In February 2010, 2K Marin released a sequel set eight years after the end of BioShock. In this new game, the player is the super prototype Big Daddy "Subject Delta". Delta wields plasmid abilities and some nifty new tools as he attempts to track down Eleanor, the Little Sister with whom he was originally bonded. There's a new, very dangerous enemy called the Big Sister, and another romp through Rapture, now under the heel of Andrew Ryan's collectivist foil Dr. Sofia Lamb. All accompanied by anotherviral marketingcampaign.BioShock 2 includes a multiplayer section, where players take control of Splicers during the war and compete in games like Deathmatch and Capture the Flag. Winning these games rewards the player with ADAM which is used to buy new weapons and plasmids. Players also got an apartment, where they can change the appearance of their Splicer.In August 2010, 2K released two DLCs for BioShock 2: The Protector Trials and Minerva's Den. In The Protector Trials Tenenbaum activates another Alpha Series Big Daddy and asks him to save several Little Sisters from Sofia Lamb. Minerva's Den follows another prototype Big Daddy "Subject Sigma", who is tasked with obtaining a copy of Rapture's computer mainframe, called The Thinker, by one of its creators Charles Milton Porter. The latter is an actual story, while the former was a series of challenges with limitations, like using only certain weapons or plasmids.
The base game contains examples of these tropes:
Action Girl: Eleanor Lamb will eventually join you as a Big Sister, though it just means putting on a suit, not a permanent process like making Big Daddies is. She is awesome.
All There In The ARG: Didn't follow "Something In The Sea?" Then you have no real concept of a) who Mark Meltzer is, b) why you should care, or c) why he was awesome enough for fans to demand he appear.
Amusement Park of Doom: Ryan Amusements. Already a nightmarish propaganda tool, by the time you visit it, it's just another urban battlefield strewn with lurking Splicers and automated gun turrets.
Apocalypse Not: Sets in due to the use of Re Vision via Sofia Lamb's character. Remember how in the first game, Rapture often seemed just that close to being swallowed up by the ocean as the city fell to pieces around you? Well, this game is set eight years later, and not only is Rapture still intact (relatively speaking), but Lamb has also given it something close to a functioning society again.
Apologetic Attacker: Subject Omega, AKA Augustus Sinclair. He has no control over his body due to mind control plasmids and barely has control over his speech. His final request of you is to kill him, and offers suggestions on how to about it.
Art Shift: In the original, the Splicers' character models are a little messed up but still seem human. The sequel takes place about a decade after the original, so the Splicers have been mutating even further for years, and many are half-feral by this point. As a result their character models are much more exaggerated, with giant tumors bulging out of their clothes, and even hooves and talons on some of them. Meanwhile, the Little Sisters were changed from their Creepy Child models to ones that evoke our paternal instincts better - there's even a difference in their reactions to being saved. The Little Sisters in the first game near-tearfully thank you, but the ones in the second act as if nothing much happened.
Could be handwaved by the fact that you're playing a Big Daddy. Big Daddies are by their nature protective (or at least are supposed to be). Humans hunt them down and kill them for ADAM, so naturally a human showing mercy is a lot more surprising.
The main reason the Little Sisters seem much more trusting when you save them in this game is because of the shared bond you and they have with Eleanor Lamb, causing them to think of you as a father the way she does.
Badass Normal: Mark Meltzer. This man not only tracked down Rapture unaided, he Papa Bear'd his way through splicer hell without any plasmids and wielding nothing more than a pistol. The only reason he gets captured at the end is because he was distracted BY HIS DAUGHTER.
Bad Boss: Evelyn Klein, the Personnel Manager of Rapture Central Computing, was an absolute terror to work for; among other transgressions, she chewed out her employees for cross-department romances, not providing a new pair of alligator heels within the hour she requested them (her previous assistant having been fired for this), and upholstering her office chair in the wrong shade of lavender.
Be Careful What You Wish For: Fans wanted to see Mark Meltzer's story come to a definite conclusion, so 2k Games put Mark Meltzer in the game as a Big Daddy you have to kill. Turns out, Mark wanted to be with his daughter under any conditions. This discovery put many of the followers of BioShock 2's ARG into bad moods.
You don't have to kill him. There are several other Big Daddies around. Although if you don't, he will most likely die when Fontaine Futuristics and Persephone fall to the bottom of the trench after Sofia Lamb destroyed the anchors that held buildings in place.
Bittersweet Ending: One of the endings where Subject Delta denies Eleanor the right to extract his ADAM after compromises had to be made in saving the Little Sisters, resulting in Eleanor being spared the Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds fate but now left as an orphan.
A smaller example for Mark Meltzer, assuming you're rescuing the Little Sisters: he gets turned into a Big Daddy and ultimately dies at your hand, but Cindy is safe.
Rocket Spears are a less-traditional example, causing hit Splicers to rocket around while igniting anybody nearby before exploding.
Book Ends: The game ends outside the lighthouse where the first game begins.
Boring, but Practical: Though it's been nerfed significantly, Electro followed by melee will stunlock most things until you kill them, provided you can keep up on the EVE costs and stay fairly close. Tougher enemies like the Brutes and Big Daddies/Sisters recover fast enough to cause some damage, but not quite enough that it isn't worth the investment.
They later clarify that most of the Alpha Series died or fell into a coma; some did survive, but were driven insane, filled with such homicidal rage and despair that they're barely useful to their creators as footsoldiers.
Captain Obvious: Lampshaded when Stanley recruits your help to bury evidence of his own actions.
Sinclair: I'd say he's hiding something but he sorta took the fun out of that one.
Crippling Overspecialization: The Drill Master Tonic limits you to the drill, hack dart gun, and camera. As ammo for that gun isn't exactly plentiful, you're pretty much stuck with melee. In exchange, you get a huge cut in your plasmid costs, letting you spam them with reckless abandon. Certain plasmids and tonics can help cover your weaknesses, but in short it renders you a lot more vulnerable to ranged attacks.
Cruel Mercy: The good ending, when here Eleanor spares her mother. If you harvest the Little Sisters, yet spare the lives of the "guilty" who have been tormenting you, Eleanor says that this trope is exactly the reason why she chooses to spare Sofia Lamb's life, so that she'll grow old knowing that her own daughter rejected her.
Can be considered Stanley's fate. He's stuck in Splicer-infested territory with the only way out leaving, and he certainly can't take refuge in the booth anymore.
Cult: Lamb's "Family," complete absolute fealty to their leader, messianic figure, and suicidal "ascension" ceremonies.
Cute Bruiser: Eleanor Lamb, after you free her and she dons a Big Sister getup.
Daddy's Girl: Eleanor to Subject Delta, much to Sofia's irritation.
Damn You, Muscle Memory: The buttons for Harvesting and Curing Little Sisters were swapped from the first game to the second game. This can lead to moments of frustration as well as loading all the way back to your last autosave if you're unlucky when you accidentally harvested (killed) a Little Sister you were meaning to cure. Or if you cured instead of harvested...
Dangerously Genre Savvy: Sofia Lamb. Once she realizes Eleanor is helping Delta, she sits in the quarantine room with her and watches her every move. Later, she uses the Big Daddy's link to their Sisters to knock you out by strangling Eleanor. Immediately afterward, she straps you to a table, saying that if they kill you, you'll just go back to a Vita Chamber. Later, she tries to destroy the entire building to kill you regardless of the Vita Chambers, and then sabotages the ballast tanks on the escape boat to so that it can only handle enough weight that she can escape. Then when you're on the final leg of the run to the boat, she's got a huge stack of explosives waiting for you at the door.
Darker and Edgier: It may seem impossible, but it's moreso than the first game, at least in some respects. One of the big examples is the difference in dealing with Little Sisters. In the first BioShock, harvesting the Sisters was murder of a child (a mutated and twisted child, but still), so you know-awful. In this game, the Sisters see you as their father/hero/protector. So when you harvest them, its not some cruel stranger. Its the one they're supposed to be closest to in the entire world. So, awful on top of terrible.
The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: If Delta spares Grace's life before he's finished up with the Little Sisters, Grace will sing on the intercom as Delta's gathering ADAM from a corpse if he hasn't already reached the maximum capacity.
Elemental Powers: Of the standard fire, ice, lightning variety, same as in the last game, along with one wind-based plasmid. Genes can influence your resistances to said elements and also cause you to emit them when struck. And if you enjoy using the drill, you can become a full-on ice guy with the Freezing Drill gene.
Eleanor: "If Utopia is not a place, but a people, then we must choose carefully, for the world is about to change, and in our story, Rapture was just the beginning."
Enemy Scan: The Research Camera now records video instead of pictures. You get points for using different attacks, so throwing everything you have at a target earns more points. Once the film has run out or you reach the next level, the camera cuts off and that subject can no longer be recorded (assuming it lived).
Environmental Symbolism: The vista of 2's ending varies depending on your moral choices during the game. The best ending shows a lighthouse under a stunning sunrise, a more ambiguous ending has a tiny glimmer of sunlight surrounded by a darkening sky, while if you were a real bastard it's a bloody hurricane up there.
Evil Counterpart: Inverted. Augustus Sinclair is still an improvement over Frank Fontaine.
The same applies to Gilbert Alexander to Yi Suchong; they're both in charge of the Big Daddy program, but Alexander is remorseful of his actions while Suchong never had such guilt.
Grace Holloway and Stanley Poole can be considered moral contrasts to each other, as well as the revelations shown over the course of their levels. Holloway is presented as a hostile collaborator to Sofia Lamb, but reading her audio diaries reveals she only wanted what's best for Eleanor. Meanwhile, Poole is presented as a somewhat friendly and trustworthy ally, but when dealing with the Big Daddies and Little Sisters, he sounds ruthless and Eleanor reveals the truth about Poole's cowardly and monstrous nature.
The Evils of Free Will: The basis of Sofia Lamb's philosophy: that free will and self-awareness are the root of evil, and that only by "killing the self" can one achieve peace. This leads her to create a cult.
Firing One Handed: How Delta uses all his weapons, on account of the other one being a drill.
Flawed Prototype: The Alpha Series can only be bonded to a particular Little Sister, and initially had a penchant for wandering away from them. This resulted in the formation of a permanent bond, so that if that Little Sister is lost, the Alpha unit either is rendered comatose, becomes morose, or flips out.
Foil: Sofia Lamb, who believes in original sin, the impotence of human reason, as well as altruism, is literally the opposite of an Objectivist like Andrew Ryan. Some of the audio diaries in the contain snippets of debates between them, an interesting look at two diametrically-opposed forces colliding on stage.
Gatling Good: Delta doesn't settle for a Tommy Gun; he goes for the minigun and carries it one-handed. Meet your new best friend. Splicers, however, do use the Tommy.
Genetic Memory: This property of ADAM, being the reason being the ghosts in the first game, plays a bigger role here. In one level, you're tasked with getting rid of the local Little Sisters so Sofia Lamb doesn't get their ADAM and discover potentially damaging information. Sofia Lamb's ultimate goal relies on this property of ADAM to turn a human into a Utopian, a being that would think only of the collective good without any sense of self.
Guide Dang It: The achievement "9-Irony"; it doesn't help that its also secret.
Gone Horribly Right: The Alpha Series Big Daddies. The scientists tried to create a bond where the Big Daddies viewed the Little Sisters as their own daughters. It worked - they just didn't factor in the implications of what happens when a father is forced to watch his own daughter get killed in front of him. The Daddies would break down and sob in front of the Sisters' crawlspace entrances, and become only suitable as berserk soldiers. That's why the Big Daddies we see in the game are more of Punch Clock Bodyguards, so that if the Little Sister dies they only lose one asset instead of two.
Good Is Not Nice: Delta, though this is somewhat dependent on the player. He won't kill innocent (or even not quite innocent) people unless they truly cross the line, but if he feels he needs to harvest Little Sisters in order to get the power needed to save his daughter, so be it. The player doesn't have to, of course, but unlike the first game, you'll get significantly more ADAM from harvesting every Little Sister than you would from rescuing them. This makes harvesting them to buy upgrades very tempting, especially in the early game which is has quite a few upgrades to choose from which are not cheap. Further, Delta can choose to actually kill the "not quite innocent" characters he comes across, who are more flawed gray-and-gray morality than actually "evil" people.
Hypocrite: The architect hired to build Ryan Amusements had a lot of ideas that he thought would delight children, but Ryan vetoed them all in favour of making the amusement park one big propaganda-fest preaching about the general awesomeness of Rapture and the terrible evils of the surface world. One of those evils? Authorities denying artists the chance to realise their own visions, and instead demanding that their work promote the authorities' political agenda...
Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: The spear gun allows you to do this to your enemies, and it is both quite satisfying and efficient, since you can retrieve the spears and reuse them. If that's not enough, you can have the instrument of impalement gleefully propel your victim around the room, then explode - Rocket spears are your ammunition of choice.
Instrumentality: Sofia Lamb's ultimate goal, by forcefully injecting the combined memories and intelligence of everyone in Rapture - via the ADAM they used - into her daughter Eleanor, then conditioning her to act only "for the greater good".
Ironic Echo: Not the best example, but the speech Eleanor makes for each ending are very similar. Just an inflection difference in two cases.
Also the Ryan Amusements. All government activities that are mocked in the main ride (indoctrination, suppression of rights, market control [Fontaine rose to power thanks to smuggling], youth indoctrination etc.) are actually endorsed by Ryan.
Jerk Jock: Danny Wilkins in the multiplayer mode. Also subverted to an extent with Pigskin, the young football player Splicer, who is the most sympathetic enemy model since he doesn't want to kill you, but his boss will kill him if he doesn't.
Karma Houdini: In the "best" ending, Eleanor spares Sofia Lamb's life, believing from what Delta has taught her through his actions that anyone can be redeemed and that mercy is more important than vengeance.
Also Stanley Poole who, despite being a mass-murderer could have been be spared by Delta. Of course, he was still stuck in the underwater city infested with homicidal mutants.
Karmic Death: Sofia Lamb (possibly) ends up drowning inside the escape pod she was trying to blow up in her attempt to stop Delta and Eleanor. Also Subject Delta, in the bad ending.
Alternatively to Karma Houdini above, if you save all the Little Sisters but kill all three three NPCs, you get the Justice Ending where Eleanor gives Sofia Lamb a well-deserved death for all the evil she has done to not only you and her, but also to other innocent lives. Probably a much more preferred ending to any player who believes in good and loathes Sofia a lot.
Lite Creme: There are various posters for "Beef•e" potted meat, proudly advertising "The taste you remember!" Judging from a Dummied Out audio diary from the first game, it isn't real beef.
Make Me Wanna Shout: Subverted. Big Sisters announce their (incoming) presence with metallic screeching, causing the surrounding structure to rumble, but it's not a weapon.
Meet the New Boss: Lamb and Ryan may have had diametrically opposed ideologies, but they both take it to such extremes that both of them effectively become the same person in methods. Ryan doesn't care about his underlings individually because "look out for number one" is his motto, and Lamb takes the "collective good" so far that to her, one person's life is meaningless.
Mole In Charge: Sofia Lamb put Stanley Poole in control of Dionysus Park, her sanctum. He was Andrew Ryan's spy all along.
Mood Whiplash: In-universe, this is the way Ryan's anti-establishment exhibits play out. The exhibit demonstrates an average facet of life, then the whole thing goes red and a giant hand starts messing up the place.
More Dakka: Compared to its predecessor, BioShock 2 definitely enjoys and employs this with both its weapons and plasmids, especially since you're using both at once.
There's the option of summoning two security bots, hypnotizing a Leadhead Splicer or Alpha Series, and laying out mini turrets while firing away with your own Gatling Gun all at once to create a hailstorm of bullets (hacked turrets and security bots summoned by hacked security cameras also possible), playing this trope rather straight and proving rather effective.
My Beloved Smother: Probably the mildest example of Sofia Lamb's style of parenting would be keeping her daughter all but a prisoner in her home to keep her from the "dog-eaters" outside.
Sofia also literally smothers Elanor near the end.
Nerf: Quite a few of the weapons and plasmids were rebalanced/depowered in the transition from the first game, probably for multiplayer purposes or on account of the new dual-wielding gameplay.
Obvious Beta: The PC version has many minor bugs, and most of the patches go to the multiplayer. Hint: Don't go to the 2K Forums if you don't have a flame-retardant suit on. Although Elizabeth is strictly protective against it.
Playing Both Sides: The Thinker plans pretty much all the events of the game, manipulating the main character and the villain, however, it does this to save Porter.
The Pollyanna: When Eleanor Lamb inserts your mind into a Little Sister temporarily so she can help save your life and you get to see how Little Sisters see Rapture, everything being bright and colorful.
The Trope NamerPollyanna was written by Eleanor Porter. Coincidence? This combined with Charles Milton Porter of Minerva's Den.
Protection Mission: ADAM gathers, where the player must protect a Little Sister from waves of splicers while she gathers ADAM from a corpse.
Put on a Bus: Tenenbaum. Almost literally, since she hops on an underwater train and disappears from the plot. Minerva's Den shows that she left to help get the Thinker, a computer capable of curing the splicers out of Minerva's Den.
Psychic Assisted Suicide: The game opens with Sofia Lamb forcing you to shoot yourself in the head by way of a Hypnotize Big Daddy Plasmid. Unfortunately for her, it doesn't take.
Psycho Prototype: The Alpha-series Big Daddies. All except Subject Delta went bonkers after losing their bonded Little Sister, making them quite effective as soldiers but not suited for anything else.
Retcon: The second game is naturally built on this, as it delves further into the history of Rapture. (Primarly via Re Vision.) Particularly obvious examples include the introductions of Sofia Lamb and the Alpha series.
Redemption Equals Death : If Subject Delta was evil, but displayed compassion toward others later on, he can choose to knock away Eleanor's syringe when she attempts to absorb him just before his death, causing Eleanor to realize that her "father" would rather die than have her follow down the same path he did.
Remember the New Guy: Turns out, Sofia Lamb was out of the picture by the time Atlas was picking up steam, but still a forefront in the "Maybe Ryan's not right" train of thought. Could be handwaved by Ryan's propensity to Un-Person any undesirables.
Pretty smart of her to stay out of Atlas's plot to finally eliminate Ryan, but it was also lucky that Jack later disposed of Atlas himself and never found out she existed.
Respawning Enemies: While the majority of the things you kill in an area will stay dead, there will always be a few splicers that come back to life if you leave an area. Big Daddies count, too, but they aren't immediately hostile and are a necessary gameplay mechanic. On the plus side, this allows you to max out research on the garden variety slicers and the Big Daddies early on, which can provide a decent advantage later.
Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The bare-bones pitch the game gives you is as follows; "You are a Big Daddy. Sofia Lamb took your Little Sister. They are on the other side of this underwater city, and there are hordes of splicers and machinery in the middle. Kill everything that gets in your way."
Sawed Off Shotgun: Played totally straight with the damage upgrade to 2's shotgun, which literally says sawing off the barrel makes it deal more damage. Precisely why the developers think long-barreled shotguns actually exist is anyone's guess.
Scare 'Em Straight: The purpose of the "Journey to the Surface" ride in Ryan Amusements is to convince Rapture's youth that all that waits for them up there are authority figures ready to reach down and steal their stuff, quash their ambitions, or drag them off to war. Ryan's a bit iffy about the creepy animatronics, but...
Ryan: I spoke to a young man exiting the park after the grand opening, asking him what, if anything, he had learned here. He said his chores didn't seem so bad anymore - as long as mother wouldn't send him to the surface.
Sequel Escalation: An interesting case - the story is equally good, with a villain based on opposite ideals to Ryan, but the combat is Up to Eleven by comparison.
Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Mark Meltzer's tale, provided that you harvest the Little Sister his daughter Cindy has become.
Shrouded in Myth: Jack's status by the second game. As a nod to the multiple endings, Splicers argue over the specifics of his adventure in Rapture, while one sect views him as a Messianic figure who freed them from the tyranny of Andrew Ryan, and who will return someday.
Sigil Spam: Lamb and her followers put butterflies everywhere.
Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: The multiple endings run the gamut very nicely, with the best ending on the idealism side and getting further down the scale as you go. Eleanor's monologues that accompany each ending especially.
Spirit Advisor: Subject Delta to Eleanor in the good ending. And the rest, except the one when he refuses to advise her.
Soundtrack Dissonance: In the trailers, where you see Delta killing splicers while 50's ballroom music is playing. Occasionally happens in-game too.
There Are No Therapists: Actually, Ryan originally invited Sofia Lamb to help people deal with living so far from sunlight, but it didn't go well. It didn't help that the therapist was just as crazy as her patients.
Throw It In: "Something In The Sea" wasn't going to have an effect on the main game, but fans loved it so much that protagonist Mark Meltzer was given a minor role.
Lamb: I had thought you some golem of Sinclair, brought here to hold Rapture's arms as he rifles through her pockets. But no... you are aware of your plight. Who, I wonder, would be so cruel? To force a mirror on a man with no face...
Actually it was she who orchestrated Delta's resurrection and helped him along his way using her telepathic bond with Little Sisters.
Pretty much everyone in Rapture is far more badass than in the first game, enemies included. The creators themselves said that Jack wouldn't have survived Rapture this time around, which isn't hard to believe after you start getting accosted by shotgun and Tommy-packing leadheads who also pitch grenades occasionally.
Understatement: In an audio diary from the sequel, Ryan admits that "I...visited Eve's Garden today...it ended poorly." Translation: "I just murdered my mistress."
The Unfought: Despite everything that Sofia Lamb does during the course of the sequel, you never fight her. Her fate is ultimately decided by Eleanor, following your example on dealing with defenseless enemies.
Universal Ammunition: Features the world's first .50 BMG Thompson, so that it could share ammo with the Big Daddy's huge gatling gun.
Unseen Prototype: The name Subject Delta implies that there were three before you, and they... well, we don't talk about them.
However, an audio diary from Gil Alexander cites Delta as the first successful Alpha Series, so you can probably guess what happened to the first three on your own.
Vorpal Pillow: Sophia exploits Eleanor's link with Subject Delta by suffocating her with a pillow, which incapacitates him..
Was Once a Man: This is true of pretty much everything you kill, but there's a particularly poignant example with a Big Daddy at Fontaine Futuristics. When you kill him to get to his Little Sister, there's a diary on the corpse. It's Mark Meltzer, and you just grabbed Cindy.
What Happened to the Mouse?: Tenenbaum disappears early in the game without a word. Minerva's Den explains where she went, though there was/is a bit of a gap between her disappearance and the DLC. Also, no explanation is given to what happens to the NPCs Delta spare.
When fans spoke up about the possibility of not knowing Mark Meltzer's fate after the events of "Something In The Sea," 2K added him to BioShock 2.
The Protector Trials and Minerva's Den DLCs contains examples of these tropes:
A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Surprisingly subverted with The Thinker, although a major plot point is it gaining self-consciousness and free will. This also results in it gaining emotions such as loyality, and passion. Thus resulting in one of the few positive examples of this trope.
Book Ends: The game ends with the viewpoint character getting into a bathysphere - just like at the beginning of the first game.
Charge Attack: Burst Cells require you to hold down the trigger untill the lens array on the Ion Laser glows, and pumps a full 50 units into it. It can reduce the health of a Big Daddy by nearly a quarter, however.
Fun with Acronyms: In Minerva's Den, we are introduced to Rapture's Master Computer, the Rapture Operational Data Interpreter Network, nicknamed "The Thinker". If you notice what the acronym spells, the nickname starts making more sense...
In The Future Humans Will Be One Race: An audio log in the Minerva's Den missions reveals that people in Rapture have begun using plasmids to change their race, as Porter recalls a businessman suggest he splice himself white to get ahead (Porter is deeply annoyed by the idea). May or may not explain why there's so few characters who aren't of Anglo or Russian descent.
Replacement Goldfish: It becomes clear that C. M. Porter attempted to make The Thinker simulate his dead wife. The last audio diary confirms he succeeded, but he was so creeped out by it (finally realizing that it wasn't and would never be her) that he quickly shut down the simulation.
Twist Ending: In the beginning of level, C.M. Porter gives Subject Sigma directions in the game, but after you beat the final boss it is revealed that Sigma is C.M. Porter and the "C.M. Porter" who was giving him directions is "The Thinker" imitating Porter's voice and personality.