BioShock 2 Website Launches, Confuses

What does this bit do? YOU HAVE TO GUESS!

At long last there’s finally a proper website for BioShock 2. Goodness knows what was going on before – some combination of an ARG no one I knew was playing and various mysterious bits and pieces of confusing information (some of which kept getting posted through my front door, which started off weird and became junk mail). Now it’s got its own site and… oh good heavens, it’s a mess. A volcanic explosion of Flash, there’s enormous streams of nonsense lava to aimlessly click on without understanding why, occasionally stumbling on a trailer or a plastic lady shouting “tits up!” Hit the menu button top right and you’ll get – a screen full of scribbled words. These will at least lead you toward vague information on the game, some screenshots and videos, and a…

That’s the gap left where going to the Videos page crashed Firefox. Get it to load and you can watch the five trailers released so far, but sadly nothing new. Oh, and for a special treat, turn sounds off on the site and it’ll kill the music, the swishy noises and the sound of water, but the blinking, fizzing light on the floor? That’s still going in the background now. So I’m starting a campaign:

Game publishers. It’s over. The competition you started with each other to see who could spend the most money on building the most elaborate, complicated, noisy and cluttered website – you all won. Equal first place. There’s a trophy for each of you. So now can we got back to a website, as pretty as you wish to make it, that has some nice clear buttons on it that let us see “news”, “screenshots”, “videos”, that sort of thing, without having to watch an elaborately animated counter show us what percentage of itself it has loaded before going on a bloody rollercoaster ride that eventually dumps us, heaving with motion sickness, on a page that flickers, bleeps and swooshes with every microscopic movement of the mouse when we just sodding well want to look at a screenshot.

I’m sure the BioShock 2 website must have cost a fortune, but what I’d give for something practical.

PS. Here’s a new bit of footage that’s appeared on Game Trailers that I’m fairly convinced can’t be official. Not only because it’s so bizarrely edited (my inner monologue: Oh thank goodness, a trailer for BioShock 2 that isn’t an insane confusion of noisy mess, but rather a quiet corrido… oh,”) but because of the lack of 2K logos on the front and back. Still, it shows off the electrobolt:


  1. gryffinp says:

    I’d like to think that it’s not an official trailer because it’s so very very clearly made on one of the consoles. Just looking at gameplay videos like this I can’t even imagine how people put up with such piss-poor aiming.

    I’d comment on the website but it won’t load. :|

    • Bhazor says:

      Aye but I do envy them console basts with their context analog sticks. Having more than two speeds in a fps makes them much more immersive, to me at least. Admittedly I wouldn’t give up mouse aiming and hot keys without a fight but surely there must be a keyboard out there with pressure sensitive cursor buttons.

    • Kakksakkamaddafakka says:

      Why would you want pressure sensitive cursor buttons? Those aren’t used for FPS gaming.

    • wm says:

      Pressure-sensitive WSAD-buttons…

    • John Walker says:

      Kakksa – they sure can be if your old-skool or left handed.

    • Willy359 says:

      Didn’t the PC port of Splinter Cell use the mouse wheel to control walking speed? That worked pretty well, as I recall. Nobody else picked it up.

    • Flint says:

      Hooray for cursor buttons in FPS games!

    • Bhazor says:

      Well my point was that if they were going to make any buttons touch sensitive it would be the cursor keys or maybe the space bar first. Certainly I can think of real proper uses for pressure sensitive cursors before we got hold of them for our manshoots and electric toy soldiers.

      Personally I use TFGH which gives me more surrounding keys to work with. With WASD you have to go into the dark domain of tab keys and the “fuck me button” which is capslock.

    • jsutcliffe says:

      @Willy359 — Mouse wheel for walking speed was an excellent idea, and I played Splinter Cell so much that I instinctively try to use the mouse wheel for speed control in pretty much all third-person games (generally resulting in swapping to a totally inappropriate weapon, and death).

      @Bhazor — I find the analog controls for movement a good idea in theory, but without any tactile feedback for how fast you’re telling your guy to go, it’s all to easy to suddenly burst into a run when you’re trying to be stealthy. I think that using a keyboard modifier like holding the shift key is preferable.

      Gamepads are not FPS devices. It may just be that I grew up playing twitchy shooters, but I need to be able to spin round in milliseconds, not the “Oh there’s an enemy behond me I’d better …. turn …. round …. to …. face … oh, I’m dead” of gamepad FPS controls.

    • jsutcliffe says:

      Obligatory double-post apologies.

      I would love to hear the reasoning used by whoever tries to invent a pressure-sensitive spacebar. “Well, sometimes people, y’know, people they don’t want to make a full space. Just like a little space. Now they can do that.”

    • The Sombrero Kid says:

      microsofts pressure keyboard, there ideas are dumb though but it shouldn’t cost more to make.
      link to

  2. The_B says:

    On the flashy game websites issue – Amen to that. If I open up a game’s website, only to be greeted by a flash loading screen with no none flash based alternative, I generally close the window before I even get a chance to see it. Moreso if it encases it’s screenshots in tiny flash pop up windows that don’t expand the screenshot, and thus give you no more idea of how the game looks than if it were on a postage stamp.

    • Don says:

      I think that’s all part of the retro feel appropriate to Bioshock. It certainly made me feel I’d got a dial-up internet connection again.

    • Baris says:

      Ba-dum tish.

  3. Kast says:

    On the trailer: I seem to remember the original BioShock had a fairly quiet corridors trailer… or possibly a publisher’s walkthrough example that spent a lot of time in the bathroom, either way. In any case, some more (bathy)atmosphere-oriented trailers for games would be nice.

    I would have thought a creature as heavy as the Big Daddy, that clearly throws up a dust cloud when landing from that fall from the balcony, would disorient someone when landing so close to them. It could have made for an interesting game mechanic to see splicers stumble or fall on their arse’s when he hit the ground next to them.

    And oh god they’re using ‘How much is that doggy’ again. Didn’t they torture us enough already with that in the original?

  4. Popular Energy Drink says:

    I’m fed up with Take 2/2K at this point, bunch of sods.

    Seeing this only makes me laugh harder and how utterly pathetic and forced Bioshock 2 is.

    Nonsense. Utter nonsense.

  5. Wooly says:



  6. Gabe says:

    There’s an essential website & 2 companion books that should be FORCED down the throat of the numbskulls behind this.

    They came up with the awesome word “flashturbation” and that’s what these sites are.

    They DON’T have to work properly, because there’s no accountability.
    Nobody has signed a contract that says “This site will lead to sales of X units or I don’t get paid”.

    I’m afraid Mr Walker, that your wish will not be granted while (a) Marketing idiots compete to show who has the biggest eflashpenis (b) Web designers have wads of cash thrown at them to achieve said aim and (c) People in charge of game companies assume that flashturbation websites + ??? = profit

  7. Bhazor says:

    I think if those doll sound bites are anything to go by they’re trying too hard to make them scary. The reason I’d found them scary in the first game was that they did sound just like little girls who just happened to feast on corpses. Admittedly the effect was lessened with repetition (LILLY PUDS!!!) but her little girlish glee when I first died in a daddy fight stands as one of my favourite moments of the game. Here and in trailers I’ve seen they sound like they’re chain smokers, which might work in the fiction giving what they drink, which just feels like they’re straining too much.

    Now with the escort focus I’m afraid this will really have the potential to grate.

    • 1stGear says:

      It’s not going to be scary because we’re going to tromping around as an effin’ Big Daddy that can also use plasmids. Either 2k is going to have to wreck its established universe in order to produce any kind of threat to us or the whole game is going to be a cakewalk.

      I am less enthused about this game than I was about Dragon Age during the whole This is the New Shit fiasco.

    • Bhazor says:

      Yeah and Dragon Age turned out pretty marvelously. I’m not questioning the finished game, as I haven’t played it, just what I’ve seen of that one element. I quite like the look of the combat but I’ve always had a soft spot for games that let you dual wield two different weapons. There are precious few fps games out there that do that and it was really the only thing I liked in Halo 2. That said it does seem to go against cannon by being so much more populated to balance out how strong you are. I mean Rapture was pretty sparse 20 years ago and those who were left were too spliced to screw. This was a major theme in the original alongside the phallic imagery (remember how you’re introduced to a daddy?) yet here you seem to be fighting three or four times as many bads. They may have an in game explanation for this or they may not.

    • Krikey! says:

      The first game lost most of its horror after the first level. It wasn’t so much of survival horror anymore, it was more of an “Eat hot lead, sucka!” affair.

    • Baris says:

      The game loses it’s horror after the first level you say? Maybe I ought to revisit it then, even though I own the game, I’ve always gotten too frightened a while after killing the insane doctor and uninstalled it. The atmosphere or disturbing content doesn’t bother me in the least, but I just can’t deal with enemies jumping out of nowhere…

  8. Nobody Important says:

    Flash is BLOODY AWFUL! Same with Javascript. Die, please.

    Once I threw Flashblock on Firefox, I was pleased to find I could simply close any window of a website that turned into a single Play arrow. No Bioshock? Oh, well. Their loss.

  9. Anonymousity says:

    Skip Intro button made it slightly better.

  10. Urthman says:

    Mr. Walker, there’s a simple solution. Next time you come across a game website like this, instead of posting it to RPS, send an e-mail to the publisher explaining why you’re *not* posting it to RPS.

    Because your readers don’t want this shit.

  11. theticktockman says:

    No gun kickback in the game? That was at least one of the things the first Bioshock did right.

  12. Mr. Nerd says:

    As a web designer, I agree. Less is more.

  13. FupDuk says:

    I was expecting mystery meat navigation, but once you click menu, you get words and stuff. I like it.

  14. gulag says:

    @JohnWalker – I’ve always wondered about that. Do left handed people use the cursor keys? (I’m a southpaw myself). The cursors are so far away from any other useful keys, and who could be bothered to remap things like ‘reload’ and ‘scream like a little girl’ to Del or Home? Frankly, I’ve always wondered how right handed people manage with a standard WASD setup. it seems aligned against them somehow. They play with their hands so far apart! Bizzare.

  15. MikeBiggs says:

    Good idea urthman! Cos frankly I don’t have enough time in the day to keep on top of all the games i’m interested. And that’s without having to play hunt the link, tame the shrew stroke the badger whenever I want to browse a website!

    Having said that I like a website designed to be an experience. I just wish they’d give a simple option as well!

  16. qrter says:

    I never ever visit a game’s website, partly because of what mr. Walker describes, but also because it feels like voluntarily having a huge ad for the game forced down my throat. It seems rather pointless.

    .. What’s that? There are a couple of ugly wallpapers to download..? Move aside!!

    • DMJ says:

      You forgot the awesome “fansite kit” that will allow you to create your own clone of the least interesting parts of the official site at your own expense in time and web hosting!

      How could you miss that out?

  17. bobdod says:

    I like people who say that the aiming in bioshock is bad….. its cause you suck, pure and simple…… sure it doesnt have you beautiful smoothauto correction like COD does, but thats cause your no an army commando, bioshock takes skill, not reaction timing

  18. bobdod says:

    To be honest, I think you have to be epilipltic to react the way the OP reacted to the site…… I liked it quite a bit. Even though it is just a website, it gave all the info I needed for BS2……. BTW preordered Collectors edition on the release date….. so excited

  19. Bret says:

    Anonymous Coward said:
    To be honest, I think you have to be epilipltic to react the way the OP reacted to the site…… I liked it quite a bit. Even though it is just a website, it gave all the info I needed for BS2……. BTW preordered Collectors edition on the release date….. so excited

    I don’t know who you think you are, but the OP is a member of the Hivemind, and must be obeyed in all things. The fact he is a shit healer does not change this.