by Howie Howard
previewed on PS3
Welcome to Rapture… Again
BioShock 2 is the second game in the critically acclaimed series that debuted two years ago. Developed by 2K Games Marin and published by 2K Games, this game is set to release in Q4 of this year. When the BioShock 2 trailer first appeared back in October of 2008, the name BioShock 2: Sea of Dreams was used, and it was assumed that this would be the name for the anticipated title. However, the Sea of Dreams moniker has officially been dropped in favor of the simpler BioShock 2.
BioShock 2 takes place about ten years after the first BioShock. Much of the action again takes place in the ocean bottom city of Rapture, with the added ability to venture out onto the sea floor. This new feature comes courtesy of the biggest change in the game: you play as a Big Daddy.
The setup of BioShock 2 is the disappearance of young girls from various seaside villages along the American East Coast and coastal European areas. Every kidnapping is accompanied by a mysterious red light that appears in the sea when the crime is committed. The kidnapper? A grown up Little Sister from the first game, known simply as Big Sister. Her goal is to restore Rapture to normalcy (or at least as normal as an underwater city with genetically modified citizens can get). To do this, she has taken young girls from around the world to turn into Little Sisters and collect adam from corpses. With her strong telekinesis power and oversized adam extractor, the Big Sister is a fearsome opponent. She is both stronger and faster than you are, and you will be hard pressed to fight her as you travel through Rapture.
Unleash your Inner Daddy
As the prototype Big Daddy, you possess all of the firepower and abilities that the Big Daddies from the first BioShock had and more. In addition to the drill and rivet gun, you will have access to various upgrades, customizable ammo and new plasmid weapons. The new weapons can’t be abused though – use the signature spinning drill too much and it will overheat. Don’t worry, there is another perk. You can now use plasmids and guns at the same time, and as plasmids increase in level, they change. In the first game, increasing your incinerate power just made it stronger and last longer. Now, it gives you more options, like throwing fireballs or using your hand like a flamethrower. As a Big Daddy you can also use the powerful “shoulder bash move” that was used against you repeatedly in the first BioShock. In addition, you now have the ability to heal damaged mechanical weapons turrets and hacked bots and turn them into an army that can help you fight through the legions of splicers poised to ruin your day.
As you fight off other Big Daddies and splicers, the Big Sister will viciously hunt you down for disrupting the balance of power. Getting more adam and powering up is the only way to fight back. As in the first game, Little Sisters are the only way to get adam. By “harvesting” or “adopting” them, you choose to follow the path of good or evil.
Adding a Little Extra
In addition to re-exploring areas from the first game, there will be brand new places to visit. Rapture is a huge city, and BioShock only showed a slice of it. The sequel aims to introduce new locations like the Fontaine Futuristics facility, and finally find out how adam is recovered from the Little Sisters.
There is also going to be a limited multi-player mode. Not much is known about it, though co-op has apparently been ruled out. Considering how great the first game was without multiplayer, it is okay that it is only a small part this time around.
When a highly anticipated title like BioShock 2 is in development, game companies often black out information about the work to build up excitement before the release date. Take2 has followed this formula, and has certainly succeeded. BioShock 2 is sure to be a great game – unfortunately we will have to wait until the third quarter of 2009 to know more than that.