How excited I was today, upon opening the mailbox, to see the new Game Informer. And on the cover, BioShock 2.
To save you the trouble of either procuring the magazine or reading the lengthy first look article, I will try my best to summarize what changes we can expect in the highly-anticipated sequel to the somewhat anti-climatic (imo) BioShock.
If you read my review of Bioshock, you may have taken away from that a sense of my disappointment with Bioshock. It’s true, I may have been a bit harsh in comparing it to an actual Ayn Rand novel, and by that I mean to say the game was interminable and repetitious. But for three-quarters of the game I was really digging it. And yes, I had some gripes about some aspects of the game playing experience that I am happy to read are being addressed in the sequel.
First, the character you are is no longer Jack, but a Big Daddy — the first Big Daddy. As a Big Daddy, you now get to wield the power of that gentle giant/marauding monster, including that awesome big drill and the rivet gun.
The game’s designers tell GI that there will be more options for different styles of game play, by choosing certain plasmids and upgrades. I remember playing through BioShock 1, and frankly, by the end, I had way more ADAM and money than I knew what to do with. I blew through all the available plasmids and tonics well before the end, so the benefits of rehabilitating all those little girls were wasted after a while. That, and I found the best results with a trusty shotgun rather than the Cyclone Trap.
BioShock 2 also gives you a new relationship with the aforementioned Little Sisters. As a Big Daddy, these ADAM-wielding sweetie pies trust you and look to you for protection. You are a better Big Daddy with your Little Sister. You can now adopt them, after killing their original Big Daddy. The Little Sister then travels through Rapture with you, and she can harvest ADAM from “angels”. And when she does her work, you have to protect her from all those ADAM-hungry Splicers.
A welcome change in my eyes is the new ability to have both your “weapon” and your “plasmid” locked and loaded. Before you could only have one or the other on hand, which made some battles rather clumsy as you shot an electric bolt before putting you left hand down, raising your right while loading your gun or whatever weapon you needed. Oh, and your Big Daddy gets a flashlight on his helmet. Thank you!
Of course, like all FPS games, you have to have some “boss” fights. And I am not using the word boss as they did in the 80’s, but rather the trend in video games that includes chapters concluding with a battle against a bigger, badder baddie. I never found BioShock’s boss fights difficult, and I think the developers are addressing that, in the form of a major boss character, the Big Sister.
Big Sis (seen on the cover) is the present day (10 years after BioShock’s timeframe) guardian of the ruins of Rapture. Rapture kind of found its own equilibrium in the decade following the Little Sisters’ escape, and it’s all thanks to a Little Sister who decided to return and buff up, complete with a shiny new suit. You start screwing up her equilibrium, and she is going to get pissed off. And when she gets pissed off, she’s coming for you.
There is also going to be a multi-player option added to the game. Oh, and GI had also included the cover art as a promotional poster for BioShock 2. The game is expected to release this fall.
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