I am playing BioShock 2 and I am terrified. I am terrified because I know that what I am about to do will cause a horde of Splicers, and perhaps something even worse, to descend upon me and my Little Sister. But, even though I have a choice, I have no choice. I need the ADAM. I need the ADAM to buy new plasmids and gene tonics from a Gatherer's Garden. I need the new plasmids and gene tonics because the game has told me - quite sternly - that without them I'll likely not survive the tough road ahead. So, here I am: a Little Sister on my broad shoulder, a glowing white corpse at my huge, armoured feet, and no real decision to make. I am playing BioShock 2 and I am terrified.
But, I am not defenceless. I am a Big Daddy, for a start, and I can prepare. I can set Rapture against the Splicer horde. With my Rivet Gun, I lay Trap Rivets in a protective circle around my Little Sister. I scout the area for environmental aids: water pools, oil spills, turrets I've hacked, gas canisters I can hurl with telekinesis. I even lay down turrets of my own with the new Hack Tool. I switch my machine gun ammo to anti-personnel, check I've got a full tank for my devastating, immensely satisfying drill, and whisper a brief prayer to the gaming gods. There will be blood…
I lay down the Little Sister and wait. As she jabs her oversized needle into the corpse, a small progress bar slowly fills. Then I hear them coming: each demented shriek and crazed babble pounding at my heart. And then they come: basic Splicers at first, some bearing melee weapons - they're the ones that get gobbled up by the Rivet Traps - some firing weapons - they're killed by the turrets (hopefully). Then the Spider Splicers come, dropping from the ceiling right in front of me - my shotgun, which takes an age to reload, deals with them. It's frantic - I am turning and running and firing and using first aid kits in desperation, really. I am fighting to survive, fighting to protect my Little Sister. I am not hunting, I am being hunted. Then BioShock 2 pulls its finger out and rolls up its sleeve.
A Brute Splicer comes, BioShock 2's take on Left 4 Dead's tank. It is a muscle-bound freak, mutated beyond recognition. It throws anything it can at me, devastating my health with each hit. I try to use telekinesis to throw back, but it's not working. It charges from across the damp, crumbling corridors of Pauper's Drop - BioShock 2's fourth level - knocking me back, jamming me into a corner and, again, devastating my health. Nothing is working. I need to think - quick - or it's the Vita-Chamber for me.
And then it hits me: charge up the Winter Blast 2 plasmid, let fly with a block of ice, freezing him solid, then shatter him to pieces with a drill dash. The new dual wielding system makes it an easy technique to execute: I hold the left trigger, line up the reticule, then release. As the Brute is frozen in mid air, I hold the right trigger to rev the drill cannon, then press B (on the Xbox 360 - the version tested). I fly across the corridor and slam the drill into the ice block, shattering it in one devastating blow. The Big Daddy's drill dash is one of the meatiest, most satisfying video game attacks I've ever experienced.
I breathe, surveying my handiwork. Splicer corpses are everywhere. My turrets are destroyed and my Rivet Traps triggered. My heart is pounding. I loot, for cash, for ammo, for anything I can get my huge hands on. Then, I look for my Little Sister. Her creepy, glowing eyes stare up at me like a demonic cat. I pick her up and watch the ADAM count increase. I am fond of her. I worry about her. I need her.
Now, all I need to do is hold X to have a weird glowing white trail lead me to one of those vents the Little Sisters crawl around in, then decide whether to save or harvest my quarry. I am about to set off when I hear something awful. It is a shriek - a long, eardrum-bursting shriek - that shakes the screen. My Little Sister makes matters worse: "Mr B, I don't think she likes you playing with me…" A message pops up at the bottom of the screen: A Big Sister is coming and she is not happy. Prepare yourself!