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.
Nice distillation of the piece, I don’t usually go for previews, but my interest is piqued just by the Little Sister riding the Big Daddy bit. It’ll be similar gameplay wise no doubt (I enjoyed the original, the horror bits were a bit annoying though), but the possible interactions and saving of little sisters would be neat. They were a real personality in the game.
Not sure about actually being a big daddy – as you were “made” one in the last game, it just seemed to make your footsteps loud and reduce your vision a lot, heh 🙂
I really wish it was a more open game (so you explore and find things not get told where to go – which I guess will happen again), the actual world and history was much more interesting then the up front story in Bioshock apart from certain moments.
‘twist ending’ is a synonym for ‘unsatisfying, BUY OUR SEQUEL ending’ right?
That issue of Game Informer just arrived today, and I’ve gotten behind in my magazine reading. Thanks for the writeup, Scout, that lessens my burden a little bit.
I must say I’m unsure about this plotline. It seems a little… I don’t know. Odd. Contrived? I’d prefer to have Bioshock 2 be a prequel, in which you played a citizen of Rapture during the civil war – choose sides, fight regular humans as well as Splicers, witness the birth of the Big Daddy, and be there when the city begins to crumble as it has in the original.
But even with my doubts I’ll definitely pick this up. I hope 2K Marin delivers a game we all enjoy as much as we did Bioshock.
It is an odd choice, with so much of the original game hinting at past events, to fast forward into the future and on top of that to create a new creature in Big Sister. Still, anything that takes place in Rapture will be interesting. I loved that city, loved the architecture. Hopefully the player Big Daddy will be more nimble than in the first game. The article seemed to suggest that you could explore the city undisturbed until you decided to opt in to combat. Not sure what this would do to pacing but I’d love the chance to explore Rapture a bit more.
The plot arouses my curiosity as much as it fills me with apprehension. It seems plausible…but much of my love of the original comes from Rapture’s fall from grace. This could be an extension of that, or it could be an “action-packed slugfest that never lets up.”
I’m am cautiously hopeful. Or hopefully suspicious. Or something.
I’m definitely looking forward to the ocean floor segments. It will be really cool to see Rapture from the outside, given how tantalizing some of the views from windows and the bathysphere porthole were in the original game. Since this game takes place a decade later, Rapture will surely be in an even greater state of ruin, which will lead to some wonderfully creepy moments if the game is well-made.
I’ve got to assume that they will not make game play throughout similar to the Big Daddy segments in the original–just wouldn’t hold up, and they’re too smart a crew to let that slip.
I agree with Steerpike that it’s not the ideal story for my take, but I’m willing to take it on faith. The original was one of the best games of the last years, and you gotta give credit for success.
I also like the advancing gameplay approach of having a semi-boss tracking you–assuming they pull it off. If it’s the equivalent of the Dahaka in PoP, it won’t be worth notice; but if they actually try to reexamine play dynamics, well, shit, that always gets me.
I think it’s very unfortunate that BioShock couldn’t just be left alone. No surprise obviously that BioShock 2 is coming … but I really am the ultimate loather of sequels. Nine times out of ten I believe it’s an attempt at quick cash. There are always exceptions, but they are far less common.
I’m expecting BS2 to tarnish 1’s legacy in the long run- zero optimism as you can see. I know it has a freaking metascore of 96 but dammit I can’t help but imagine what cultural icon BioShock could have truly become if they had grown a pair for the last 5 minutes of the game, given us an intelligent ending and then said “that’s it, no one touches this baby.” We could have had something Blade Runner-esque on our hands.
Instead it’s thrown to the wolves in the age of hyper-consumption. Bravo.
Ahh…there are some previews of gameplay out now.
i am not completely thorugh the game yet so as you can see you spolied the ending for me and i HATE the fact that we will be Big Daddies and a mutated version of Jack and a Big Daddy. This makes it seem like we were bored being jack when clearly we arent and wont be!! The rest are fine with me and the sea floor thing not to my liking either, kindah dumb, were not bored with rapture just yet and yeah after the second bioshock dont make anymore itll kill it. Dont be like final fantasy and resident evil were they keep going and after a while ita getting boring and you lose the order of events. Bioshock should be the one everyone knows about!