RPS BioShock 2 Interview

By John Walker on April 23rd, 2009 at 1:00 pm.

Never get into a fight with an 8 year old girl.

Making a rare guest appearance on Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Eurogamer‘s Editor bossman Tom “Tom Bramwell” Bramwell was recently visiting 2K Marin, the developers behind BioShock 2, and interviewed lead environment designer Hogarth De La Plante and senior producer Melissa Miller to find out some more details about what we can expect from the enormously anticipated sequel. They discuss the role the ocean is going to play in the game, how Rapture has changed in the ten years since the original game, why defence is going to play as big a part as offence this time, and what it’s going to be like to be a Big Daddy.

Melissa and Hogarth, RIVETTED by Tom's questions.

Tom: How do you go about decaying Rapture by ten years?

Hogarth De La Plante: Well, very specifically, interior locations in BioShock 2 are going to be a lot more mouldy and flooded, falling down and ramshackle. There are some other things that we’re doing environmentally that we can’t really talk about right now. But in getting to go out into the ocean you’ll get to see parts of Rapture that are completely destroyed, and so really understand that the ocean is trying to reclaim the city, and in some cases has completely reclaimed what were once interiors.

Tom: How much of the world outside Rapture do you explore and see? And how do you handle that, as opposed to the interior corridor stuff?

HD: It’s not a bathysphere simulator. We’re using it in a pretty controlled way. In some instances going out into the ocean is a necessary navigational bypass – you can’t get through somewhere, so you find an airlock and go outside and around. In other cases you can optionally enter the ocean. The ocean really functions for a couple of reasons on a mechanical level. The first is narratively it gives you some quiet time for us to have people talk to you on the radio, and for you to pick up logs. Also, there’s loot scattered outside in the ocean, the detritus of the city is out there. It’s a contemplative area when you’re not receiving narrative. We think it works metaphorically very well. Water has always been a symbol of consciousness in literature, and subtitle of the game is Sea of Dreams. We think it works on a very moody, metaphorical level.

Tom: Will there be limitations to how long you can spend outside in the ocean?

HD: It’s like Zack, our lead designer says, “You don’t have a fun meter”, you know, there’s no air gage. You can dick around out there. The way we think about the ocean in terms of level construction – when you exit an airlock you’re in a gigantic room – you can’t wander off for thirty miles into the sea. They are constrained environments, but they’ve very textural, there’s things to walk up and down, things to look inside, places to explore while you’re outside. You’ll never go into a section of the ocean where there’s five things coming off of it. Usually you’re in the water and there’s probably one place you’re trying to get to.

Play nicely.

Tom: How much of Rapture is basically switched off now?

HD: There are damaged sections that are damaged beyond repair, but there’s an equilibrium that’s been reached in Rapture at this point. It’s been ten years, but there’s still Splicers down there who have been splicing and evolving. They’re living in a static way, there’s a successful ecology that’s happening in Rapture right now.

Tom: So obviously much of the first game is fondly remembered. Will we get to go back anywhere?

HD: You’ll see locations from the first game. You’ll see Arcadia, but you’re not going to go back there. You can see the Kashmir Restaurant through the window. We want to acknowledge some of those areas existed, as Easter eggs if nothing else.

Melissa Miller: Regarding the history of Rapture, a lot was established in the first game. But that’s not it. In BioShock 2 we’re really excited to be showing more of that history.

Tom: To what extent do you have an effect on the environment now you’re a Big Daddy?

HD: Your relationship as a player to your environment in a BioShock title is a systemic one, so when you see a puddle of oil you know you can set that on fire. When you see a splintered, broken down door, you know you can break your way through. There are certain Big Daddy accessible things that we are working in to the environment of BioShock 2. That’s something that formed the core vocabulary of exploring our spaces, like if you see a frozen door you know you can unfreeze it. And more combinatory things, we’re trying to expand the plasmid combination stuff that you can do. That’s something that people have a lot of creativity with in the first game.

MM: We have to make sure that when you see things in the world, they do what you expect. Now you have the drill and the rivet gun, we need to produce that same process for BioShock 2. To make sure your effect on the world is believable and satisfying.

HD: Be cool if there were some new plasmids.

MM: Mmmmm.

HD: Mmmmm.

Tom: It would be seriously uncool if there weren’t.

MM: Noted. “Uncool.”

Everyone wants to visit Fontaine's Futuristics!

Tom: After the DLC content for BioShock [for the PS3 version only – some Challenge Rooms that required more imaginative use of the game’s tools], are you keen to encourage people to go further with experimentation angle?

MM: One of the things I’m most excited about is the whole adoption mechanic. In Bio 1 we had the roaming boss battles, and those were opportunities for you to play with the tools. The beauty of BioShock is you didn’t have to go too deeply into the plasmid set if you didn’t want to. But yeah, the Challenge Rooms were exactly that. An opportunity to say, “Hey, look! If you play with it, look what it can do!” So one of the things I really like about the adoption is that it’s like the inverse of the roaming boss battles, because instead of choosing your time to attack, you’re choosing your time to defend.

HD: “I’m a boss. Come get me, Splicers!”

MM: Just that change means that you’re going to be paying a lot more attention to the toolset that’s all about defence, setting those perimeter traps and so on. Because some people really went for that, but other people didn’t.

HD: One thing I remember talking to Jordan about, about a year ago when we were brainstorming things, was, “You know Jordan, the systemic stuff in BioShock is super-interesting, and I felt like the combat was so frenetic in the first game that there were very few moments when you could set down a considered attack, or a considered defence scenario.” And so we decided back then that we wanted to encourage that more in some areas of the game.

MM: But it’s always the player’s choice.

Describifying.

Tom: Has it been difficult to balance the player’s abilities? You were pretty powerful by the end of the first game.

HD: I think we realised that in some ways at the end of BioShock 1 was a little bit too easy for some players, and that’s something we’ve talked about for a year.

MM: Now we have even more to consider, because now you’re a Big Daddy. Now you’re supposed to be powerful. But making sure that we’re still offering challenges to the player. We’re definitely going to be paying a lot of attention to making sure that feels good and challenging.

Tom: We’ve seen the new clips of the water bursting through the walls. Will there be a lot more of that sort of thing?

HD: It’s tricky because you have to balance the wow moments, which are usually scripted events. People love that stuff, but that stuff is also contrary to the game – you’re supposed to make choices and do whatever you want. So we have to balance that stuff. Those things a lot of the time are directly related to some piece of training in the narrative, like the first time you inject a plasmid in BioShock 1. Yeah, we sort of make that happen without your control, because there is something very important we’re trying to show you at that point. I wouldn’t say we’re doing that stuff any more or less than in the first game. We’re very careful about when those things happen though.

Ooh, she looks cool.

Tom: We’ve not seen much about what weapons and elements will be returning from the first game. Can you tell us any more about those?

MM: We’re trying to sell being a Big Daddy as the core fantasy for the game. So obviously a Big Daddy holding a pistol that he could crush? That’s not going to fulfil the fantasy. So, we want to make you feel powerful, so the weapons need to do that in a Big Daddy’s hand. We can talk about the drill and the rivet gun, which are both super-cool, because hey, how many times did you want to pick up the rivet gun in the first game?!

Huge thanks to Tom for his moonlighting moment, and to Melissa and Hogarth for their fantastic answers. Don’t forget to check out our BioShock 2 impressions.

__________________

« | »

, , .

59 Comments »

  1. Jason Moyer says:

    The more I read about BS2, the more it seems like they’re addressing the things I disliked about the first (no downtime, no planning time before most battles, no dual wielding, etc) without altering the core gameplay or the atmosphere much. This could end up being very good.

    Edit: Er, by core gameplay I mean the frantic and often chaotic shooty shooty stuff. Constantly escorting/defending is obviously a fairly major gameplay change.

  2. Dain says:

    Nice to see they have The Doctor working on the game!

  3. Kieron Gillen says:

    And Daisy from Spaced.

    KG

  4. Winfred van Heerebeek says:

    I love game-related interviews.

    “we’re really excited to be showing more…”
    “But it’s always the player’s choice.”
    “We’re definitely going to be paying a lot of attention to making sure that feels good and challenging.”

    Apply to any game, ever.

  5. bildo says:

    I have my reservations…BS2? Only time will tell…till then, I play Hells Highway..which is disappointing thus far : (

  6. Markoff Chaney says:

    I guess she got more out of that art show than she thought. I wonder if we will get some Rabbits in the game? Like, a lot of them. Rabbits Rabbits Rabbits Rabbits Rabbits Rabbits

    Good to see Tom Baker is still working as well. I haven’t seen him since that Douglas Adams Hyperland thing.

    Maybe I’ll get another figure to go along with my first Big Daddy. I really enjoyed that first game, even if it was a little too linear for my liking. I’m trying to stay away from much about this game because I abhor spoilers and in a narrative like the first BS some of those twists and turns were powerful (the first time around) and essential to the feeling you got from the ride.

  7. toni says:

    escorting missions are old. planning for what ? for brainless NPCs jumping at you ? no thx

  8. Rei Onryou says:

    How many packets of Wheat Crunchies did you have to give Tom to get the interview? 3? 4?

  9. Tunnel says:

    “Your relationship as a player to your environment in a BioShock title is a systemic one, so when you see a puddle of oil you know you can set that on fire… if you see a frozen door you know you can unfreeze it.”

    “People love [scripted events], but that stuff is also contrary to the game – you’re supposed to make choices and do whatever you want. So we have to balance that stuff… Those things a lot of the time are directly related to some piece of training in the narrative”

    These quotes encapsulate much of what made me unable to be immersed in bioshock. No matter how pretty and artful rapture got, I couldn’t shake the feeling that it was a completely fake place. The bit near the beginning where a piece of the airplane breaks into the glass tunnel and starts flooding was awesome. Naturally, I reloaded and decided to stay in the tunnel to see what would happen. Nothing did, the water never entirely flooded it. From that point on I realized that the environment would never be a threat, and you would never be cut off from your precious vita-chambers. You realized that you could reskin rapture as a military base or an office building, and affect only the aesthetics, not the gameplay. Worst of all, you now expected that the environment would never surprise you. It’s similar to the way after you played oblivion for a while you would notice the bland undercurrent of uniformity that permeated that whole pretty world.

    In their quest to never take control and choice away from the player they fail to make the environment interact with him or allow him to interact with it in a meaningful way. The most you get is a frozen door that will make you press “2″ and then left click instead of the usual “e”. Deus ex this is not.

  10. jackflash says:

    I respected the production values of the first, but thought the gameplay was nonsense. You had to unload ridiculous amounts of firepower into the most basic enemy to kill it (the tommygun has to be the most piece of crap gun I’ve used in any game), you could use the vita chambers, yet nobody else bothered to, the micromanaging of ammo types and “inventing” new weapons added nothing to the game, etc. If only people knew how much better System Shock 2 was.

  11. Roy says:

    Seriously looks like Daisy.

  12. unique_identifier says:

    `You realized that you could reskin rapture as a military base or an office building, and affect only the aesthetics, ‘

    it would make a pretty sweet zombie-infested spaceship. Maybe instead of the ocean, you could have this giant fleshy thing wrapped around the outside of the ship…

  13. Thesper says:

    Hogarth De La Plante is a fantastic name.

  14. psilocybe says:

    Less BS2, more about X-Com!

  15. Janto says:

    Have to say, the more I think about the escorting the Little Sister part of the game, the more I like it as a concept. I’d imagine that most of the time, the Little Sister might as well be your dog, babbling away about angels and what not, and pointing out clues in the environment. Since Little Sisters are supposed to regenerate, escorting her around shouldn’t be too taxing.

    However, the idea of preparing an elaborate web of defenses to protect her while she’s harvesting away could be quite appealing, so long as they balance your defensive abilities against the routes of attack and wave patterns of the splicers.

    I just hope they don’t make the Adam-rich corpses mysteriously resistant to levitation, so you can actually move them to what you consider to be the best location for harvesting.

  16. Tunnel says:

    “it would make a pretty sweet zombie-infested spaceship. Maybe instead of the ocean, you could have this giant fleshy thing wrapped around the outside of the ship…”

    Nah… those zombies sound pretty strong, and a spaceship seems like a tough place for survival, with all its lack of scattered ammo and crazy robots and whatnot…

    Now, if only there was a way to specialize in skills and multiple solutions to problems…

  17. Colthor says:

    “The beauty of BioShock is you didn’t have to go too deeply into the plasmid set if you didn’t want to.”

    I don’t think that that was a good point at all. Yeah, you probably could zap the zombies with your limited supplies of magic, or shoot them forever with your near-useless guns. But it was quicker and easier to just whack them with an adjustable spanner, and it never ran out of ammo.
    Which was important considering the annoyingly high respawn rate (did anyone else think “Yay, more splicers, that’s exactly what BioShock needed!” when reading the previous preview post?).

  18. Tunnel says:

    “The beauty of BioShock is you didn’t have to go too deeply into the plasmid set if you didn’t want to.” “I don’t think that that was a good point at all.”

    It’s like they tried to combine system shock with half-life, and failed to end up with the good bits of either.

  19. ChaosSmurf says:

    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/images/09/apr/bioshock2/biosint1.jpg

    “So anyway, I was bashing his head into the desk and thought “THIS’D BE AWESOME IN A VIDEO GAME” so after the jail and rehabilitation, here I am.”

  20. Aldo says:

    Hogarth De La Plante

    Dear Santa

    Can I have this name for Christmas please?

    Sincerely,
    me

  21. John Walker says:

    It’s quite obviously Simon Amstell and my friend’s former housemate Elaine.

  22. syrion says:

    I was underwhelmed by Bioshock. It felt “off,” as if the guns had a delay before they shot. Even though I’m a good FPS player, I often missed badly because of this. It was constant and irritating. The obvious-solution “puzzles,” which reminded me strongly of a bad Zelda game, didn’t help matters. It was a corridor shooter with stylish art direction, nothing more, nothing less.

  23. Whiskey Jak says:

    I loved the original and I have high hopes for the sequel. When he says : “But making sure that we’re still offering challenges to the player. We’re definitely going to be paying a lot of attention to making sure that feels good and challenging.” I hope he means: we’re going to playtest the shit out of the game. That’s how you get good balance IMO.

  24. Snappyterm says:

    I greatly enjoyed Bioshock, primarily as I enjoyed the voice acting and script (In by far the majority of cases), coupled with the fascinating little details of exploring the various environments of Rapture.

    Honestly, I couldn’t give less of a toss how the shooting changes in comparison to the first (Or all that much about the good and bad of the first game’s mechanics). I treat Bioshock more like an adventure, and as that, it’s an admirable success. I hope that will continue to be the case in the sequel.

    Also, BS is an unfortunate acronym.

  25. SirKicksalot says:

    I still think Soviets, robots, dawgs, spliced animals and a giant Octopussy are better than what they revealed so far.

  26. jalf says:

    I think Tunnel summed up my main problem with Bioshock. I didn’t *hate* the game, but I don’t see what the fuss is about either. There is nothing really impressive about it. They have a cool setting, conceptually, but it never becomes more than a concept. An idea the developers had, and then forgot to put into the game. Like Tunnel said, the exact same thing could take place in an office building or anywhere else. The atmosphere is nonexistent, which is quite a feat when you have an idea as awesome as Rapture. It never becomes more than an obstacle course with conveniently positioned vita-chambers and ammo vending machines. Wasn’t this supposed to be a utopia, where people actually *lived*? No wonder it went wrong, if people could buy electrical shotgun ammo at every corner, but nowhere could they get a sandwich. Even dystopian City 17 in HL2 had soft drink vending machines, and the oppressed citizens had beds and tv’s in their apartments. In Rapture, not only do people apparently not need food or sleep. They are seemingly able to vanish at will. The place is deserted. Even if people are dead, you’d think there’d be bodies. You’d think an underwater city would have a certain population density, simply because building underwater is expensive. But apparently people must have lived half a mile from their neighbors in Rapture. The setting just didn’t work for me. It felt like an abandoned movie set or something. It was clearly designed to look real, but as soon as you get a chance to take a closer look, it’s obvious that it’s just cardboard scaffolds erected for the sake of the viewer.

    Then there’s the combat, which just felt clumsy and sluggish to me. You needed ridiculous amounts of firepower to kill even the weakest opponents, and like syrion said, the guns just felt weird, imprecise. I’m not sure what exactly it was about them, they just never felt as natural as in HL2 or other *good* FPS games.

    And the utterly pointless hacking “minigames”?
    I think Bioshock was a complete and utter average game. The most striking thing about it is how outmoded it felt in a lot of ways. The on-screen radio HUD telling you where to go reminded me of how stories were presented in games a decade ago. The trivial puzzle minigames and the completely utilitiarian corridor layout complete with convenient ammo shops reinforced the feeling of a game that in some ways would have been more at home in the mid 90′s.

    But it wasn’t a *bad* game. It just didn’t stand out in many ways. It’s not something I got hooked on, but it doesn’t make me want to throw the monitor out the window either. It’s just a generic corridor shooter and I’m continually surprised at how some people praise it as a triumph of game development.

  27. Radiant says:

    @Thesper
    It is a fantastic name.
    Look how foppish that dude is; if he was a woman I’d totally smash.

    Why am I typing this?

  28. Robyrt says:

    Hopefully there will be a genuinely easy Easy Mode this time around. My non-gamer friends thought level 1 of Bioshock was the coolest thing ever, but lost interest as soon as you started having to shotgun people in the dark.

  29. Alec Meer says:

    Everyone, everyone! I’ve as many problems with Bioshock 1 as the next man, but really, bitching about it now is old and boring, and we don’t want to end up with yet another thread harping on about it. Let’s try and concentrate on interesting discussion about the sequel – and if you are that set on dismissing it out of hand, please either do so constructively or silently.

  30. Radiant says:

    *silently dismisses bioshock 1*
    *secretly liked it A LOT when I played it*

  31. ChaosSmurf says:

    I too hate things that other people like.

  32. jalf says:

    @Alec Fair enough :)
    My post was really just a response to someone asking about the “hate for Bioshock” – which seems to be gone now. Damn you, edit button!
    But anyway, I just wanted to respond to that saying I *don’t* hate it, I just don’t think it was awesome either.

    About the sequel, I’m looking forward to it. Just like the first game, it’s oozing potential. They still have a super-cool setting, and they wouldn’t have to change a lot of things about how it is realized in the game, to make it *work*. Similarly for the gameplay, just a few tweaks to the weapons and the level design, and they’d have a really good shooter, rather than an utterly average one.

    So yeah, I’m definitely interested in the sequel. Of course it might turn out as average as Bioshock was, but that’s definitely not a given. They might make the couple of tweaks it’d take to create a great game.

  33. plant42 says:

    “You’ll never go into a section of the ocean where there’s five things coming off of it. Usually you’re in the water and there’s probably one place you’re trying to get to.”

    Translation: Bioshock 2 wil be a sadly linear affair much like the first.
    *silently pines for System Shock 2*

  34. Azazel says:

    “…and subtitle of the game is Sea of Dreams.”

    AHA! I call male cow excrement!

    link: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/bioshock-2-sheds-subtitle-again

  35. Kieron Gillen says:

    plant42: I’m going to write a Sacred Cow Dissection of SS2 one day. That people have forgot that the final third of the game was as linear as Bioshock as its worst is plain infuriating.

    KG

  36. roBurky says:

    Kieron: I don’t think I ever even got to play the final third of SS2. I got stuck at a fight inside the many-worm, with an endless horde of giant pink fleshy dudes swarming out of a room with a floating star or something.

  37. Kieron Gillen says:

    Roburky: That was the penultimate level. You had one more easy level and a boss fight to go.

    KG

  38. Muzman says:

    They totally should have made the Little Sisters super cute but no longer need the needle, instead executing some Cronenberg-ian nightmare manouvre with an “intriuging physical adaptation” of some sort.

    Ocean floor wandering sounds groovy. Hopefully there’s an exploratory component (eg get underwater jet pack and return to earlier ocean floor sections and scoot around. Scope, gang, scope. There’s still time if it ain’t there yet).
    The mention of more open battle scenarios is interesting, if vague. You can carry turrets around perhaps? (going further into HL2 territory). B1 was supposed to be a bit of a mayhem sandbox with all the stuff you can do but it didn’t really work that well; you tried each way to deal death once or twice and moved on. Dark Messiah’s magic is frankly more entertaining (possibly because leaping into the fray yourself eventually is better). The stuff you can set up in Thief 2 provides endless amusement for some to this day. So more interactivity is what’s missing? I dunno exactly. They sound like they’re thinking along those lines anyway.

  39. Mo says:

    Sounds very good. Very glad to hear that they’re slowing down the combat to give the player more time to think. I actually wrote about this a while back. Also, no time-limit on underwater bits is a good thing. Just hope they can get the underwater movement feeling right. I’ve got some reservations about playing a Big Daddy, but I’m remain optimistic about BS2.

  40. Spanish Technophobe says:

    I don’t think I ever got to play the second third of SS2. I got stuck in a room scared shitless of the huge alien THING that awaited me behind the next door.

  41. Janto says:

    RoBurky: Pretty much where I gave up also – sadly not being a mind-bending psychic (and in the game) I ended up running around inside the Many with 4 almost broken guns, no ammo and no repair modules, so by the time I shot one crystal star, my guns were all broke and my ammo reserves depleted.

    I honestly don’t get the ‘SS2 was non-linear’ thing. Sure, it opened up occasionally, but most of the time you had one objective and a fairly direct route to get there.

  42. Serondal says:

    I got stuck at the level in SS2 where you had to do something with some infected parts of the ship for Shodan O.o I played it like literally 4 days trying to find I believe some kind of scrubber or machine that is infected but never found it or anything else. Never played the game again. I did install it every now and again to show one of my new friends the robot doign the macarana though. ^_^

    Nothing SS2 ever really scared me. Doom 3 however I had me throw my mouse and keyboard no lesser than 3 times (One time when the imp is in a tube and then suddenly it moves , I cried lol)

  43. l1ddl3monkey says:

    I want to be called Hogarth De La Plante too.

    Really looking forward to more Bio Shock. Not a great shooter, but for me it was definitely a great game. Ok so it’s not perfect (are there any perfect games? Isn’t perfection a subjective quantity?) but I was willing to overlook the flaws and focus on the fun.

    I’m hoping that the second one does something to spice up the combat a bit as it wasn’t very challenging, but will take more of the same combat-wise as long as they keep the story and atmosphere of the original intact.

  44. Nick says:

    Yeah, SS2 had faults, but at its worst it was still better than Bioshocks worst. Well, The Many part was really gash actually.. but I’d rather play it again than most of Bioshock. In fact I’m off to do that now.

    SS1 was better!

  45. Serondal says:

    Chess is a perfect game. Go is a perfect game ;) nothing can be done to improve either game , nothing needs to be done. If someone can make a game as simple yet as complex as Chess or Go on the computer they will stun the world. I don’t see how you’d be able to do that with a Bioshock type game though.

    I never got around to playing this one because of all the DRM hype and stuff. I’m quite over it now though so maybe Ill try and find some cheep copy of it and give it again . . . oh wait I remember why I didn’t play it now my computer can’t handle it ^_^

  46. AndrewC says:

    I played SS2 recently again. I gave up again, after fear and tension finally gave out to annoyance. It was when the robot ninjas started respawning while I was running about fetch questing four thingies to put into four other thingies. And having no idea where any of them were.

    I never worked out how to move from one level of psy powers to the next without going through a sub menu (that did NOT pause the action) thus making me fight with the awfully obtuse control scheme way more than the baddies.

    Structurally it and Bioshock are almost entirely identical, so i’m not sure where these distinctions are coming from. Without further evidence, i’m putting it down to nostalgia, or that fierce sense of loyalty when you’ve put the work in to conquer a game that is really, really mean to you.

    Bioshock essentially IS SS2 but with slicker controls, a less horrible interface, and the technology to tell its story with a bunch more verve. And no degrading weapons.

    Ummm, Bioshock 2 – well I’m going to be playing it anyway, so the finer points of my relative enthusiasm seem mostly irrelevant.

  47. Marcin says:

    @syrion
    Same. There are games that just nail the feel of the guns, and this was one that totally failed to. I took a lot of damage because of the wonkiness, and eventually the combat soured me on the entire game. All I can remember from it now, come to think of it, is combat combat combat.

    *goes back to replay System Shock 2 for the nth time.

  48. Muzman says:

    Sorry, slights on SS2s interface cannot go unchallenged. The thing is a work of art. There can’t be many FPS/RPG hybrids that have done it better. And Bioshock certainly isn’t one of them. It’s better than Deus Ex, better than Stalker. If the two must be compared (and they I guess they must), SS2 is like Bioshock with more character development, world building in the story, an inventory, choices etc. Most of which neatly summed by the word “depth”. Although I wouldn’t call Bioshock SS2 with or with out anything per se. The closer comparison for my money is Half Life 2 with more open levels/backtracking, hacking, upgrades and spells. Significant additions perhaps. The key thing is it’s not in any way an RPG and makes no real pretense to being one.

  49. yns88 says:

    I never used a PSI-ops character, so I haven’t seen the worst of the interface. Bioshock did improve on the quick ammo type swap, although that was also present in Deus Ex. The map in Bioshock was very annoying, though. It always tried to zoom you in so far as if you were running the game on a 15″ SDTV or something, and every time you zoomed out it would reset the option again.

    And the shooty aspects of SS2 were more satisfying. Given the right ammo combinations, you could take out the hardest enemies in 2 or 3 shots, and you didn’t have to spray and hope due to poor accuracy. Bioshock definitely needs more tight shooty bits, and separate crosshairs per weapon to make it more clear to the player what the weapons are capable of.

  50. Petethegoat says:

    Possible Spoilers Below.

    I played SS2 all the way through coop over lan recently, and it was epic. The earlier levels are noticeably better, but the later levels were still awesome, with the exception of some of the platform-jumpy bits inside the many.

    The most memorable situations were almost completely running out of ammo on engineering, when playing as a techie and a psi-op, and having to use about 7 bullets in a almost broken pistol and wrenches to escape back to medical. We had to constantly be looting everything whilst avoiding any enemies. Those were the days…

    Also memorable was splitting up to search the bio-deck (?) and immediately running around a corner into a midwife and screaming like a little girl.

    The most memorable part was inside the many, just about to board the Rickenbacker, and gunning down what felt like hundreds of the macho-many :p, while waiting for my brother to arrive. Reminiscing just makes me want to play it again.
    Anyone who hasn’t played it really ought to. Make sure you get SHTUP and Rebirth though, and there is a widescreen mod somewhere too.

Comment on this story

XHTML: Allowed code: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>