All About BioShock 2 on the PC

Today, we have not only a podcast on BioShock 2's PC version, but also a Q&A detailing questions you wanted answered (along with screenshots of the UI!)

Listen to the podcast now.

BIOSHOCK 2 PC SCREENSHOTS

     

  

  

 

BIOSHOCK 2 PC Q&A

Did you change the UI/HUD for the PC version of the game?
We made quite a number of significant changes to UI / HUD for the PC version of the game. The decision was made early on not to support controllers at all in order to ensure that we got the mouse and keyboard control absolutely right. This of course required a redesign of large parts of the UI and the player HUD. For example, we removed the Weapons and Plasmid Selection Radials in favor of a custom created Weapons Selection Strip which more accurately reflects the keyboard layout.

How did you deal with widescreen? How will someone on a regular monitor and a widescreen monitor see the game?
We support single-screen 4:3, 5:4, 16:9 and 16:10 resolutions. The game has been optimized to ensure that all game elements such as menus, HUD, UI, etc appear exactly the same regardless of what resolution the user is running the game at. The only major difference for 4:3 and 5:4 users will be the smaller Field of View compared to a widescreen resolution.

What’s the FOV and can you change it?
The FOV cannot be changed, and it is set to 75 degrees vertically. The default for users with widescreen monitors will be that they have a horizontally expanded viewport as compared to 4:3 or 5:4 monitors.

What graphical settings are customizable? (Resolution, vsync, etc.)
There are quite a lot of graphics options that the user can change, both in the main menu and while in game. In game hotswapping allows the user to change things like texture detail and lighting on the fly to best match their rig.

We have also implemented some DX10 specific options for users with DX10 compatible Graphics Cards. Bioshock2 will auto-detect whether the user has a DX10 compatible Graphics Card and adjust the settings automatically.

The full list of customizable graphics options for BioShock 2 are:

DX9
- Resolution
- Graphics Quality
- Actor Detail
- Texture Detail
- Vertical Sync
- Shadow Maps
- High Detail Post Processing
- High Detail Shaders
- Real Time Reflections
- Distortion
- Force Global Lighting

DX10
- Resolution
- Graphics Quality
- Actor Detail
- Texture Detail
- Vertical Sync
- Shadow Maps
- High Detail Post Processing
- High Detail Shaders
- Real Time Reflections
- Distortion
- Force Global Lighting
- DirectX10 Detail Surfaces (DX10 specific option)
- 3D Stereo Vision (DX10 specific option)

Do you allow gamers to customize their controls?
Yes, we do! As you can see in the screenshots, we support control customization. Jake will talk about this in the PC podcast next week for those of you who want to learn more, so stay tuned.

How did you deal with the mouse handling for the game (like acceleration, etc)?
BioShock 2 uses the OS Mouse speed settings as a default. BioShock 2 also supports 3rd party mouse applications such as Logitech SetPoint.

Mouse acceleration is now off by default and other options such as sensitivity and inversion can be changed in-game. There is an in-built mouse acceleration feature which the user can enable if desired.

Is there LAN play?
No. Unfortunately we don’t support LAN play for MP. The Game For Windows – Live service allows us to include all the functionality that LAN play provides, with added security and gameplay options such as achievements and a social messaging system which really enhance the BioShock 2 MP experience.

What are the digital distribution options?
The digital distribution options for BioShock 2 utilize both Steam and Direct2Drive.

How does multiplayer work on PC? Is it different than consoles?
Besides the obvious PC specific control and UI changes which were required as a matter of course to ensure the PC experience is consistent, the PC version of the MP game is exactly the same in both structure and content as the Console version.

While there are some minor differences in the way that Games For Windows – Live handles things like game requests compared to Xbox Live, for the most part, it is exactly the same.

How does matchmaking work?
We use the Games For Windows – Live matchmaking service, which generally takes things such as the users Gamerscore, their “zone,” etc into account when matchmaking players. We also rely heavily on latency based matchmaking to ensure that the user is not only playing against someone of a similar skill level as themselves, but also someone who has roughly the same type and speed of internet connection.

Do you support dedicated servers?
No. We use the Games For Windows – Live servers to allow for more accurate matchmaking, as well as more comprehensive stat tracking and anti cheating functionality.

Do you support any special display modes? BioShock 2 has been designed from the outset to take advantage of NVIDIA’s GeForce 3D Vision displays. Users with compatible display units and peripherals can experience the world of Rapture in full, breathtaking 3D.

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