The first Bioshock was a phenomenal game, an original IP that was received well by both gamers and critics. Bioshock was developed by 2K Marin and 2K Australia and the creative brainchild of Ken Levine.The game was a somewhat story focused first person shooter: a rarity in the videogame industry. Bioshock had solid shooting mechanics and impressive visuals, but what really attracted the widespread sales and gushing reviews was the surprisingly deep and unpredictable narrative. The character of Andrew Ryan made the undersea city of Rapture into more than just a setting: the game excelled at creating an atmosphere that was plausible and immersive. Political themes, ranging from objectivism to anarchism were also significant parts of the story.
Since Bioshock clearly wasn’t an average shooter, following it up with a sequel is not as straightforward as one might think. The developers of the first game, and Ken Levine, are not involved in the sequel. Instead, it is being developed by 2K Marin, by a separate team that is part of the same studio. Bioshock 2 is set in Rapture a few years after the events of the first game, in a move that surprised many. The original Bioshock told Rapture’s story well, but didn’t seem to leave much room for follow up narrative. What seemed more likely was a prequel that would depict exactly how the underwater utopia fell into chaos and destruction. However, 2K Marin insists that they have an equally rich story to tell with Bioshock 2, and that they can live up to the very high standards set by the first game.
Few details have been released about the plot of Bioshock 2, but we do know that a character known as the “Big Sister” will play a prominent role. The Big Sister is one of the Little Sisters from the original Bioshock, who, as her name implies, grew up during the time between the events of the first and second game. Unlike the other Little Sisters who were freed from Rapture, the Big Sister was unsatisfied with life outside of the city and returned, hoping to make it into the city she remembers so fondly from her childhood. The Big Sister will monitor the player’s progress, attacking the player if she deems him to be interfering with her vision of what Rapture should be.
The player takes on the role of the very first Big Daddy ever made, a kind of “prototype” that still has free will. Like the other Big Daddies, the prototype Big Daddy is heavily armored and armed, equipped with the massive drill and rivet gun that the characters in the first game used. The Big Daddy’s diving suit also allows him to step out of Rapture and into the ocean, giving gamers the first look at what the outside of the undersea city looks like from the outside.It has been confirmed that there will be no enemy encounters when outside of the city, they will simply be ways to get from one area to another.
As well as using the Big Daddy’s drill and rivet gun, players can now use weapons and plasmids simultaneously, rather than having to switch between them in combat. The playable Big Daddy will also be able to protect Little Sisters and escort them while they gain the ADAM that players use to purchase new plasmids and become more powerful. Other denizens of Rapture will react differently to the Big Daddy than they did to Jack, the protagonist of the first Bioshock. Splicers, the psychotic, drug addicted mutants that form the majority of Rapture’s population will run away from the Big Daddy if he revs his drill a few times, rather than fight. Little Sisters will also see the Big Daddy as a protective figure, allowing the player to escort them and protect them from splicers while the sisters harvest ADAM. As in the first Bioshock, ADAM is used to purchase plasmids and make the player more powerful.
Unlike the original Bioshock, which was a singleplayer-only game, Bioshock 2 will have a multiplayer component with several modes. So far there are variations on Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch game modes, with customizable weapon loadouts. Big Daddy suits can be found in the multiplayer matches, which will greatly help the player by providing more protection and powerful weapons. Gun turrets can also be hacked and turned to the player’s side in multiplayer matches, as well as the usual plasmids and guns.
Bioshock 2 has a lot to live up to, but the game definitely looks solid at this point. The developers are big fans of the first Bioshock and its unique setting, and they seem to genuinely want to do the best they can with its narrative.
The following gameplay video is the longest glimpse we’ve had of Bioshock 2: not much was unveiled at E3 2009. There are some minor story spoilers.
Bioshock 2 is scheduled to release on November 3rd, 2009 for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC platforms.
Article from Gamersyndrome.com