View Full Version : Bioshock 2 - Paupers Drop & Siren's Alley

Nozza XBA
01-12-2010, 01:42 PM
A little read on 2 new areas of Rapture 10 years on!

US, January 11, 2010 - I want to start this preview by saying that before my time with Pauper's Drop and Siren's Alley – the two new levels I'll be discussing in this preview – I had never laid my hands on BioShock 2 (http://uk.xbox360.ign.com/objects/142/14240341.html). Doing the work that I do I had a limited grasp of the premise of the game. I knew you play as a Big Daddy, that you're still in Rapture but it's ten years after the events of the first game and that things have changed considerably within the confines of the supposed underwater utopia since your last visit. Beyond that, I had no idea what was in store for me over the next few hours.

I also want to make very clear that, being a fan of experiencing an entirely fresh storyline myself, I won't be including any significant plot elements in my impressions of Pauper's Drop and Siren's Alley. 'Cause that just wouldn't be cool.

Pauper's Drop takes place immediately after Ryan Amusements, which is the first real test for players as they venture back into the world of Rapture. Pauper's Drop is home to Rapture's poor district and is filled with terribly underdeveloped structures, haphazardly constructed with feeble wooden bridges stringing buildings together. It's home to diners and pawn shops that have all been overrun by less than hospitable company. For those who don't know BioShock, I'm talking about splicers; the unfortunate many who decided splicing their genes with plasmids and thriving on Adam would be the answer to their woes. They were quite wrong.

Not only does Pauper's Drop house plenty of traditional splicers for you to thwart, but there's also the new brute splicer, or, as I call him, a muscular potato with arms. The first time you see him in the level he's roasting two splicers who were stupid enough to stand in a pool of oil. Before long, you will have to battle it out with the brute. To do this, players must seek out the research camera to gain a needed strategic advantage. The camera works similarly to its incarnation in the first BioShock. You snap a picture with the right trigger, but instead of having to take multiple photos, now you'll need to take out your gun and rattle off several shots to cause a certain amount of damage to the enemy in order to get the damage bonus. I like this method a bit better than in the first game as you're not jumping around avoiding the fight when trying to take a photo. Instead now you take one picture and can then get into the fight while still working towards the bonus that the research affords.

Another big pickup within Pauper's Drop is the double-barreled shotgun which, while it is a pain in the ass to reload its two-shell clip, does massive damage. You'll need this new armament, too, as there are two Big Daddies patrolling the area as well as a Big Sister. Encountering a Big Sister is sort of the antithesis of fighting a Big Daddy. Where the big guys are slow and strong, the Big Sister is quick and deadly and makes use of plasmids quite often. As soon as your screen begins to shake when she makes her shrill shriek, get ready for a fight you won't soon forget.

http://pcmedia.ign.com/pc/image/article/105/1059598/bioshock-2-20100108034345166-000.jpg (http://uk.media.xbox360.ign.com/media/142/14240341/imgs_1.html)
The sneeze plasmid in full effect?

There's one big story arc that takes place within Pauper's Drop, and while I do plan to make good on my promise of not revealing plotline spoilers, the mechanics of the encounter are certainly worth mentioning. Players are presented with what appears to be an innocent NPC (non-playable character) who has a serious hatred for Big Daddies. When you first see this character they're behind a glass wall, standing in between you and your objective. The obstruction is removed and you're allowed to collect your prize. From there it's up to you whether to take the good route of leaving them be or the evil path and gunning them down. I chose to be nice, for which I was handsomely rewarded with some much-needed mechanized cohorts shortly thereafter.

Now I'm left wondering what repercussions will be unleashed for not resorting to violence, while still questioning my decision altogether. I'm hoping that there are plenty of scenarios just like this as the entire interaction was very mysterious and made me want to keep delving into Rapture to find out what course my character had just chosen.


Nozza XBA
01-12-2010, 01:44 PM
Another, slightly more familiar, method of choosing a good or evil path is in your treatment of Little Sisters. Instead of simply choosing to harvest or save them, you can now adopt them which means you'll essentially escort them to harvest Adam from certain corpses. The only trick is that as they're harvesting the Adam you'll need to protect them from a throng of incoming splicers. It's a great opportunity to setup traps for enemies if you're a consummate strategist. After she's done collecting Adam you'll have to return her to a vent where you'll get a reward of Adam. Not nearly as much as if you had just harvested her to begin with, but I'm sure there's some reward to sparing their poor, insignificant lives.

After completing several objectives and clearing the iced-up train tracks with a newfound plasmid (I'm betting you can guess which power I'm talking about), it's time to hop on your mechanical stead and head to Siren's Alley. This next stage creates an entirely new environment for players to experience within (and outside of) Rapture. I'm not going to spoil what happens, but something goes awry and it threatens the entire section of the underground city. Even more disturbing than the precarious situation within Siren's Alley are its disturbing cult-following inhabitants. One group of psychotics was standing around a corpse adorned with lighted candles chanting something incoherent. I politely interrupted with my shotgun. All of this cult business leads into a climactic battle with a religious figure that has command over all of your enemies (including lots of spider splicers) in the area.

http://pcmedia.ign.com/pc/image/article/105/1059598/bioshock-2-20100108034331276-000.jpg (http://uk.media.xbox360.ign.com/media/142/14240341/imgs_1.html)
When in doubt, use a shotgun.

Thankfully you'll have the new, uber-powerful spear gun, mini-turrets (which can be thrown to defend an area around you), and a few new plasmids to help you within Siren's Alley. Not to mention the fact that all of your core weapons have the ability to be upgraded twice – much like in the first game – with a new third upgrade becoming available once you've equipped the first two. It's a small deviation from the original upgrade process, but it's still cool in practice.

As I said, by the end of the level this area of Rapture is a shadow of what it was when you arrived. Siren's Alley is not only home to some interesting plot twists, but some of the enemy encounters single-handedly out-do any of the tense moments in the first BioShock in terms of overall suspense. One section even pitted me against a brute splicer, a Big Daddy and a Big Sister; all at the same time. With the use of a few plasmids I had security bots guarding my back while I tossed out mini-turrets in front of me to form a nice little cushion between me and the action. Yes, the option for strategy within the combat is alive and well in BioShock 2 (http://uk.xbox360.ign.com/objects/142/14240341.html).

http://pcmedia.ign.com/pc/image/article/105/1059598/bioshock-2-20100108034326292-000.jpg (http://uk.media.xbox360.ign.com/media/142/14240341/imgs_1.html)
Angelina Jolie would be jealous.

I'll admit that my original concern of, "Is BioShock 2 going to be able to differentiate itself from the first enough to warrant the purchase?" is still ringing in my head after my first very enjoyable few hours. It retains the ever-present tension and suspense that the first BioShock so effortlessly fed to the player, but the scenery, combat and even most of the enemy personas are very reminiscent of the original. That said, with some of the decisions that I made in my short play session, there is certainly the potential for the plot to spin wildly out of control later in the game.

Regardless of its similarity to the exquisite first entry, I can't wait to get my hands on more of BioShock 2's single-player to see just how deep the rabbit hole goes. We'll have more coverage on 2K Marin's game in the coming months as its February 9 US release date on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC nears.

I loved the first and I'm going to love this one just as much.. Hopefully the MP wont spoil it, but that argument is for another day!

[LINK (http://www.xbox360achievements.org/forum/showthread.php?t=185635)] - Sirens Alley Footage Forum
[LINK (http://uk.xbox360.ign.com/articles/105/1059619p1.html)] - Source

01-14-2010, 09:11 PM
very interesting read thanks for that, i cant wait as well i got the cash ready to go buy it on the day then going straight home to play it :D