Bioshock Infinite: Clash in the Clouds DLC Hands-On

Posted by _Mattallica (200 posts) -

Clash in the Clouds is a hard proposition to sell to people who aren't necessarily fans of Bioshock Infinite for it’s combat and nothing else. A wave based horde mode for only 1 player that gets increasingly harder designed to be played numerous times to master. Many will be immediately turned off by this, and that’s fine. With the story focused Burial at Sea also coming, feel free to give this one a miss. But if you are really into the combat of the game like myself there is some fun to be had here, though it’s still nothing you haven't seen before.

The DLC consists of 4 different maps based on locations around Columbia with 15 waves to beat per map. The objective is to survive all 15 waves and get the best score possible. Dying will result in either restarting from the beginning or forfeiting your leaderboard score to continue, unless you spent some of your hard earned cash on a revive which become increasingly more expensive per use.

To mix things up, each wave contains a unique Blue Ribbon Challenge. This is where things get interesting. Challenges range from quite easy (kill all enemies from Sky Lines) to the insanely difficult (defeat a Handyman without shooting it’s head or heart). Completing a challenge will net you with even more points and cash which can then be spent on more weapon/vigor upgrades in between waves.

The simple concept does work rather well. As you get set the challenge before you start the next wave, you can plan accordingly in the armory and get the right equipment for the job. The problem is that the challenges get so hard that after playing through each map a few times I can already tell which ones are doable and which would take more time than I’m willing to invest to achieve.

Another problem is that you can’t restart any wave at your leisure. For example, if you only need the Blue Ribbons for waves 12 & 14 you will have to restart from wave 1 and work your way back to wave 12 before you can attempt it again. If you fail, it’s back to wave 1 and working all the way through again. If you could restart from any wave from the menu it would make this easier but the current system means you have to waste so much time just to play the parts you want, which is a bad way of doing things. As someone who beat the game on 1999 mode and got every achievement, I won’t be going after every Blue Ribbon unless they patch in the ability to retry any wave once you've completed it once.

The other part of this DLC is the hub in which you can access the 4 maps. Instead of jumping into combat, you can enter an interactive museum called The Columbian Archaeological Society which features a whole host of interesting goodies for you to spend your money on. You can purchase character models so you can get up close and personal with Songbird or a Handyman. Unlock concept art, listen to songs from the game and even view unseen audition footage and unused Kinectoscopes cut from the original game.

The museum is awesome and it’s a shame it’s only got 35 items to unlock as this is what Infinite super fans will absolutely love. Purchasing two of the more mysterious character models from the game will unlock you access to an area Booker visited briefly in the main game and you get to explore and pick up 5 new Voxophones which I assume were cut from the main game. They provide more back story on certain events and made the museum easily my favorite part of this DLC. Also, once you have beat the 4 maps once there is a rather strange easter egg that appears in the museum. I won’t spoil it but it will make more sense I imagine once Burial at Sea arrives.

A small random irritation I had was how Elizabeth is presented in the DLC as she almost serves no purpose. She is needed so you can still open tears during combat and to provide health/ammo to aid the player. But seeing her just randomly walking around, even in the museum, and never speaking was very odd to me.

Overall, this DLC is a hard one to judge. For a relatively low price point (400 MS Points/$4.99 or free with the Season Pass) there is definitely some fun to be had. Plus if you are interested in the next DLC then buy the Season Pass to get those two cheaper and this one free just to pass the time until then. It’s nothing to get excited about and isn't anywhere near the greatness of the full game but it is more content and for now, it’s all we have.

#1 Posted by Humanity (9276 posts) -

I played around in it for a bit, tried to get a few blue ribbons where I could. Ultimately I was kinda stuck on this one seemingly easy blue ribbon, doing it over and over again. Then I suddenly had this revelation of "why am I even doing this?" since I wasn't even enjoying myself, just angrily attempting to complete the challenge. I turned the game off and really see no reason to go back to it. I'm not trying to say it's bad, but I am at a point in my life where unless the gameplay is REALLY great then story is the main reason I stick around. I never thought the combat in Infinite was particularly refined and as there is no story I see no real reason to stick around.

#2 Posted by dudeglove (7860 posts) -

So it's like a bad BL2 DLC. Thanks for writing this. The combat was the least enjoyable thing in that game tbh.

#3 Posted by WalkerTR77 (1370 posts) -

I'd normally never buy a season pass, but car salesman tactics and trust that Irrational would follow through in a serious way means I have the Infinite season pass. I have to say I'm thoroughly disheartened that the first DLC is a combat focused horde mode and the rest is dedicated to a return to Rapture, which we've already had two games set in and a re imagining of in the main game.

Regardless, good write up on Clash in the Clouds.

#4 Posted by The_Nubster (2149 posts) -

On the first map, I died during the fight with 2 Handymen, and then they proceeded to kill me every time I respawned. It happened so quickly each time that my screen didn't even fade back in before I was dead, meaning I couldn't see anything before I died. I turned it off and I am never going to play it again.

#5 Posted by Rebel_Scum (712 posts) -

Anyone else find the secret tear in the museum?

#6 Posted by _Mattallica (200 posts) -

@humanity: I feel the same. Had zero desire to grind out waves and get all the ribbons as it seems pointless.

@walkertr77: I'm kinda disappointed it's set in Rapture. I like the idea but all the things I loved about Infinite like Columbia, Songbird and Skylines won't be there.

@the_nubster: I think that's a glitch. I read about it on another forum but didn't experience it myself. Have to just back out and start from scratch which sucks.

@rebel_scum: That's the easter egg I was referring to.

#7 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

It sucks that Elizabeth is really only there to open Tears for you. Completely took away what made that character interesting.

However, I am enjoying the combat puzzles and have less than ten ribbons to earn.

#8 Posted by Rebel_Scum (712 posts) -

@_mattallica: tl:dr(all of it), ha ha sorry man. I read the first few paragraphs.

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