Stop to take a breath in BioShock 2’s ocean scenes

Things can get, er, hectic in BioShock 2. You’re a prototype Big Daddy, upsetting the new Rapture equilibrium established after the first game. The baddies — the Splicers — aren’t happy to see you again and don’t have a problem trying to kill you. Needless to say, you’ll be smashing quite a few of those poor (and vicious souls) as you progress through the game. But it’s not all heavy action and Plasmid slinging. 2K Marin have created small escapes in the form of ocean floor exploration.

That’s right — you can leave Rapture and not worry. No guns, no fighting. It’s a place where the developers hope you’ll stop and listen to logs, as well as soak in the atmosphere. We recently got a chance to hear what the developers had to say about ocean exploration at a roundtable discussion that took place after our demo of the game.

“It’s intentional pacing,” developer Zak McClendon said. “So much of BioShock is inside Rapture. It’s a living world, there are constantly Splicers everywhere — there’s so much danger. You can’t just go off to the corner and sort of take a break, ‘cuz someone will run up to you and shoot you with a gun.”

“So have that kind of intentional pacing [with the ocean scenes] allows the player to slow down a little bit and soak up some of the wonder and beauty of what it actually looks like on the bottom of the ocean floor,” McClendon continued. “It’s a really, really fantastic environment that we wanted to have something to explore.”

Sounds to me like the devs understand the value of reload time — something that all action games need from time to time. It also sounds like the Splicers are much more active this go around. Luckily, you’ll have a drill for a hand.

Brad BradNicholson