth at the conclusion of the first chapter.

"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. So we don't have all of the answers yet for it, but we are very, very, very much aware of all of the dangers that we need to try and avoid."

According to Jeffrey, Elizabeth's sequences might even avoid combat entirely. “Elizabeth has to take things more from the side view,” she said. "She needs to be kind of thinking in a roundabout way of how to deal with her enemies. And, sometimes, that might mean completely bypassing the enemy entirely, because she doesn't need to."

The switch between Booker and Elizabeth is triggered by a particular event, said Irrational Games boss Ken Levine. "I'm not gonna say what happens, but at the end of the first part of Burial at Sea, Elizabeth goes into another sort of realization and, to put you then in her shoes, we thought was gonna be something very powerful," he said.

Liz in Burial at Sea will also be aware of the events of BioShock Infinite, Levine adds. "She is very much Elizabeth, but also has a character. She's affected. She's definitely changed by what she's done. I will say certainly you are picking up after the events of Infinite, and this is a person who has seen all the things you've seen in Infinite, and that’s had an effect on her."

Jeffrey also spoke about how the player will be able to control Liz's unique tear abilities. "I hesitate to say too much about what we have just now," she said, "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. And on the other hand, I think that, unfortunately, things are never gonna be that easy for Liz. She has to fight for her happy endings. She's never that happy.”

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