When 2K announced that "Rapture Metro Pack," the second DLC for BioShock 2, would add six new maps and other goodies, it was welcome news for fans of the shooter who felt burned by the game's anemic first DLC, the "Sinclair Solutions Test Pack." As I mentioned in the Verdict on that DLC, "Sinclair" didn't add any new maps, or anything else of real substance. But with "Metro" offering much more than that, it seemed, 2K was actually offering downloadable content that was worth downloading.
Well, so much for that idea. While the new DLC adds six new maps to the game, as of launch week, the odds of you actually getting to play any of them are pretty slim. Let me explain. The way BioShock 2 integrates them is to place them into rotation alongside the original ones. It's not like in Gears Of War 2, which had special sections for people who owned specific map packs. The problem is, if you're in a lobby, and not everyone has the new maps, the game only picks from the old ones. If even one person doesn't own "Metro," none of the new maps will come up.
That's exactly what happened to me. Despite playing the game on and off for most of a week, I never got to play on any of the new maps during a public match. Not once.
If and when this issue might be resolved is unclear. Per 2K's official statement highlighted in a recent report on the "Metro" malfunctions, the publisher says, “We couldn't assume that all users would purchase the maps so we made a design decision to unify the user base in order to provide the best gameplay experience possible. The DLC maps will cycle into the rotation if everyone in the room owns them, otherwise the game will load the base maps. If users want a more direct control over their experience they can create private matches which they can set to play just the DLC maps.”
This, however, doesn't explain why two of the three achievements/trophies added by "Metro" are contingent on people playing the game in public matches. One, “Aqua Incognita,” is unlocked/awarded when you play a non-private match on each of the six new maps, while the other, “Territorial,” is unlocked/awarded when you win a non-private match on each of the six new maps.
The sad thing is, were it not for this huge problem, "Metro" would be totally worth it. Six new maps is a rather substantial addition for any game, but more so for BioShock 2, which has had only the original ten since the game came out in February. "Metro" also, like "Sinclair," raises the level cap up to 50, and is complete with such new trials as “Call Me Ol' Fashioned,” a 1000 pointer unlocked when you hit level 43 and you, “win a match using only weapons, not firing a single plasmid once!”
"Metro" also adds a new feature called Rebirth which, like Prestige mode in Modern Warfare 2, resets your level back to one but gives your character a special mask so you can show everyone that you've been born again. You also get a rather hefty achievement/trophy called “Reincarnation.”
The DLC also launches at the same time as a new -- and free -- add-on of a new mode called “Kill 'Em Kindly.” This is basically “Deathmatch” (which, in BioShock 2, is called “Survival Of The Fittest”), except that everyone only has a golf club; I think it's a sand wedge. Anyway, the idea is to bash your enemy's brains in. It might not sound like it's that big of a deal, and it isn't -- it's not likely to replace your favorite mode -- but it's a fun free-for-all. And since it is actually free for all, and you don't need "Metro" to play it, it's certainly worth checking out.
Just don't make any dumb Tiger Woods jokes when you do. Because I will mute you.
2K has also released a new Character Pack. For 160 Microsoft points or $1.99 you get two new characters: Zigo The Fisherman and Blanche The Actress. Though considering that characters in BioShock 2's multiplayer don't do any differently than other characters, except for spouting different bon mots, this one seems like a waste.
In conclusion, there's free content worth checking out, but until 2K resolves these issues with BioShock 2's "Rapture Metro Pack," let the buyer beware.