Minerva’s Den is the expected final piece of DLC for BioShock 2, and ironically the first piece of single-player campaign content since the game’s release in March. For a title with such a rich single-player portion I was amazed that it took them this long to finally create a piece of standalone content, but it’s been worth the wait.
You play as Subject Sigma in pursuit of Reed Wahl within Rapture Central Computing in Minerva’s Den.
The levels are smartly designed filled with the art deco paintings we’ve been used to during the main game. There are plenty of splicers and in a fitting touch, tons of automated machines to take advantage of and destroy. The pack starts out slowly with few plasmids at your disposal and the new weapon, the Ion Gun not being terribly useful or fun. The game quickly picks up and you’ll be using some of your favorite plasmid and weapon combinations to great success. (Except for one…)
A few of the enemies have been improved– the big bumbling Brute Splicers have made a comeback and this time they have numbers. You’ll have a few battles that’ll push your ammo count to the limit, but I didn’t need a Vita-Chamber once during my playthrough on Medium. There are also elemental variants of Houndini Splicers that make their presence known in the last third of the DLC. A new Big Daddy type known as the Lancer also awaits you. He seems to be a bit faster and possibly a bit stronger than the last variant but with enough time you’ll wear him down.
Killing a Big Daddy nets you a Littler Sister to harvest or carry which brings back one of the most mind-numbing phases of the original game– playing protector. There are 6 little sisters to rescue and after 3 and 6 you’ll have to fight a Big Sister for your pleasure. Again, these battles aren’t particularly hard but sort of annoying. It sorta made me long for the original BioShock; at least there wasn’t a “protector” section built-in.
As far as new contacts either by design of Plasmid availability or my own stupidity I ended up hacking a ton of bots and turrets to have at my disposal. Again, this is fitting considering the content is based around a rather smart computer system dubbed “The Thinker”. At one point the game even drops a fictional letter from Alan Turing in our midst– geeks will remember Alan Turing as the father of computing with his idea of a Turing machine capable of logic.
In the end I found Minerva’s Den to be totally worth it at $10. It gave me about 4-5 hours of additional content, was for the most part very fun and enjoyable, and the ending was graceful and smart. I highly recommend it.