The original BioShock was a huge success for 2K Games, and perhaps one of this generation's biggest sleeper hits, as far as commercial success goes. I mean sure, many of us expected the game to turn out great, simply because it was the soul successor to System Shock, but the incredible sales of the game caught many off guard. Well, as is the rule with the industry, sales equate to sequels, and BioShock is no exception. It's sequel was announced in the PlayStation 3 version, and it'll be here in less than three months. So what's to expect?
Well, for starters, the game takes place 10 years after the events of the first one, and you are still in Rapture. But, things are pretty different this time around as you now control a Big Daddy. In fact, you're taking the reigns of the first Big Daddy ever made, a prototype that comes complete with free will, great speed, superb intelligence, and you have complete control over his abilities, including plasmids and that drill, simultaneously. You'll be able to upgrade the Big Daddy's plasmids, but you'll need to extract ADAM and use it as an upgrade source. And one way you can extract ADAM from dead creatures is by adopting a Little Sister.
Once partnered with a Little Sister, she will lead you to ADAM locations, and when you find them, you can put her down and have her harvest the ADAM out of the corpses. But, harvesting is a process and you're likely to encounter enemies, so you must protect your Little Sister from harm. Alternately, when you rescue or encounter a Little Sister you can choose to harvest her, instead of adopting her. Harvesting will also draw ADAM, but 2K says there are distinctions between where and how you acquire ADAM, moral distinctions and gameplay.
I saw a 10 minute demo of the game play out (and perhaps others have seen it, too), and I was impressed. This time around you get to explore a lot more, as you can wander outside of Rapture and into the Ocean. Instead of Big Daddies serving as your main opponents, this time it's Big Sisters, the all-seeing Sister-Daddy hybrids that keep a watchful eye on the Little Sisters. These Big Sisters are built to be faster and more powerful than a Big Daddy, so they are designed to pose a challenge to the gamer.
Now here's where things get crazier. We all remember BioShock as a single-player game. But the sequel has a multiplayer component, and not just any multiplayer, this has a fleshed out back story. It is one year before the events of the original BioShock, and you step foot into the shoes of a Rapture civilian and endure the Civil War that destroyed the city. You will get to witness the city in its original glory, before it was taken by the ocean, and fight in various iconic environments from the original game before they were turned to ruin.
As a citizen of Rapture, you're sponsored by plasmid maker Sinclair Solutions. So you will have access to a plethora of weapons, plasmids, and tonics, in addition to a slew of unlockable upgrades. Interestingly enough, 2K has even worked in character deformation into the multiplayer by enabling DNA splicing through the use of plasmids. Allow me to explain: in the BioShock world, as plasmids take over your body, you begin to deform more and more and your DNA goes through a splicing process. Likewise, in the multiplayer of Bioshock 2, as your character grows stronger, he will endure that same affect, because ultimately, that is what occurred to the citizens of Rapture (they became "splicers"), as we find out in the first game.
I'm sure everyone reading this is probably just as excited about this sequel as I am, because the first BioShock was a truly exceptional gem. BioShock 2 is scheduled for a February 9th release date, and that isn't very far away.