If you liked the parts of BioShock 2 where you defend the Little Sister from a swarm of splicers as she attempts to harvest ADAM from a corpse, you're in luck. The next round of downloadable content--called the Protector Trials--focuses exclusively on these encounters from BioShock 2, forcing you to outwit and outlast the Little Sisters' assailants in six confined environments. Each of these environments is based on an area from the original game, such as the Adonis Baths, and each has three trials that are denoted by a different number of stars. When you successfully complete one of these trials, you earn the corresponding number of stars, which can then be used to unlock additional trials.
Naturally, there's one caveat for these trials--you must complete them using predetermined loadouts that are customized around a certain type of gameplay. For example, one loadout might focus on hacking, which in turn won't give you much in the way of raw firepower. Another loadout might focus on traps, giving you access to proximity mines, the rivet gun (with trap rivets), as well as the cyclone trap and electro bolt plasmids. You'll even encounter a trial that focuses specifically on your skill with a Big Daddy drill. At any rate, there are icons that show what you have access to before the start of the trial, so you know what you're getting into before it starts.
The idea behind these predetermined loadouts is to change and adapt your play style to what's available, so if you rush into these trials thinking you can rely on a single strategy that got you through BioShock 2, it'll be tough. One way to make it easier is to not place the Little Sister down at the corpse to start harvesting right away. This gives you an opportunity to scout the layout of the level, checking out potential splicer entry points as well as getting an idea of where the ammo and health vending machines are located. This is absolutely vital, because the last thing you want is to run out of ammunition or health in the middle of a splicer rush. Once you feel comfortable with the setup and you're sure that you have all of your defensive measures in place, you can set the Little Sister down and start the party.
In the trial we experienced in the Adonis Baths, the preparation time was crucial. We took a few minutes to place trap rivets along a path we thought the splicers would take to get to the Little Sister, found an optimal defensive position, and then began harvesting. Aside from making effective use of plasmids and weapons, we observed--for this trial--that it was a better idea to maintain a defensive position close to the Little Sister. All too often we were tempted to run off and continue killing splicers on the other side of the area, which then left our Little Sister vulnerable to attack. This not only increased our chance of losing the trial, but also hurt our score.
Scoring in the Protector Trials is determined by how long the Little Sister can harvest without being attacked--the longer she can drain ADAM uninterrupted by splicers, the higher the scoring multiplier becomes and the quicker she extracts ADAM. It's also worth mentioning that you earn money (which you can use to purchase ammo and health) for every splicer you kill. Of course, completely protecting the Little Sister is much easier said than done, particularly when you're reaching the end of the trial and the stronger enemies, like the Brutes, come rushing in and draw your attention away from her. But if you're successful in fending them off and completing the trial, you're greeted with a completion screen that shows you the total amount of ADAM harvested as well as a rating--C,B,A or A+--based on your performance. There are also new pieces of concept art and deleted scenes to unlock as well as new achievements and trophies to earn for completing trials.
BioShock 2: Protector Trials is currently scheduled for release on Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, and PC on August 3.