May 21st, 2009

I don’t have high hopes for Bioshock 2: Sea of Dreams, which 2K is supposed to be showing off at E3 in only a few weeks. I’m a huge fan of the first Bioshock — as readers will remember from my endless analyzing — but all I’m seeing in the trailer for what’s technically a prequel sequel is more of the same, seen from a slightly different perspective. Oh course, that perspective is a monster’s, and a monster whose nemesis is a sexy female monster, so that’s worth something.

In Sea of Dreams Rapture has yet to crumble apparently already crumbled, and you play as the very first Big Daddy, fighting splicers, collecting Adam, and deciding whether to kill or adopt Little Sisters. Sound familiar yet? Oh, and you can “explore” the ocean, thanks to your badass old-timey dive suit. Except that exploring looks more like walking down a path, and we all know how cranky I get when ocean exploration games don’t live to up my watery dreams. Though we’ll know more soon, it seems the main obstacle to your child-collecting goals is the Big Sister, who sports a slim, feminized version of the Big Daddy Suit from the first game, with a sort of papoose on her now shapely back.

Little as I expect from Bioshock 2, my heart is already overflowing with analysis. First, I’m intrigued by the idea of playing from within the monster. I know, I know, Big Daddies and the Big Sister alike are probably human inside those fashionable fish tanks, but original Bioshock players are used to thinking of them as soulless, inhuman bad guys. Then there’s that drill players now use to make big, bloody holes in their enemies. Phallic, phallic, and phallic again. Fighting it was one thing, but watching it turn your enemies into piles of gore is another.

Of course, my favorite bit is turning the big bronze bad guys into sultry bronze bad girls — or girl, for that matter. It’s hard to say what role the Big Sister will play, but I’m loving how she’s combining bizarre sex appeal (form fitting suit and a giant helmet?) with an eerie maternity. See that cage on her back? It’s for carrying around her (symbolic) kids, not her pure bred poodles.

More over-thinking when reports come back from E3, where I will not be again this year. I blame the fact that I’m getting married two weeks after the event. That and the fact that I’m still sleeping off GDC and ASJA.

Tags: female characters, little girls, monsters, new games, sex/gender imagery

9 Responses to “Bioshock 2: metal monster, meet my sexy big sister”

  1. Sean Bouchard Says:

    Just FYI, the game actually is a proper sequel. They made it confusing, because you play “the first” Big Daddy, but in fact the action takes place something like ten years after the original game. Rapture’s society has further declined in the absence of the Little Sisters, who were rescued by Dr. Tenenbaum with your (as Jack) assistance in the first game. The Big Sister in the sequel is, I believe, actually one of the original Little Sisters who went home, went crazy, kidnapped a bunch of little girls to create a new generation of Little Sisters, and then returned to Rapture.

    This is my understanding, at least. I had a lot of problems with the first game, although there are some things it did incredibly well, so I’m not sure what to expect from the sequel. However, I do think there is some potential meat to the idea that your well-intentioned actions in the first game led to greater disaster in Rapture, and you must now fix the problems that you are indirectly responsible for. (The fact that you play a completely different character than in the original may obviate this theme entirely, however.)

  2. Woodstock Says:

    Hmmm. This is hard for me! I can’t actually say anything. But I hope we will not disappoint you as much as you think, at least.

    Jordan Thomas is a genius:

  3. soulofaqua Says:

    To our russian triplet…. Na kaleni suka.

    Back to the story, Sean is fully correct about this.(excluding his speculations) I’m just disappointed that in the previous game when you turned into a Big Daddy yourself you didn’t get the drill or even the rivet gun. neither did you look like you actually was wearing a giant Rosie diving suit.
    Anyway in Bioshock 2 Tenenbaum awakes you from your long sleep so you can stop the Big Sister who has gone bat shit insane in acquiring new little sisters.

  4. Bonnie Ruberg Says:

    Our Russian triplet has been deleted for spamming — as much as those comments entertained me. Maybe it’s just the alternative alphabet that makes me giggle.

    Thanks for the correction. I’ll still play the game of course, and hopefully Thomas will indeed deliver some form of genius. I’m just not getting my hopes up.

  5. soulofaqua Says:

    I was too lazy to look up the correct russian spelling for it so I just spelled it with our alphabet. I’m sad they didn’t follow my request… I don’t mind a blowjob.

  6. Monique Says:

    Just found your blog at google and liked it.

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