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Why BioShock 4 Needs Big Daddies & Little Sisters To Return


BioShock 4 is coming a long time after the series’ last game, and Big Daddies and Little Sisters might be an important part of its reception.

In late 2019, fans’ wishes for a BioShock 4 were finally granted by 2K’s announcement that a new studio, Cloud Chamber, was working on a long-awaited follow-up to 2013’s BioShock Infinite. It’s likely still a long ways off, and not much is known about BioShock 4, including details of its setting, outside of information gleaned from a few job listings. While the first two games took place in Rapture, an underwater city in the midst of civil war among its genetically modified populace, Bioshock Infinite abandoned the undersea locale – along with the iconic Big Daddies and Little Sisters that stalked its streets. Bioshock 4 may need to bring back these de facto mascots to help the reboot find its footing.

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In the original games, Big Daddies and Little Sisters sought to reclaim ADAM, a precious resource that allows people to genetically modify themselves, from the corpses of dead splicers. In gameplay, ADAM was required to use Plasmids, the special powers granted to the player. BioShock Infinite replaced Plasmids with Vigors, which required Salts instead of ADAM. Consequently, there was no reason for Big Daddies and Little Sisters to exist in Infinite‘s sky-city of Columbia, where the Big Daddies especially would have stuck out in their massive diving suits.

Related: BioShock 4’s Open-World Setting Confirmed In Writer Job Listing

Columbia was a fascinating location and a nice change of pace after two games on the sea floor, but Little Sisters and Big Daddies were sorely missed in Infinite. The game’s world building was just as good as the previous two, but nothing quite compared to hearing the pounding footsteps and harrowing groans of a Big Daddy while exploring the derelict streets of Rapture.

Big Daddies Are Important To The BioShock Image

A Big Daddy protects a Little Sister in Rapture

If Infinite had gotten a timely sequel, the continued departure from Rapture, Big Daddies, and Little Sisters likely wouldn’t have been an issue. BioShock 4 instead marks a delayed revival of the series. Even with original BioShock developers working on the new project, it’s not going to be easy to release a follow-up that feels both faithful and fresh after so long. BioShock mastermind Ken Levine is also no longer attached to the series, and making a radical departure from the original games might be a risky move.

The aforementioned jobs listing rumors claim BioShock 4 won’t take place in either Rapture or Columbia. This would be great for the sake of variety, but bringing back Big Daddies and Little Sisters – or at least some new version of them – might help reestablish the franchise. It can be called BioShock and play like BioShock, but if there’s no significant connection to the previous games, it may be hard to justify being part of the same series. Bringing back the iconic enemies for BioShock 4 might be an easy way to reclaim the games’ identity.

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