If you’re unfamiliar with the first instalment would you kindly do a google and find out you’ve missed out on, it’s pretty spectacular and well worth picking up this long since its release. The sequel is something many people are looking forward to, with much anxiety, while others reserve a slight amount of trepidation that a return to Rapture will taint their past happy experiences. While this recount of our play through of one of the levels won’t sway either party in any particular direction, it will show that there is a game of some substance in the works from 2K.
Our time with Bioshock 2 consisted of a press demo build that allowed us to play through an entire level that took about 45 minutes (on hard) with a meandering path of exploration and item whoring during the part that Wugga played. The setting was a new portion of the undersea city called Ryan Amusements, a somewhat egotistic attempt at creating a fun area for children, however I suspect that if it had a website it would be far less gawdy, and perhaps a little more creepy, than it’s real world counterpart. You arrive in the stage via the train that you grew to know in the first Bioshock, and need to stop as there is a block of ice in the way of your progress, fire is needed, as usual, it is a plasmid to the rescue.
Your quest to find the Incendiary Plasmid puts you through a few your paces as you find items to unlock the second half of the level and get enough Adam to purchase the plasmid. Along the way you run across another big daddy with his little sister, the little sister is needed to collect the required adam, and so it is that you need to take out the big daddy. After the big daddy has been defeated is where some of the new elements come into play, you can adopt the little sister, with her riding on your back. You protect her from attacking splicers as she collects the adam from the corpses.
There are new weapons, as one would assume there will be new plasmids, such as the big daddy drill, a trap rivet, the spear gun and the remote hack device. The best part of having the new toys is that you can use your plasmids and your weapons at the same time. The left hand controlling the plasmids and the right the weapons. Some people might get a little excited and just start blasting what ever they have (like my trap rivet adventure) but those that can keep a cool head will be rewarded for their tactical approach.
Big Sisters make an appearance in this stage as well, notably due to their displeasure at your interfering with the little sisters and tampering with the Rapture eco system. They are much faster than the big daddies but equally deadly, and far more aggressive. They attack you, there is no waiting around for the perfect moment.
BioShock 2 is mechanically sound, there is no doubt that the gameplay element of the game is just as competent as the first, if the story and atmosphere can live up to the calibre we experienced in the first title then we are in for a fantastic ride.