Viral teaser sites are about as fresh an idea as a reality show starring a washed-up celebrity. But that doesn't stop publishers from using them to build buzz for their games. Case in point: BioShock 2: Sea of Dreams, currently in development at 2K Marin. The sequel to the GameSpot 2007 Game of the Year finalist is apparently the subject of Somethinginthesea.com, an oh-so-mysterious Web destination that soft-launched yesterday.
Set to a soundtrack of static-riddled radio transmissions, the site displays a wrinkled world map with a large X marked on the western coast of Ireland. The mark is dated February 20, 1967, seven years after the events of the original BioShock. On the upper right of the map are several photos, notes, and newspaper clippings bearing notations.
One article mentions the discovery of footprints on Lehinch Beach in western Ireland, which were made by something with "metallic soles [that] do not resemble any civilian or military footgear" and has "an unusually long stride." Further down on the page, the article notes recent sightings of "mysterious crimson lights" under the surface of nearby Liscannor Bay. Another article references the recent kidnapping of a local 7-year-old girl by an assailant wearing "a miner's helmet" with "a red light." That said, the articles and pictures state that the kidnappers are "thin" and have feet smaller than that of a regular man--perhaps indicating they are a new type of Big Daddy or a Splicer outfitted with scuba gear.
Anyone familiar with BioShock will recognize that these signs point to one of the lumbering Big Daddy opponents of the first game. Any remaining doubt will be erased by a photo of a homemade Big Daddy doll (top)--the same doll shown in the first official teaser trailer for the game (bottom). The doll's appearance leaves little doubt that Somethinginthesea.com was cooked up in 2K Games' marketing department and will be where more details about the undersea adventure surface.
BioShock 2: Sea of Dreams is currently "destined" to arrive on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC, according to 2K. Tentatively set to hit one or all platforms later this year, the game is the middle part of a planned BioShock trilogy, which will be turned into a film next year by Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski.