Bioshock 2 PC DLC Finds A Vita-Chamber

We were told the PC would indeed be treated to Bioshock 2 The Protector Trials (whatevs multiplayer stuff) and Minerva’s Den (a really rather good standalone new singleplayer chunk), despite initial plans to axe it. WE WERE TOLD IT.

Then it didn’t happen. It didn’t happen for so long that 2010 became 2011. So we gave up. I know I did, anyway.

Now, four months later, we’re told it’s still happening. Well, okay then. Hell, sounds like we might even get that patch we were promised 20 years ago or whatever it was.

Said 2K community overlord Elizabeth Tobey on the official forums last week, “As of today, we’re tracking to submit the Protector Trials to certification at the end of January. Minerva’s Den has some more work to be done on it still and is tracking to submit to certification in the beginning of March.

“I’ll let you guys know when we do submit but our release date will change depending on how that process goes (which is why I don’t have a firm release date for you guys yet.) I don’t have a final patch list for you yet, either, but one item I know many of you will look forward to: we have fixed mouse sensitivity issues and many v-sync option bugs.”

March, eh? Only six months later than the promise we’d be getting it. Better late than never, but it seems a shame to do it when interest in the game has surely evaporated. Maybe this’ll reignite it, what with Minerva’s Den being a very conscious System Shock tribute and all.

Any of you play Steve Gaynor’s SHODAN-riff on the console toys?


  1. Miker says:

    Oh, Lord. Certification in March? That means we’ll see it in April at the earliest.

    And they just now fixed the mouse sensitivity issues? A whole year after release? :-|

  2. Cooper says:

    Certification? who has to certify this bloody stuff? Isn’t the PC an open platform?

    • Miker says:

      Microsoft. All Live (Xbox and GFW) DLC and even patches have to go through MS certification. Not that it does anything — I remember when Fallout 3 DLC was being released every other pack would brick 360s or delete saves or something.

    • Navagon says:

      To be fair the simple act of existing caused 360s to brick back then.

    • Barnaby says:

      This made me laugh.

      How much did the DLC cost on PC or was it free? I got Bioshock 2 during the Steam sale but haven’t gotten around to playing it yet.

    • MadTinkerer says:

      And this is why, more than anything else:

      Fuck GFWL forever.

    • The Sombrero Kid says:

      @MadTinkerer also because of the encrypted saves, i mean wtf, why would you ever want that!

  3. Big Murray says:

    This headline reminded me of how much Vita-Chambers ruined BioShock. And it made me sad. Because of you, Meer.

    Because of you.

    • Navagon says:

      It’s something you can turn off in the menu, you know?

    • Urthman says:

      Huh? Ruined it in some way that Quick Save and Quick Load didn’t ruin it?

    • Reiver says:

      Quick save didn’t let you kill enemies in installments.

      Never particuarly bothered me (mouse acceleration was my bugbear) but spitting you out revived and raring to go next to the half health big daddy felt cheap. Much more so than a quick load.

    • Eclipse says:

      agreed, vita chambers ruined bioshock gameplay

    • sbs says:

      playing bioshock 2 at the moment and with everything like compass and items shining and vitachambers turned off it plays much much better. I think I un-ruined it.

      also, hard difficult is really kind of hard!

    • Turin Turambar says:


      First, game design was all around the existence of Vitachambers. Things like health of enemies, weapon damage (yours and the enemies), etc. Game isn’t balanced to play it without them. It can be done, but it isn’t ideal, so no, you can’t simply “turn it off in game options”.

      Second, vitachambers and quicksave/quickload is absolutely nothing similar. Vitachambers gave you health and Adam. Quake or HalfLife I did’t gave me health and stuff each time i pressed quickload. And more important, Vitachambers doesn’t “rewind” time, like quickload does it, coming back to a previous game-state, where you again have to kill enemies instead of coming back with the enemies already dead or hurt. That’s a gamechanger: you can fight a miniboss like a Big Daddy, hit him until he is at 30% of health, then he kills you, you respawn and finish the remaining health. If i load a previous save in Quake, the enemy is of course again at 100%, as that is again the “first time” i am fighting him.

    • Cooper says:

      Hard mode in Bioshock 2 is hard.

      Hard mode without vitachambers is masochistic.

    • BAReFOOt says:

      Does anyone remember realistic mode in System Shock 1? It was realistic. In that one well-placed shot could kill you. And masochistic. In that you only had a total of 7 hours to finish the game. Did it in 7:01, and *everything* you did was for nothing. Now that was hard.

      Also, does anyone remember that System Shock 2 had “vita chambers” too? But I think you lost your stuff and had to go collect it where you died. Which sometimes was impossible without major armament.

      In both cases especially when you triggered the alarm and Shodan/Xerxes flooded the room with enemies.

    • Urthman says:

      Weird. I haven’t played Bioshock 2, but in the first Bioshock, I never once used the Vita Chambers. If I died, I just reloaded a quicksave. I assumed the Vita Chambers were just for the console players.

      I guess I never really thought about them spitting you out at full health to face your half-dead enemies. Do vita chambers give you all your items and ammo back as well?

    • malkav11 says:

      Vita-Chambers being toggleable was added in a patch that came much later. Originally you were stuck with them. Mind you, that was perfectly fine by me. You -could- cheese things with them, but it was less fun, so doing it was dumb.

    • dethtoll says:

      Oh god not the Vita-Chamber argument AGAIN.

      I love how someone trotted out the old “I can just respawn in a Vita-Chamber and hit a Big Daddy with a wrench over and over and that means the game has no challenge” argument too.

      Seriously, fucking listen to yourselves.

    • bill says:

      Urthman: “Weird. I haven’t played Bioshock 2, but in the first Bioshock, I never once used the Vita Chambers. If I died, I just reloaded a quicksave. ”

      Me too.
      Then i discovered that they were an integral part of the plot and felt it was clever, but i’d missed it!
      Then I discovered they didn’t follow through with that plot point in the second half, and felt it was such a wasted opportunity.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Barefoot: “Also, does anyone remember that System Shock 2 had “vita chambers” too? But I think you lost your stuff and had to go collect it where you died. Which sometimes was impossible without major armament.”

      I believe you’re wrong – you just lost some in-game currency when you regenerated (like in Bioshock). The bigger difference is that you had to find them to turn them on. If you died without turning one on, it was just game over.


  4. Navagon says:

    Well that’s good in a better late than never kind of way. I wonder how many people are going to want to go back to the game now though?

    I might. Minerva’s Den sounds like a good slice of Rapture.

    • Xtinction says:

      I do I do! I actually liked BS2, especially the combat. Now if only the story was just as good…I hope Minerva’s Den will deliver.

    • Navagon says:

      Oh I know there are those of us who enjoyed the game and welcome this news. But even on PC a lot of gamers a fickle and this will simply be too late to catch their attention. I hope it sells well though as I don’t want Take Two going back to treating the PC as a ‘no DLC for you!’ platform.

    • Johnny Law says:

      FWIW, the promise of the patch + Minerva’s Den is what caused me to buy it on the holiday Steam sale. Once the patch is released, I’ma fire it up.

  5. Oak says:

    Needs Hot Scoops tag.

    • arccos says:

      Steve Gaynor is dead to me since the Idle Thumbs Podcast is no more.


  6. DarkeSword says:

    In the meantime, maybe they could do something about all those lovely crashes I keep experiencing? You know, the ones that kick me out of the game?

    I have a good time with Bioshock 2 whenever it works, which is not often.

  7. Shagittarius says:

    I was hot for this last year, the only DLC I ever actually considered downloading. But I’ve cooled a great deal now. I may just wait for Infinite.

  8. ZIGS says:

    Seriously, is there anyone who still cares about Bioshock 2 in any way, shape or form?

    • patricij says:

      I tried, I tried very hard…I liked the philosophy of objectivism undearneath, but…but…it failed to grasp my attention for long

    • Urthman says:

      Seriously, are you only able to care about games released in the last six months or something?

      I’ve been thinking I’d probably get around to picking up Bioshock 2 and playing it someday. If I know I can also get Steve Gaynor’s Minerva DLC as well, I’d be much more likely to do so.

    • Miker says:

      As someone who bought it during the Steam summer sale and had to activate it on SecuRom, activate it on GFWL, and then spend almost an hour editing the .ini files so as to disable mouse acceleration — only to generate problems with mouse sensitivity upon quickload — I can’t say that I’m that tempted to go back to the game.

    • Ringwraith says:

      I got it for Christmas and I can safely say that it’s well worth playing, you don’t even have to understand any of the philosophy behind it, the gameplay is more than good enough, the setting and everything else is just gravy.
      Plus, wielding a double-barrelled shotgun which makes a hugely satisfying boom one-handed is just great.

    • Xocrates says:

      @ZIGS: I care for Bioshock 2 far more than I do for the original and still lobby occasionally for people to give it a bit more credit than they usually do.

      I agree the PC version hasn’t been treated particularly well though.

    • Fumarole says:

      Seriously, is there anyone who still cares about Bioshock 2 in any way, shape or form

      link to

      Looks like a Yes to me.

    • Dominic White says:

      Just because a bunch of grumpy curmudgeons repeat endlessly on forums that they aren’t interested in a game (especially repeating it TO people interested in the game) doesn’t make it unpopular. It just makes those guys jerks, and they should totally stop it.

    • dskzero says:

      Well, I do to be honest. It was a good game even if you had to break it down in four parts: The first quarter rocked, the second and third were boring, and the final quarter was incredible. It’s not better than the first (or even System Shock II), but it’s still a good game.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      I like Bioshock 2 a lot (and the RPS review of it is one of the finest writing on the site, I think). I will definitely get any and all single player DLC they release for it.

    • MrMud says:

      Minervas den is supposed to be a really good piece of DLC so yes

  9. mbp says:

    Bioshock 2 Multiplayer is surprisingly fun I am tempted to give it a go right now. There is a level up element but you only need to play a couple of rounds to get some decent upgrades. Don’t expect CoD levels of percision balanced gaming but just play it for fun and you will enjoy it.

  10. Nova says:

    Ah, I was also afraid we wouldn’t get it even after the promise.
    Glad it’s really underway.

  11. MadMinstrel says:

    Does the patch include the missing gamepad support? If it does, I might finally buy the game! Oh, and before you remind me of the virtues of mouse and keyboard, the cable on my wired mouse is too short to reach the couch and and the lag is terrible on my bluetooth mouse.

  12. Hunam says:

    Protector Trials isn’t Multiplayer stuff btw. It’s single player that is basically a challenge room addon replicating those bits where you protect a little sister.

  13. drewski says:

    I’ll wait for the inevitable Complete edition, then.

  14. Tom4J says:

    I actually just completed BioShock 2 last night and thought it was brilliant, a good old Father/Daughter feel good game with a spattering of extreme socio-political ramblings, this is great news! Going to try multiplayer tonight after i’ve decided on which of the 6 despicable characters I should choose, anyone still playing Mulitplayer? it looks really interesting.
    Btw the collectors edition is really very good (if you’re into that sort of thing) and really cheap at the moment

    link to

    tj x

  15. KillahMate says:

    Games for Windows Live.

  16. Eric says:

    Sigh. I actually bought a used copy of Bioshock 2 for the 360 just days before they announced the PC version of Minerva’s Den would actually be coming after all, because I really wanted to play it.

    Since I really wanted to play it on the PC quite a bit more, I then re-sold that 360 copy and continued to wait.

    I continue to wait still. Someday.

  17. Lord Byte says:

    Sigh, as I predicted ages ago when they said: “NO DLC FOR YOU PC!” They will always sell it on pc, because apart from some legal and marketing bullshit. adding DLC to a platform does not require a whole lot of work (some legal and minor coding to implement it in the title).
    The reason why they keep saying shit like this is because the consoles have great lobying power (their creators) while the pc doesn’t. So saying stuff like that keeps Microsoft and Sony happy, until they don’t care anymore and then it gets released on PC anyway.
    Since I don’t care much about DLC (They’re rarely worth the money you’re paying, expansions used to be worth the price, DLC rarely (never?) is), I couldn’t care less.
    And when they sell jack-all they can wag their finger at the pc and go “the market is dead”. And they’d still barely lost any money over it.