BioShock 2 is the sequel to the critically acclaimed first-person shooter BioShock. It was formally announced by Take-Two in March of 2008, and the initial teaser trailer, which named the game as "BioShock 2: Sea of Dreams", was included as a bonus in the PlayStation 3 version of BioShock, viewable once the game is beaten. It was announced that development would be handed over to 2K Marin rather than having 2K Boston develop, but BioShock's director Ken Levine confirmed that he worked on BioShock 2 but only as the "creative consultant". The title released world wide on February 9, 2010.
In BioShock 2, you control a prototype Big Daddy known as " Subject Delta", the first one to ever be bound to a Little Sister and also the first one to be able to think independently. As a prototype, you have the unique ability to use Plasmids, which was removed from later models, as well as a mind of your own which enables you to make your own choices in the world. You can use tools like the iconic drill, which requires fuel to run to keep things balanced. You even have the Big Daddy Dash which was used to lethal effect in the original game. Another weapon you'll be able to use is the rivet gun, which was too heavy for the mere human Jack to use during the first game. Carrying larger weapons (such as the infamous bouncer drill) is one of the perks of being a Big Daddy. You are not as bulky and slow as the other Big Daddies but you have more advanced weapons. This game also presents the player with a moral decision as to what will become of a Little Sister; however, while this game allows players to Harvest a Little Sister as before, which drains her of her ADAM, killing her in the process, as a Big Daddy, the player is also given the option to Adopt the Little Sisters. By adopting said little sister Subject Delta will be carrying one at a time on his shoulders and setting her down to harvest ADAM from corpses. However while she is not on the character's shoulder she is vulnerable, so naturally as a Big Daddy, defending the girl from Splicer attacks is key until she is finished. Minor Splicers are far less of a threat in the game now that you have heavy armor and more powerful weaponry. The game gives you a better sense of self-awareness, such as your body casting shadow in certain lighting conditions and the screen being framed with the edge of your helmet.
Plasmids are now more versatile. Instead of just upgrading the amount of damage they do, some now change the way they function as they become more powerful. One example is the Incinerate! plasmid. The first level of Incinerate! allows you to set things on fire with a snap, just as in the first game. However, when upgraded another level, it gains the ability to also shoot a Fireball. The fully upgraded version grants both previous abilities, in addition to allowing you to shoot a steady stream of fire like a Flamethrower. Subject Delta also has the ability to heal hacked turrets and sentries, which makes a pet/minion approach to the game more viable. You can also combine certain Plasmids to increase their effectiveness and even use bait and traps for a more devious play style. Arguably the biggest change
to gameplay is the ability to "dual wield" Plasmids and weapons; at all times, the Prototype will have a weapon in his right hand and a Plasmid equipped on his left hand, similar to the system of Clive Barker's Undying, which let players equip one weapon and one spell simultaneously. In addition, as in the original BioShock, you can still upgrade your weapons. The developers want you to feel that you have created a specialized character by the end of the game.
Little Sisters are now designed to look less monstrous since you are seeing them through the eyes of a Big Daddy, who is genetically encoded to see them as darling children who must be protected. This time, you will have to steal them away from other Big Daddies. While killing Big Daddies is now on a much more even playing field than the previous game, they are still hard battles that have to be planned out, since Subject Delta's armor isn't quite up to par with the later models, though his ability to use Plasmids should give him an edge. Once you kill a Big Daddy, the Little Sister will be happy to see you as they are mentally conditioned to trust all Big Daddies as their beloved "Mr. Bubbles". In addition to harvesting or adopting Little Sisters, as previously mentioned, you can also help them escape the city. These moral choices will affect the game world and lead to a good or bad ending but the developers want you to feel like there was a good "Trade-Off" for each outcome.
Now that you are a Big Daddy, enemies that were tough in the first game are now not even worth a glance unless they attack you in large numbers. Delta's hands are far too large to use ordinary weapons such as the pistol or shotgun, but weapons dropped by Splicers can be searched for ammo that is compatible with your weapons. As the developers put it: "Why would you wield a homemade shotgun when you have a rivet gun with exploding ammo?".
While you may feel like the the strongest creature in Rapture, Big Sisters are a more even match for you. While it was originally implied that there was only one Big Sister who the player would encounter several times, 2k revealed that there are actually many Big Sisters, and that individual encounters end with the Sister dying, not escaping. This is meant to parallel the Big Daddy encounters from the original game, a hostile character far more powerful than the player, so that the player feels a sense of accomplishment when they defeat them.
The glow from your helmet illuminates dark areas like a flashlight in select areas and sequences, a feature many gamers wished for in the original game. Another interesting feature added to BioShock 2 is the option that allows you to turn off the Vita-Chambers completely in the game. In the first BioShock you were not able to do that unless you had the free DLC or the PS3 version.
At the beginning of the fall of Rapture, Andrew Ryan brought in a psychologist, Sofia Lamb, to calm the minds of the people. However her intentions were not the same as Ryan's, her collectivist philosophy at odds with Ryan's objectivist views, and she came to be worshiped by the denizens of Rapture. After the deaths of Ryan and Frank Fontaine at the end of BioShock, Lamb became the de facto leader of Rapture. She opposes the old Big Daddy system with her own army of Big Sisters, and specifically wishes for Subject Delta to be destroyed, for reasons that aren't clear at the outset of the game. Lamb believes in the power of community while Ryan believed in the power of individual minds.
BioShock 2 begins with a first person cinematic showing Subject Delta protecting Eleanor, the Little Sister he was partnered with, from Splicers while she gathers ADAM. However, after defeating all of them, Sofia Lamb arrives and takes Eleanor, but not before having Subject Delta shoot himself with a pistol.
Delta awakens 10 years later and embarks on a journey to get back his "daughter", Eleanor, who is actually the daughter of Sofia Lamb. With the help of a gentleman named Augustus Sinclair, Delta navigates several sections of Rapture, using a train to get from location to location. It is revealed that "Subject Delta" was the first person to discover Rapture as a diver. While the local citizens hailed him as a celebrity, and nicknamed him "Johnny Topside" Andrew Ryan did not trust him, and Stanley Poole, a Rapture Journalist, turns him in to Ryan who in turn sends him to the Big Daddy program. Poole is met in Dionysus Park where he insists the players "handles" all the little sisters in the area, as their ingestion of the Park Residents' Adam gave them a sort of residual genetic memory which gave witness to what Poole did. It is revealed Poole both flooded the park to cover his tracks and gave Eleanor to the little sister program. The player is given the option to dispose of Poole if they so choose, a decision that moves the player towards the "neutral" and "evil" endings.
Eventually, he arrives in Fontaine Futuristics and locates Eleanor. Unfortunately, Sofia Lamb is also there, and suffocates Eleanor with a pillow so that Delta goes into comatose. Delta wakes up strapped to a table with a Little Sister sent by Eleanor on him. The Little Sister injects him with ADAM, which allows Delta to take control of the Sister. The girl gathers up pieces of armor for a Big Sister and gives them to Eleanor, who puts all of it on and becomes one of them. Delta is freed by Eleanor and together they fight their way to Sinclair's escape pod. Unfortunately, Sinclair himself is captured and turned into a Big Daddy, and Delta is forced to kill him to get a pass code. Delta hangs on to the escape pod as it rockets away from the city up to the surface, and watches as Sofia Lamb drowns inside the escape pod. The game's ending can be slightly different or completely different depending on the decisions the player makes during the game. This is dependent on what the player does when he encounters Big Daddies escorting little sisters. If the player rescues all of them, the positive ending will occur. The other endings are the when the player rescues and harvests some little sisters. This is the neutral ending. The evil ending will occur when the player harvests all Little Sisters that are encountered.
BioShock 2's multiplayer component is similar to that of the Call Of Duty series. Players earn experience points (called ADAM) from performing certain actions during a game, and they are able to create custom load-outs to use during a match and also minimally customize the appearance of their character. Here is a breakdown of the experience point system:
- Killing an enemy = 10 XP
- Hacking something = 10 XP
- Assists = 5 XP
- Putting on a Big Daddy suit = 50 XP
- Killing a Big Daddy = 100 XP
- Researching a dead enemy = 10 XP
- Completing a Trial = Varies
- Picking up an ADAM Vial = 10 XP
- Killstreak (3 kills without dying) = 50 XP
There are several characters to choose from, and each have their own backstory. When you first start up the multiplayer, you'll be greeted by an introduction cinematic in which Andrew Ryan wishes you a happy New Year. You'll find yourself in your apartment, which can be thought of as a private lobby. From here you can customize your character (by activating the wardrobe), customize your loadouts (by activating the Gene Bank), look at the leaderboards (by checking the news stand), and listen to audio recordings that you unlock at certain levels. There is also an audio recording from each character sitting on a couch that can be listened to.
There are seven game modes in BioShock 2. They are:
- Survival of the Fittest - A free for all mode
- Civil War - Team Deathmatch
- Last Splicer Standing - Another free for all mode, but with no respawning
- Turf War - Two teams fight to gain control of points spread out across the map
- Capture the Sister - Capture the Flag, but the flag is a Little Sister
- ADAM Grab - A mode where players grab the Little Sister and hold onto her to gain points
- Team ADAM Grab - Same as above, but with teams
The multiplayer is based on power, researching enemy splicers after they have been killed gives the researching player an added damage bonus against the specific player, but if the player is killed by the one he/she researched they will lose that advantage. This method is a key strategy to taking out the real threat of multiplayer. The Big Daddies.
The Big Daddy suit will appear at random in predetermined areas, granting the ability to become a Big Daddy to whomever finds it first, this is one of the most prominent turning points in a match, but does not come without a price. In addition to a massive health bonus and powerful weapons like the Rivet Gun and Motion Sensor Mines, players lose whatever damage bonus against other players that they had obtained prior to putting the suit on as well as not having the ability to regenerate health or use Plasmids, Big Daddies are also targeted by the opposing team making prolonged survival a rarity. Once the Big Daddy has been killed the player will spawn as a normal Splicer again. Dying takes the suit out of the play, however, it will respawn at a later time during the match. If a Big Daddy survives long enough, another suit will appear placing two of the power players on the same field.
These are all of the various unlockables that are obtainable in the multiplayer. Unlocks are acquired by earning experience and ranking up.
|Tommy Gun||2||Automatic SMG/Rifle|
|Grenade Launcher||6||Lobs grenades in arcs|
|Crossbow||10||3-Shot kill, Holds 4 bolts in clip|
|Nail Gun||14||Minigun-like charge delay, automatic|
|Elephant Gun||18||Accurate medium-long range shotgun|
These are the weapon upgrades which improve the weapons in one area and balance it in another, generally. Only one can be equipped at a time.
|Automatic Pistol||5||Holding fire button continuously fires, but at a slower rate|
|Shotgun Fire Rate||9||Increases fire rate, but lowers range|
|Tommy Gun Clip||13||Increases clip size by 10 rounds|
|Homing Grenades||17||Causes grenades to home in on targets but reduces explosion radius|
|Crossbow Damage||21||Increases damage but drastically lowers rate of fire|
|Nail Gun Magazine||23||Increases Clip size by 25 rounds|
|Elephant Gun Scope||25||Adds a usable sniper scope and increases accuracy|
|Pistol Damage||27||Increases damage but drastically lowers fire rate|
|Shotgun Reload||29||Automatically reloads after shooting at the expense of fire rate|
|Tommy Gun Recoil||31||Decreases recoil, but also lowers rate of fire|
|Grenade Velocity||33||Increases the speed of grenades|
|Crossbow Fire Rate||35||Increases rate of fire, but lowers damage|
|Nail Gun Damage||37||Increases damage, but lowers its accuracy|
|Elephant Gun Damage||39||Increases damage, but lowers rate of fire|
Plasmids are diverse and can be combined in many ways. Holding down a plasmid increases power but slowly drains EVE. Only two can be equipped at a time.
|Electro Bolt||1||Stuns enemies, longer duration (hold). Extra damage vs. enemies in water and with geyser traps. Damage with melee weapons is increased on stunned enemies.|
|Incinerate!||1||Burns enemies over time, more damage (hold). Also increases enemy speed and attack speed. Melts friendly frozen targets.|
|Winter Blast||1||Slows enemy movement and attack speed, longer duration (hold). Can be used to put out fires, freeze electronics, and doors.|
|Aero Dash||4||Causes user to dash forward and avoid obstacles like traps, turrets, etc. Also insta-kills frozen enemies.|
|Geyser Trap||8||Places a small water trap on the floor that propels the user or enemies upward. Can be used with electro bolt to add electricity and an insta-kill. Also can be used to reach high places.|
|Telekinesis||12||Enables the user to throw objects. Decreases EVE over time (Hold).|
|Houdini||16||Causes the user to go invisible, but drains EVE over time (Hold).|
|Insect Swarm||20||Drastically disrupts enemy vision and does little damage over time.|
Gene tonics are used to increase or add new player traits. Only three can be equipped at a time.
|Expert Researcher||3||Speeds up research time|
|Security Evasion||3||Causes turrets to occasionally miss user|
|Speedy Recovery||7||Increases health regeneration rate|
|EVE Saver||7||Plasmids require less EVE|
|Back Stabber||11||More damage for backstabs|
|Metabolic EVE||15||User slowly generates EVE over time|
|Sabotage||19||Increases damage vs turrets|
|Repairman||22||Allows user to repair destroyed turrets|
|Speedy Hacker||24||Increases hack speed|
|Slugger||26||Allows user to charge melee attack for extra damage|
|Leg Up||28||Allows user to charge jump. Allows for higher jumping|
|Fast Feet||30||Increases speed and quiets footsteps|
|Deadly Machines||32||Hacked turrets have a higher rate of fire|
|Head Hunter||34||Increases head shot damage|
|Big Game Hunter||36||Increases damage vs Big Daddies|
|Death Trap||38||User's dead body becomes a ticking time bomb|
|Resurrection||40||User resurrects immediately after death with a small amount of health|
2K has said their plans for DLC are "aggressive", and that BioShock 2 will see both single player and multiplayer releases in the future. There have been three DLC releases so far. The first DLC released was the Sinclair Solutions Tester Pack, the second was the Rapture Metro Pack, and the third being Minerva's Den.
Sinclair Solutions Tester Pack
The first DLC to be released was Sinclair Solutions Tester Pack. It was released on March 11th, 2010 for all platforms and is available for $4.99 or 400 Microsoft Points. However, it is not available in Japan.
- The rank cap was raised from level 40 to level 50.
- As the player progresses past level 40, more trials open up, twenty in total.
- Five new masks were added to the customization.
- Two new playable characters were added - Louie McGraff and Oscar Calraca.
- A third weapon upgrade for every weapon, available upon activation.
Despite rumored speculation surrounding DLC file sizes, it would later be confirmed that some content was already provided on the game disc, and that it was held back to be sold later. 2K's community manager said that "The engine and game structure required that players have the exact same content to play together. Making the DLC unlockable content was a tactic to prevent splitting the player base."
Rapture Metro Pack
The Rapture Metro Pack was initially scheduled to be released on March 11th 2010, but had been postponed until
April 29th 2010 for unknown reasons. There were no reports of the DLC not being ready, but 2K decided to adjust the release for marketing reasons. The release of Modern Warfare 2's Stimulus Package has been noted as the reason for the push-back.
- A new multiplayer mode called "Killing 'Em Kindly". Players battle to the death using only golf clubs. A reference to killing the antagonist in the first BioShock game.
- Six new maps, Pauper's Drop, Dionysus Park, Fighting McDonagh's, Fontaine Fisheries, Siren Alley, and Smuggler's Hideout.
- Rank increase from Level 40 to 50. New rank rewards have also been included.
- A special option for players who've reached level 50 called "Rebirth". It resets the multiplayer account of the player, making their account level 1, with as a reward an exclusive mask.
- Two new masks.
- Three new multiplayer achievements. (Playing a match on each of the new maps, winning a match on each of the maps, and using the rebirth feature after reaching Level 50)
After a dictator assumes control of a new district in Rapture, the player takes control of a new character and assists Brigid Tenenbaum in figuring out what's going on. Minerva's Den was released on August 31, 2010. It is the final piece of downloadable content released for Bioshock 2.
- A new area to explore called Rapture Central Computing
- New weapons
- New plasmids
- Upgraded Splicers
- A never-before-seen breed of Big Daddy called The Lancer
- Owners of the Protector's Trials DLC will be able to buy a tonic that increases both the harvesting time and ADAM gained from Little Sisters
The Minerva's Den DLC was argued for by Brad Shoemaker during the lengthy Best Downloadable Add-On debate during the Giant Bomb Game Of The Year 2010: Day Two podcast.
A brief teaser was included in the PlayStation 3 release of BioShock, for what was assumed at the time to be called "BioShock 2: Sea of Dreams", a subtitle that was later removed in favor of the more spartan title, " BioShock 2".
The first teaser for BioShock 2 shows a young girl dressed in clothes similar to that of a Little Sister. She is holding a Big Daddy doll and standing on a platform jutting into the sea, somewhere in the ocean. Rock formations then begin to rise out of the sand creating a pattern similar to the depiction of Rapture on the logo for the game; the logo itself then appears. The logo for BioShock 2 is notably different from the logo for the first game; there are an abundance of barnacles and a butterfly is seen fluttering around the edges. The subtitle "Sea of Dreams" then appears below the main title.
The song that is used in the teaser is titled 'Dreams' by the Pied Pipers.
BioShock 2 was revealed to have a multiplayer component on Gamasutra’s job listings section. The job listing looked for engineers to extend and enhance Unreal Tournament III proprietary networking and tech to address gameplay, performance, platform, production, tools, and Q&A needs and to interface with Microsoft, Sony, and other providers for matching-making and other services. "The BioShock team is betting big on multiplayer and plans to stay at the top of the charts– we’re careful about the problems we tackle, innovative in our approach, solid in our implementation, and we polish the heck out of everything we do. Right now we’re looking for an exceptional individual to direct the development of this multiplayer experience through a combination of leadership, design, coding, and daily problem solving on the gameplay networking and back-end server components."
On May 8, 2009, 2K revealed that the multiplayer component of BioShock 2 was to be in the form of a prequel, set during Rapture's fall. Players will take on the role of "Plasmid test subjects for Sinclair Solutions, a premier provider of Plasmids and Tonics." In other words, each player will control an ADAM-mutated Splicer "testing" weapons and combat Plasmids by fighting and killing other Splicers with them. In team-based matches, teams are split between Splicers loyal to Ryan Industries and Atlas' forces, with separate announcers for each team; the Atlas announcer encourages players to "take the fight to the fascists", while the Ryan announcer tells them to "drive back the parasites".
Experience can be gained to unlock Plasmids, tonics and weapons. Mercury Suites and the Kashmir Restaurant, two locations from the first game, will appear in their pre-fall-of-Rapture state. In the midst of matches, players can photograph the corpses of their enemies; like the research cameras from BioShock and BioShock 2's singleplayer mode, this grants a combat bonus to the player; from then on until the end of the match, the player's attacks will do more damage to that specific enemy player. The effect can stack up to two times, and it can be nullified if the victim, after respawning, photographs the player's body. The name of a new multiplayer-specific plasmid was also revealed. "Aero Dash" allows the player to get out of situations where they are taking fire or need to get somewhere fast. The multiplayer component was externally developed by Digital Extremes, makers of the critically-maligned Dark Sector and some of the Unreal Tournament games.
The original score for Bioshock 2 was composed by the returning Garry Schyman.
|Track No.||Song Title||Running Time|
|01||Pairbond (Bioshock 2 Theme)||02.33|
|02||Waking Up in 1959 (Multiplayer Main Theme)||01.31|
|03||Ten Years Later||01.46|
|04||Protecting His Charge||01.07|
|06||Cult of Lamb||01.18|
|07||Out the Airlock||01.41|
|08||How She Sees the World||02.46|
|09||Grace Under the Ocean||01.51|
|11||Big Sister On the Move||02.00|
|12||Send Him Howling Back to Hell||02.06|
|14||That Symbol On Your Hand||02.00|
|16||Entrance to Eden||01.37|
|20||Welcome to the Drop (alternate version with vocals)||01.38|
|21||Under the Tracks (unused version with vocals)||02.43|
|23||Destroying the Lobby||01.09|
The game's viral site was spotted on 5th March, 2009. It offered multiple snippets of information in the form of a collection of news stories, photos, and letters pinned up on a map with added notations from a man investigating mysterious occurrences. They all are related in the fact that they all talk about abductions of small girls with the connecting thread of "red lights" at the site of each abduction. It has been inferred by the articles that this is the work of the Big Sister. The site has since been updated with new content from a wider view of the man's workspace.
- OS: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7
- Processor: AMD Athlon 64 Processor 3800 2.4Ghz or better, Intel Pentium 4 530 3.0 GHz Processor or better.
- Memory: 2 GB
- Graphics: NVIDIA 7800GT 256 MB graphics card or better, ATI Radeon X1900 256 MB graphics card or better.
- DirectX®: DirectX 9.0c
- Hard Drive: 11 GB
- Sound: 100% DirectX 9.0C compliant sound card or onboard sound
- DRM Information: SecuROM offers unlimited activations on up to 5 PCs.
- Processor: AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200 Dual Core 2.60Ghz, Intel Core 2 Duo E6420 Dual Core 2.13 GHz
- Memory: 3 GB
- Graphics: NVIDIA 8800GT 512 MB graphics card or better, ATI Radeon HD4830 512 MB graphics card or better.
Initial installation requires one-time internet connection; Ability to save game, earn achievements, receive title updates and online play requires log-in to Games for Windows LIVE; software installations required including Microsoft Visual C 2008 Runtime Libraries, Games for Windows LIVE client, Games for Windows LIVE Client Patch, Sony DADC SecuROM, Microsoft DirectX. No controller/gamepad support.
Xbox 360 Game Installation
BioShock 2 requires 6.4 GB of space to install on an Xbox 360 HDD.