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Jahanzeb Khan
18 Jan, 2010

Bioshock 2 Preview

360 Preview | We step in the boots of the Biggest Daddy of them all.
Bioshock was arguably one of the biggest releases of this generation and one of the best new franchises we have seen. The game received much critical acclaim for its outstanding art direction, immersive in-game world and customisable gameplay. We were recently invited by 2K Games to have a close look at the upcoming and highly anticipated sequel, Bioshock 2. The following is based on the Xbox 360 demo build.

Bioshock 2 takes place ten years after the events of the original game and this time you play the role of a Big Daddy codenamed ‘Delta’. Delta is the very first Big Daddy ever created and for some strange reason he has awakened after over a decade long slumber. He must now venture through the Rapture in search for answers and his Little Sister, while going up against new foes. Sophia Lamb is the main antagonist of Bioshock 2 and she holds ideals and values completely opposite to what Andrew Ryan had in the first game.

If you thought the Rapture was a horrid place in the original Bioshock then wait till you see what it looks like in Bioshock 2. After ten years, Rapture has become more twisted and broken, which means players will be having a much harder time in Bioshock 2 despite playing the role of a mighty Big Daddy. The environments are far more devastated, more areas have become flooded and the inhabitants are more twisted and stronger than ever before. What’s even more interesting is that the protagonist from the first game is actually remembered and referenced strongly.

Missed the Rapture?

Missed the Rapture?
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In terms of gameplay, Bioshock 2 is certainly a major improvement over the first game. Taking control of the Big Daddy, Delta, lets you use the trademark drill weapon. Delta certainly looks more human than normal Big Daddies, so he handles like a normal FPS character and is not heavy or clunky. However, his footsteps do make a heavy “thump” sound and there are plenty of cool visual effects (such as the helmet vision effect) to remind you that you are a Big Daddy.

Then you have some new additions that make the combat experience a lot more convenient and varied. The game allows players to dual wield with plasmid powers on the left hand and weapons in the right hand and this will allow for players to create some cool weapon combinations. Another new addition are the traps, where the game allows you to set up mines, freeze bombs and all sorts of ground traps for unsuspecting foes. It’s also worth noting that the tedious hacking mini game from the first game has been removed in favour of a more real-time and believable hacking system.

Little sisters return and they now have new and improved Big Daddies baby sitting them. Just like in the first game you can beat up a Big Daddy and steal their Little Sister but then you face a choice: do you harvest them for ADAM (Rapture's main resource) or do you adopt them as any Big Daddy would? By adopting a Little Sister you gain a valuable ally as she can sense Big Sisters (more on them later) and can also find and extract ADAM for you. Later on you face another choice, do you send the Little Sister over to Tenenbaum (the care taker for the Little Sisters) or harvest anyway? It certainly is nice to see that element of morality being retained in Bioshock 2.

Drill em away boys!

Drill em away boys!
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Seeing that you are controlling a big and powerful Big Daddy, it makes sense to have stronger foes in Bioshock 2. Over the past ten years the splicers have become stronger, faster and smarter than before and you will also face ‘brute’ splicers, which are essentially really massive and bulky splicers that have had one plasmid upgrade too many. Last but not least are the Big Sisters. If you thought the Big Daddies were mean then these ladies are even more intimidating since they are much faster, much more agile and much stronger.

Bioshock 2 retains the same visual and artistic style of the original game, which is great, since we loved the 1950s inspired art direction of the game and the design was incredible. Bioshock 2 uses a enhanced version of the Bioshock engine and believe it or not, it is still powered by the Unreal 2 engine. The build we saw ran smoothly even with a lot of action and particle effects on screen. The game certainly does run a lot faster and the graphics held consistently well with no anti aliasing issues.

Big Daddy vs Big Daddy...place your bets!

Big Daddy vs Big Daddy...place your bets!
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We were fortunate enough to hear the Bioshock 2 orchestral soundtrack in its entirety and we have to say it is quite impressive. The musical style is the same as what was heard in the first Bioshock game but it sounds more mature and evolved. The Bioshock 2 score is mid 20th century classical music featuring extensive use of violin, piano and cello. It certainly sounds very dark, saddening and mellow.

There you have it folks, our in depth look on the single player mode of Bioshock 2 but lets not forget that there will also be a multiplayer mode with it’s own unique storyline that takes place before the events of the first game. The multiplayer component however is being handled by Digital Extremes (known for the Unreal Tournament series) and we haven’t had any experience with it so far. In the single player side of things, Bioshock 2 retains everything that made the first game an instant classic while bringing in some really significant improvements.
Overall:
History may repeat itself as Bioshock 2 looks to have all the elements of becoming an instant classic.

Related Bioshock 2 Content

BioShock 2 DLC due Thursday
06 Mar, 2010 More underwater multiplayer action.
Bioshock 2 prize pack winners announced
01 Mar, 2010 Who's your Big Daddy?
Win 1 of 10 Bioshock 2 packs
09 Feb, 2010 Includes free stuffs!
15 Comments
4 years ago
Can't believe it's just a couple of weeks until this gets released. It sounds just as fun as the original, but I think it'll become a victim of my massive games-to-play backlog =\
4 years ago
I was somewhat intrigued by CrispyGamer's preview of Bioshock 2. They've been doing a series on upcoming games, wherein they usually have one critic who is skeptical of how good it could be, and another who is enthusiastic.

Usually. But Bioshock 2 had both on skeptical mode, since neither could work out how you could expand the premise from the first game.

And I admit, that's my attitude, too.
4 years ago
I think it will be less about expansion and more about telling more of how Rapture went down the gurgler and how the world continues to deteriorate. In terms of gameplay, I think adjusting the morality system will be key.

I'm not necessarily expecting more of the same, but that certainly wouldn't be a bad thing. More of the same with some refining will be fine by me icon_smile.gif
4 years ago
Thanks for the preview!

The sequel definitely looks like it will stay in the footsteps of the first one without taking huge strides into unknown territory, like so many subpar sequels have mistakenly done. This of course is a good thing, considering how "near-perfect" the first game was.

Now, the only thing that remains to be solved is the delightful dilemma of choosing the ps3 or xbox version. Judging by multiplatform reviews of the first game, and the use of Unreal 2 engine, I guess xbox version will be the way to go.
4 years ago
Very much looking forward to this one...
4 years ago
I didn't enjoy Bioshock a great deal. I wholeheartedly respected the game's production values but I found the setting somewhat... Well, I hesitate to say overwhelming but it works for now. At very least I didn't have any fun at all while playing the game because of the setting.

Bioshock 2 would have to really change the formula around to attract me but that doesn't seem to be the case (I'll probably buy it down the road either way but only when it cheapens).
4 years ago
I can't wait to sink back into the world of Rapture. The game world was one of the most immersible I've played.

Should be a good romp.
4 years ago
Quote
What’s even more interesting is that the nameless protagonist from the first game is actually remembered and referenced strongly.
You mean Jack?
4 years ago
EnriqueOrgazmo wrote
Thanks for the preview!

The sequel definitely looks like it will stay in the footsteps of the first one without taking huge strides into unknown territory, like so many subpar sequels have mistakenly done. This of course is a good thing, considering how "near-perfect" the first game was.

Now, the only thing that remains to be solved is the delightful dilemma of choosing the ps3 or xbox version. Judging by multiplatform reviews of the first game, and the use of Unreal 2 engine, I guess xbox version will be the way to go.
Im pretty sure Bioshock 1 looked better on PS3 after the patch. Im not sure why people automatically think that because it uses the Unreal Engine it will be sub par to the 360. I think Batman AA was testiment that there is nothing wrong with the Unreal Engine on PS3.
4 years ago
Quote
You mean Jack?
His name was Jack?...why can't I remember this..I remember every other character from the first game =/
4 years ago
At the risk of being condemned, I too felt that Bioshock was a tad underwhelming. Maybe this was because of all the hype and build up, but by around three quarters through the game, I had lost all interest and motivation; I literally had to force myself to finish it. The presentation and story line was interesting, however, I kept comparing it to System Shock 2. Those who have played System Shock 2 would have immediately noticed the similarities, and as in my case, may have also felt that Bioshock was a simpler game in the same shell.

That said, I am still looking forward to Bioshock 2, although I am weary whether it will have the same affected on me as the original.
4 years ago
Looks good.
Now get to work on my System Shock sequel you bastards!
4 years ago
You missed your chance on titling this "Bioshock 2 Seaview", for shame.
4 years ago
We will use that for the review icon_razz.gif
4 years ago
Jahanzeb wrote
Quote
You mean Jack?
His name was Jack?...why can't I remember this..I remember every other character from the first game =/
I actually missed it too the first time, but yeah his name is on the gift package his holding on the plane just before it sinks near Rapture =]
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  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  9/02/2010 (Confirmed)
Publisher:
  Take 2 Interactive
Genre:
  Shooter
Year Made:
  2009
Players:
  1

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