BioShock 2: Minerva's Den DLC First Look

We try out 2K Marin's upcoming downloadable add-on for BioShock 2 that gives fans a final single-player adventure in Rapture.

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2K Marin is putting the finishing touches on the last piece of downloadable content for BioShock 2--a single-player-focused piece set in Minerva's Den, an as-yet-unseen part of Rapture that takes place in parallel to the game's main story. We recently got some hands-on time with the early portion of the DLC, as well as a demo of some other aspects that showcased the mix of old and new packed into the studio's farewell to Rapture.

There will be a good mix of old and new in Minerva's Den.

Minerva's Den is a technological wonderland that has been cut off from the rest of Rapture. Once upon a time, the den served as a house for Rapture's computers. You'll play as a Big Daddy named Subject Sigma, another Alpha-series behemoth that gets his free will back via circumstances that will be made clear over the course of the adventure. The story kicks off in familiar fashion, with Sigma gaining consciousness and being contacted by Charles Milton Porter, a computer savant who created the intricate systems that keep all of Rapture running. While fans of the series will be familiar with most of Porter's creations, one will be quite new: a supercomputer called the Thinker that serves as Rapture's brain.

Thanks to some ADAM-enhanced improvements, the machine processes data at the speed of thought. But, much like all the cool stuff within Rapture, things have gone a little askew. Details on just what had gone wrong weren't clear when we played, but like any good supercomputer, the Thinker has gone a little bonkers: new security bots roam the halls of Minerva’s Den, Big Daddies are lumbering around with new weapons, and Porter is asking for help. The specifics of what has happened and the trouble Porter needs a hand with are mysteries that you'll have to uncover.

The story of Minerva's Den will span three areas in the new district and introduce you to new characters, enemies, and a new aspect of Rapture’s history. From what we’ve seen, it appears that part of the mystery is tied to a disagreement Porter had with his business partner, Reed Wahl, over how the technology was being used. The narrative will play out via the now standard mix of cutscenes, radio messages, and voice recorders. It also appears that besides the new faces, you’ll be hearing and seeing some familiar ones as well. During our hands-on session with the game, we found a recorder that commemorated Porter being brought on by Andrew Ryan, and 2K Marin reps told us that Minerva’s Den will offer some insight into what Dr. Tenenbaum got up to after she took off near the start of BioShock 2's main narrative.

In terms of gameplay, Minerva's Den strays a little from what we’ve seen in BioShock 2 thanks to a new weapon and plasmid. The former is an ion laser--a good, old-fashioned death ray that rips into enemies and does a stream of damage as long as it connects. As with other weapons in the game, you'll find alternate ammo, including thermal firepower that sets your target on fire. The new gravity-well plasmid plays with physics via a vortex that pulls things toward its center while doling out high levels of damage. Collecting new plasmids, weapons, tools, and even ADAM are key parts of the journey. From what we played, it definitely looks like the DLC will be offering a condensed leveling experience that will have you powering up Subject Sigma, and you'll even get to save or harvest six Little Sisters.

You’ll need all the powering up you can get to deal with the new threats in Minerva's Den, which include a new Big Daddy known as a Lancer, new security robots, and splicers. In addition, although we didn't see anything blatantly menacing, we have to assume that if the Thinker turns out to be a threat, it's not going to be too warm and fuzzy either.

The Thinker goes all HAL in this DLC.

Based on what we played, Minerva's Den looks to be a meaty piece of DLC that will round out the last tour of Rapture nicely. The gameplay is solid, and the story is interesting. The additions to your plasmid and weapon arsenal are cool, the new enemies will keep you on your toes, and the new achievements are always good to see. Fans of BioShock 2 will want to keep an eye out for Minerva’s Den when it's released on August 31.

Discussion

56 comments
hdilan7
hdilan7

I'm seeing this story, I haven't played it yet, and it appear to be alot better than the original sequel, and maybe have them switch places, keep the Big Sister as a lone mysterious threat and expand on the Big Sister's story through DLC, but thats just me thinking, insignificant opinion in other words to avoid fanfreaks of this game from attacking me.

Luismsousa
Luismsousa

Why gamespot did not reviewed yet this DLC? I already downloaded yesterday (in Portugal)...was not yet released in EUA? I do not understand this kind of policies, first in a continent or country and after in other places...the same thing applies to for example playstation move or the new controller for XBOX...marketing? Technical issues? Don't understand the concept...

mike_ezm
mike_ezm

with these DLC´s coming out.....i regret more than ever before living in this country (venezuela)

kelt321
kelt321

How long does it take to complete this DLC?

DarkReaper123
DarkReaper123

I bought it today, and it's worth every cent. It's about 1 GB and is split between two levels, kinda like Inner/Outer Persephone. It's got a new weapon, a new plasmid and a new Big Daddy. You will also be able to pick up the other weapons from the original campaign. Summary: Get. It. Now.

josh7845
josh7845

looks fricken awesome, i need to start saving up :)

H0rr0rG4m3r
H0rr0rG4m3r

Im gonna miss the underwater atmosphere of Rapture once Bioshock: Infinite comes out. DLC looks awesome though :)

ali_wand3r
ali_wand3r

I Love bioshock.beacause this game is a new shoter by new story.story is wonderfull & a slant good

jdhx
jdhx

I'm surprised Rapture is still upright especially how after the last one ended. Definitely will download due to it adding single player.

TheGreyArea
TheGreyArea

Infinite does look spectacular... but Rapture it's self is one of the biggest personalities of the Bioshock series (in my opinion). So the more of-it we can have in Single play? The better. Very attached to rapture. I think I may be part splicer (on my Dad's side of the family I think)

SgtNemo
SgtNemo

Can't get enough of Bioshock.. Keep them DLC's coming :D

KlepticGrooves
KlepticGrooves

Singleplayer DLC is always welcome as far as I'm concerned. I hope we see more in the run up to Infinite.

Caldziee
Caldziee

The DLC from this game keeps me coming back over and over, if this includes a patch for the "map pack only room" then hell yeah lets get playing! I have already purchased my MSP ready to purchase!!

RaveNRolla
RaveNRolla

bioshock singleplayer add-on? i'm always in for that

Kirintar
Kirintar

They should have a downloadable Sandbox version where you can play a super-powered big daddy outside of rapture and can flood whole areas by drilling through the glass walkways and escape doing the same thing.

tomcrole
tomcrole

@Morphine_OD so bioshock infinite is good see i throught it wasnt out for at least a years but i must be wrong

Morphine_OD
Morphine_OD

Bioshock series has been a fail since Bioshock 2, by exception of Bioshock Infinite

buft
buft

the new plasmid sounds awesome i always love playing with telekinesis and this looks like it compliments that style if play well

Sukharevskaya
Sukharevskaya

cool, just better not be too familiar....after all this is an indication of how they will execute bio3

UxoriousLimited
UxoriousLimited

Another Underwater Adventure would have made Rapture diluted?

VilandasUK
VilandasUK

I never thought off selling my bioshock 2, because I knew something like this was just going to show up :)

DS-man
DS-man

Woop, Gunna have to take my game back from my girlfriend =]

SuprSaiyanRockr
SuprSaiyanRockr

@ tyber78 No, it probably won't be. This is the first single player dlc with its own story and new weapons/plasmids; I doubt they would put in that much effort without a profit.

sooty1987
sooty1987

finally! single player dlc!! cant wait for bioshock 3....

Slimeysnot
Slimeysnot

RAPTURE is beast infinite will never live up to RAPTURE

isshiah
isshiah

single player dlc is always welcome.

kennythomas26
kennythomas26

sounds great, still haven't picked up the other dlc's for my copy yet.

CrossFire312
CrossFire312

I'm surprised that you won't be underwater in the next one. Kind of happy but also worried.

ArticRecon
ArticRecon

Can't get enough BShock.. yay!!! Hold me over til infinity... top tier game series...

fibbswill
fibbswill

This looks like a great addition. DLC needs to be more heavily scrutinized, DLC is running rampant and sometimes the quality is just not there. Unfortunately there are not enough reviews on them.

mariobros210
mariobros210

as if we all didnt need a good reason to re-invest in bioshock...

Shadow4020
Shadow4020

Good bye Rapture, you will be missed :(

DarkCyborg343
DarkCyborg343

Im sold. To bad i already sold mine back. I guess ill have to rebuy it. =(

masterdude192
masterdude192

I still have not bought any of the bioshock 2 dlcs. Maybe Ill trade in my origional for the soon to be released Bioshock 2 game of the year edition.

Gorephanage64
Gorephanage64

I am debating whether to buy the first or second bioshock, the second one felt like the same exact game to me but maybe this will make me choose number two.

MrWhite325
MrWhite325

Black Hole Plasmid+Laser=Fun for the whole rapture family

QuatrixJ
QuatrixJ

Will this one actually have a real boss fight where you don't just take out a bunch of minions?

tehepicpwnzor
tehepicpwnzor

Maybe The Thinker is married to GLaDOS. The Thinker knows, GLaDOS has cake. Between those two powers, they'd be unstoppable.

dmitri25
dmitri25

That bloody ball plasmid looks pretty cool :P

archvile_78
archvile_78

guess ill grab 2800 msp by the end of the month, deadrising case zero, this and the new borderland dlc next month.

SuprSaiyanRockr
SuprSaiyanRockr

New stuff! Awesome. Def getting this, but I had hoped that they would include more than one new plasmid when I bought bioshock 2.

Xbox360Gamer15
Xbox360Gamer15

looks awesome....i just hope it doesnt take up too many gigs

mer1in79
mer1in79

i don't know if it's free for p.c but it's 800ms points on 360