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E3 2009: Bioshock 2 eyes-on impressions

2007's BioShock remains perhaps one of the best games made in the current decade. Developer 2K Boston and its head man Ken Levine not only made an entertaining first person shooter with a few RPG elements but managed to deal with deep themes about choice and freedom in society. And of course the game's art style, depicting art deco looks within an underwater city, hasn't been seen before or since.

That is, of course, until BioShock 2 comes around. The sequel is being developed by 2K Marin (2K Australia, who created the PC port of the original game, is doing the same for BioShock 2) but with no input at all from 2K Boston. During E3 2009 we got to see some new footage (not shown to the public) from the game as well as a live demo of the game's all new multiplayer component.
As you may have heard, BioShock 2 takes place 10 years after the original where your character is a Big Daddy, one of the lumbering massive armored creatures that was an enemy in the first game. This version is actually the very first Big Daddy who still has free will and can also use plasmids, the special powers that are used by the humans who survived the fall of the city of Rapture.

The single player game, which takes place 10 years after the original, looks to have the same look and feel of the first BioShock game in that you are exploring the wrecked Rapture and dealing with its various inhabitants (most of which are out to get you). That includes the main protagonist in this sequel, the Big Sister, a female and very quick version of a Big Daddy who wants Rapture to be ruled by chaos.

The live demo of the highly anticipated multiplayer mode was handled by a rep from Digital Extremes. After co-creating the Unreal and Unreal Tournament franchises with Epic, Digital Extremes is handling the multiplayer portion of BioShock 2. That part of the game actually begins just before the fall of Rapture where the city is in the midst of their civil war. You begin the game in an apartment in the city where you can choose your plasmids and weapons before fighting it out with others in various levels.

Unfortunately the multiplayer we got to see was simple deathmatch with various characters (it supports up to 10 players) just running around shooting one another for the most part. The only interesting parts was when one of the characters actually morphed into a Big Daddy and when some characters repaired the automatic turrets in the first game (no complicated hacking puzzle here) to be used against the rest of the players in the match.

Digital Extremes said besides deathmatch and team deathmatch there will be another multiplayer mode they are not talking about yet. We hope it's something that gets our attention more than the average experience we saw at E3 2009. The single player game still holds promise, though, and we will hopefully learn more about the title before its release on November 4.


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