Prior to BioShock 2's official reveal in October, speculation appeared to indicate that the 2K Games-published game would be a prequel to the first, detailing the fall of the idyllic underwater city of Rapture. However, as explained in GameSpot's first look at the first-person shooter, BioShock 2 is very much a sequel to the events in the first game, taking place 10 years after the conclusion of Jack's escapades with Andrew Ryan and Frank Fontaine and featuring big sisters.
Today, the source of that early speculation appears to have come to light. 2K Games has announced that BioShock 2 will indeed contain a multiplayer component, one that will be set "during the fall of Rapture." Digital Extremes, the studio behind 2008's long-in-the-making Dark Sector as well as the PlayStation 3 edition of BioShock, has been tasked with creating the BioShock 2 multiplayer component.
BioShock 2's multiplayer will tell a story of its own, positioning players in the role of a plasmid test subject for Sinclair Solutions, "a premier provider of plasmids and tonics" that eventually turned the underwater city's denizens insane. 2K Games notes that the multiplayer component will continue to flesh out BioShock's backstory, providing a look at the corruption that led to Rapture's demise, as well as revisiting a number of locales from the first game.
2K Games didn't delve into specific game modes for the multiplayer component, and it didn't indicate whether it would focus on cooperative or competitive play. However, the publisher did note that an experience-point system will be at work, wherein players will be able to upgrade and unlock new weapons, plasmids, and tonics as they advance. 2K Games also promises that these abilities can be used to form "hundreds of different combinations."
BioShock 2 is expected to arrive for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. For more information, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.