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BioShock 2 Interviews and Early Looks

Soulskill posted about 5 years ago | from the hello-big-daddy dept.

Games 105

Parz writes with word that new information is emerging about the much-anticipated BioShock 2. Eurogamer has a detailed write-up about the game, saying that it raises curiosity and exhibits plot-depth in a manner similar to the first game. Gamespot has a video interview with some of the developers, in which they talk about some of the new environments and how they're able to do more with the story in a sequel by not having to explain the fundamental characteristics of the setting. In an interview with Gameplayer, Lead Level Architect Hogarth de la Plante said, "You'll see locations in BioShock 2 that are completely flooded interior structures that you can walk through out in the ocean." A gameplay trailer was recently released, and screenshots are available as well.

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105 comments

I'm better than you. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27676609)

That is all.

Consider me unimpressed (2, Insightful)

aztektum (170569) | about 5 years ago | (#27676671)

So you walk around and can either save/kill+harvest the lil girls and there is someone talking to you over the radio, this time with a drill on your hand! This is a sequel? Sounds more like an expansion pack.

Re:Consider me unimpressed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27677159)

I've never played the first game... But the trailer looked kinda interesting...

Re:Consider me unimpressed (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27677985)

Much like the first game it is a shallow grab for cash that will ride off of a previous commercial success. I don't see this "deep" story that people keep talking about in Bioshock, because it was rather transparent. My guess is there are a lot of people trying to posture themselves as being intellectuals who desperately try to invent deeper meaning where none exists, while brushing off those who see the story for how truly superficial it really is as "not getting it". Bioshock 2 looks like it will be more of the same blustering, monster in the dark crap.

System Shock and System Shock 2 were fantastic games. They didn't need great graphics or even a great story. They instilled a real sense of loneliness and fear for the first time any games had done so. Bioshock, in comparison, is nothing more than Doom with better graphics.

Re:Consider me unimpressed (2, Funny)

justinmikehunt (872382) | about 5 years ago | (#27678959)

You're not getting it!

Re:Consider me unimpressed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27679153)

My apologies, that should have read as:

Bioshock, in comparison, is nothing more than Heretic/Hexen with better graphics.

I forgot about the magic.

Re:Consider me unimpressed (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | about 5 years ago | (#27679179)

Bioshock was definitely more than Doom, but less than stellar, IMHO.

Doom had no choices involved. Bioshock had choices.

Doom made no real claims about the world around us or the human spirit or humanity's inner drives, Bioshock did.

That's about it though.

Re:Consider me unimpressed (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27680031)

Bioshock had completely superficial choices. They didn't actually affect anything in the game aside from your ammo/money levels. Doom had similar choices, do I go for the shotgun shells or the health packs first? Which choice will allow me to survive longer?

Doom was based in a research base on Mars that became overrun with "demons" due to the secret experiments in teleportation being conducted by the huge Union Aerospace Corporation which opened up an interdimensional gateway into "hell". It tells the story of an honorable soldier (he was sent to Mars for refusing to kill civilians) with the spirit to overcome the evils created by a greedy corporation's actions, lack of morals and indifference to the safety of humanity. I would say the background story for Doom does just as much to "explain" humanity's drive and spirit as Bioshock did.

You see how that works? Any shallow little story can be dug into to wrench up some "deep" meaning.

Re:Consider me unimpressed (1)

lgw (121541) | about 5 years ago | (#27681771)

My guess is there are a lot of people trying to posture themselves as being intellectuals who desperately try to invent deeper meaning where none exists, while brushing off those who see the story for how truly superficial it really is as "not getting it".

Ahh, so it was exactly as deep and thoughtful as the "literature" I was forced to read in high school English class. It's clearly a classic! I already pity the poor students of the next generation forced to play the game by teachers who are convinced of its depth of insight and meaning.

Re:Consider me unimpressed (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | about 5 years ago | (#27684159)

Their only hope really is to get the game banned somewhere for promoting child abuse. The sales in the places it wasn't banned and online should more than cover the lost sales. I always thought they were going for this with Bioshock but these days people are so inured to this sort of thing it is very hard to provoke them.

Meh, I bought Bioshock and I played it right to the end. Graphically it was excellent, and the story was hokey but quite enjoyable. I'll probably buy the next one. The only reason I'm cynical is that they compared it to System Shock 2. Bioshock was not a bad game, but it's no SS2.

Same but better... (3, Insightful)

spiffydudex (1458363) | about 5 years ago | (#27676685)

The original, but better story and gameplay. Just like a sequal should be.

Unlike some other titles... *cough*FEAR2*cough*

Re:Same but better... (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | about 5 years ago | (#27676941)

I thought they called those remakes. IE go back with a game that was good but not great. Fix a few plot holes and fix a bit of game play issues.

Re:Same but better... (1)

Jurily (900488) | about 5 years ago | (#27677843)

I actually laughed out loud at the "plot-depth" part. Then again, I was just playing Baldur's Gate 2.

Go for the eyes, Boo!

Re:Same but better... (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | about 5 years ago | (#27679195)

What did you have against FEAR2? It was a fun game, that was thoroughly in touch with the original's universe and was a lot more fun to play with a lot less repetitive environments and several additional plot points.

Re:Same but better... (1)

arkhan_jg (618674) | about 5 years ago | (#27681915)

I don't give a damn how good it turns out to be (or not), there's absolutely no way I'm getting suckered twice. If it has the same securom DRM with install limits and online activation as Bioshock 1, there's no way in hell I'm buying it.

What's the big deal. (4, Insightful)

Dyinobal (1427207) | about 5 years ago | (#27676719)

I played through Bioshock, it didn't impress me at all. I was surprised it even got good reviews. I'm a long time PC gamer though, all these multiplatform reviews seem to skew things a bit. Beyond nice looking water I can't really think of anything that made me interested in the game. Maybe it's the steampunk novelty that everyone digs.

Re:What's the big deal. (4, Interesting)

Fallingcow (213461) | about 5 years ago | (#27677387)

I was surprised it even got good reviews

The story was very good, by FPS standards. Not Deus Ex good, but good. A couple levels were well done. Good atmosphere throughout. The gameplay was average or a bit below average.

If any of that strikes you as being a reason to give the game a good review, then that's probably why. I would say it's one of those shooters you don't really play for the shooting, if that makes any sense.

I do think that the gaming press in general is prone to praise anything that doesn't completely suck, and often pushes games that are OK at best as if they were truly great. I also think it's gotten worse since console gaming took off, for whatever reason.

Re:What's the big deal. (5, Insightful)

SparkleMotion88 (1013083) | about 5 years ago | (#27677437)

I played through Bioshock, it didn't impress me at all. I was surprised it even got good reviews.

The art direction in Bioshock was possibly the best I've seen in a video game. The visual design combined with the voice acting and soundtrack created an outstanding and coherent setting for the story of the game. In addition, Andrew Ryan is one of the most interesting and memorable video game characters of all time. The gameplay was also fairly creative.

That being said, the story (once you get past the terrific setting) was forgettable, and the gameplay got somewhat repetitive once you got used to it. I also wasn't impressed by the "morality" aspect of the game (though I never am impressed by morality elements in games). So the game was generally enjoyable to play, but there are much more "fun" games out there.

The art direction alone is enough to make this game significant, and it should be appreciated for its achievements in this area, if for no other reason.

Re:What's the big deal. (1)

Burning1 (204959) | about 5 years ago | (#27678003)

I also wasn't impressed by the "morality" aspect of the game (though I never am impressed by morality elements in games).

Out of curiosity, did you play through Fallout 2?

Re:What's the big deal. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27680289)

I also wasn't impressed by the "morality" aspect of the game (though I never am impressed by morality elements in games).

Out of curiosity, did you play through Fallout 2?

Or Planescape: Torment?

Re:What's the big deal. (1)

AP31R0N (723649) | more than 4 years ago | (#27685789)

Armin Shimerman's voice acting was... incredible. The voice work in general blew me away.

Re:What's the big deal. (4, Insightful)

Ephemeriis (315124) | about 5 years ago | (#27677503)

I played through Bioshock, it didn't impress me at all. I was surprised it even got good reviews. I'm a long time PC gamer though, all these multiplatform reviews seem to skew things a bit. Beyond nice looking water I can't really think of anything that made me interested in the game. Maybe it's the steampunk novelty that everyone digs.

The big deal, I think, was the atmosphere/setting/storyline/whatever.

The game mechanics were fairly unimpressive. Run around, shoot guys, maybe do the occasional 'hacking' mini-game... Nothing special.

The atmosphere though, was pretty impressive.

Very nice, very novel visuals. Impressive architecture slowly giving way to the sea... Constant presence of water... The sensation that tons of pressure were bearing down on you... Constant dripping, groaning, creaking...

There were a few good characters, too. Andrew Ryan was one of the more interesting villains in recent history.

Re:What's the big deal. (4, Interesting)

mjwx (966435) | about 5 years ago | (#27681807)

There were a few good characters, too. Andrew Ryan was one of the more interesting villains in recent history.

This was one of the few things that Bioshock did right, the departure from the Hollywood requirement to have a clear hero/villain. Well until after you meet and kill Ryan, then it becomes horribly formulaic.

Besides, The story was just a rehashing of System Shock 2 in a steampunk setting. Altas/Fontain was a direct analogue to Polito/Shodan. Ryan was an analogue to the Many\Diego, whilst they succeed in making the player question weather Ryan was truly a villain they did it in the exact same way as they made the player ask if the Many were truly evil. To me the story of Bioshock was a cut down version of System Shock 2 with less interesting characters in a leaky 1950's setting.

Now the gameplay was where they really dropped the ball, Firstly the combat mechanic wasn't too bad but it lacked variety so each encounter was almost exactly the same. In SS2 there were clear differences in the weapon you used where as in Bioshock you just equipped something and shot it, it didnt matter what approach you took you'd just end up shooting the enemy. In SS2 the environment was a bit more usable then in Bioshock, you could hack turrets which could be quite effective against opponents in SS2 but in Bioshock you had to end up shooting them yourself as a turret would take half an hour to kill the weakest enemy.

But the worst parts were the ones that were taken out or dumbed down for the console audience, firstly the RPG style skill system used in SS2 was gone and replaced with a somewhat weaker "enhancement" system which had little real bearing on you ability to operate any weapon. Any kind of real management of money (nanites in SS2) was gone, and there was no inventory management to speak of, in SS2 you had to make choices of what you would carry in Bioshock you could grab anything not nailed down, you were every weapon in the game and the plasmids were more useless then most of the psionic powers in SS2 plus they were interchangeable so you never had to actually decide on what kind of character you were going to have, not that it mattered in Bioshock as every character had to focus on the gun combat.

Not that it really mattered if you completely sucked at Bioshock because you could never die, as soon as you were killed you would reincarnate at the nearest glowing re-incarnation station with all your equipment and no penalty for dying what so ever and of course this only worked on you.. I know System Shock had a reincarnation system but there was a penalty for using it (cost) and it had to be activated so there was a real chance the player could die (lose progress) before activating the reincarnation system. This mechanic alone made the game pointless to play on any higher difficulty level.

Re:What's the big deal. (1)

gullevek (174152) | about 5 years ago | (#27683269)

"me too".

As much as I like playing Bioshock, it was never as exciting as playing SS/SS2. Systemshock was just amazing. Especially the the first one.

I still love this game and whenever I play a game nowadays I just think they are all pretty much dumbed down and simple. More "Mass" appealing. Not bad per se, but just not as exciting as they were 10 years ago.

I would love to see a SS3 in the same way SS1/SS2 were ...

Re:What's the big deal. (2, Interesting)

mjwx (966435) | about 5 years ago | (#27683443)

I would love to see a SS3 in the same way SS1/SS2 were ...

Me Too.

But unfortunately EA own the rights to System Shock (most games developed by Looking Glass IIRC), even if Levine and the other original Dev's were reunited under EA's flag there is no way in hell that EA could stop themselves from interfering in the dev process to make the game "more accessible" and have "greater mainstream appeal", which is marketdroid speak for dumb it down so far that a one handed heroin addict with down syndrome could play it and fill it with T&A until it will not pass the censors without a bribe. But maybe I'm just a cynic.

Personally I think that Ken Levine wanted Bioshock to be a sequel to SS2 if not in name but ended up being interfered with by 2K games. I remember reading a thread on the 2K forums called "the stupidity of Ken Levine" where IrrationalLevine (Ken Leivne's board name) tried to explain this and the DRM but the thread ended up being deleted as some board member threatened the 2K manager responsible for the DRM's introduction.

I still love this game and whenever I play a game nowadays I just think they are all pretty much dumbed down and simple. More "Mass" appealing. Not bad per se, but just not as exciting as they were 10 years ago.

I think that its the focus on Graphics that is doing the damage to PC gaming. Crysis wasn't a bad game apart from the fact that most rigs at the time had trouble playing it, Crysis was by no means a great game let alone the defining moment in gaming history that its developers still imagine it to be but it was good enough and I don't regret buying it. Back to my point however, too much emphasis was put into Crysis' graphics and not enough was put into the storytelling or game play. FarCry 2 was an abomination however, if you need an example of how to do a game wrong then this is it.

Playing my old favourite games I begin to realise how much is missing from modern games, it may just be the fact I'm getting older but its harder for me to get drawn into a game world and actualy care about it. I haven't seen a game since Deus Ex that had such an involving story line, having real consequences for your actions like in KOTOR and DX, the immersion of System Shock 2 and Half Life 1 and 2.

The best games I've played in recent years have been Portal and S.T.A.L.K.E.R. both had great stories and excellent game play (STALKER you have to forgive a little, it was written in Russian(Ukraine) and translated into English, I'm used to English being broken/inconsistent a little so I had no problem)

Re:What's the big deal. (1)

Gizzmonic (412910) | about 5 years ago | (#27677741)

It's not "steampunk," it's Art Deco/Art Noveau with some Modern thrown in. Steampunk has already been done to death in video games, particularly Final Fantasy.

Re:What's the big deal. (1)

lgw (121541) | about 5 years ago | (#27681805)

Is FInal Fantasy really a vidoe game though? I always thought of it as more of a "choose your own adventure" movie. ;)

Re:What's the big deal. (4, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | about 5 years ago | (#27677879)

I think-- and admittedly, this is just my guess-- that part of the hype was due to younger console players who'd never played games like System Shock or Fallout, and maybe haven't really played many FPS outside of Halo.

If you've been playing computer FPSs and RPGs for the past decade or two, Bioshock doesn't seem like it's all that Interesting. Portal, for example, was much more interesting and innovative (short as it was). But I think I might have been wowed by the aesthetic and some of the gameplay if I hadn't played the games that Bioshock is rehashing.

Re:What's the big deal. (1)

Aklyon (1398879) | about 5 years ago | (#27678303)

younger console players who haven't really played many FPS outside of Halo.

or any other kind of game that doesn't involve fighting/a guitar. most people i know have no idea what i'm talking about if i talk about any other kind of game. :(

Re:What's the big deal. (5, Insightful)

Polumna (1141165) | about 5 years ago | (#27680009)

I'm 27. I played the Fallouts (less Tactics) religiously, and both System Shocks before Bioshock. I still think Bioshock deserved the vast majority of the hype it got. (Some of the nonsense about the story being the best thing since sliced bread, I felt, was a little misplaced or over-exaggerated, but other than that...)

Why can't it just be good in its own right? Virtually everything is a rehash. You can't possibly expect every game to be Portal, and I don't think you can reasonably expect people to only get excited once every ten years when a Portal-class game comes out. Bioshock wasn't terribly original. It was beautiful, fun and engrossing. Better yet, it gave me another game to play in a similar environment to its aforementioned predecessors.

I'd rather studios continue to make good games rehashing those ideas than just let those environments and feelings die. I don't want to have to play Fallout YET AGAIN in a dos emulator on Linux 3.432.2 in thirty years to get that same feeling. So when a derivative comes out, and it's good, I'll continue to get almost as excited as when those old games I'm reminded of did... I can know the roots of the games I like without being shackled by them.

Re:What's the big deal. (1)

enderjsv (1128541) | about 5 years ago | (#27680861)

Wish I had mod points. I'd mod you up. Innovation is great, but it's not the sole qualifying element as to whether a game is good or not, and I'm a little tired of the gaming population's fixation on it. I've loved several games that weren't particularly innovative, and I'm tired of the argument "this game isn't good, such-and-such game already did that X many years ago." So what? I've seen a dozen movies about underdog sports teams winning the big game. Doesn't mean I'm not going to enjoy another one.

Re:What's the big deal. (1)

nine-times (778537) | about 5 years ago | (#27681795)

I wasn't saying that Bioshock was a bad game. I bought it, I played it, and I enjoyed it. But whether it deserved all the hype it got was another issue. It was a well-designed and solid FPS, and the design was respectably fun and pretty. I just think it was overhyped as though it was more than that.

Re:What's the big deal. (1)

Gulthek (12570) | about 5 years ago | (#27682063)

Your guess is incorrect, at least in my case. Gamer since '79.

I haven't seen a game so effectively turn the role of the gamer (to mindlessly follow the commands given by the NPCs) on its head.

"Would you kindly?"

Re:What's the big deal. (1)

kklein (900361) | about 5 years ago | (#27682643)

That may be it. Basically, every FPS I've played since Deus Ex 1 (2 was horrid) has just left me cold. But if I hadn't played games like that, I might think Bioshock was pretty amazing.

Basically, though, it felt like System Shock 2 under water--and I never quite understood all the love for System Shock 2.

Re:What's the big deal. (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | about 5 years ago | (#27684209)

I think-- and admittedly, this is just my guess-- that part of the hype was due to younger console players who'd never played games like System Shock or Fallout, and maybe haven't really played many FPS outside of Halo.

Encyclopedia Dramatica has a funny list of reasons why Halo is THE BEST GAME EVER! that includes things like "THE FIRST GAME WHERE U COULD SHOOT ALIENS! THE FIRST GAME WITH ZOMBIES" and so on.

Sign me up! (2, Interesting)

its_schwim (1247278) | about 5 years ago | (#27676721)

I found the first Bioshock to be fantastic. Even if it is a rehashed storyline, It'll end up on my PC. The first was a refreshing change to the standard alien invasion FPS.

Re:Sign me up! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27677467)

Seriously. I loved Bioshock simply because I did not see a single alien or anything from WWII.

just gimme (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | about 5 years ago | (#27676781)

Just give me the ability to play as Mr Bubbles and I'll be happy.

Re:just gimme (3, Informative)

X0563511 (793323) | about 5 years ago | (#27676927)

Did you look at the screenshots?

I think you do! Probably not THE Mr. Bubbles, but you have a drill on your hand, a big helmet, and you can harvest or adopt the girls.

Re:just gimme (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27683499)

Actually, in BS2 you will be THE ORIGINAL, FIRST Mr.Bubbles.

Bioshock 2: (5, Insightful)

flitty (981864) | about 5 years ago | (#27676787)

I have a sinking feeling this is the game that everyone will point to in the future to show what exactly is wrong with sequels. No matter how technically competent the game is, exploring the same environment, same philisophical questions, and (from what i've seen) fighting the same splicer enemies is not a sequel. It's an expansion pack. Ctrl-X "Big Daddy" Ctrl-V "Big Sister".

Personally, I would have loved to have seen a real prequel, where you see an Ayn Randian utopia slowly fall apart, where you help businessmen reach their highest potential, which eventually leads to the collapse of rapture. That's an interesting story to tell, and leads right into Bioshock. But no, the game will start with the first crazy splicer you have to kill, and it will be a splicer run and gun.

I hope I'm wrong about this, but from what i've seen, I doubt I am.

Re:Bioshock 2: (1)

Kattspya (994189) | about 5 years ago | (#27677043)

Bioshock itself is a simplified and prettied up sequel to the the sequel of the original (System Shock).

Oh god how I wished Bioshock was more like systemshock 2.

Re:Bioshock 2: (2, Interesting)

Ephemeriis (315124) | about 5 years ago | (#27677373)

Oh god how I wished Bioshock was more like systemshock 2.

Agreed.

SystemShock 2 was a superior game in just about every way. I still play through it at least once a year. Very good stuff.

When they were first talking about BioShock it was supposed to be SystemShock 3 - but in some kind of WWII bunker with genetic manipulation instead of cybernetics. Sounded great to me.

Then they tweaked it a bit... SystemShock 3 in a flooding underwater city with genetic manipulation. Still sounded great.

But the end result really isn't terribly SystemShock-y. There's very little character development... There's very little threat from most of the enemies... There's almost no backtracking or exploration... There's no inventory management... Basically a FPS with only the slightest hints of character development.

Re:Bioshock 2: (1)

GospelHead821 (466923) | about 5 years ago | (#27677653)

They touted the element of "choice" as being central and relevant to the outcome. I can't even call that an exaggeration. It was an outright lie.

I also agree that the enemies were not very threatening. When I first read about the game, I got the impression that there would be battles with normals, which would be easy, battles with "splicers," which would have the same calibre and variety of genetic powers that you have, and battles with Big Daddies, which would make you weep for mercy. Nothing of the sort.

The gameplay was sufficiently fun, but I was really expecting a more cerebral combat experience. Not necessarily a more difficult combat experience. That can be achieved with faster, stronger, tougher enemies. I just wanted smarter, more interesting enemies.

Re:Bioshock 2: (2, Interesting)

Ephemeriis (315124) | about 5 years ago | (#27678087)

They touted the element of "choice" as being central and relevant to the outcome. I can't even call that an exaggeration. It was an outright lie.

The only choice you actually had, at any point in the game, was whether you'd kill the little sisters or not. And that choice was completely irrelevant. You got rewards either way. It did not significantly impact the gameplay or storyline. All it did is change the ending. Nothing more.

I also agree that the enemies were not very threatening. When I first read about the game, I got the impression that there would be battles with normals, which would be easy, battles with "splicers," which would have the same calibre and variety of genetic powers that you have, and battles with Big Daddies, which would make you weep for mercy. Nothing of the sort.

For the most part, there was no challenge to any of the enemies. Enemies are supposed to be an obstacle to be overcome. They're supposed to create conflict of some kind. They were too easy. Even the big daddies could easily be avoided or manipulated.

The gameplay was sufficiently fun

It was. The mechanics were decent enough... And the setting was terrific... It certainly wasn't a bad game.

but I was really expecting a more cerebral combat experience. Not necessarily a more difficult combat experience. That can be achieved with faster, stronger, tougher enemies. I just wanted smarter, more interesting enemies.

In a shooter, the enemies are your primary source of conflict. And conflict is what makes a game interesting. If the enemies are too easy, there's no conflict, and you lose interest.

Re:Bioshock 2: (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | about 5 years ago | (#27677721)

Yes. Thank EA for the change of concept. They sit on the -- I hate to say that dirty word -- IP, and do nothing. Which probably is the best they can do. Imagine EA raping the name System Shock.

I think it went like the typical way every product goes down the toilet:
- Business guy: We want all people in our target group. This is too hard on them. Make it simpler.
- Development guy: But then it will suck.
- Cash guy (boss): Well, you wanna keep your job, do you?

Problem is, that the boss got too greedy, and forgot about the long term. Because in the long term, it is better to not make that much money, than to not be able to sell the game after that at all. And don't think the boss will not take every rant about Bioshock 1, from every retard, to argue, that it has to become even simpler.
The good arts are the ones, where the artist(s) did not care for target group appeal anyway, but followed on their own feeling of good and bad.

Of course, this is all pure speculation. But you are welcome to bookmark this comment, for when you played Whatevershock 4, and know what happened. You might or might not agree when you will read this:

I told ya so! ^^

Re:Bioshock 2: (1)

Aklyon (1398879) | about 5 years ago | (#27678193)

Business guy: We want all people in our target group. This is too hard on them. Make it simpler.

i wonder if we'd get better games if the business guy was shut up...

Re:Bioshock 2: (2, Interesting)

Ephemeriis (315124) | about 5 years ago | (#27678363)

Business guy: We want all people in our target group. This is too hard on them. Make it simpler.

This is the big problem. They always want to appeal to the widest market, to sell the most copies, rather than produce a high-quality product.

Imagine baking the most kickass chocolate cake. Everyone raves about what a great chocolate cake it is. You get tons of chocoholics declaring that it's a must-have cake. They go out of their way to buy your cake. You get a few folks who whine that they don't like chocolate.

So you go to make a new cake, and the business guy points out that not everyone likes chocolate. He insists that you bake a plain yellow cake instead and just put some brown frosting on it so it still looks like a chocolate cake.

And then you've got all your chocoholics complaining that the cake isn't chocolate. And you've got the chocolate-haters complaining because the frosting looks like chocolate, even though it isn't. And you've got some other people asking who the hell makes brown frosting in the first place.

You might get a good number of sales because your first cake was so good... But after the second cake, very few people are going to be coming back for more.

Re:Bioshock 2: (-1, Flamebait)

American Terrorist (1494195) | about 5 years ago | (#27677047)

Personally, I would have loved to have seen a real prequel, where you see an Ayn Randian utopia slowly fall apart, where you help businessmen reach their highest potential, which eventually leads to the collapse of rapture.

I never played Bioshock, and you just made me happy with that decision. Randian utopia? *Gag* Help businessmen reach their highest potential? *Bangs head against wall* "Collapse of Rapture"??? WTF is that?

No wonder I always try ignore the stories in video games.

Re:Bioshock 2: (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | about 5 years ago | (#27677073)

I never played Bioshock

So what exactly do you bring to this discussion? You came to brag about how you didn't buy a game which you suspect you wouldn't of liked? Not exactly a great feat, I don't buy games often that I don't think I'll enjoy.

Re:Bioshock 2: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27677621)

I don't buy games often that I don't think I'll enjoy.

But you still buy them.

Re:Bioshock 2: (3, Informative)

flitty (981864) | about 5 years ago | (#27677265)

Let me explain it for those of you who didn't play the game.
Instead of aliens or supersoldiers/science-gone-wrong as a basis for a shooter (99.5% of shooters that exist are one of these two premises), Bioshock uses Objectivism (Rand's Philosophy) as a basis for the story. Pretty damn daring to explore an economic/philosophy in a video game. The game presupposes that taking Objectivism to it's full potential leads only to collapse and failure. Of course, we don't see this in the game, we just see the aftermath of what happens when man's potential is FULLY exploited. Seeing the collapse of Rapture (the underwater city you explore in bioshock) has it's own interesting aspects that were not explored by Bioshock.

Re:Bioshock 2: (1, Troll)

American Terrorist (1494195) | about 5 years ago | (#27677535)

The game presupposes that taking Objectivism to it's full potential leads only to collapse and failure.

Thanks for the quick recap. +5 Informative. You just sparked my interest in the story. Anyone who rips on Rand's philosophy is cool with me.

Then again, every economic philosophy leads to collapse at some point, depending on your definition of collapse. We're all dead in the long run, right? Even if the Chinese become the next superpower it's just a question of "For how long?" After all, world population can't keep doubling ad infinitum, we will run out of resources at some point.

Re:Bioshock 2: (1)

Bob-taro (996889) | about 5 years ago | (#27677679)

Pretty damn daring to explore an economic/philosophy in a video game.

In what sense is it daring? Seriously, how many potential buyers would really care about the game's view of objectivism?

Re:Bioshock 2: (3, Insightful)

DdJ (10790) | about 5 years ago | (#27677993)

In what sense is it daring? Seriously, how many potential buyers would really care about the game's view of objectivism?

Actually, that's exactly the sense in which it's daring.

It's a video game. How many potential buyers expect it to include any kind of analysis of philosophical systems at all? The target market for video games isn't exactly known for having in-depth discussions regarding the differences between the epistemology of Hume and Descartes. So, regardless of which philosophy is under analysis, whether a pro or con stance is taken, what the outcome is, et cetera, the framework of exploring a philosophy via a video game is itself somewhat daring.

Re:Bioshock 2: (2, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#27686821)

So, regardless of which philosophy is under analysis, whether a pro or con stance is taken, what the outcome is, et cetera, the framework of exploring a philosophy via a video game is itself somewhat daring.

That's really not true. There's been deep shit in video games since forever. You could point at Star Control 2, for example, which discusses the concept of racial cleansing and religious fervor. Or for that matter, the classic Marathon.

Also, it's not like Bioshock forces you to understand any of the philosophies in question to play the game. So they're really not exploring philosophy via a video game. The philosophy is window dressing.

Re:Bioshock 2: (2, Interesting)

lgw (121541) | about 5 years ago | (#27681913)

The political analysis was (thankfully) deeper than merely assuming that "taking Objectivism to it's full potential leads only to collapse and failure". It points out a specific flaw in a specific example objectivist government, gives the backstory of how that flaw was exploited and was the benefit was do doing so, and at least a suggestion as to why the weakness was overlooked by the leadership.

There were any number of isolationist "utopias" that were tried and failed in America leading up to the timeframe in which the story was set. They all failed, often violently. Even if you believe that Objectivism is the One True Answer, the game was still interesting in it's backstory, not merely flamebait.

Sadly, none of that added to the actual gameplay, but it made it worthwhile to hunt for the various recordings and diary entrties to get the backstory.

Why are so many games set just after all the cool stuff happened in the game world? It seems to be the most common pattern in FPSs that yo show up after everything went to shit in some colorful and entertaining way, and instead of participating in that, you read about it. It's exasperating. Half Life broke that mold, but no one else seemed to get the point.

Re:Bioshock 2: (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | about 5 years ago | (#27677347)

Personally, I would have loved to have seen a real prequel, where you see an Ayn Randian utopia slowly fall apart, where you help businessmen reach their highest potential, which eventually leads to the collapse of rapture.

I never played Bioshock, and you just made me happy with that decision. Randian utopia? *Gag* Help businessmen reach their highest potential? *Bangs head against wall* "Collapse of Rapture"??? WTF is that?

No wonder I always try ignore the stories in video games.

Obviously, had you played the original game, you'd have some idea what we're all talking about...

Suffice to say, the story/setting is what made BioShock so much fun. In fact, I would suggest that the story is the primary distinguishing feature in pretty much any game.

Wolfenstein, Doom, Quake, Half-Life, and BioShock are all essentially shooters... You run around with a gun, point it at bad guys, and kill them. There are bigger guns to be picked up. There may be armor or upgrades to be picked up as well. But they're all basically shooters. The key differences are all based on the story. The reason you're fighting Nazis in Wolfenstein is because of the story... The reason you're in Black Mesa in Half-Life is because of the story...

Without a story there isn't much difference between shooters. You're just putting the mouse over something and clicking your buttons. Hell, if you care so little about the storyline you may as well be clicking on desktop icons.

Re:Bioshock 2: (1)

American Terrorist (1494195) | about 5 years ago | (#27677577)

Without a story there isn't much difference between shooters.

Strongly disagree. I hated Quake but loved BF1942. It had nothing to do with the story lines in either. The teamwork and gameplay of BF1942 was just so much more fun.

Re:Bioshock 2: (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | about 5 years ago | (#27677799)

Without a story there isn't much difference between shooters.

Strongly disagree. I hated Quake but loved BF1942. It had nothing to do with the story lines in either. The teamwork and gameplay of BF1942 was just so much more fun.

You'll notice I was comparing single-player shooters to single-player shooters.

You bring up a team-oriented shooter. Whole different bag of cats.

However, I'd suggest that the primary differences between team-oriented shooters are also motivated largely by the story.

Team Fortress 2, Battlfield 1942, Tribes... They all have various unique roles to play and objectives to capture. But the reason you're zipping around with a jetpack and a spinfusor in Tribes is because it's set in the future... And the reason you're driving a Panzer and calling down artillery fire in BF1942 is because it is set during WWII.

The story behind a game is more than the actual plot elements that unfold during gameplay... It's also the setting that the game is placed in - which affects the game mechanics.

The story of BF1942, for example, revolves around human beings fighting in WWII. You'll be playing a human. You'll be using human weapons and vehicles. You'll move at more-or-less human speeds.

The Mechwarrior games, however, revolved around giant robots. You didn't play a human, you played a human driving a giant robot. You had huge racks of missile launchers and lasers that would level a building.

Both games had, depending on what type of match you joined, similar team-oriented gameplay and objectives. Different strategic objectives to capture, or hold, or destroy. Sure, there are plenty of mechanical differences between the two games... Different features that one had and the other didn't.

But the key difference between the two, the difference that makes them entirely different games, is the story behind the game. The reason BF1942 doesn't have giant stompy robots is because it's a story about WWII - not because the developers were somehow unable to code up giant robots, or because it's impossible to make a good game with robots.

Re:Bioshock 2: (1)

American Terrorist (1494195) | about 5 years ago | (#27677975)

I see that you recognize the vast differences; Quake was also a multi-player game, that's why I brought it up. I've never played the single player version of any FPS games for more than 5 minutes at a friend's house. Too boring. "I gotta shoot 100 of these bots before they shoot me!"

The only single player games I like along those lines are ones like Thief or that Gladiator game for the PS2 (can't remember the name, it was my friend's PS2). They mix problem solving with interesting combat systems. FPS are all point and shoot, it's apparently too difficult to write AI that is fun to play against(from my POV).

Re:Bioshock 2: (2, Interesting)

Ephemeriis (315124) | about 5 years ago | (#27678249)

Quake was also a multi-player game, that's why I brought it up.

It was, but not terribly team-oriented.

I've never played the single player version of any FPS games for more than 5 minutes at a friend's house. Too boring. "I gotta shoot 100 of these bots before they shoot me!"

And that's the problem with ignoring the stories in games.

With a multi-player game you don't have much of a plot. There's still a setting, a backstory of sorts. But there isn't a whole lot of plot. You don't typically have huge twists or betrayals scripted into the game. It's you (and maybe your team) against them. The game doesn't have to generate any conflict to create interest - you do that yourself.

A single-player game doesn't have a 'them' - it only has the plot. And if you're ignoring the plot, then you're just killing AI bots. What makes a single-player game interesting isn't the challenge of killing a bot, it's progressing the plot along. Discovering the world you're in, uncovering answers, whatever. The enemies are just there to bar your progress, slow you down, create conflict. They're no different than a locked door that you have to find a key to.

Re:Bioshock 2: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27681003)

Bag of cats?... Do you have bags of cats lyin around the house?

Move over bean-bag chair, the future of comfort is here.

Re:Bioshock 2: (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | about 5 years ago | (#27677463)

I have a sinking feeling this is the game that everyone will point to in the future to show what exactly is wrong with sequels. No matter how technically competent the game is, exploring the same environment, same philisophical questions, and (from what i've seen) fighting the same splicer enemies is not a sequel. It's an expansion pack. Ctrl-X "Big Daddy" Ctrl-V "Big Sister".

These days it seems like the only difference between a sequel and an expansion pack is whether you need to buy the first one or not.

Personally, I would have loved to have seen a real prequel, where you see an Ayn Randian utopia slowly fall apart, where you help businessmen reach their highest potential, which eventually leads to the collapse of rapture. That's an interesting story to tell, and leads right into Bioshock.

Personally, I don't think that would be a terribly interesting game.

To start with, it sounds more like some kind of SIM-business game than the FPS-y thing that BioShock was. And I'm not a big fan of SIM-business games.

There'd really not be a whole lot of plot tension either, since you know how it is going to turn out. And not in vague terms either... You know exactly what happens to specific characters. You even know exactly when it all goes to hell.

But, that's just me...

But no, the game will start with the first crazy splicer you have to kill, and it will be a splicer run and gun.

I hope I'm wrong about this, but from what i've seen, I doubt I am.

Unfortunately, I think you'll be proven correct. BioShock was little more than an FPS. Hardly any character development or exploration or anything else. Just a straight-up run-and-gun. And I can't see the sequel being terribly different.

Re:Bioshock 2: (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | about 5 years ago | (#27677619)

It's stunningly amazing, how you are able to pull all this out of your nose, after reading 3 paragraphs, and seeing a trailer...

How about first playing it, and then judging it?

I, for one, have full confidence in them hitting the right creepy spot that they did hit since System Shock 1. Of course, they had to dumb it down, for all the retards out there, or just because their marketing/sales division or their money source thinks we all are retards. But I tend to look at the feeling this games give me. You know. Emerge (well, in this game, literally), turn the light of, play long parts without breaks, and only eat, sleep or go to the toilet when you could in the game.

Try that with System Shock 1 or 2, and you will be in for a date with your shrink. ^^

Re:Bioshock 2: (1)

lgw (121541) | about 5 years ago | (#27681941)

Where can you get a copy of System Shock 1 and 2 these days? I've never played either. Are they abandonware, or still sold somewhere?

doesn't seem like they updated the graphics (1)

poached (1123673) | about 5 years ago | (#27678931)

It doesn't seem like the graphics engine was updated. The original bioshock engine was really cool and produced some good looking water effects and I kinda wanted the developers to push the envelop some more. Maybe this is a side effect of having to develop for the xbox as well, thereby holding the potential back?

Re:Bioshock 2: (1)

trytoguess (875793) | about 5 years ago | (#27679847)

While such a story could be interesting, I'm thinking such a thing would be more at home in a novel than a game.

JAVA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27676797)

J2EE Java Enterprise Edition
WSDL Web Services Description Language
EJB Enterprise Java Beans
JSP Java Server Pages
JSTL JavaServer Pages Standard Tag Library
JMS Java Message Service
JTA Java Transaction API
JAF Java Activation Framework
JAXP Java API for XML Processing
JAX-RPC Java API for XML-based RPC
SAAJ SOAP with Attachments API for Java
JAXR Java API for XML Registries
DOM Document Object Model
SAX Simple API for XML
JNDI Java Naming and Directory Interface
JAAS Authentication and Authorization Service

Please, help expand...

Mod me a troll (-1, Flamebait)

4D6963 (933028) | about 5 years ago | (#27676839)

At last a game that primarily revolves around shooting a bunch of NPCs and exploring a bunch of rooms! Oh and wait for it, this time you play as one of the NPCs from the game this is a sequel to! That's as if you could play Duke Nukem 3D as an Octobrain (actually that would be kind of cool..)! I think I need a chair, all that excitement and innovation...

I'm calling it now... (3, Insightful)

JoeLinux (20366) | about 5 years ago | (#27676845)

Bioshock 2 is not going to be as good a sequel as System Shock 2 was to System Shock.

Virtually no RPG elements, and a tired re-tread of Bioshock with vaguely new elements (I.E. taking the one "protect the little sister" element from the first one and repeat it several times in this game). It's going to be, at most, a "meh" experience.

Re:I'm calling it now... (2, Interesting)

Burnhard (1031106) | about 5 years ago | (#27676943)

I don't know about this. I thought artistically and aesthetically Bioshock was a great game. Sure it's not ground-breaking, but the scenes in the theatre (for example) where you're attacked by splicers with the Blue Danube playing in the background I thought showed genuinely good production values.

When you look at games like Half-Life 2 and the way they've moved the story on through Episode 1 and 2, with only a few gameplay innovations, you can see how it's possible to provide a fun gaming experience that continues to engage the player. But I suppose it's hard to bring the Bioshock story on when the first game saw the death of the main protagonists and our "hero" live happily ever after.

Re:I'm calling it now... (2, Interesting)

JoeLinux (20366) | about 5 years ago | (#27677775)

Seee...that's part of the suck-fest. In this one, you play a prototype Big Daddy (only done so they can explain how you can upgrade your gun/drill/use plasmids), who has to protect the little sisters from a little sister who grew up, returned to Rapture, and spliced herself into an ultra-agile big-daddy style suit (think "ninja" big-daddy).

Lame-sauce.

Re:I'm calling it now... (2, Insightful)

Lisandro (799651) | about 5 years ago | (#27677841)

In all fairness, BioShock is to System Shock what Deus Ex 2 is to Deus Ex. It's ok, looks spiffy, but after the novelity wears off it's just another FPS with amazing presentation but shallow story and gameplay.

will it work? (4, Informative)

Lord Ender (156273) | about 5 years ago | (#27676997)

Will this work with Vista 64? Bioshock is the only game I have that just plain fails on Vista64. I never got to finish it. I kinda want my money back. How could a game publisher overlook such a widely-deployed platform?

Re:will it work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27677091)

Tell me about it, a couple percentages and the gaming industry doesn't support it? Talk about short sighted. Personally, I think hey just fear the type of users that come with linux.

Oh wait you were talking about a microsoft product right?

Re:will it work? (1)

spiffydudex (1458363) | about 5 years ago | (#27677187)

I think as far as the industry is concerned. A lot is dependent on familiarity. Likewise, most if not all of the big name brand products are built and sold for WIN/OSX. While Linux is nice, it lack the support due to the fact that there are several different versions. I highly doubt companies would be willing to give away the source of "Their Baby" just so Linux users can compile and run it for their specific distro.

I'm not trying to bash Linux at all. I would easily choose to use a Linux based server any day of the week. I just feel that Linux has it's niche, while windows/OSX has theirs.

Re:will it work? (3, Informative)

Amranu (1392677) | about 5 years ago | (#27677171)

I dunno what you're talking about, Bioshock works fine on Vista 64 for me

Re:will it work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27680089)

Seconded. There must be something unique about your system because I played it on Vista 64 with no problems. Fantastic game.

Re:will it work? (5, Informative)

Cythrawl (941686) | about 5 years ago | (#27677563)

Remove the Pen Tablet features in the add remove windows components and you will find that it works just fine after that

Re:will it work? (2, Insightful)

paralaxcreations (981218) | about 5 years ago | (#27678721)

Are you serious? I hope that's a joke...
Why the fsck should Pen Tablet features prevent you from playing a video game?

I'm a graphic designer by trade (bet you can't figure out my OS of choice...), so I use a pen tablet almost exclusively between 9 and 5, but I also enjoy playing video games in my off time...am I to believe that I need to make a choice between my profession and my hobby because Microsoft allows a PEN TABLET DRIVER to prevent an app from running properly?

Sure, the game should have been tested more on Vista64- hell, it probably was...on a system WITHOUT a pen tablet- but the fact that such an obscure issue could still exist (from one of the oldest and most successful companies in the biz no less) in 2009 just baffles me.

Re:will it work? (2, Informative)

Lord Ender (156273) | about 5 years ago | (#27679103)

He's serious. I found this on some Bioshock support forum. Apparently it fixes some Vista64 problem, but it didn't fix mine.

I even filed a support ticket with 2k, including the dxdiag output (as their ticket system requested). Their support personnel got back to me and said "please include the dxdiag output." That's when I gave up and bought a different game. I suspect this is their standard "go away, we already have your money" response to ticket, and that they never actually read the support tickets.

Re:will it work? (2, Informative)

Cythrawl (941686) | about 5 years ago | (#27679455)

No joke, See here: http://forums.2kgames.com/forums/showpost.php?s=49a5273d84c63b82e5a1c76662b85940&p=300859&postcount=4 [2kgames.com]
I actually have a Wacom tablet and to be honest the optional TabletPC functions in Vista are not needed to use the Wacom. The driver and everything else still works fine. I can still use my pens in Photoshop and Zbrush and on the desktop. You just lose all the handwriting recognition, Penflicks that kind of (IMO Useless anyway) stuff.

Re:will it work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27683017)

We're talking microshit windaids here. Just buy a fucking xbox.

Re:will it work? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27685023)

Anecdotal I know, but I finally got round to completing the game a month or so back under the 64-bit beta version of Windows 7. Given that they're pretty much the same product under the hood, I'd be tempted to see whether you have a driver issue.

Yawnfest (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27677127)

So, if this is "staying true" to the plot-depth of Bioshock does that mean if you play 20 minutes of the game, you've basically seen/done just about everything the game has to offer? Oh but this time you get to escort one of those bloodthirsty little buggers around while they shout "tear him to little shreds!" at someone else this time.

Honestly, Bioshock had lots of promise but if you read about the development cycle you'll understand why it was so bland...they chucked the original idea and basically designed it by the reactions of a bunch of clueless playtesters they "harvested" off the streets. I mean honestly, did anyone find the stupid "Splicers" a convincing threat at all? Just a bunch of drug-addled idiots in masks. Even the spider splicers were crap...I was thinking to myself "Finally, some real mutants! It's called Bioshock for a reason right?" Instead we get more of the same...idiots in masks, somehow crawling across the ceilings with fish hooks. Am I afraid yet?

The Big Daddies in the original were just a tiring boss battle designed to drain you of your ammo (no they weren't hard to kill, it just took all your ammo to do it). Can't say playing one interests me in the slightest. Why am I picturing Lemmings underwater with an annoying little brat instead of a fraggle-looking creature?

And for all you System Shockers out there...just give it up. Stop comparing this game to SS because it will never, EVER come close. Stop whining about it because it's not going to change a thing. Just be glad that EA has buried the System Shock franchise and hasn't turned it into some godawful console mess.

Re:Yawnfest (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | about 5 years ago | (#27677379)

You forgot the glaring technical problems like mouse sensitivity and acceleration changing randomly everytime the game loads something (new level, reload a save, etc).

That and that bioshock seems to follow the console FPS graphical theme of having one nifty shader or effect and having the rest of the game look like UT99.

DRM? (2, Insightful)

MobyDisk (75490) | about 5 years ago | (#27677469)

This is probably a tired point, but I'd like to know what they are doing with DRM in BioShock. BioShock is the kind of game I'd love to play, but I am not buying an XBOX to play it, nor will I tolerate their DRM.

I know I'm in the .000001% minority, so I doubt I had any effect on their sales. But I'm still hopeful for a non-DRM (or less draconian) version.

BioShock shouldn't have been a shooter (4, Insightful)

Junks Jerzey (54586) | about 5 years ago | (#27677881)

Atmosphere, art direction, and writing were all spot on. But none of them made any sense in what amounted to a generic shooter.

As much as I like action games, I got very annoyed with how the gameplay got in the way of the overall experience. It should have been an adventure game or something else with a slower pace, not hyper action shooter part 50.

Good environment, bad game (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27678287)

I'd like to say I played all the way through BioShock--oh wait, no I wouldn't. But I couldn't anyway due to the fact that the 360 version didn't allow control configuration. After a day of frustratingly shooting the floor and ceiling, it went up on craigslist. How hard is it to include an option to swap joysticks?

Also, I never quite figured out why there were a thousand clones of the same four zombies inhabiting an underwater city... "The environment was awesome." Yeah, which clearly left them zero time for character design and animation. You can only kill the exact same zombie so many times before it starts to get boring no matter how underwater you are.

Re:Good environment, bad game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27681373)

They weren't zombies.

Escort Mission (2, Interesting)

mrdoogee (1179081) | about 5 years ago | (#27678389)

Can't really see myself enjoying this one, even though I was pretty happy with Bioshock. Mostly I'm sure it will be a tedious chore of a multi-hour escort mission, one of the cardinal sins of game design. I absolutely hate the "Keep incompetent person X alive" section of most games. I can only imagine that most of the game will be like the stage in Bioshock where you have to keep the little sister safe so she can open the doors with the tiny holes in them.

Something i'd like to see (1)

AP31R0N (723649) | more than 4 years ago | (#27685857)

is a less linear environment, and choices in play style. Some real choices would be nice... choices that effect the game as i play it rather than the cut scene at the end.

By play style i mean, i'd like to be able to choose several ways of getting through a problem. i like playing stealthy types, let me sneak past the splicers, or gank them or snipe them or find or access panel that goes around them. Some folks just wanna carry a giant gun and blast away.

Let me choose the order in which i clear out sections of the city. Aside from the last one or two which would have to be last. Make the bad guys scale with me.

Also - Real Time Difficulty Adjustment

Instead of selecting difficulty at the beginning, have the game watch your health, ammo, healing supplies and cash etc as you play. If you are taking too much damage, have the baddies do less damage for a while. If you're running out of ammo too fast, have the baddies drop more ammo, or make the baddies easier to hit.

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