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Bioshock Infinite: Clash in the Clouds

After seeing Bioshock Infinite’s story end did you want more lighthouses, more Elizabeth, and more infinite possibilities? Then Clash in the Clouds isn’t what you were looking for. Instead, what you’ll want is the two-part story driven DLC, Burial at Sea, which takes place in Rapture (the setting from the original Bioshock) and will be released over the coming months.  What Clash in the Clouds can offer you however is pure distilled Bioshock Infinite combat extract. It wants you to forget about the Lutece twins, the origins of Columbia, and Zachary Hale Comstock, at least for a little while. The only thing you need worry about is how you’re going to take down waves of soldiers, patriots, and handymen.  Depending on your personal expectations, this could be a welcomed distraction or a huge disappointment.

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Clash in the Clouds is your typical wave based horde mode with small tweaks to make it more Bioshock-esque and less like similar modes from other games. Instead of trying to survive as many waves as possible, each map has a fixed amount of enemies and finite number of rounds. The goal is to achieve the highest possible score by dispatching foes with as much flare and variety as possible. In-between rounds players can spend accumulated silver eagles to upgrade their weapons and vigors . Upgrades and silver eagles from the single player campaign unfortunately do not carry over. This is an unnecessary restriction and forces one to grind for a few hours before they unlock all of the upgrades needed to make a serious dent in the leaderboards. Even the earliest maps are quite difficult without them, and can be a source of frustration for those trying to complete each map in one life since scores reset after death.

“Elizabeth is lifeless”Aside from upgrades and weapons, earned money can also be used to flesh out The Columbian Archeological Society museum, an explorable hub that can eventually be filled with concept art, in-game music, statues, and kinetoscopes. As neat as some of it may be, this is the only activity outside of combat that can be pursued in Clash in the Clouds. There is no story to speak of and Elizabeth is lifeless, only existing to assist as she normally does in combat. Unless you are really determined to master each wave and climb the leaderboards, once the museum is complete there is very little else to motivate people to stick around.

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Clash in the Clouds is a decent enough diversion until the main event, Burial at Sea, eventually arrives.  For as long as the leaderboards and museum can keep you entertained, there’s nothing inherently wrong with what Clash in the Clouds is offering. It is a quality slice of more Bioshock Infinite combat with a horde mode style twist. Irrational Games certainly didn’t reinvent the wheel or flip over any tables with its first DLC offering, but if you’re desperate for more or really just love blasting away with guns and vigors, there is just enough here to recommend.

5 out of 10

The author of this fine article

is a Staff Writer at Thunderbolt, having joined in July 2013. Get in touch on Twitter @edmcglone.

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