BioShock 2 Previews

The hands-on previews of 2K Marin's BioShock sequel continue to roll in, with several more showing up overnight.

The first is at 1UP:
It's been 10 years since the happenings of the first game, with its protagonist Jack presumed dead from a debilitating ailment or death-by-splicer-takeover, depending on which ending you earned. The way BioShock 2 will reconcile the two endings is actually quite clever. With Rapture free from Andrew Ryan's splicer puppeteering and Frank Fontaine's "kindly" cajoling, Rapture's surviving residents actually start to mythologize the past, developing two at-odds theories as to what really happened, the results of which should be apparent in the new environments and dialogue alike.

The second is at Games Radar, with developer commentary included:
JT: (Core to BioShock 1 was this sense that the player was very much a cipher. You were just somebody who crashed in the middle of the ocean and, over the course of the game, learned about your own relationship to Rapture.

(As a designer on the first game, I similarly found the Big Daddies to be a living mystery. What was behind that mask? So it appeals to me to put the player in the position of wondering, '˜What do I look like inside here? Who am I?' and over the course of the game, uncovering more and more about your own identity.

The third is at Loot Ninja:
New and old environments will be available in Rapture, such as the Fontaine Futuristics Plasmid factory as well as open sea areas. You are in the Big Daddy diving suit, so going outside won't kill you. It's mostly an exploratory part of the game as you can't be attacked while outside.

The fourth is at GamePro:
As the first Big Daddy, you are armed with the most powerful ability of all: free will. Rapture's resident geneticist, Dr. Tenenbaum, has broken the spell that mentally imprisons the other Big Daddies who inhabit Rapture. As a result, your Big Daddy will be able to wield the powerful Plasmid abilities from the first game. Plasmids can now be combined for extra damage: we saw the Big Daddy lay down some Cyclone Traps, then blast the whirlwinds with the Incinerate ability to create flaming dust devils. Plasmids are also more impressive in BioShock 2 because upgrading them will create potent new effects. We saw a high-level version of Incinerate that created a flamethrower-like blast. The Plasmids from the first games are expected to return in BioShock 2 with improvements, and 2K Marin is promising plenty of new Plasmid abilities as well.

The fifth is at CVG:
As our Daddy progresses through the leaking, broken city streets, the encounter starts with a noise. A clank and a scrape signals a skeleton silhouette scrambling through the shadows at lightning speed. We enter the darkness to investigate, a flashlight revealing upturned tables and endless, rusting ruin. Then, as he turns the corner, we get our first glimpse...

She's the Big Sister. A twisted hybrid of Little Sister and Big Daddy. An ominous red light glares from her scratched and rusted helmet and rows of leather straps cover her unnaturally thin body.

And the sixth is at G4:
Not every corpse will hold precious ADAM. According to the developers, these harvest sequences that require the player to defend a Little Sister will not be scripted. That is, the Splicers won't come from specified places. I'm not fully convinced, however, as the bodies can be set in specific locations thereby creating a controlled environment for the developers to work within. Hopefully, the final game will feature randomly placed bodies for harvesting that bring randomly generated enemies so every encounter is different.