DLC Review: Bioshock Infinite: Clash In The Clouds (PC/PS3/Xbox360)
Clash in the Clouds is the first real add-on DLC for the critically acclaimed Bioshock Infinite (well that’s if you don’t count the Columbia Finest and Early Bird Special packs). Clash in the Clouds is not the story based DLC that we’ve been waiting for (we’ll have to wait until towards the end of the year for that). Which for reference the first story DLC will release in two episodes and it’s called Burial at Sea, which will see the return of the underwater city ‘Rapture’, which was the star location from the first two Bioshock games.
The Memorial Gift Shop & Museum
Clash in the Clouds is a waved based game (yes I know, we see a lot of them nowadays), but it’s something to help tide us over until Burial at Sea finally arrives and as far as wave based modes go, Clash in the Clouds is one of the better versions that I’ve played. Basically how it will work is that you’ll start off in an area which features a shop and a museum. The shop is called the Memorial Gift Shop and this location acts as your hub before you venture into the action and here you can access the four maps, Vigors and checkout the global leaderboards to see how your score fairs with the gaming world. You can also buy various upgrades, same as you would from the vending machines that feature in the main game.
The Ops Zeal
Venture just slightly around the corner and it is here that you’ll discover my favourite area of Clash in the Clouds and that’s the museum. It’s here that you can access some great unlockable bonuses, from art work, statues (which include a giant Song Bird) and some music tracks. Now these are not music tracks that you might expect to feature in a Bioshock game, these are classic’s from our yesteryear. There are four pieces of music two unlock, two of which is ‘Shinning Happy People’ from R.E.M and ‘Tainted Love’ which was made famous by Ed Cobb and Marilyn Manson. In the museum you will also find a Tear that will lead you to the house of Rosalind Lutece and it is here that you will find some new Voxophones scattered around in her house.
Duke & Dewitt Theatre
Now let’s get to the maps shall we? The principle of Clash in the Cloud’s is just the same as any other wave based mode; you must fight off and survive increasing waves of enemies, which will grow more difficult the longer you survive. Each enemy that you defeat you will earn a case bonus, which can go towards buying new items from the shop such as unlocking new maps or you can purchase the number of cool items available to you from the museum.
You can also use your earned cash in the pre match lobby to purchase Vigor and weapon upgrades; here you can also exchange your weapons over free of charge. The amount of cash in which you will earn, will depend on how you kill the enemy, whether it be your typical gun down, melee attacks, Vigor kills, possessing an enemy to kill one of his own, etc., etc. Should you want to earn extra cash bonus, you can do so by completing certain bonus objectives before each round, which will not only earn you more cash, but you will also earn yourself a Blue Ribbon.
During each and every round, Elizabeth will be fighting alongside you the whole time. As she does in the main campaign, she will gather health, salts and open tears whenever you ask her. While I think some form of co-op play is somewhat of a missed opportunity for this particular mode, I think it goes without saying that whether it’s this DLC or the campaign, Elizabeth is arguably the best accompanying AI ever in a video game
In total each map has 15 rounds, as its early days for me; I’ve only managed to survive up until around wave seven I think (so I need to get my practise in). Also from what I hear, should you survive all rounds for each map, you will be treated to a really cool Easter egg (unfortunately not the chocolate variety). There are four maps in total, The Ops Zeal which is based in Finkton in the factory district and is the smallest of the four maps. The Duke & Dimwit Theatre which is based in the Soldiers Field and I found this to be one of the trickier maps as enemies can gain high vantage points (but of course so can you). Ravens Dome is possibly the largest of the maps; this map has plenty of high vantage points and areas in which you can gain cover from gunfire or to recover your health. There are also quite a generous amount of gun turrets for you to possess too. Finally we have the Emporia Arcade which is located in the Market Shopping District that features towards the end of the story campaign, so there is a lot of rubble from destroyed buildings for you to take shelter.
Clash in the Clouds may not be the DLC that us Bioshock Infinite fans were really waiting for, but it is a lot of fun, that offers a good challenge and some very cool unlocks. If I was to have one criticism, it would be the lack of co-op play. I know that Bioshock Infinite is a singleplayer game, but with this being a wave based add-on, it would have been awesome to fight side by side with a friend. But seeing as this DLC is priced at a mere £3.69/$4.99/400MSP I’ll let that one slide and of course Clash in the Clouds is available at no extra cost to Bioshock Infinite Season Pass holders. If you own the Season Pass, then it would be mad not to download this, but if not, you still can’t go wrong with the price. So if you want something to distract you from the campaign and to see how your scores fair against other Bioshock Infinite gamers across the global leaderboards, you do a lot worse than Clash in the Clouds.