We knew it was coming, but who knew it would come like this?
The sequel to BioShock was finally confirmed this morning through - of all things - a leaked YouTube trailer. Not quite the glorious unveiling we, and probably the developers, had in mind. Despite the shoddy delivery system, however, the content of the tease is surprisingly satisfying and unbelievably thought-provoking. We’ve already watched it a dozen times, and with each viewing, we leave with more answers, more questions and a hell of a lot more anticipation.
Here are our first attempts to dissect and analyze the BioShock 2: Sea of Dreams video. Four editors – all huge fans of the first game - sat down and studied every frame. We think we arrived at some pretty intriguing conclusions but, if you’ve got something better, definitely let us know in the comments below. Any and all theories are welcome, so let’s get started!
Charlie: Before this teaser, what did we all assume a BioShock sequel (or prequel) would involve?
Brett: I figured a sequel would have to follow the "bad" ending, as the "good" ending implies everything turned out okay.
Charlie: I really thought they would go the prequel route, depicting Rapture in its heyday and giving us that firsthand perspective on everything going totally to shit. We could have witnessed a slightly more populated city, too, which would have upped the technology ante.
Brett: Yeah, prequel would revolve around the initial construction and creation of Rapture.
Eric: We've heard much of that story in audio recordings already. I still hoped for a prequel, though, because I'm apparently one of the few people who were satisfied with the ending of the first game. The story is done. To continue it would just dilute it.
Charlie: So what was your very first thought upon watching this teaser trailer?
Eric: That someone at 2K doesn't share my view that the story needn't be continued. Oh, and I was also totally confused.
Joe: We were lead to believe that it is 1950-60s America outside Rapture, but that may not be true.
Brett: First thought - this is a surviving Little Sister who wants to see Rapture rebuilt, and tries to do so on a beach, which is in between her lost childhood and the real world. Hence the long scenes of sand buildings growing as the camera rolls away, which imply to me that we're going to see a new city in that same style.
Charlie: You really think we’ll play in a brand new city and not the old Rapture?
Brett: The subtitle, “Sea of Dreams,” could reference her fond memories of being a Little Sister. So yes, you would be attempting to create a new city in memory of the old. The other survivors would split into two camps - those who miss Rapture and those who would do anything to see it stopped forever. You could technically be the bad guy... not too far a twist for this series.
Charlie: My interpretation was slightly different. She’s a Little Sister with vague and idealized memories of the place she was born – the original Rapture. She doesn’t quite remember the truth of that “utopia,” so she’s driven by a desire to return and investigate. Not create a copy out of sand.
Eric: Dude, she's a Little Sister - we have no idea what will happen with them now that they're actually growing up. This could be a crazy mind city composed entirely of sand and populated with demons from her fever-dream childhood memories.
Joe: The buildings first appear smooth like rocks and only gradually acquire structural features as the camera pulls back.
Eric: Well, Rapture was a whole city. There could be huge areas we haven't seen yet.
Charlie: The beginning of BioShock said "Mid-Atlantic" and now the beginning of the teaser for BioShock 2 says "Atlantic Coast." It’s clear to me that we'll be in the same city, though probably different parts. Or transformed parts.
Joe: If you go topside, where's the cool art design and stifling claustrophobia?
Charlie: Are we taking this city in the sand too literally? Are the contents of this teaser real or maybe just a dream? After all, the title of the game is "Sea of Dreams," there's a song about dreams playing over the scene and she just made sandcastles with her mind.
Eric: Who can tell? It'd be pretty crummy to tease us with something that wasn't actually real. I had forgotten about the subtitle though.
Brett: I don't think they'd try to sell us a dream game right off the bat. People tend to view the dream thing as a copout.
Charlie: Or the "dream" theme could refer simply to her dream of finding Rapture again.
Brett: Yeah, I think "dream" is more of "vision" or "goal" in this case.
Eric: Maybe they're referring to Ryan's dream of the perfect society?
Joe: "Dream" or "nightmare"? She could have post-traumatic stress disorder.
Charlie: The sandcastles could be an unlocked plasmid power... your protagonist in the first game was just gaining powers, but a Little Sister would have been injected far earlier.
Joe: It'd be easy to explain Little Sisters getting powers from all their work harvesting Adam.
Charlie: And those powers only grow stronger as they get older.
Brett: With no Adam, they're supposed to be normal again... though I wouldn't be surprised if one had developed crazy, unrelated powers like Fontaine did, only able to control them.
Eric: I'm scared of these chicks.