BioShock 2

"Utopia is not a place...but a people. It will exist the moment we are fit to occupy it." Sofia Lamb As sequels go, Bioshock 2 had a lot to live up to.  The story and strange world created in the first game screamed out to be replayed, retooled and revisited.

One of the first things I will tell you is, save your game and save often.  While the game has auto save points, I had to get up from  a 2 hour session to take a business call.  I didn't get back to my computer for an hour.  I hadn't saved, and lost those 2 hours of game play as I respawned at the beginning of the level.  So hit f12!

I played through Bioshock 1 in 10 hours.  Bioshock 2 took me 18.  Mind you a few of those hours can be attributed to the "save" issue, but I would say overall, this sequel had a little more meat to it.

I'm not going to put any outright spoiler's in here.  If you haven't played either game, you might be clued into some things just from context, but I think you'll be pretty safe.

Ten long years have passed since the death of Andrew Ryan in Bioshock 1.  Rapture has seen better days.

You are Subject Delta and awaken in the ruin of Rapture with its leaks, splicers and Adam seeking little sisters with the voice of your bonded little sister in your head.   Eleanor needs you and your only mission is to save her.

"Love is just a chemical.  We give it meaning by choice." Eleanor Lamb

I was super excited to be playing through this time a big daddy.  The clunky loud suit, moans, and drill were among the things I couldn't wait to play with.

Perhaps it's just me, but by the end of the first level, I was over it.  The drill options were limited, the suit wasn't all that cool anymore and I wanted a little more flexibility.

I happily looted my first rivet gun, searched for some bullets and went to town shooting splicers.

Another thing to be sure to do, is search for Audio diaries.  They are all over Rapture and in total I believe there are 120 or so.  They reveal the lives of the people of Rapture, and will help you immensely in a feeling of immersion in the story.  Don't pass them up!

A huge plus to Bioshock 2, is the ablity to get out into the ocean.  After all, you are a Big Daddy now with a fully equipped sea worthy diving suit.  It was one of the feature's  I didn't know I wanted until haflway through Bioshock 1.  I loved it.  Plus, if you look carefully, you can usually spot a little loot laying around.  It's also one of the only times in the game you are not looking over your shoulder.  For now, while in the sea surrounding the crumbling city, you are safe.  Enjoy the brief respite.

A word of caution, once you leave a level you cannot go back.  If there is a nook or cranny you wanted to go look in, or maybe you picked up a plasmid that will help you get into an area you had no access to before, don't forget to circle back before leaving.

All the good game features are back.

You'll find your first plasmid pretty early and quickly fall back into the routine of upgrading them via a Gathering Garden when you can.  I think everyone has their favorites.  I seemed to immediately upgrade incinerate.   I kinda enjoy watching splicer's fry.  Don't forget though to use Electro Bolt when splicers are standing around in a pool of water.  They'll fall over dead fairly quickly.

Hack first, buy second.  I didn't enjoy this mini game much in Bioshock 1.  Possibly because I am not very good at this kind of thing.  It had an improvement in Bioshock 2, and I found hacking much less frustrating.  Be sure to upgrade your hacks with gene tonics to get a slower hack needle, to get a little health and eve every time you hack or to simply make a hack shorter.

The EL Ammo Bandito, Circus of Values and Gene banks are back.  You'll also find the rare Power to the People machine where you can add upgrades to your favorite weapons.  Be careful with these.  They are few and far between, but a fully upgraded weapon has some cool powers.  A weapon you'll find eventually is the spear gun.  A headshot with this puppy nails a splicer to the wall, dead.  It's gruesome and amazingly fun.  Even if you have a favorite weapon, try out the one's you find a long the way.  New and interesting methods of killing adds to your enjoyment!

A fresh, and I think wonderful addition to the game, is the moral dilemma.  Throughout the story you will run into characters you can either save or kill.  Choose as you will, it does affect how the story plays for you and whose voices you are going to have filtering in your ear.  As per the first game, you can choose to rescue or harvest the little sister's you run across.  Personally, I save them.  I can't help myself.  They are little girls forced to play a part in an evil scheme.  They deserve peace.  Plus, I like their gifts :)

Research has also been given an upgrade.  It's more seamless.  Instead of still shots, you take video.  While this is a feature I tend to forget about in the midst of battle, it's uses are endless and truly allow you to learn how to make tactical decision's during gameplay.

big_sister_bioshock_2
big_sister_bioshock_2

"When Rapture speaks of you-it says only this: sleep now. Your day is done." Sofia Lamb

I had seen enough of the trailer's for the game to know about the Big Sister's.  Nothing, and I mean nothing prepared me for the fights with them.  They make the Big Daddies look like wussy pansies and every time I met one of these screeching avenger's I said a quick prayer.  They can drain Adam from slicer's to power their plasmid abilities, are armed to the teeth and wearing superior armor.  When you hear one coming, it'll make your heart beat a little faster.  They are incredibly agile.  Only advice I have is to fight in an open room with them.  Try not to get cornered by one.  They'll take you down fast.

As I alluded to before, how you played the game is going to affect the ending.  I'm not going to hint one way or another, but which ever road you've taken has a well thought out ending.

All too soon my love affair with Rapture ended.  As usual I wanted more.  And this time you can have it.  Bioshock 2 offers a multi player option.  You can play through the maps solo or with friends.

And in case that isn't enough rapture for you, 2 k games has announced additional downloadable content coming soon to both the single player and multi player portions of the game.

The first one looks to  be for the multi player maps.

Sinclair Solutions Test Pack, the first of several planned downloadable packages, contains a number of customization features that will allow players to further their character's development in BioShock 2's multiplayer modes and provide a deeper multiplayer experience. The pack includes:

  • Rank Increase to level 50 with Rank Rewards
  • New playable characters Louie McGraff and Oscar Calraca
  • 20 new trials*
  • A third weapon upgrade for each weapon
  • five additional masks*

Bioshock 2 isn't perfect. No game can be. It comes pretty close though. I will admit in the first hour or so of gameplay it all seemed almost too familiar. The lackluster feel of the drill disappointed, but wasn't game ending. I had a few places in the single player where the screen would black out from a bug. It happened rarely, and didn't affect my ability to take out the bad guys.

It's truly a special thing when a developer can make a sequel that doesn't feel like a replay of old story lines. While the initial story may not appear very deep, you are intrinsically tied to the well being of Eleanor. The character's in this second telling are a little more interesting in my view, and there are some juicy surprises waiting through the crumbling ruins of Andrew Ryan's Utopia. Your choices, and the future of Rapture are dependent on Subject Delta.

If you haven't dived into this franchise, and you like RPG's, you should take a look. Rapture is waiting.

"As I watch you now, I envy your ignorance. You still believe." Sofia Lamb

A few changes and one ugly ship

I was going to do a write up of Bioshock 2 tonight. I finally finished the game yesterday. Things change. I asked a friend of mine to work on a new logo for my site. He also figured out a way to make it a more pleasing pink color. I know some of you logged on and wondered why the code was a ll of a sudden completely wonky :)

I am decidedly untechy. While I love my gadgets, my understanding of their inner workings are superficial at best. It's why I have brilliant friends :D

There are still a few more changes coming, I hope, if my friends don't abandon me after I turned into a puddle of mush with today's changes. I am thrilled to have the site FINALLY showing off it's pink hotness. Looking forward to getting a few more of the kinks worked out in the coming weeks.

In other news, I caught an article on Massively yesterday about Star Trek Online.  It featured the new Destiny class ship.  The stats on it are fairly impressive.

Overview

With the resources needed to chart distant star systems, deep space science vessels such as the Destiny class will lead Starfleet into a new era of exploration.

Boasting all of the advanced technology with an advanced warp core and expanded engineering facilities, the Destiny is ideal for either long solo missions or fleet support.

Capabilities

Weaponry:

Fore weapon slots: 3 Aft weapon slots: 3

Bridge Officer Stations:

Tactical: Lieutenant (1) Engineering: Ensign (1), Lieutenant (1) Science: Lieutenant Commander (1), Commander (1) Total Available Powers: 12

Modification Slots:

Tactical: 2 Engineering: 3 Science: 4

Device Slots: 3

Crew Size: 500

Impulse Speed: 15

Turning Rate: 6

Quote taken from Zam.com

At first glance I am super excited about it. I then watched the video which I am inserting below. Watch and then let me know what the thing looks like. I'll give you a hint...I think of how to unwrinkle clothes when I look at this ship :)

I am off to finish a little crafting in LOTRO before I fall into bed. I won another lottery in LOTRO and discovered mail in my box when I logged in today. Now I feel like I need to make some money, and crafting seems to be the only way I make any these days.

More on my final thoughts of Bioshock 2 tomorrow.

GAME ON!!!

Sore fingers

I didn't get a chance to game this weekend. Rarely happens in my world, but occasionally real life rears its ugly head. Unfortunately I rolled a 1 on my 20 sided pink dice this weekend and ended up nursing myself and my family. I just loved all the bonding time *rolls her eyes* While I lay wishing for death on my couch this weekend watching season's of Numbers and Bones on DVD, the gaming world had a few interesting tidbits of news I thought I'd pass along.

Bioware emailed me about Dragonage Awakenings. I am inserting a video below on the new expansion for this fabulous RPG . It looks like its a fully fleshed out expansion. I have a few friends who are rabidly awaiting this release. Included in the e-mail was a link to Hot Topic who is offering a couple of different Dragonage T-shirts.  I think I may have to have one of these :)

Star Trek Online has been busy pushing out patches as fast as they can to correct the various bug reports and issues the game has been experiencing in it's first few weeks.  I have to hand it to Cryptic, they have been awesome about talking to their community about the various problems the games has been experiencing and have put in patch after patch.  I haven't been playing it much.  The game just hasn't completely captured my attention, but its not a bad game.

There has been a lot of talk about the skill system in the game.  Lead Designer Al Rivera talked about the ins and outs of the system in a fairly detailed article.  Most important thing I took away from the piece was this quote.   "Finally, a note about Respecs... Simply put, they are coming soon. We are currently working on this feature right now. The details are not final, however."  I am relieved to hear it.  Most of us have made mistakes we would like to correct as we have learned the system.  It's nice to know we may be able to fix things in the future.

I got an e-mail from Cryptic over the weekend letting me know the buddy key's are now live.

STO buddy keys
STO buddy keys

So if you have a friend who has been wanting to check out the game, pass them a buddy key and show them how to save the Universe from the evil Klingons :)

LOTRO sent me a newsletter detailing their new update, coming soon!

LOTRObook3
LOTRObook3

The thing I am the most excited about is that the hubby and I will be able to take advantage of the new DUO option on skirmishes. We haven't really been doing them as we have a set of characters we play as a team and neither of us wants to play them solo and get to ahead of each other on xp.

In other LOTRO news, looks like they are looking for some new testers for their preview server.

The Isengard Private Preview Program Needs YOU!

* Do you gain a sense of pride when you file bugs, knowing that you’ve helped us improve the game by doing so? * Do you have a few hours of free time a week that you would like devote to helping us test LOTRO? * Do you enjoy seeing things in an unfinished state and watching them develop? * Do you like the idea of having an influence on how those same things turn out in the end? * Can you keep a secret? No matter how many bribes of you may get?

If you answered ‘YES’ to all the above questions, then Isengard may be the place for you!

The Isengard Private Preview Program is taking applications for new members. We would love to have you on board, getting your virtual hands dirty with our new and upcoming content, and telling us what you think!

Requirements:

1. Must be at least 18 years of age 2. Must have a current, valid Turbine* subscription to The Lord of the Rings Online: Siege of Mirkwood registered under your name 3. Must have a clean forum and game history 4. Must be able to interact with the community in a mature and constructive manner 5. Must be able to communicate well through forum posts and bug reports 6. You must accept the terms of the Private Preview Program Non-Disclosure Agreement, the full contents of which will be provided during the registration process should you be accepted to the program

If you think Isengard is right for you, we encourage you to apply! See the next post for the 'How Tos'. We look forward to hearing from you, and good luck!

The Isengard Private Preview Program Team

That's the second announcement for a Turbine game I have seen in the last few weeks.  DDO had a cattle call for their preview server last week. I am glad to see them opening up the flood gates. If you think you would want to participate, be sure to apply!

Speaking of DDO, Episode 156 of DDOcast went up last night.  It covers the weeks news as well as a few segments.

I am a little late in mentioning it, but Fernando Paiz spoke to the DDO community on Thursday about the game's 4th Anniversary. There was nothing earth shattering in his post.  Mostly it was a regurgitation of the events already announced, but he did hint  in the coming weeks we should be on the look out for a State of The Game Address from him.

In a major announcement Turbine has stated "As the final stage of our datacenter move, all Turbine games will be offline on Tuesday February 23, from 4:00AM - 4:00PM Eastern Time (-5 GMT)."

I am excited and hoping this will take care of some of the rubberbanding I have been seeing in both DDO and LOTRO!  *fingers crossed*

I am off to play some Bioshock 2.  I want to finish the game this week, and barring any more family emergencies, I may just get it done! Looking forward to some sore fingers from all the gaming I am hoping to get done this week!

GAME ON!!!

Bioshock 2

I went over to pick up my copy of Bioshock 2 today. I had my receipt and such and the guy manning the register at my local Gamestop pulled out a PC copy of the game. I asked politely if it was the Limited Edition copy of the game. He said no, and so a search ensued. After 15 or so minutes , in which I was told they didn't have it or wait maybe they did, I stood around the store vacillating between terror and anger. Finally the guy brought out this box and hefted it onto the counter. I figured there must have been a bunch of copies they were missing since the box was so big.

Uh uh. The entire box was one game. Mine.

I can pick stuff up, but this thing is heavy! I knew I had ordered a limited edition of the game, but thought nothing more of it than the copies of Dragon age and Star Trek Online I've picked up in the last few months.

Yeah. It's ginormous. That's a regular sized box with the game in it on top of it. I couldn't wait to get home and see what was inside!

This edition, which will be limited to a single production run, will contain the game along with three posters featuring fictional advertisements from Rapture, the orchestral score from the game on CD, the orchestral score from the original BioShock on a vinyl 180g LP, and a hardbound, 164-page art book. It will all be packaged in a 13"x13" premium case with special art on both the slipcase and the box cover.

(above quote was pulled from Wikipedia)

The hubby and I were both in awe of the thing. It's simply huge. Plus, we don't have a record player. I don't even think I know how to work one. While I find the Vinyl very cool, its kinda impractical until I can get someone to burn it to a CD for me. Still, it's pure geek factor alone makes it super awesome.

I would love to tell you all about the game itself, but my new power supply was delivered about 5 pm. Then I had to go get the game once the hubby got home, and have him install the power supply and then the new hard drive and now I am formatting the bloody thing.

All I want to do is go visit Rapture and kill a few things!

*sigh*

Game On!!!

I found the pink paint

After all the trouble logging in Friday night, the hubby and I were able to get into STO with out any trouble both Saturday and Sunday. We logged quite a few hours and we got our guys to level 8. I am beginning to really enjoy the game. Parts of the story are beginning to make sense and feel fully formed. Combat on the ground is still not as slick as I would like, but its still fun. Space combat has gotten easier for me, although I still think I need to go back to the Starfleet Academy for some basic flying lessons!

I am working on the first level of crafting. It's laborious and I am not sure how much fun it truly is, but at first glance it maybe worth it to be able to upgrade some items.

Tribbles. Ohhhhh they are simply wonderful. In beta I wasn't really sure what they were for. I went looking for a forum post on it tonight when I heard some of the chat from my guildies. Seems you can upgrade your tribble?

I hadn't found one yet. I kept killing Klingon's on ground missions looking for one. Seems the Klingon's love their tribbles and are hoarding them. The hubby finally got one and stuck it in his inventory to look at later. By the time we had gotten out of the mission, he had two tribbles!!!

Yup, they breed in your inventory. If you have food in your cargo hold, they nibble it up and reproduce :) That's just fun.

I finally amassed a few credits this weekend and starting looking around to try and figure out how to upgrade my ship.

I found the pink paint!!!

I know I know... no self respecting Starfleet ship should be pink... but I couldn't help myself :)

I also figured out how to rename my collector's edition ship as well as the registry number.

I am going to have "r" to the end of every new ship I get since I can only have a ship's name once LOL.

In other news, I took part in a group discussion of DDOcast this weekend. The episode had been out 24 hours when there was already a complaint about my "whining and complaining!" *shakes her head* I love DDO, I just sometimes don't love all of it. I suppose I should be greatful to have a reaction at all, but it reminds me why I haven't been doing regular segments for a while. *shrugs*

Tomorrow is LOTRO day for me. Our guild is having our monthly meeting in our kinhouse and I am going to spend all day crafting to make something for the exchange we normally have. I've been slacking lately. Hope I have enough time to make things.

I am off to bed. Bioshock 2 party at my local gamestop tomorrow at midnight. The hubby has duty. I don't think I going to wander around the city that late by myself, so he will just have to bring it home to me on Tuesday. Plus, I have a new power supply coming tomorrow or the next day. Additionally, I still haven't finished Mass Effect 2.

So many great games, so little time.

GAME ON!!!