BioShock 2 Launches Worldwide

2K Games has officially thrown the doors open on BioShock 2, the company’s followup to the very popular (and 2007 “Game of the Year”) BioShock. Bioshock 2 features both single-player and multiplayer modes and aims to bring new levels of addiction—and “artistic achievement”—to the first-person shooter genre.

BioShock 2 screenshot

BioShock represented a watershed moment in the gaming industry when it illustrated that games, like feature films, can be viewed as art—both in art design and in the rich depth of the narrative,” said 2K president Christoph Hartmann, in a statement. “Most importantly, the media are stating what we’ve known all along; that whether or not you’ve played the original, BioShock 2 is a worthy successor to one of the best games of all-time that should not be missed.”

The new game puts players into the boots (and diving suit) of the character Big Daddy; players must traverse through the grandiose ruins of the city Rapture as some evil force starts to recreate the Little Sisters utopia under the ocean. Players must figure out the mystery while surviving onslaughts from genetically modified Splicers—and not getting killed themselves.

BioShock 2 screenshot

BioShock 2’s multiplayer mode steps back into a prequel, set in the time period before Rapture descended into chaos: players take on the role of a Plasmid test subject and engage in “frantically paced” battles through some of the locations from the original BioShock game.

BioShock 2 is available now for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and WIndows PC: it is rated M fo “Mature” by the ESRB. Xbox and PS3 editions carry suggested retail prices of $59.99; the Windows version runs $49.99. Special Editions are available for $99.99.

BioShock 2 screenshot