BioShock 2 E3 Previews

Quite a few new multiplayer-specific previews of BioShock 2 have come out of this year's E3, so we thought we'd round them all up in one place.

The first is at GameSpy:
BioShock 2's main E3 attraction is its multiplayer mode (designed by 2K partner Digital Extremes), which -- unlike the aforementioned single-player story -- acts as a prequel, pitting up to 10 players against each other in a deathmatch that reenacts the civil war that took place one year prior to the first game. You get your own apartment, where you can customize your character, change your loadout, and hear the latest way-too-cheery weapon offers from war profiteer Sinclair Solutions.

The second is at 1UP:
As a trial member, the corporation offers a nice little start-up kit comprised of the standard pistol, some ammo, and three plasmids. By participating in matches and getting kills, you earn power-supplying Adam that allows you to rise up the ranks of Sinclair Solutions (currently capped at 20 levels), opening up more combat options and weapons. The 10 multiplayer maps take place in locations from the first game, but redesigned for multiplayer -- while they're not carbon copies from BioShock, they will look familiar.

The third is at IGN:
The way the game's multiplayer suite is setup, you're given a little bit of narrative background. You're a human (not a Big Daddy, like in the single-player) in the employ of Sinclair Solutions, a company investigating the side effects of splicing. The way for you to gather data for them is to engage in combat. But before you start shooting others, the company outfits you with a nice apartment in Rapture's underbelly, which basically functions like a fancy multiplayer lobby. In it you're free to roam around, check out the view to the water below, wander over to your bookshelves, into your bathroom, listen to the changing recordings from Sinclair, and browse match menus.

The fourth is at Destructoid:
The game's "lobby" is an apartment in Rapture. You can use this space to setup the three weapon configurations that you can take into battle, consisting of two weapons, two plasmids and three tonics. It's also where you'll get bits of the mode's story via answering machine messages that appear as you progress in rank. A bathysphere acts as the portal to multiplayer matches.

The fifth is at TeamXbox:
No matter how powerful you are, there's one twist that can throw the balance off even more. During a match, one player can find the Big Daddy suit and don it. The result is that the person becomes a more formidable combatant, being able take more damage and hold more ammo, though there's also the downside of being slower in moving around the world.

The sixth is at
Multiplayer in BioShock 2 is going to be unique in that it will not only provide for players to compete, but also offer new prequel content. The game is placed during the fall of Rapture. The story has Sinclair Solutions experimenting with Plasmids and Tonics on the players.

The seventh is at Eurogamer:
Of all the many things that worked in BioShock 1, the toolset and the variety of things you could do with it was, for many, the most pronounced. Taking that online could be worth the price of admission alone. But BioShock 2 multiplayer has something else to offer too. Set before the fall of Rapture, it tells the story of the civil war between the followers of Frank Fontaine and Andrew Ryan, and in doing so, could be just as interesting and expository as the ambitious single-player campaign.

The eighth is at VGChartz:
The gameplay itself is very similar to Bioshock. You have the 3 elemental plasmids, guns, and gadgets you would expect in Bioshock. Environmental features such as turret guns and vending machines are present, and can be hacked. The hacking minigame however has been removed to keep the pace going in multiplayer. The plasmids are now offhand abilities, and do not require you to switch between them and your gun. They can also be charged up for different effects. Characters can be customized in appearance, but how much is still unknown.

The ninth is at CVG:
All multiplayer Plasmids have been designed with three uses in mind, as demonstrated by new addition Geyser. The classic attack is still present (point your reticule at a splicer and fire for a health-draining effect) but Geyser also has a secondary attack. Fire the Plasmid at a floor or wall and it will dig in. As soon as somebody runs past the trap they'll be catapulted into the ceiling or walls, and if the trap's been imbued with electricity from a secondary burst of Electo Bolt the damage will be even greater still. Geyser's third usage is defense. Much like a Portable Grav Lift, Geyser can be deployed in a large room and used to leap onto higher platforms to escape or set up camping spots. These may already be inhabited by enemies using Aero Dash - another new Plasmid which allows you to bridge large gaps by dashing forward in a straight line at great speed.

And the tenth is at GameZone:
Thrust into a civil war in Rapture, players will choose sides as they enroll with Sinclair Solutions, a product testing company that are war profiteers. Every player will have their own apartment to customize their own character and choose from a variety of different characters. This hub is optional as gamers could skip right over it and set their multiplayer experience from the option menu.

If that wasn't enough for you, there's an assortment of new screenshots on Voodoo Extreme.