January 28, 2010

BioShock 2 Multiplayer Q&A, and Jordan Thomas Hasn't Been Out Much

Joystiq posted something that reminded me of an article I set aside to read but forgot.  And it's about BioShock 2 ... how could I forget?  And literally as I'm typing this ... no, really, as I was actually typing this post ... I glance above at my "Google Reader" tab and notice an update, check it, and lo and behold, Joystiq has posted another article about my favorite underwater game.

Interested?  Then, would you kindly click below?

Managing Rapture's Civil War

Let's go in chronological-release order here and discuss the first article, appropriately about multiplayer because it's more-or-less a prequel, or at least takes place before the events of the first game.  BioShock 2's unofficial/official site, The Cult of Rapture, tries to answer some of the questions surrounding the (puzzling to me) addition of multiplayer on the technical side of things, and less so about 2K and Digital Extreme's overall intentions.

The standout details to me are the likenesses to Call of Duty's current multiplayer design.  Though not mentioned in this article specifically, it seems like every kill, collection of ADAM, winning, etc. will garner points to the player; there is no differentiation of ranked and unranked matches, only private matches will not give points; weapons and perks vs. weapons and plasmids and tonics.  Imitation is flattery.  Though I'm not looking forward to goin' all crazy multiplaying in Rapture, this might be fun for a while.  The RPG/constant leveling up feature is highly addictive and because of that I would still be playing Modern Warfare 2 at a feverish pace (as long as my wife would let me) if it weren't for playing against vulgar youngsters and annoying cheaters.  Maybe BioShock 2 will be too mature to draw that crowd.  I hope.

Some things are lacking in Rapture's battle arena, however.  You can't connect via LAN.  But can I just say, is it really fun to have LAN connection parties with a game other than Halo?  I miss that, but can't say I want to get all in one room to play Dark Sector or even Call of Duty (tried once with Nazi Zombies, but I have more than three friends and that meant some awkward standing around).  No LAN with BioShock is fine and dandy.  What isn't fine or dandy is the inability to kick jerk players out of these online-only matches.  One of the Cult's big wigs, Elizabeth, suggests to "please report it, leave that game, and we’ll try to smooth out the online experience as best as we can."  This also implies a lack of leave-game-early-penalty (yes!), which is good but might get frustrating if people continuously leave willy-nilly because they're not faring that well in a particular match (no! ... And I'm guilty of that!).

Continue reading the enlightening article here.

Mr. Blazer-Hoodie is My Man-Crush

Jordan Thomas, I wish I knew you.  You seem so personable, easy-going, knowledgeable.  I'm sure if we we were friends you'd hate BioShock, Rapture, Andrew Ryan, this Dr. Sophia Lamb, Big Daddies, Big and Little Sisters, Fontaine, and wish you'd never applied to 2K because we'd be talking about it all the time.

What the heck is wrong with me?

Nothing, I say, but Thomas is just ... just ... cool.  And he knows what he's talking about.  Joystiq sat down with Mr. Blazer-Hoodie just to talk some BioShock.  He's met with the all too commonplace question of following up a very loved game.  Jordan feels "humbled," coming from level designing Fort Frolic in BioShock the first, and learning much from that game's father, Ken Levine.  "Ken taught me more about game narrative than all of my previous gigs combined," he says, "and it's his script I pored over obsessively to prepare myself to extend the Rapture story in any kind of coherent way."  I think this sequel is in good hands.

The lengthy article touches everything from tackling this particular big daddy of a sequel, to multiplayer, to changing the hacking minigame, even to future BioShock plans (which aren't much at all at this point, thank goodness).  Related to the above section here on multiplayer, Thomas actually constrast his to Call of Duty, saying that BioShock 2's "integrated narrative" makes it's multiplayer stand out.

There is a lot in this interview that you should read straight from Thomas' mouth, including a quick reference to Aliens!

Man ... I wish I knew him.

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