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Some spoilers, definitely spoilers from the main game. I still haven't completed this DLC so there are no spoilers for significant plot details, bar what you learn in the first few minutes of the game. Bumping for daytime peeps.

Illustration for article titled Bioshock and perpetuating the Damsel trope (to a degree)

So, I got the new Burial at Sea Episode two DLC, and I was so so excited because we finally get to play as Elizabeth, who is just a wonderful character. I can't wait to go kick undersea ass with a girl who can rip open the fabric of time itself!


Except she can't... oh, okay, I see. You want to make her not totally omniscient, I get it. If she was she'd go snippity snap, everything's fixed, and there'd be no game. I can't wait to have her smashing peoples faces in and shooting up a storm! Except... she can only knock people unconscious, and can only stun them if they see her, and we're focusing on stealth, and you start with a tranquilizer crossbow, and you get only like 5 ammo, and so on.

I get that Elizabeth is a pacifist, oh wait, she's a pacifist in one time dimension and I hate this, I hate this bullshit: "Oh Elizabeth wouldn't do that, she's a girl who's been locked away forever and she reads books and only kills people when she really really has to." Um hello? There're a million different versions of her, can't at least one of them be more of a badass? God knows what this particular version went through that made her decide to go to this hellhole she knows is falling apart.

And for fucks' sake her character is crying out to be let loose and wild in this game. She's all: "I'll do what I have to do", but when when I try to smash someone's face in I get this absolute crap of a pop up on the screen saying: "Elizabeth can only stun people" or "Elizabeth can't do aerial attacks" WHY THE FUCK NOT? Please please PLEASE, give me an actual, concrete reason as to why she can't do this? Her weak little girly arms hold on just fine to skyrails and hooks for fucking crazy amounts of time, why the hell does all that upper body strength vanish when it comes to attacking people? You give her guns and weapons that kill people, which I am doing all the fucking time because fuck that dinky crossbow and it's tranquilizers, give me a load of real bolts and I'll do some damage.

I've even watched someone play a bit of a walkthrough to see if they tried to beat the shit out of people with melee attacks, a la Booker, and they totally tried it too. Why are you fucking with these gameplay mechanics that have been well established? Why is it all: "Trick the Big Daddy into helping you fight off the nasty Splicers little girl", and not: "Beat the everloving shit out of all those Splicers, and then destroy that Big Daddy, you beautiful demigod you"? You wouldn't be sacrificing her personality by letting her kick some proper ass instead of sneaking around in vents, you'd be adding to it, you'd be letting her become an even more complex character, who has a much more savage and desperate side to her.


Bioshock isn't a goddamn stealth game, it's brutal and horrifying and wonderful. And it makes me miserable that after creating Elizabeth, you'd waste this opportunity to show her off as the magnificent, complex character she deserves to be.

note: Yes, my opinion could change after playing the whole thing, but it still doesn't solve the problems above, unless she suddenly gains those abilities, but even then, why not have her have them in the first place?

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