2K Games gave us some tantalizing morsels earlier today, when they announced that they had signed a partnership agreement with Digital Extremes. It will be Digital Extreme's job to build the multiplayer system for BioShock 2. In the press release, DE stated that they wanted to "develop a new and substantial element that enhances the lore and fiction of the BioShock universe."
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That's good news for us fans. BioShock had a fantastic and compelling story, and bringing that same quality of narrative to the sequel is going to be important. DE is apparently integrating the multiplayer experience with the plotline of the game, and making it act as BioShock 2's prequel.
The multiplayer missions take place during the fall of Rapture. Players will act as Plasmid test subjects for Sinclair Solutions, and 2k states that they will need to use "all the elements of the BioShock toolset to survive".
BioShock 2 promises to take the 'genetically-enhanced shooter' concept it pioneered in BioShock and take it even further. As they earn experience, players will be able to combine plasmids, tonics, and weapons in hundreds of new ways. 2k also promises that we will get to see some levels that are set in Rapture before the fall. The Kashmir Restaurant and Mercury Suites were specifically named. 2k says that these new levels have been designed to provide a fast-paced multiplayer experience.
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I'm excited to hear some solid information about BioShock 2. It looks like 2k really wants to emphasize multiplayer in the sequel, and they've signed with Digital Extremes to make sure it gets done right. I can't wait to get back to Rapture.