BioShock 2 interview: Multiplayer

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Following on from the
first part of our exclusive interview with the BioShock 2 team last week, here are the game's creators' thoughts on the multiplayer experience of the highly-anticipated sequel, out today.

What kind of multiplayer modes have been developed for BioShock 2 and how has the feel of the single player campaign been captured?



Melissa Miller: There are seven modes, five base modes and two variations. We didn’t want to tack multiplayer on just so we could say we’ve ticked all the boxes, we wanted to make sure it made sense within the Rapture universe. We also wanted to create a compelling game play experience, there is a story arc that happens throughout multiplayer but if you just want to get online with your friends it totally supports that too. We’re never going to force our story on anybody, if you just want to play a cool shooter with interesting game play modes then you can do that.



We use play testing to help us understand the game, where we’re going right and wrong. There are times when things are going so well that we’ve had people come in who have never played the first BioShock and as they’re testing they’re saying “You know what? I think I’m going to go try that BioShock game.”





How much pressure do you feel to please fans of the solo experience? Was co-op play ever considered?



MM: Well co-op really seems to be one of the most popular ways to play these days, but BioShock’s theme is in many ways about the emotion of loneliness. In the first story for example you’re basically walking through this tragic city all by yourself. Similarly in the sequel where you play as a Big Daddy, it just wouldn’t make sense to us to have two Bid Daddies going through Rapture together. Players will have the opportunity to cooperate with each other during the team based multiplayer modes however.



Multiplayer has really given us the opportunity to explore splicer characters. Who are these people who came to Rapture and how did they become these crazy people you found in the first, and the second, game? What led to their Adam addiction? We’ve got a number of characters you can choose from for multiplayer, each with their own personalities for players to explore. For example, one is a housewife character, what would a house wife be like in Rapture? She didn’t get invited, she wasn’t one of the best and brightest, her husband was.



Was multiplayer ever considered for the original BioShock or is this a completely brand new concept for the sequel?



JT: For the first game the problems of just making a single player BioShock when there was no such thing as a BioShock were plenty. For the second game, one of the things we cited as ripe with potential was the combatorial mechanics. BioShock was a beast in that it awards you all these opportunities to express yourself: I will now make peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwiches or whatever you want to (laughs). That’s entirely up to you, but because it’s a kind of ‘have it your way game’ we don’t force you to use tool A, B or C. You can go through the game simply blasting everyone with the machine gun and we support that.



In multiplayer though, there’s this potential expression of mastery based on how aggressive the environment is. Against intelligent opponents you really need to climb that curve of understanding to harness your weapons and tools. For example, what we see in team games is one person taking the ice plasmid, and another taking arrow dash. The first guy will freeze an opponent into a block of ice, the other guy’s already in motion with the arrow dash and instantly shatters the target. That kind of mechanic is almost like survival of the fittest, it shows just how post-Darwin Rapture is.



It requires the survival pressures of multiplayer for players to truly get their heads around the tools on offer; that’s why multiplayer was born. The [splicer] civil war, the period of 1959-1960 before Jack arrives into Rapture in 1960, is best represented by multiplayer because it requires tonnes of very intelligent splicers, slowly going insane, fighting over Adam. Adam improves their odds of survival and that’s exactly what you’re doing in all multiplayer modes in one form or another; you’re earning Adam to go up through the ranking system, earn new tools and so forth.





You mentioned that there are multiple splicers to play as during multiplayer, how does that work within the game?



JT: The game stores a mechanical core of your profile and you can scan that into any of the splicer characters whenever you want; that variety is definitely important to replayability. As you earn new tiers in the ranking system you get access to these diaries which describe the story arc of each of the characters.



MM: The ranking system is necessary to give some background to the multiplayer modes. The civil war has broken out and you can’t even leave your front door without a fireball being launched at your head. The two factions (fighting for Ryan or Fontaine) are fighting in the city so what the splicers featured in multiplayer do is get involved in this consumer reward program. It basically uses these people, who are desperate for new defensive or offensive abilities, to test out plasmids and weapons that haven’t hit the market yet; they’re basically human lab rats for this company Sinclair Solutions. Sinclair himself features in the single player mode which is another way for us to expand the storyline.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Credit Controller

    £20000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The successful candidate will h...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 business...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 business...

    SThree: Trainee Recuitment Consultant

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 business...

    Day In a Page

    Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

    Climate change key in Syrian conflict

    And it will trigger more war in future
    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
    Is this the way to get young people to vote?

    Getting young people to vote

    From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
    Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

    Poldark star Heida Reed

    'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
    Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

    Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

    Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
    Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
    With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

    Money, corruption and drugs

    The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
    America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

    150 years after it was outlawed...

    ... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
    Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

    You won't believe your eyes

    Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
    Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn