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BioShock 2 is a survival horror first-person shooter video game, being developed by 2K Marin and 2K Australia for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 video game consoles, and the Microsoft Windows operating system. It is the sequel to the critically-acclaimed 2007 video game BioShock.
The game is set in fictional dystopian city Rapture in alternative history 1970, a decade after the events of BioShock. The protagonist and player-controlled character is a Big Daddy, a being who has had its organs and skin grafted into an atmospheric diving suit. The first of its kind, the player-controlled Big Daddy reactivates with no recollection of the past decade's events, and scours the city in a vain attempt to relocate the Little Sister that he was paired with. When it becomes obvious that Rapture's leader Sofia Lamb will become responsible for the city's destruction, the Big Daddy attempts to overthrow Ms Lamb and her army of Big Sisters.
The player takes the role of "Subject Delta", the first Big Daddy and prototype for the Big Daddies seen in the original game. The character possesses superior speed and intelligence to other Big Daddies, as well as free will. As such, the player uses the Big Daddy's drill and rivet gun as weapons as well as some other weapons found across Rapture, though the drill does run out of fuel. The weapons in the game will have several types of ammo, similar to the first game. Alternatively, in contrast to other Big Daddies, the player may also use plasmids, while "upgrade trees" will provide unique ways to upgrade them. A new feature added is the ability to dual-wield plasmids and weapons at the same time. Further Big Daddy abilities found in the first game, such as performing a shoulder dash, will also be an option.
The player will also be able to step outside the city of Rapture into the ocean due to the diving suit they wear. Here the player can explore the ocean floor, recover from fights, marvel at the city from the outside and pick up special items. As seen by the demo, some of the special items include first aid kits, EVE Hypos, and special sea slugs. These sea slugs create ADAM, the genetic material for the production of Plasmids. One of the game's major enemies is the Big Sister, a Little Sister-Big Daddy hybrid. There will be several Big Sister encounters throughout the game, and she will be the most difficult enemy faced by the player in the game. The Big Sister attack will be spontaneous and unplanned, but if the player has a Little Sister with them at the time, she'll give you a warning that the Big Sister is coming. Unlike the Big Daddies, she is extremely quick and arguably more powerful, able to extract ADAM from her enemies through a harvesting needle, straight into her bloodstream, which fuels "telekinetic abilities beyond anything previously thought possible".
As a "rogue" Big Daddy, players will attempt to capture the Little Sisters from other Big Daddies who roam Rapture. Once a Little Sister is caught, the player will again have the option of choosing the fate of the Little Sisters. Harvesting remains a possibility in order to gain more ADAM, but rather than rescuing the Little Sister, players will instead be allowed to adopt them. With this option, Little Sisters will ride around with the player's Big Daddy, and will look for ADAM to harvest from corpses; in a manner similar to the proving grounds area of the first game, the player will then need to ensure that Splicers will not harm the Little Sister as the harvesting process takes place. The Splicers will not damage the Little Sister, but will delay the process of gathering the ADAM. This will prolong the time it takes for the little sister to gather ADAM, allowing more splicers to attack the player and the Little Sister. Rescuing, while not initially an option for the player, will become available at some point in the game.
When the Big Sister is coming, there will be a countdown which gives the player an opportunity to set traps, buy items at a vending machine or place proximity mines. A sign that a Big Sister is approaching is when the Little Sister says in a singsong voice "Mr. B, Mr. B, Big Sister doesn't want you playing with me..."
Other returning features from the first game include audio diaries, and the ability for the player to regenerate through the use of Vita-Chambers, though the connection to the plot of the game is currently unknown. In addition to the single-player story, multi-player will be a feature in BioShock 2, but this will not take the form of co-operative play.
BioShock 2 will feature a story driven Multi-player mode where the player takes on the role of a citizen of Rapture. Set in 1959 (one year before the events of BioShock), the player chooses to take on the role of a citizen fighting in Rapture's Civil War. The player is being sponsored by Plasmid manufacturer, Sinclair Solutions, to test out their weapons, Plasmids, and Tonics in a consumer reward program. As you progress through the multi-player experience your character will unlock new weapons and Plasmids, provided by Sinclair, as well as progress the story of the Rapture Civil War.
The player can choose between 6 characters to be their in game avatar. The characters are: a welder named Jacob Norris, a housewife named Barbara Johnson, a football star named Danny Wilkins, a businessman name Buck Raleigh, a pilot named Naledi Atkins, and an Indian mystic named Suresh Sheti. Two additional characters are available only by pre-ordering the game from GameStop, EB Games or GAME: a fisherman named Zigo d'Acosta and an actress named Mlle Blanche de Glace.
Multi-player will come in 5 different modes, two of which have a single and team based mode. The modes are:
- Survival of the Fittest: A 'free-for-all' mode where each player gets points for killing each of the other players. Whichever player has the most kills at the end of the match wins.
- Civil War: Similar to 'Survival of the Fittest,' but in this mode players are divided into two teams and the team with the most collective kills at the end of the match wins.
- Last Splicer Standing: A variation of 'Survival of the Fittest' where the player does not respawn after being killed. The last player alive at the end of the match is the winner.
- Capture the Sister: A 'Capture the Flag' style mode where players are divided into two teams. One team has to protect a Little Sister while the other team tries to steal her and place her in a vent on the other side of the map. After a pre-determined amount of time, the teams switch roles. Whichever team has the most captures at the end of the match wins.
- ADAM Grab: In this mode there is one Little Sister on the map and the player must seek her out and maintain possession of her as long as possible. Whoever has held onto the Sister longest at the end of the match wins.
- Team ADAM Grab: A variant of 'ADAM Grab' where players are divided into two teams. The objective is the same, but victory is determined by a collective score rather than individual scores.
- Turf War: Players are split into two teams and each team must reach pre-determined points on the map to capture that point. The team with the most control points over the longest time wins.
In all modes except 'Capture the Sister' a Big Daddy suit will spawn at a random location in the level. If a player can find the suit, the choice is given to become the Big Daddy, which will give the player greater strength and endurance, but prohibits the use of plasmids. Once the Big Daddy is defeated, the suit disappears and is moved to another location on the map. In 'Capture the Sister' one member of the defending team is chosen at Random to be the Big Daddy.
Set on New Year's Eve of 1970, ten years after the events of BioShock, Rapture is now under the control of a woman named Sofia Lamb, whose ideas of human progression contrasts with the city's founder, Andrew Ryan. While Ryan believed in the genius of the individual, Lamb believes in collective effort and the power of the community, as well as a philosophy surrounding butterfly imagery, indicating some kind of rebirth. This message is spread by a deranged ex-priest named Father Wales, who has created a cult-like religion around Sofia. During Sofia's rule, a mysterious figure known as the Big Sister, an ex-little sister outfitted with Big Daddy armour, harboured herself in Rapture, capturing little girls across the coastline to turn them into Little Sisters. Now, the original Big Sister has disappeared, and the remaining Big Sisters are employed by Sofia to keep order in the city. On New Year's Eve, the prototype Big Daddy from the original production lines, who is known as Subject Delta, re-activates with no recollection of what's happened in the past ten years. After scouring the city in a vain attempt to find the Little Sister he was originally paired with, he comes into conflict with Lamb, who is also looking for this Little Sister (since the Little Sister is actually Lamb's daughter, Eleanor Lamb). This leads him to form an uneasy partnership with Doctor Tenenbaum and the former CEO of the plasmid company, Sinclair Solutions, Augustus Sinclair, to ultimately defeat Lamb and find Eleanor so Delta can fulfil his original duties.
Initially, media reports suggested that the subtitle, "Sea Of Dreams", would accompany the second entry in the series. However, this subtitle was supposedly dropped, before 2K withdrew the statement, stating that the "Sea Of Dreams" subtitle would still be part of the full title. However, a later statement from 2K spokesman Charlie Sinhaseni clarified that the "Sea Of Dreams" title was for the trailer, and not for the game itself. The first appearance for BioShock 2 came in the form of a teaser trailer that was available for viewing in the PlayStation 3 version of the first BioShock. The first major details on the gameplay and plot of the game were revealed in the April 2009 issue of Game Informer magazine, around the same time that the "viral" site "There's Something in the Sea" was revealed. This site documents a man's investigation into the disappearances of girls from coastline areas around the Atlantic, along with a mysterious red light that accompanies each kidnapping. On April 9, 2009 on the Spike TV show GameTrailers TV with Geoff Keighley the first BioShock 2 gameplay video was shown featuring the Big Sister. This demo showed many features including the ability to walk under water.
Digital Extremes will produce the multi-player component of the game. In the multi-player portion, players are put in a separate story where civil war has broken out in Rapture prior to the events of the first game. In the multi-player mode the player acts as a plasmid test subject for a company called Sinclair Solutions. As the player progresses through the multi-player maps like Mercury Suites and Kashmir Restaurant they will either have the ability to hack security bots or search for the Big Daddy suit.
A teaser website, "There's Something in the Sea", was launched in March 2009, and contained teaser information and documents related to the game, leaving numerous clues for readers to discern for themselves. One document posted in late July 2009 revealed a list of ten beaches around the world, promising some event that would take place at each on August 8 at sunrise. Those that visited these beaches at that time found numerous wine bottles, each labelled as "Arcadia" wine and a product of Rapture, as if they had washed up on shore, and containing posters and other promotional material for the game.
A Special Edition of the game was announced on November 19, 2009. This edition, which will be limited to a single production run, will contain the game along with three posters featuring fictional advertisements from Rapture, the orchestral score from the game on CD, the orchestral score from the original BioShock on a vinyl 180g LP, and a hardbound, 164-page, art book. It will all be packaged in a 13"x13" premium case with special art on both the slipcase and the box cover.
A smaller limited edition, titled BioShock 2 Rapture Edition, was officially announced on December 2, 2009. It will contain the game and a smaller, 96-page, art book, which will be packaged together in a special slipcover. As with the Special Edition, the Rapture Edition will be limited to a single production run.