The print version of Game Informer, Game Informer Magazine, has just published a “world exclusive” preview of Bioshock 2: Sea of Dreams, the follow up to the 2007 mega-hit by Ken Levine, Bioshock. It’s the feature article for their April, 2009 issue and gives us the first close up look, nicely covering the high points of the gameplay and story.
The old news is that Jordon Thomas of the newly minted 2K Marin is replacing Ken Levine as the Creative Director. The new news is that this time you play as a Big Daddy, the Big Daddy, the first experimental prototype. You get the drill and a bunch of big nasty weapons befitting your character. As the prototype you have a big advantage over the other Big Daddies in that you can wield plasmids. Yep, you can use plasmids and the other Big Daddies can’t cause it’s been genetically erased from their makeup. In effect, the devs have “spliced” their own game, mutating the player into a cross between a Big Daddy and Jack, the protagonist from the first Bioshock.
If you remember, at the end of the first game, Dr. Tenenbaum had left Rapture, taking all the little sisters with her. Now, it’s ten years later and Rapture is ruled by Big Sister, a mutagenically altered Little Sister who is bringing human girls from the outside world down to Rapture and turning them into Little Sisters. The Big Sister is pairing her newly minted siblings up with the hapless Big Daddy population that’s been roaming around Rapture sad and lonely and Little Sisterless.
Though you are a Big Daddy, you still possess many of the same attributes as in the first game. Experimental prototypes apparently rule in Rapture! While you can still harvest the Little Sisters, now, instead of freeing them, you adopt them. You’ll want to at least adopt one as soon as you can as you start off with no Little Sister. To do that you need to beef up enough to tackle a Big Daddy. Once you have your very own mini ghoul you can start collecting Adam. The Little Sister rides along on your shoulders her syringe at the ready. Once she hops down to harvest Adam off a corpse, she is instantly in danger from any nearby Splicers and it’ll be your job to protect her while she works away.
You can now use plasmids simultaneously with weapons and will no longer have to switch back and forth between one mode or the other. As you fight and defeat other Big Daddies, Big Sister starts to take notice of you. Once you cross a threshold of Big Daddy kills, Big Sister will come after you. Think of a stalking Boss who tracks you as you navigate Rapture. Apparently she is nasty-tough too so we’re warned to pick our battles. A welcome addition is the ability to leave buildings and cross the ocean floor to other buildings, thus experiencing Rapture from the outside. There are whispers of another big twist at the end but thankfully no one is talking. Bioshock 2 is slated for a fall release so look for the hype to build over the summer.