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An Introduction to BioShock 2's Multiplayer

by: Lynda Mc Donald ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

The sequel to the critically acclaimed BioShock features a new multiplayer mode that really stand out from other FPS titles. Set traps for your enemies, customize your weapons and becomea Big Daddy and destroy your enemies.

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    Suit Up We're Going In


    The first thing you need to do, when you enter the BioShock 2 multiplayer mode, is select from one of six characters (or eight, if you pre-ordered from Gamestop). This is purely an aesthetic choice, so it won't affect how you play multiplayer at all.

    You should now find yourself being introduced to BioShock 2’s multiplayer with a cut scene. Unlike the single player game, which takes place ten years after the original BioShock, the multiplayer is set just before it, during Rapture's civil war.

    When the cut-scene ends you will be guided through a small apartment and its features including a wardrobe, to customize the look of your character, a gene bank to let you select your weapons, a choice plasmids and tonics, a record player and an audio diary player. As you make your way through multiplayer you will unlock a number of audio diaries that reveal the story of Rapture's civil war, a feature rarely found in a game's online mode.

    You should now be making your way to your bathysphere, which is where you launch into the actual games. You can return to your apartment whenever you want to browse around and change your equipment, but of course you will spend most of your multiplayer time in actual combat.

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    Multiplayer Maps - The Bioshock Veteran's Dream

    kashmir restaurant 

    BioShock 2 launched with ten multiplayer maps. These maps are:


    Farmer's Market

    Fontaine's Home for the Poor

    Fort Frolic


    Kashmir Restaurant

    Medical Pavilion

    Mercury Suites

    Neptune's Bounty

    Point Prometheus

    A haven for BioShock veterans; all of these maps come from the original BioShock game although they've been redesigned somewhat to accommodate for multiplayer. As with any multiplayer game, learning the maps is essential to not only enjoying the game, but playing it well, and as you do so be sure to keep in mind the locations of special features that you might not see in other games, such as breakable walls, vending machines and turrets. Knowing all of this will give you an advantage

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    Game Modes

    The game modes are a pretty standard mix:

    Survival of the Fittest is exactly what it sounds like - a free for all.

    Civil War is team deathmatch.

    Last Splicer Standing is a team match where players don’t respawn, which slows things down and encourages a more defensive, cooperative approach (think Search and Destroy CoD style) .

    Turf War is another team game where the goal is to capture and hold a number of control points around the level.

    Capture the Sister is capture the flag using a Little Sister, with a switch-over at half-time.

    ADAM Grab and Team ADAM Grab feature players trying to hold onto a Little Sister for as long as possible.

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    BioShock 2 borrows some ideas from the Modern Warfare multiplayer feature, as players can gain experience, also known as ADAM, level up and acquire new equipment. In your apartment you can create up to three custom setups which mix and match these unlockables.

    Your equipment is mostly a mix of weapons, plasmids and tonics from the two single player experiences, although a few are exclusive to multiplayer and all have been modified to one degree or another for balance purposes. For example, most guns do less damage but have a higher rate of fire, while a plasmid like Winter Blast merely slows a player instead of freezing them completely.

    Each custom setup has room for two weapons, two plasmids and three tonics. In addition, you will unlock the ability to equip one of two different upgrades for your weapon. The machine gun, for example, can either have its clip size increased or its recoil decreased.

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    Gaining ADAM


    Like any other multiplayer game, when you first start multiplayer you won't have many options, but as you level up you will find yourself with access to more and more equipment. ADAM (or experience) is gained from a variety of sources. The most common are kills, assists, kill streaks, etc.

    You can also gain a lot of ADAM through trials. Trials are challenges that are unlocked as you level up, and they usually involve getting a certain number of kills with a specific weapon or plasmid, although other types exist as well, a very similar feature is found in the Black Ops mulitplayer challenge section.

    Each trial has a standard and advanced version, the latter of which rewards players with more ADAM. Completing these trials will help you to level up, and once you gain a few levels you will be able to explore the numerous possibilities of customization.

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    Unique Features

    BioShock 2's multiplayer attempts to blend elements of the single player game with traditional FPS multiplayer play, and as a result it has a few unique features you should be aware of if you wish to succeed online.

    First, the research camera makes an appearance in multiplayer. Whenever a player is killed, opposing players have the opportunity to research his corpse, just as you did in the single player. This two second process gives the researcher a damage bonus against this player. It's a helpful advantage, so be sure to research every enemy you take down, assuming it's safe. Also, being killed by a player you have a bonus on takes that bonus away, so try to remember any players who get a bonus on you.

    The second feature to keep in mind is hacking. The single player hacking mini-game has been removed, so all you need to do is hold the A button for a few moments. Players can hack both turrets and vending machines. The turrets are simple, just hack them to bring them on your side. Vending machines provide ammo to any passing players, but can be hacked to explode in their face instead. Whenever it's safe to hack something you should, as you'll earn a little ADAM and likely get at least one kill from your action as well.

    Finally, the iconic Big Daddy also makes an appearance in multiplayer. Or, more specifically, their suits do, and if you find one, then you can become a Big Daddy. Each map has three locations where suits can appear, although only one will be active at a time. Getting a suit removes your plasmids and health regeneration, but gives you a ton of health, a rivet gun, six proximity mines and a stomp move. In short, it's a very powerful weapon, and you should try to grab a suit whenever possible, stick close to allied Big Daddies for protection. With all of the above in mind, you will be well on your way to multiplayer success.

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    All screenshots and references from BioShock 2.

Guide to BioShock 2's Multiplayer

BioShock 2's multiplayer mode is a departure for the series, and it takes some of BioShock's more memorable features to create a unique multiplayer experience. These articles will help you familiarise yourself with the new mode and become an expert at fighting Rapture's Civil War.
  1. An Introduction to BioShock 2's Multiplayer
  2. Guide to BioShock 2's Multiplayer Weapons
  3. Guide to BioShock 2’s Multiplayer Plasmids