After waiting for what seemed like an eternity, 2K Games and Irrational Studios finally announced its downloadable content plans for BioShock Infinite, which originally came out in February. This action-packed first-person shooter has plenty going for it with its main story mode, but this DLC will add significant new content, including a two-part story arc that takes place in the original BioShock's underwater city, Rapture.
For now, we already have the first piece of DLC, Clash in the Clouds. It comes with four new challenge maps, complete with growing waves of enemies and unlockable goodies, which you can view in the Columbian Archaeological Society interactive museum. These include new Voxophones, character models and more.
We've played through the four maps and completed a handful of the Blue Ribbon Challenges that come with them, and have some tips that will help you get through these troubled parts of Columbia.
When you start Clash In the Clouds, you'll be in the Columbian Archaeological Society museum. Here, you'll be able to access online leaderboards, challenging other players to beat your cash collection scores. You'll also find player models that you can unlock and add to your collection, additional Voxophones and Kinectoscopes that tell more of Columbia's tale, and samples of vigors, which you put to good use in the challenge maps. If you're good enough, you can also unlock playable versions of songs you heard throughout the game's main campaign, such as "God Only Knows," among others. Don't forget to stock up on guns – you'll find a huge cache of them in the corner of the room.
Even if you're in a hurry to kill stuff, take some time to explore the museum. You'll have some breathing room between each wave of enemies – unlike other games – so don't hesitate to look around.
One side note – there is no new story content with this pack. It's built mainly around the challenge maps. It looks like that's being saved for the Burial At Sea DLC, coming later this year.
Blue Ribbon Challenges
Before you start each map, you'll be presented with a Blue Ribbon Challenge. Obviously the main goal of the game is to survive each wave, but this secondary challenge appears below it. Usually, it requires you to follow a specific goal with your weapons, like only killing enemies with Skyhook attacks – a diving maneuver coming off one of the city's Skylines – or taking hits using only your shield.
At first, the Blue Ribbon Challenges are fairly easy, but as waves pick up, they become increasingly difficult. Make sure you stay on your toes, and keep in mind you can always try again if you fail to complete them.
Ops Zeal Map
The Ops Zeal stage takes place in the business district of Columbia. You'll see large floating freighters everywhere, as well as Skylines that will help you get around the upper and lower platforms with ease. This is a rather large map, one that gives you room to run, as well as plenty of spots for cover. Don't forget that Elizabeth is there as well, able to project objects that add additional cover when needed.
With this map, it's vital that you use the Skylines. Although most enemies appear on the lower level at first, there are several that will take shots at you from above. You could take them out with your pistol or another long-range weapon, but when it comes to meeting certain Blue Ribbon Challenges, it's best to simply rail your way up there and meet them head on. Just remember, don't fall off.
Keep moving, use your vigors and weapons wisely, and you'll get through these stages just fine.
Duke and Dimwit Theater Map
At first, we thought this map would be confined to a small theater. However, it's actually just as expansive as the Ops Zeal map, with a number of platforms to jump across, a pair of Skylines you can use to your advantage and no shortage of dangerous enemies. Talk about putting on a show.
The difference here, however, is that the map is set during the evening. That makes the surroundings a little bit darker, which means some enemies might be harder to see. Stay on your toes, and make sure you have the right weapons handy. For close range combat, the shotgun and Devil's Kiss are effective, as you can finish off most enemies right away. On the Skyline, stick with the pistol, as it provides the best range when mobile.
Try to stay on the upper levels for this map if you can. It allows you to take out any long-range shooters right away, while keeping an eye for enemies on the ground. If you prefer close-range combat – or hurting people right away – try your luck on the main level.
Raven's Dome Map
The Raven's Dome is yet another fairly large map, where you can get around via Skylines and maneuver rather quickly. The focal point of the map is the Dome itself, which is a rather convenient spot to take on enemies attempting to ambush both on the ground and dropping from nearby airships. It's a good place to hook onto a Skyline, as two separate ones are close by. You can also hop aboard a ship and shoot enemies from afar once you clear it.
For this map, it's best to stick with the Charge vigor, mainly because bigger enemies, like Crows and Firemen, will show up sooner than later. Pair this up with a powerhouse weapon – again, the Shotgun is excellent at close proximity – and you'll survive. Remember to use cover.
Finally, we have the Emporia Arcade map, which takes place in a winter-like setting in the center of the city. This is a great map for those who love maneuverability, as there are plenty of upper and lower platforms to move around, as well as a Skyline that zips you around the level. This is one of the tougher maps in the game, as you'll have to contend with the likes of the Patriots and other enemies.
The charge vigor still works well here, as does Devil's Kiss. As for weapons, stick with heavy firepower, like the Huntsman Carbine or Barnstormer RPG. Keep a good close-range weapon in case you have to move in to finish enemies. If you can't find it in the Archaeological Society, have Elizabeth summon a weapons barrel and get it from there.
BioShock Infinite: Clash in the Clouds is available for download now on Xbox Live, PlayStation Network and PC.