BioShock 2: Anatomy Of A Big Sister

by Annette Gonzalez on Feb 01, 2010 at 11:00 AM

In our coverage of BioShock 2 over the past few months, we've provided details on the changes you'll encounter during your next excursion through Rapture, put a name to the mysterious Big Daddy protagonist, Subject Delta, and uncovered details on new and familiar faces in the game. Big Sisters are the new kids on the Rapture block who you'll encounter quite a bit in the sequel. While we don't know what lies underneath the diving suit of this Big Daddy/Little Sister hybrid, we can examine her design and hazard a few guesses. In this design breakdown, we take a look at some of the nuances in Big Sister's design to gain more insight on this character that you'll become very familiar with once BioShock 2 hits stores next week.

The Big Sister helmet is a departure from the helmets of the Bouncers and Rosies you encountered in the original BioShock, and is much smaller and rounder, almost making her look like an insect. The glaring red light emanating from the portal is the focal point of Big Sister's design that was intended to intimidate the player in dark areas. The rest of the helmet is composed of pieces of metal taken from suits of fallen Big Daddies that were welded together to protect her noggin. While the helmet lacks any sort of expressive features, a head tilt is more than enough to let you know what she's thinking, and it's probably nothing good as she is always trying to kill you.

In BioShock 2, you'll frequently face off against Big Sisters who are protecting the Adam supply from intruders so it's important to know what she's packing. Aside from her telekinetic abilities, Big Sisters shoot projectiles from one arm, and carry a modified gatherer gun in the other. This oversized piece of equipment is significantly larger than those carried by Little Sisters, and is topped off with a terrifyingly lengthy, and rusty needle. From the looks of these images, it appears it has already been used...a lot. Early in development, Big Sister was equipped with a rifle, but instead the team decided on an Adam needle. She already resembled a Big Daddy knock off, and was simply missing the iconic Little Sister tool to bring the hybrid full circle.

Amid her terrifying exterior, the Big Sister shows a softer side once her most vulnerable area is exposed. Attached to the air tank on her back is a basket used to carry Little Sisters, a design element that tells a story in itself. When the little girls are captured, they grow bored sitting in the basket so they doodle away on Big Sister's back, and adorn the basket with hair bows. The soft colors and innocent images are points of contrast to the rigid metal on her weapons and armor.

The Big Sisters in BioShock 2 are graceful, yet awkward all the same. This character model sports a homemade get-up, held together by belts and shards of metal that are rough around the edges, but softened by pink bows. From a front view you're immediately greeted by a harsh red glow beaming from the Big Sister's helmet, but then as she turns around to make her escape, you'll notice a tenderness in her design that shows there may be more to this character than meets the eye.

What are your thoughts on the Big Sister's design? Would you have done anything differently with this character?