Today Take-Two finally got around to confirming Bioshock 2, pencilling in the follow-up to last year's heavily applauded first-person shooter for release in the fourth quarter of 2009. It's got a serious challenge ahead in bettering the original game, and we just hope it's up to the task. After all, a sequel more impressive than the debut would be very impressive indeed.
Confirmation on Bioshock 2 caused, how shall we put this tactfully... interesting discussion in the office about what we'd like to see in the sequel. Don't ever dare mention multiplayer as a must-have for number two if you happen to be in CVG Towers - you'll receive angry and incredulous stares that'll floor you like a block of concrete.
Let's get on with the show...
Take-Two's confirmed nothing about the setting for Bioshock 2 but a prequel to events in the original game is heavily rumoured.
Should that prove to be the case then it absolutely has to deal with ground zero when the genetic modification-fuelled events kick off in Rapture - we know a deal about the intervening aftermath between the fall and the original game after all via the voice recordings in Bioshock, so we don't particularly want to play through that.
It's an obvious one but, assuming Bioshock 2 is set in Rapture - it can't be anything otherwise, right? - then we don't want to be treading all the old paths even if they are pre-deterioration of the failed utopia. New areas of the underwater world need to be opened up. But don't try and go open-world. We like the corridors. We want more corridors.
Kill the vita chambers!
Bioshock's Vita Chambers ended up proving one of - it not the - game's most controversial features. Thanks to these players could respawn with no penalty and continue to fight, say, a Big Daddy, exactly where things were left off after your death. In fact, a patch that released for the shooter after launch allowed you to turn Vita Chambers off. Just leave them out for the sequel.
It's been emotional (or not)
Prior to Bioshock's release a big hoo-hah was made about the emotional choices and moral dilemma we'd face in the game in relation to the Little Sisters - do you kill them to harvest Adam? Or save them to, er, get Adam... ?
In reality it turned out to be rather mediocre with a Little Sister's fate determined at a button press. Should the original harvesting scene have been kept intact, it may have been different. Bioshock 2, we want you to make us cry, or, like paying a tramp 50 quid to go and buy us a Whopper, feel good.
Guns, ammo, plasmids and tonics
Obvious point number two, but if you're making Bioshock 2 you can't just rehash the weapons, ammo, plasmids and tonics appearing in the original game. While we're on the subject, please put more thought into the guns and ensure there's greater distinction among the weapons. In the first game it was very much a case of using your best gun until ammo was depleted, then moving to the second best gun and so on. Oh, and no more bees!
Now, we don't want to give away plot spoilers and ruin Bioshock for those that have yet to play it, but assuming that the next game is a prequel then one avenue that simply has to be explored is conflict between what are essentially factions in Rapture.