It used to be that Games for Windows Live was a heavy weight, dragging down whatever game it latched onto. Now, with the service's shutdown thought to occur next July, that weight has putrefied, like a rotting carcass, steaming from the heat of some great games. As you may have guessed, I'm not sorry to see it go. I'm definitely not sorry if it means existing GfW Live games issue updates that swap it out for a more palatable service. That's what Bioshock 2 has just done: ditching Microsoft's problematic client for Steamworks. As an added bonus, the previously GfW Marketplace exclusive Minerva's Den DLC is now also available on Steam, and has been given to existing Bioshock 2 owners for free.
Bioshock 2: Minerva's Den
BioShock 2 DLC Minerva's Den was pretty much a game unto itself, so it makes sense that its development team should found their own studio to create something free of the constraints of a major publisher.
The Fullbright Company is the name of that studio, and their aim is to create "immersive places to inhabit, and a deep, personal story to explore at your own pace." According to co-founder Steve Gaynor, "We missed working on a small team, on a small project, focused on telling a personal story in a player-driven way."
BioShock 2 had you playing a lumbering Big Daddy in search of the Little Sister you were meant to protect. Minerva’s Den is a separate story for the same game: you play a different Big Daddy with a different goal. You’re looking for The Thinker, a punchcard-driven artificial intelligence developed to run Rapture’s automated systems.
On May 31 we'll finally be able to get our hands on the Minerva's Den DLC for Bioshock 2. The expansion pack will go live on the Games for Windows Marketplace for $10.
The announcement, made on the Cult of Rapture, follows the recent release of the Protector Trials DLC for free. 2K Games originally never planned to port the DLC over to the PC, but changed their minds at the request of Bioshock 2 fans. As a bonus, 2K have put up the first part of a developer diary by lead designer Steve Gaynor that fills in some of the backstory surrounding the new DLC.
Minerva's Den provides a new single player story centred around the increasing insanity of the AI system that controls Rapture. With Bioshock Infinite taking to the skies, this could be our last chance to explore the underwater city.
Over the weekend the Bioshock 2 Protector's Trials DLC appeared for sale on Games for Windows Marketplace in spite of the fact that it's not finished, doesn't work, and promised for free. The DLC has since been removed from the store, but not before a number of people had bought the pack.