Sea Change: Eyes-On With BioShock 2

The problem with the leaked Game Informer cover a few weeks back, and the reason a whole bunch of folk, myself included, reacted to it with knee-jerk negativity, was that it appeared to tell a complete story. You’re back in Rapture, and the Big Daddies are now ladies. Oh God, must it really be so obvious?

As it turns out, that’s only a fraction of the story. It’s barely even the story at all, in fact – in the name of attention-grabbing marketing, that single, strangely self-contained image discarded all the more interesting questions around Bioshock 2. Even now, having yesterday seen the game in action and discovering nothing’s anywhere near as simple as it had seemed, I’ve a very clear sense there are a great many more questions yet to be posed – let alone that I’ll discover their answers any time soon. Which, really, is why Bioshock 2 is so exciting to the breed of gamer who we like to think reads this site.

We already have the measure of it as an action game, after all. We know roughly how its combat works based on our experiences in Bioshock 1- the revelation that we can now dual-wield weapons and plasmids, that we can mash people up with a Big Daddy drill and that there will be more Splicers attacking at once, is something we can mind-map out fairly easily. It’s clearly aiming to be a more brutal, frenetic breed of first-person-shooter than the first was – all well and good, but what we really want to know is the whys behind it all.

While the footage I saw looked unmistakably like Bioshock – familiar Rapture architecture, Splicers and an aura of rusty menace – the really compelling questions were hidden in the details. Don’t look at the excessive fountain of blood that covers the screen when you push your drill-arm into a Splicer’s face. Don’t even look at the otherwordly plants and looming towers that cover the ocean floor when Rapture’s glass walls shatter and the protagonist finds himself wading slowly but purposely through the sea.

Look, instead, at the strange new, elephantine growths on the Splicers’ faces.

Look at how the Little Sisters appear ten times cuter than their sinister Bioshock 1 incarnations.

Look at the curious medical braces on the Big Sister’s legs, the way that, despite her breathtaking movement speed, she stands like a wobbly-kneed newborn foal. For all her power, that’s something tragic and sad about her.

Look at how the Big Daddy you play as has much more human hands than the stubby, armoured fingers of those in the first Bioshock, how he can swap out his drill-arm for all manner of curious weaponry.

Look at how Doctor Tenenbaum, a returning character from the first game, doesn’t awaken and greet you from your unspecified slumber in person, instead speaking to you via faceless radio from some unknown location.

Questions. Mysteries. Tiny details upsetting what, from that leaked cover, had seemed so complete, so obvious a picture. What’s wrong with the Big Sister? We know she’s a grown-up Little Sister, returned to Rapture for reasons unknown, but we don’t really know what’s under that suit and mask. And what’s wrong with you, a prototype Big Daddy now locked in a power struggle with Big Sis for reasons unknown?

Being a prototype, the experimental first of the line, you’re demonstrably more powerful than any other Daddy – some of which you will get to clash with, incidentally – so how come they weren’t all made in your image? Is it simply that you’ve got some dangerous measure of free will, or is there some more terrible reason your template wasn’t mass-produced? And, if your training to protect Little Sisters means you see them as far more adorable than they really are, what else might you be misinterpreting? In turn, perhaps the most important question – who in Rapture is good, and who is bad? We now know the basic constructs of the game’s plot, but we flat-out don’t know why it’s happening.

There will, apparently, be some underpinning philosophical conceit/debate to Bioshock 2 – not a repeat of the Randian objectivism question from the first game, but something else, something that will clarify what’s going on in a further dilapidated Rapture, 10 years on from the ending of the first game. To reveal that concept now, I’m told, would give too much away – but what we can extrapolate from that is that this won’t simply be a game about bashing zombies under the sea. Someone has a purpose for Rapture, something they want to achieve with its resources, its remaining populace – or perhaps even you. Is it the Big Sister? Is it Tenenbaum, always a character with muddy motivation? Or is it someone else entirely?

The question of your character’s free will, raised in Bioshock but abandoned part way through as part of that infamously unsatisfying third act of the narrative, is raised again. We’re told the prototype Daddy has free will, but he seems to be following Tenenbaum’s instructions. Again, too, the fact he sees the Sisters as something other than they really are suggests his mind is scarcely his own after all.

Regardless of their appearance, the sisters introduce a whole new mechanic to Bioshock. The choice to Harvest them for instant Adam/Plasmid upgrades remains, but the alternative is no longer to free them to achieve nebulous, off-screen moral point-scoring – instead, it’s to adopt them. They become your partner, finding Adam for you – and, it’s hinted, other rewards – but if you ask them to retrieve it you’re placing them in danger.

Adam attracts Splicers in vast numbers, so as the girl slowly harvests the strange substance from special corpses that contain it, waves of enemies will attack, in greater and more aggressive numbers than the first game. It’s your job to fend them off, as the broken-brained zombie men will kill her without hesitation. If you’re low on ammo or Eve, perhaps it’s best to carry on, to ignore that tempting, glowing corpse, rather than place both your and your tiny charge’s life in danger.

Especially as doing so too much attracts the murderous attention of the Big Sister. Your hyper-fast, hyper-skinny nemesis is not one you’ll solely clash with in a contrived end-game boss fight – you’ll battle her again and again in these scripted-but-optional Adam-harvesting scenes. It’s unclear how you defeat her and what happens when you do, but she will be a constant, visceral threat, not simply a looming, ethereal menace as were Ryan and Fontaine in the first game.

I’m told, too, that developers 2K Marin, headed by Jordan Thomas, the brainiac level designer behind the Sander Cohen sequence of Bioshock 1 and the legendary Cradle map in Thief 3, are well aware of how and why the first game failed at times. This doesn’t, of course, guarantee we’re not in for another terrible ending, but to know that this game isn’t being made under an arrogant presumption that the first one was flawless is enough for even its greatest detractors to show some interest in this sequel. It looks like Bioshock, it feels like Bioshock, but it’s somehow different – and, most importantly, it genuinely restores mystery to something that seemed so resolved.

Questions, so many questions. And each new one makes Bioshock 2 more enticing – somehow, the more we see of it, the less we know about it. That cover, that first leaked image, answers precisely nothing after all.


  1. StalinsGhost says:

    I’m filled with a strong sense of ambivalence towards it to be honest. For me, Bioshock was so strong because of its exploration of political philosophy – thus far, it seems they’re riding on the coat-tails of Bioshock’s style, with perhaps half the substance.

    On the other hand: Jordan Thomas.

  2. Spatula says:

    I must say i’m really looking forward to this game, the environment that was rapture in the first game is one of the most immersive i’ve ever had the pleasure to play. I’m also quite interested to see the ‘un-spliced’. I’m guessing there’s going to be some sort of power struggle going on here between them and Tennenbaum. It’ll be interesting to see which side of the ‘little sister’ fence they are placed on.

    Also not sure i agree on the reason for the little sisters looking ‘cuter’ being down to the Big Daddies (flawed?) perceptions- unless you know something you’re not letting on. Couldn’t it just be that they’re adbucted little girls and as such not undergone the same level of genetic ‘manipulation’ that the original little sisters went through?

    That and pie.

  3. Alec Meer says:

    I was told that is indeed the reason they look different.

  4. Spatula says:

    oOooooooooo. Ze plit Thicknez (allo allo stylee)

    Thanks for the confirm.

  5. Heliocentric says:

    It can be not quite as good as Bioshock and still be worth picking up so i hope they pushed the boat out to make something special. I still feel that rather than it being a space its a series of tunnels to go down. I wish that like stalker, bioshock had the feel of an ecosystem rather than a spawn list.

    The feel that things are changing because they are, not because you are running down this tunnel and tripping this script.

    But eh… I’ll get it anyway the pedigree is strong enough.

  6. Willy359 says:

    I only want to know one thing: Do the developers consider this to be another descendant of the System Shock games? From what I’ve read so far, the answer is “not really.” This makes me very sad.

  7. John Walker says:

    Willy359 – in an interview on Eurogamer, Tom Bramwell reported the following:

    “The kind of levels that we want to put you in are more about the old Warren Spector/Looking Glass dichotomy of problems rather than puzzles,” says lead level designer JP LeBreton. “Puzzles have an explicit hard-wired number of designer-intended solutions, and for the most part we want to put a lot of different tools in the environment and the player’s hands.”

  8. ChaosSmurf says:

    So I’m the only person in the world who enjoyed the ending section of Bioshock, even though it was a little annoying at times? kay.

    I’m very excited about this – I just love the look and feel I guess, the art is so brilliant.

  9. Theoban says:

    I was so nice to the Little Sisters in Bioshock, I always rescued them and freed them from their lives of slavery.

    I fear I’ll be doing a bit more harvesting this time around. Man I hate escorting things. I can barely look after myself, never mind someone else.

  10. Pavel says:

    Hmm, it might be good.

    But still, I wish they went the prequel route and made some Bioshock/Deus Ex/Vampire Bloodlines hybrid set in functional Rapture with ending events leading to the start of Bioshock 1.That would be my favourite continuation.

  11. Mr Pink says:

    Many of these questions were tackled by Tom Francis’ preview in this month’s PCG, such as why you are different to other Big Daddies, and the purpose of the Big Sister. It’s definitely a great read, and has increased my level of optimism for the game. It’s going to be exciting to see what Jordan Thomas comes up with when given control of a whole game.

  12. Lobotomist says:

    Am I the only one that didnt really like Bioshock ?
    (and i loved system shock 1&2)

  13. phil says:

    If free will and existentialism are to be the main themes, they’ll possibly go down the Camus route, especially as his books are still well read and popular, like Rand’s. It should work well, I’ve often thought he was her polar opposite, especially as he could actually write.

    As to the game, the prospect of ambling around the sea floor is actually quite appealing. It could make an open-ended nature themed diversion to the clammy rotting corridors you’ll be obliged to go though for at least part of the game.

  14. Ginger Yellow says:

    “So I’m the only person in the world who enjoyed the ending section of Bioshock, even though it was a little annoying at times? kay.”

    I’m with you on this, boss fight aside. It was a nice change of pace. It could have been handled better, for sure, but I still enjoyed it.

  15. Spliter says:

    One thing I’m interested in is knowing how they’re gonna explain that several years before Bioshock, where city was basically in ruins because of all the splicing and people loosing their minds, the city is also in ruins for the same reasons.
    I wonder if they’re gonna introduce us to the game with the city in good shape, normal people, with some rumors of splicers, and then progressively destroy the city around you, make more splicers appear. (I think this is the most probable solution if they’ve though about this problem, but only if they’ve thought about it).

  16. The Sombrero Kid says:

    ahh you speeled my dreenk!

  17. kevlar says:

    Am I the only one who thinks the Little Sisters re-design actually makes them look much creepier and less human, contrary to what is claimed?

  18. James T says:

    “The kind of levels that we want to put you in are more about the old Warren Spector/Looking Glass dichotomy of problems rather than puzzles,” says lead level designer JP LeBreton. “Puzzles have an explicit hard-wired number of designer-intended solutions, and for the most part we want to put a lot of different tools in the environment and the player’s hands.”

    If true — and I’d normally discount it instantly given the sheer quantity of undiluted bullshit that fills interviews these days, but ‘shock 2’s boss did awesome work on Thief 3, and the best bit of Bioshock, so I give them a bit of credit — that’s a really good sign. That kind of attitude could make ‘shock 2 the game ‘shock 1 should have been.

    (Hah, I’m amused that he calls Ryan an “exaggerated” version of Ayn Rand, as though there can be some sort of “moderate” Objectivism…)

  19. Jason Moyer says:

    All of this analysis for something that clearly won’t stand up as the sequel to the spiritual successor to the greatest game ever made. Also, I’m angry, male, and posting this via the internet.

  20. toni says:

    more brutal visceral tactic-less and brainless fighting of the worst NPCs in gaming history ? count me out.

  21. James T says:

    All of this analysis for something that clearly won’t stand up as the sequel to the spiritual successor to the greatest game ever made.

    Bioshock wasn’t that much like Ultima IV…

  22. simonkaye says:

    Call me a neo-objectivist, but one thing you can’t accuse Rand of is bad writing…

  23. Kieron Gillen says:

    I totally would. She really can’t.


  24. Rei Onryou says:

    The most important question still hasn’t been answered. Will there be locked doors?!?! Oh the suspense is killing me!

    The BS2 hype machine is definitely in full swing based on the number of previews etc… since the Game Informer cover. Tom Francis’ was the most in depth so far. I’m all for the release of this…

  25. Mark says:

    Willy359 – comparing the first Bioshock to any System Shock games didn’t do it any marketing favors except prior to its release. Anybody who played it always said that it didn’t get the System Shock formula right. If that comparison hadn’t been there, maybe they’d have been a bit more charitable about the game’s unique strengths?

  26. Serenegoose says:

    I know that the big sister is abducting girls, but what interests me is how precisely it’s -designed- for it. It moves fast and has a little ‘carrier’ thing stuck to its back that’s just the right size. Whereas the big daddies are designed to be guardians, big sister seems like she’s just there to grab and dash. This might be ‘obvious’ but I think it could prove to be telling later, since she must be taking them too someone who isn’t Tenenbaum. Unless she’s playing you against each other in a who can catch the most little sisters quickly for me kinda game that never ends well.

  27. Richard Beer says:

    I absolutely, unashamedly loved BioShock 1. I have to admit it peaked when Ryan’s face met my smooth putting stroke, a scene which had me open-mouthed, and it went a little downhill from there until the final boss-fight, but even the mundane ending wasn’t enough to stop me booting the game up again immediately and playing through it for a second time as “Evil Richard”.

    I’m immensely looking forward to Bioshock 2 and yah, boo, sucks to all you haters. If it’s an improvement on Bioshock 1, then my diving suit is going to be damp on the inside as well.

    I suppose time will tell whether the novel and totally original feel of Bioshock 1 was just that, novelty value, or whether I’ll be equally excited stomping my way through the same thing again.

    Fingers crossed, but frankly, if Jordan Thomas’s track record is anything to by, this is going to tick all my post-apocalytpic dystopian boxes and scare the crap out of me all at the same time.

  28. James T says:

    Serenegeoose: From the article, sounds like the Little Sister is self-made.

    Call me a neo-objectivist, but one thing you can’t accuse Rand of is bad writing…


    Give him a hand folks!

  29. Markoff Chaney says:

    Must not read.

    Must not spoil.

    My I hate seeing those XBox buttons in there though. I guess I can’t really complain though. I loved the first Bioshock and that was it’s primary dev platform as well IIRC.

  30. Howard says:

    Okay, there is no way to get around this, I am going to get yelled at for what I say and accused of trying to shit on peoples cornflakes even though I am really not. So let’s get 2 things straight from the get go.
    1) I honestly am hopeful that Bioshock 2 could be a good game and am not just arbitrarily complaining about it out of hand, but my hope is there despite the fact that
    2) I utterly hated Bioshock 1

    I was not just disappointed that Bio 1 was not the same kind of game as the System Shocks. That played a part in it but once I realised that Bio was ‘just a shooter’ I still recognised that it presented a fantastic and potentially wonderful backdrop in which to play. However after 3 full plays through of the game I can honestly say that there is not one thing I liked about it. I wont go into why (as I have done that elsewhere: horrible character textures/animation, ludicrous guns, poor character control, utterly linear…etc) but what does deserve a mention is that last time I criticised the game here for being an XBOX 360 sell-out shooter rather than the magnificent beast it could have been I was shouted down and told that I had to consider that Bio’s success as a basic shooter now opened the market to Bio 2 bringing more to the table. Essentially “sure the first game was a little half-baked but the sequel is guaranteed! Imagine what they could do!” and I had to agree with this sentiment.
    But now we are seeing the sequel I cannot perceive anything here that might elevate it above another tedious corridor romp. All the complaints of the last one are still front and centre with the added problem that playing a Big Daddy at the end of the first game, especially when having to protect the Little Sisters, was by far the most tedious part of that game. What exactly is everyone so excited about that I am clearly missing? It is not like I am the only person who decried Bioshock for being a “meh” shooter. Why is everyone now frothing at the mouth again?
    Moreover, Mr. Meer, I am forced to question your train of thought regarding this article (though in no way your journalistic ability or integrity: I am simply trying to understand). All the things you list as being “compelling questions” I can only see as being damned great paper tigers to cover the fact that they are inventing ridiculous reasons to churn this sequel out.
    -Why are we playing a big daddy? Easy: it’s all we COULD play. No random bloke is going to happen across Rapture are they? Playing a Splicer would be an obvious nonsense as well so the Big Daddy is all that is left.
    -Why is our character more powerful than the others? Easy: so we can defeat them as we are the hero.
    These questions and mysteries of which you speak seem to be nothing more than blatant fudge to let them throw us once more into Rapture, not carefully crafted plot devices to intrigue and tantalise us.
    Sure Rapture as a concept is fascinating (albeit staggeringly unrealistic, but who cares?) but I cannot help but think that it was wasted on these frivolous little games. Creating a backdrop this feature rich seems just utterly futile if you are then just going to build a railroad through it.
    Well, there we go: piece said. Let the lynching begin…

  31. Vivian says:

    I’m betting this, in fact, will mostly be a game about bashing zombies under the sea.

  32. Mr Pink says:

    @Howard: The thing I am struggling to understand is that if you hate it so much, why have you played it through 3 times? I loved most of the game (at least the first half anyway) and I’ve only played through it 1 1/2 times. How did you stomach 3 play throughs if it is so “tedious”?

  33. SirKicksalot says:

    I’m told, too, that developers 2K Marin, headed by Jordan Thomas, the brainiac level designer behind the Sander Cohen sequence of Bioshock 1 and the legendary Cradle map in Thief 3, are well aware of how and why the first game failed at times.

    Someone should tell them that escort/protect missions are horrible and shouldn’t be a central gameplay mechanic.
    The gameplay footage of protecting the sister reminded me of that awful bee hives sequence.

  34. Jeremy says:

    @Howard, why would we lynch you for something that a lot of people have already complained about? I whole-heartedly disagree with you of course, but I’ve already expended myself arguing against others :)

    In general, I like to think of the possibilities of what the game could be without making prejudgments. That is the sort of mindset I bring into all reviews of games, even if I am pre-disposed towards disliking a genre or even an idea in a game. At first, the thought of playing a Big Daddy was horrible, however, the questions and mysteries of that fact started to intrigue me, much like Meer has said. Does this Big Daddy have free will? How human is he? Does he see things differently than they really are? What does he look like under all that sea garb, is he just as twisted and spliced as the other freaks? What has been going on in Rapture?

    Granted, all of those questions stem from the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed my experience with the first Bioshock and even want those questions answered in the first place.

  35. James T says:

    How did you stomach 3 play throughs if it is so “tedious”?

    When people keep telling you a game is really, reeeeeally good, and you think it’s a bit shit, you’ll often feel compelled to give it another punt; I played twice to see if there was any more than meets the eye (nope) and much later pulled it out for a third punt to see if I was remembering it right, and it was just such a drag I couldn’t get past, oh, the docks or so — I already knew everything the game had to offer backwards — and although I hadn’t realised it on my first playthrough, I’d known everything the game had to offer after the first two or three fights. It was nice that the game’s artists were so talented and thoughtful, and that the writers didn’t treat the player like an idiot (although the game designers did — hello Little Sister ‘dilemma’), but those are just trappings on top of a competent-at-best (and never-challenging) corridor shooter. It’s all very well to talk about avoiding prejudgments (although that’s not much of an argument — if a developer breathlessly talks their game up with all the crazy neato ideas that are going on behind the scenes (remember the whole ‘in-game ecology’ thing?), it’s perfectly fair to call it out for being stultifying), but frankly, they would’ve had to seriously undersell Bioshock to make its gameplay a pleasant surprise to me (“This game will crash to desktop and give your computer a virus!” “Wow, it totally didn’t! Nice one, Irrational!”)
    Bioshock showed how much aesthetics can add, but it also showed how much they can’t make up for.

    (All that said, I’m open to the possibility of Bioshock 2 remedying this, just ‘cos I loved whatsisname’s Cradle stage in Thief, and his Sander Cohen section was probably the gameplay highpoint of Bioshock for me; big changes would be compulsory for me to even have a go at it though.)

  36. Jeremy says:

    It’s not an argument, it’s a mindset.

  37. DK says:

    [I am angry and sweary about articles that provide context]

  38. James T says:

    I’d love to see your CV, DK.

    It’s not an argument, it’s a mindset.

    Sorry Jeremy, I mixed you up with the “everyone who disliked ‘shock must have overhyped it in their mind first” crowd. Can’t abide that.

  39. Howard says:

    @James T
    Thank you. You provided my answer perfectly and saved me the effort =)

  40. Solar says:

    …nothing’s anywhere near as simple as it had seemed, I’ve a very clear sense there are a great many more questions yet to be posed – let alone that I’ll discover their answers any time soon. Which, really, is why Bioshock 2 is so exciting to the breed of gamer who we like to think reads this site

    The great question for me is how anyone could be excited by this?

    Bioshock was a cruel disappointment. The vivid graphics and ground breaking water effects didn’t evolve past the demo. Not once was there any more ‘underwater’ atmosphere injected past the plane hitting the walkway or the slow rising water at the first internal lift. All the rest was just bad plumbing, and the water was never even deep enough to swim in! (Even in the first scene you cant go underwater!)

    The enemies, all two of them, provided little but minor distractions to the use-what-you-like-it-only-flashes-a-different-colour-or becomes-a-gravity-gun-to-kill-anything plasmid system.

    Then the revolutionary (ho ho) plot, contained one small club at objectivism before sliding into curious megalomania.

    And in terms of controls they expect you to use either a console controller or wrestle with a wet mackerel.

    I’ve never been so frightenly disappointed by a game until I played bioshock. It was so bad I gave it away, and I never do that.

    That said I am excited by one thing about Bioshock 2, that I might never hear anything more about it. That would make me smile.

  41. Howard says:

    (edit not working for me)
    The reason I thought I would be lynched for saying anything is that I am pretty much ALWAYS lynched for voicing an opinion on this site, be it by visitors or the staff. The best I can ever expect is to be ignored here so this post actually prompting lucid discourse is an entirely welcome first for me.

  42. James T says:

    Heheh… maybe you’re an ANGRY INTERNET MAN! Do people still say that?

  43. Solar says:

    @James T
    Not till today. I love games. Bioshock made me lothe it and I hate it for that. I’m not angry though, I just don’t want to get burnt that bad again. I’ll take some pain to find the pleasure just like the next ‘INTERNET MAN’ but there are some things that push that envelope too far.

    Pretty happy about things really

    *Closes eyes, clicks heels three times*
    ‘There is no bioshock, there is no bioshock, there is no bioshock’

  44. Jeremy says:

    James, all’s fair in … reviewing. Not a catchy phrase but true nonetheless :) In general there are usually extremes in gaming, at least in those who play games, so it’s easy to be on guard. I have no problem with someone disliking a game, especially after giving it the old college try. I promise not to take it personal if it’s a game I happen to love.

    Howard, I was just waiting for you to feel comfortable before lynching you, it makes the pain that much sweeter… but seriously, Bioshock is one of those franchises that seems to bring out the worst in people, at least when discussing it over message boards. Hopefully this will renew your hope in mankind and in RPS :) Also, strangely, adding a gravatar helps. A lot of the blank faces are 1 time contributors or trolls, so having a picture helps the association and brings good will.

  45. 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.

  46. Howard says:

    Duly noted – Gravatar created =)

    Agreed. Off handedly dismissing something that does not even exist yet is pointless, but is hyping something up to the eyeballs even though it has a HELL of a lot to prove any better?

  47. Alec Meer says:

    Howard: that I don’t know – but I do know that calling a sober discussion about an upcoming game “hyping something up to the eyeballs” is about as bad.

  48. Danarchist says:

    Bioshock was the first media to actually scare me since I was a little kid listening to ghost stories. I find myself falling asleep during the scariest horror movies. But there was just something about walking into a room with all this cool old artsy stuff around, and suddenly noticing a mutilated guy staring at you from his position on the ceiling! I actually jumped more than once playing that game. I really cant wait for the next one! My only question is am I constantly going to hear myself making the “Daddy Moan”? (and yes run with that you dirty little varmits!)

  49. Solar says:

    Sure. All I really wanted to say was I’m not excited :(

    The promise of Bioshock 2 brought up all the old and boring feelings again but it is possible to be constructive. I don’t believe it will be a failure either, I only feel I personally won’t be able to play it.

    I actually hope it is a success and that all those that found joy in Bioshock will continue to be excited about Bioshock 2, then impressed and overjoyed by the experience.

    Constructive comments:
    There are more monster types which should add more depth to the combat system.
    The combat system sounds more melee orientated, which could be quite fun (c.f zeno clash)
    Jordan Thomas is involved, for which his level design is exceptional, however I don’t think Bioshock was his best work.
    There will be choices with respect to the little sisters again that could make a meaningful difference to the story this time.

  50. Howard says:

    Alec: Fair comment; I chose my words poorly.

    What I really meant was that when even independent and experienced members of the game-journalism community are writing great swathes of text about the potential sub plots, intrigues and nuances of a game that is not yet complete then is it not possible that the hype machine is getting out of control? Especially when it is a game whose most vocal advocates would have to admit was a little “light” on the deep and meaningful stuff?
    Not a criticism, just something that occurred. I understand fully that it is the job of a good game journo to stir things up and start the conversational fires but in the case of “Big Budget Blockbusters” it is all starting to sound a little rose-tinted and dewy-eyed to me. I’d just like a little more coffee with my cream I guess.
    Maybe I am just far to cynical though… (though I’d likely have to refute there being such a thing as “too” cynical =D )