The lights are on
In our last hands-on preview we served as your guide through the first few hours of BioShock 2. With only a few weeks remaining until launch, we provide the final details of our hands-on time before the game hits shores. During our last episode, Delta was tasked with finding the Incinerate Plasmid in Ryan Amusements to melt a wall of ice blocking the path needed to progress. As soon as Delta incinerated the frozen bulkhead door, we hopped in a train car and continued on our journey to find Eleanor.
As soon as we hit full speed, there was news from Lamb that all rail commutes had been suspended, bringing our train car to a screeching halt and leaving us in Pauper’s Drop. This is about as lucky as your car breaking down in a sketchy neighborhood – one look at this environment and it becomes clear you’re in trouble. Pauper’s Drop has been trashed by its genetically mutated residents. Dilapidated structures reveal planks that allow you to traverse higher parts of the level in order to escape the madness on the main floor. Fires started by wild Splicers shine a light on Sofia Lamb posters plastered all over the walls, a woman they hold in high regard. She spoke to the residents on the radio, or as she calls them the “Rapture Family,” and turned them against our Big Daddy. Must. Escape.
In Pauper’s Drop we’re introduced to a new character, Grace Holloway, an ex-jazz singer blacklisted during Ryan’s reign for singing a song against him. We find that Ms. Holloway is responsible for the rail suspension. Our overarching goal is to fight our way through hordes of Splicers to find her and retrieve the override key. It’s not going to be easy as we discover Holloway has an impenetrable grudge against Delta, and has no problem sending Rapture’s most savage fiend to finish off our Big Daddy: the Brute Splicer.
Brute Splicers protect Holloway as we make our way closer to her location. This is the first time we’re able to face off against the Brute. These guys were part of a genetic experiment that seemed to involve an overdose of SportBoost tonic. The Brutes are swift despite their size and make excellent use of the environment. They will pick up and hurl just about anything within arm’s length. It takes a solid amount of hits and strategy to bring these beasts down. These encounters are on par with Big Daddy confrontations, except that their offense consists primarily of melee attacks.
When we came across our first Brute Splicer, we received a primer on the Research Camera that has been enhanced with video recording capabilities for the sequel. Start rolling the camera, then quickly fire weapons and Plasmids at your subject to study their attacks as you engage them in battle. To further mix things up, in order to research an already recorded adversary, you’ll have to switch your combat tactics to earn proper credit. In other words, you can’t defeat the enemy the same way twice. Not only does this help keep things fresh, but also earns major rewards to help defeat the enemy type in the future once enough research credit is earned.
In addition to changes to the Research Camera, we found differences in weapon upgrades as well. During our playthrough we found enough Power to the People machines to fully upgrade our Rivet Gun. Instead of just earning increased power, the fully upgraded Rivet also has the power to set enemies ablaze after multiple shots, similar to Incinerate. We’re curious as to what additional features other weapons will have when fully upgraded.
One new weapon we were able to pick up that is by far the most satisfying is the Spear Gun. Aim the weapon at a Splicer at the proper trajectory and give it a shot. The spear will then impale the Splicer, pinning them to a wall. Need more ammo? Approach the hanging Splicer to reclaim your bloodied spear for later use. We need everything we can get to make it out alive.
As we got closer to Holloway’s hideout, we navigated dark, narrow hallway passages with just a gleam of guiding light (obviously inspired by survival horror titles) and were surrounded with unsettling ambient noise. You’ll hear rumbling of Splicers or the sound of falling objects that have been knocked down by an unknown force around you. There was no telling when a Splicer playing dead on the floor would spring to life and attack. We admit it. We were afraid. Opening each door in that dark hall was a gamble, and the ambient noises certainly didn’t help.
Once we finally found our way toward the light we were in Holloway’s quarters. This was our next face-to-face interaction with a non-spliced character. The elderly, unarmed woman taunts you at which point you have the option to kill her for the override key, or spare her life and allow her to continue business as usual. We won’t tell you what decision we made, but our actions affected the remainder of our playthrough.
Yarr, it be lookin' good!
Looks fantastic! Can't wait for the release >.<
I Will be too busy playing MassEffect2
another shooter!a lot of good shooters out and coming out
While this is on my list to play this year its going to have to compete with Mass Effect 2 and Final Fantasy XIII for my time. Not to mention I'm still trying to play Dragon Age and Bayonetta. So maybe come May or June I'll be ready.
Looks good. Probably won't pick it up at release, but will eventually work my way to it.
still haven't beat the first one.
Mass Effect 2, Bioshock 2, Dante's Inferno, Slipnter Cell Conviction. So mucho games, almost no time.
I didn't really read this and just skipped to the end (don't want any spoilers). I just want to know if GI has enjoyed this. Glad to hear that its great so far.
"With only a few weeks remaining until launch, we provide the final details of our hands-on time before the game hits shores." - Unless that was a typo, good joke.
BioShock 2 + multiplayer = Awesomeness for eternity!
BioShock 2 + being the Big Daddy = Pretty much the same thing.
I am pretty excited about this game. It looks pretty nice too.
This game looks to be amazing and I can already see how it will probably be a game of the year contender.
Looks good but I'm going to make a pass. I bet GI gives it a 10 though! I will be busy playing Dragon Age, then Mass Effect 2, then Bad Company 2. I still have Forza 3 and COD2 to fully complete!
Well, it's offical. I NEED THIS GAME!!!!!!!!!!!
This game by far opened a door for RPG titles, in my opinion anyway. I mean what with the different ending's for choosing to save the little sisters or to harvest them. That was just amazing and then that whole betrayal scene geez..."Nice work Boy'o,(evil laugh)" man that was something and also Andrew Ryans qoute will stick with me as well. "It is the man that makes the choices but in the end it is the choices that Make the Man"
Multiplayer looks very promising!