BioShock 2 Previews

There must have been some sort of embargo lifted today, because it seems like every major site has suddenly published hands-on previews for 2K's BioShock sequel.

Thomas led a demo focusing on a particularly interesting recruited figure. His name is Father Simon Wales, and he's an Irish priest who has joined Lamb's ranks to help spread her extreme beliefs. Naturally, this is quite a departure from the era of Andrew Ryan, who railed against religion in seemingly every audio log or propaganda poster found in the original game. But like the scientists and artists from the first game, Wales' original intentions became corrupted over time--something visually manifested in his dark, twisted church. From the ravaged altar to the hundreds of candles illuminating incoherent messages on the walls, it's clear that Wales' days as a legitimate priest are long gone, and he has become more of a crazed cult leader than anything else. Wales had evidently been splicing up, too, because he proved quite a challenge during this boss encounter. But thankfully, even the most genetically enhanced priest is no match for telekinesis plasmids and a gun that fires rockets on spears.

Destructoid (single player):
The level starts off just as Delta comes across a couple of Splicers attacking the new Big Daddy model, the Rumbler. The Rumbler has a shoulder-mounted rocket launcher and automated mini-turrets that it can throw down. The Rumbler quickly puts down the Splicers and goes back into neutral mode as he follows his Little Sister around. The player then takes on the Rumbler by using a combination of a Security Plasmid to summon a security bot, Telekinesis to throw back rockets and the Rivet gun. Remember, you can now use your Plasmids and guns at the same time.

Destructoid (multiplayer):
The Big Daddy plays some part in every game mode we got to see. In the free-for-all and team versus modes, a Big Daddy suit will randomly spawn on the map, and the first player that gets to it will become a Big Daddy. In Capture the Sister, someone on the defensive side automatically starts off as a Big Daddy. This Big Daddy is based on the Rosie model, which makes use of the Rivet gun and has a small supply of proximity mines. Players can also use the Big Daddy stomp to stun players for a bit and force invisible Splicers back into visibility.

Part of the fun of BioShock has always been that you don't need to get the philosophical stuff to enjoy it, but if you really didn't understand that part of it the first time around, the first section of BioShock 2 that we get to play ought to make things clearer. Ryan Amusements is its name, and it's a series of mechanical dioramas designed to discourage the children of Rapture citizens - born to the city and curious about the world outside - that it's all a bit rubbish up top and they wouldn't like it anyway. It's literally an objectivism funfair.

MTV Multiplayer:
The lure of upgraded weapons, plasmids, and tonics will have players searching every nook and corner of Rapture for "Power to the People" weapon stations and hidden glowing vials. This time around, both the weapons and plasmids can be upgraded up to three times, but the fundamental goods at work remain the same: pick your path, and hone your arsenal to perfection.

And then Voodoo Extreme has kicked up a variety of trailers, screenshots, and IGN's video preview.