Guardians of a new clear dawn

Apparently BioShock 2 is going to attempt to answer a question we’ve long wondered: is it possible to jump the shark while underwater?

I dunno, the game could turn out to be just fine, but this first image of sequel’s wild new innovation, “Big Sisters,” is not filling my heart with confidence. I’m not sure who decided that the most awesomest thing that could possibly be done with the BioShock concept was to turn Big Daddies into lanky women in fetish gear, but I think we can all agree that this person should never be allowed to look at deviantArt, or make any sort of important decision, ever again.

I feel like someone should fire a warning shot at Japan, too, just for the principle of the thing.

33 thoughts on “Guardians of a new clear dawn

  1. I’m cautiously hoping that this game will be as interesting as the first, but chances are it’ll be a better shooter (mechanically), with a inferior setting and story.
    The “big sister” thing doesn’t really bother me though. I’m waiting to see more before I make any sort of decision about this one.

  2. It seems like any game that is successful commercially that doesn’t try to sexualize and exploit women in its first installment is met with a sequel full of impossibly breasted or half naked ladies. (Resident Evil, FFX, I can’t think of any other examples offhand)

  3. I don’t think they were going for “wild new innovation,” with the Big Sisters. I think it’s more of a “hey, there’s at least one new character,” which is more than I thought I’d see in Bioshock 2.

    I bet they’re going for a new, sexualized look with the slightly older (or maybe just bigger) looking “little sisters” too, aren’t they, Parish?

  4. That image is too early to tell if they’re half naked or impossibly breasted.
    The sexualization seems mostly to be coming from blogs reporting on it, before they know any details.

    For me the problem with the concept is that they seem to think that changing the one thing you can about Big Daddies (the gender) makes for innovation.

  5. Nah, I don’t see a lot of sexualization happening here, besides the fact that what looked like a diving suit on the Big Daddies becomes more like bondage gear on the female versions. I just think the idea is really dumb, for roughly the same reasons as taidan.

  6. I’ll bet all you naysayers $10 that Parish’s (and the larger blogosphere as a whole’s) initial misgivings about the sexualization thing absolutely come true.

  7. Big Sisters? What’s next, Little Brothers?

    This game is getting more and more Japanese by the minute.

  8. I think I speak for everyone when I say “BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

  9. I must confess I didn’t draw the same reaction as Parish to this cover. I don’t see a “lanky woman in fetish gear,” here. I see a familar form, one that I can recognize as being similar to the Big Daddy of Bioshock 1 fame. I see nothing that’s been given a sexual quantity, here. The pose chosen by the artist isn’t even remotely suggestive. We’re not looking down between her breasts or up at her ass. The pose suggests a character that is more agile than the Big Daddies, and perhaps even more aggressive. It’s not even as emotionally attached to the Little Sister it protects; choosing to carry her in a cage on its back rather than coddling her as was the habit of the Big Daddies.

    The entire basis of your post is on the words “Big Sister” used in the corner of the magazine cover and pays little attention to the one shred of content actually in front of you: The art itself. If the catch line had instead read “The Thin Man welcomes you back to Rapture,” you’d have had to come up for a completely different reason to dismiss the game than drawing tenuous connections to bondage.

    I’m not even trying to argue that the game will be good. I have no idea, though I certainly hope it lives up to the name. I just find your “jumping the shark” accusations to be premature, drawn completely from personal inference because you know the fictional person inside that suit has an (equally fictional) uterus.

  10. They’re hideously disfigured under all that armor and diving gear and giant glowing red headlight

    This is 2K Marin, not Kojima Productions or the guys who made the Silent Hill nurses boobs even BIGGER

  11. I had the same filling as Shish…a spin on the design of the Big Daddies. I didn’t even think bondage gear until I read it here. I also don’t understand why 99% of the comments are saying how terrible this game will be (or at least thinking up reasons it will suck) when we don’t really know hardly anything about it yet. :P

  12. I agree with Shish. I looked at the photo and thought, “That looks pretty awesome.”

  13. Damn you and your uteral hatred, Parish. Why must your x-ray specs isolate that organ in anger so?

    Whether or not the game designers are fetishing the Big Sisters or not, you’d better believe the fan artists have already started.

  14. It’s strange that people assume my complaint here is about sexualization due to the Big Sisters’ femininity, because I never actually said that (and in fact countered the claim in one of the first comments here). “Lanky” is rarely a term used to emphasize something’s sexiness, at least in my world. This could have been a male character and I’d STILL see bondage gear, because the character basically looks like Voldo with a fishbowl on its head and a drill on its arm. My complaint is ACTUALLY the fact that this is a cheesy way to revisit an icon (omg it’s like a Big Daddy but a GIRL), redolent of some of the less appealing anime franchises dribbling from Japan’s bowels these days (omg it’s like Romance of the Three Kingdoms but Lu Bu is a GIRL). Combined with the fact that the game is set in Rapture AGAIN despite the fact that the only thing that kept the first BioShock from being a straight-up rehash of System Shock 2 was the stunning originality of its setting, it’s not an encouraging first glimpse of the game.

    Clearly, this is almost exactly the same thing as me screaming in anger about the existence of ovaries.

    Anyway, guys, ranty condemnatory diatribes directed at me are all well and good, but it never hurts to make sure you’re attacking an actual point of view instead of a fantastical strawman that only exists in your imagination. I didn’t mean for it to happen this way, but the ambiguous brevity of the original post really turned out to be a bit of a rorschach test, huh?

  15. Agreed that this is a disappointing look for the series. Besides Big Daddies were never really the focus of the 1st game, are they trying to pull that trick again?

  16. The little I’ve seen of it so far, and the sort of thought processes I would go through had I been given the task of making Bioshock 2, makes me think that it’s going to be a prequel.

    In this case, bringing some diversity to the Big Daddies is probably necessary because there’d be more of them. “Necessity” is on a sliding scale here, because I haven’t been convinced that Bioshock 2 has any reason for existing other than “we want more money”. The baked-in Objectivist criticism was what sold me on the first game, and I’d be extremely surprised if 2K Marin had anything at all to say on that topic.

  17. My great, probably unfounded hope is that they’re intentionally teasing us with the bits that are the most similar to the original, because hey, originality doesn’t stir up hype: sequels do. It wasn’t until right before Bioshock’s release, when people actually played the demo, that folk began to take notice. So let’s cross our fingers (for luck, not disingenuousness) and pray that this is just to lure in the casuals.

    Hell, if we want to live in a dream world full of cake walls and gumdrop pillows we could pretend that this is Kojima-style misdirection: you’ll be expecting more of the same only to have your preconceptions thrown against the wall, dropped into the water, and electrified. Wouldn’t the surprise be that much more pronounced if you had all but written Sea Of Dreams off as creatively bankrupt?

    …Now hopefully some optimistic fool with a still-beating heart and a spring in his step will believe all the tripe I proclaimed above. I haven’t written Bioshock 2 off. I’m cautiously optimistic. Very cautiously. Like, my optimism refuses to walk past a running microwave for fear of cardiac arrest.

  18. Plasmids and new weapons and maybe if we are really lucky a disco. Plus more Randroids. I want more “…they were going to nationalize MY forest, so I burned it.” moments.

  19. It’s going to take a lot more than changing the gender of a reoccuring miniboss to make me care about this game.

  20. It almost seems like the scenario designer came into work hung over. “Bob, are you ready to present your Bioshock 2 script?” “…shit, um, so they go back to …Rapture… and … remember the Big Daddies… so now they’re… um… hot.”

  21. Considering the entire thrust of the pre-release hype for Bioshock was “it’s a shooter! do what you want!” it’s pretty obvious that they’re using the exact same strategy as they did before: emphasise the known quantities and then ship in the originality by the back door.

    For better or worse, gamers overwhelmingly vote with their wallet in favour of things they know the value of, and originality is not something they’re willing to risk money on. Take Braid, or World of Goo – two games that people had been raving about, in Braid’s case for *years*, both games had demos (in World of Goo’s case, a full quarter of the game), and people were *still* wary of the price. How could you not know whether those games were worth the money unless originality *itself* was enough to make consumers shy away?

    We know causal gamers use the exact same strategy: licensed games frequently sell better than 95% of titles, no matter their quality, purely because they’re a known quantity.

  22. I guess I just don’t see it; I see no skin or any particularly un-armored areas either. I see more Evangelion than Voldo in this, if that makes any sense (armored, but agile).

  23. The point of contention isn’t whether or not they’re sexing up the Big Daddies. The problem is that making “Big Daddies, except they’re girls!” is a pretty creatively bankrupt move and doesn’t speak well for other ideas they might have to “improve” the sequel. Besides, didn’t they say all they needed to say in the first Bioshock? Must we return to Rapture?

  24. I was initially skeptical, but the more I look at that picture, the more it looks like there’s a kazoo welded to her arm. This game is going to rock.

  25. Yeah, I’ll agree with Parish, but I like the design anyway. It’s creepier, not just in-your-face scary, and makes me wonder what the Big Sisters are going to be capable of. I mean, the Big Daddys were quick on their feet, so are these ones going to be acrobatic? They could do that without changing the gender, give us Ninja Daddys or something, but whatever…I’ll wait to see more about the game before I start caring too much.

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