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BioShock 2: Sinclair Solutions Tester Pack
Score: 85%
Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: 2K Marin
Media: Download/1
Players: 2 - 10 (Online)
Genre: First Person Shooter/Online

Introduction:

It's been at least a month or so since BioShock 2 released, and judging by the condition of the post-release servers, multiplayer is still attracting a decent number of dedicated players. Though nothing like jumping into a game of Halo 3 or Modern Warfare, I'm surprised I haven't had a hard time getting matches, which usually happens once other games come out and distract players with something new and shiny.

For players who have moved on to other pastures, the fortunately-timed release of the BioShock 2: Sinclair Solutions Tester Pack DLC might be enough to snag you back into Rapture. As multiplayer-focused DLC goes, the Tester Pack is a good deal. For 400 MSP (about $5), you'll unlock two new characters, 20 new trials, and a third upgrade slot for weapons and new masks. The Tester Pack also ups the level cap from 40 to 50.


Gameplay:

The BioShock 2: Sinclair Solutions Test Pack's two new characters offer another view of Rapture before the fall. Oscar Calraca is Rapture's billionaire playboy with a soft spot for cats. Louie McGraff represents Rapture's criminal element. He's a smuggler who managed to smuggle himself into Rapture. Both characters' backstories are filled out via audio logs, though the actual value is debatable. Their stories are interesting (especially Oscar's), but really don't matter in the long run. It's cool the characters are fleshed out, but it doesn't enhance the experience.

The bigger deal for players, beyond two new faces in matches, is the increased level cap. The cap also brings a few new player rewards, mainly new masks for characters and access to twenty new multiplayer trials. The cap increase is welcome, but the rewards are a bit of a letdown. Going from 2 - 40 you at least got new weapons, tonics and upgrades. Here you just get masks and bragging rights. This would have been a good use for fleshing out the third weapon upgrade slot, but those are available from the start.

The twenty new multiplayer trials (a sort of meta-game going on throughout multiplayer matches) are fun if you like completing them. Nearly all relate to the new weapon upgrades, like extended clips and new bolts for the crossbow. The additions are another major plus for multiplayer and almost worth the full price of the download. The new upgrades are a blast and have changed up a few of the tactics that had become so predominant in multiplayer matches.


Value:

Calling the BioShock 2: Sinclair Solutions Tester Pack DLC is a bit misleading. You're technically downloading something, but the content is already securely locked away on the game disc. All you're really buying is the unlock key to access it. The decision is sure to ruffle feathers and incite several to go keyboard commando in various game forums, but that's the nature of players and companies this generation. According to 2K, having it on the disc already is meant to keep from splitting the player base between people who bought the pack and those who didn't. I'm a bit suspicious if that's really the case, but that's a business discussion for another time.

Download or unlock, the content is worth the purchase and comes with some really cool stuff. At $5, the DLC is a sure purchase for those still plugging away at multiplayer and have no intention of stopping.


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Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated