- “ADAM twists the genes, the body, the mind… even the soul. In desperation, I turned to ADAM's most innocent victims, the Little Sisters. With you as their protector, they may put a stop to this madness.”
- ― Brigid Tenenbaum[src]
The Protector Trials is the first single player DLC for BioShock 2. This additional content offered on XBL for 400 MS Points and on PSN for $4.99/€3.95, and became available on August 3, 2010. The PC version was offered for free in March 14, 2011.
- “You receive the call: Tenenbaum desperately needs you to steal as much ADAM as possible, to help thwart Sofia Lamb's insane plan. Enter the Protector Trials: frantic combat challenges designed to push your mastery of weapons and Plasmids to the limit. The goal in each Trial is simple: get your Little Sister to an ADAM-rich corpse and keep her safe while she gathers precious ADAM. Opposition mounts as your Little Sister nears her goal -- will you survive the onslaught? Each Trial features three unique weapon and Plasmid load-outs, keeping the challenge fresh, as well as a fourth bonus load-out the player receives when all previous load-outs are completed.”
- ― Official description
Unlike the main story of BioShock 2, the player does not take the role of Subject Delta but controls another Alpha Series Big Daddy taken out of hibernation by Brigid Tenenbaum just before the events of BioShock 2. She wants the Alpha Series to take ADAM away from Sofia Lamb in an attempt to foil her plans.
Each challenge requires the player to protect a Little Sister while she drains ADAM from a corpse using a specific set of weapons, Plasmids and Gene Tonics unique to every trial. Each level has three trials which can earn the player one, two or three stars for completing them, with a corresponding difficulty level. Earning stars unlocks new trials for the player to complete, and new unlocked concept arts or movies in the gallery. All difficulty levels on all stages must be completed to unlock the 36 star total.
In addition to receiving stars, the player receives a grade showing how well they accomplished the trial. The more ADAM the player's Little Sister accrued at the end of the trial, the higher their grade. During the trial, the Little Sister will also have an ADAM multiplier: the longer she drains ADAM without being interrupted, the more of it she drains at a time, capping at x4. If the Little Sister is attacked her multiplier will decrease until the player saves her, also reducing the total amount of ADAM gained during the process.
- Single Player trials in which the player must protect a Little Sister as she gathers ADAM from corpses.
- Seven new Achievements/Trophies.
- New items, videos, and concept art to unlock.
- Six new retooled maps from the Single Player Campaign:
- The Adonis Baths (based on the Adonis Luxury Resort level)
- Atlantic Express Train Upkeep (based on The Atlantic Express level)
- Pauper's Drop Market (based on the Pauper's Drop level)
- Simon Wales' Church (based on the Siren Alley level)
- Folly of Dionysus (based on the Dionysus Park level)
- Persephone Cell Block F (based on the Outer Persephone level)
- For strategies for specific trials, see the individual level articles.
- Each trial lasts for around four minutes, which is much longer than any gathering session in the main game. Be ready for a prolonged battle.
- Among all enemies, only Thuggish Splicers, Leadhead Splicers and Spider Splicers would disrupt the Little Sister, and hence affect the amount of ADAM a player can obtain; all other types of enemies simply aim at the player and fight to their death. Arguably, those weaker enemies should be a higher priority.
- In this DLC, the player instantly gains cash after killing an enemy, and enemy corpses are not lootable, therefore there is no need to move around the map rather than stay in a more secure area, or even worry about shattering an enemy because they yield no loot anyway.
- Hack all vending machines (and Turrets in some trials) before starting to gather for obvious reasons. As for Health Stations, the player can decide whether to hack or destroy them. Hacking Health Stations not only allows the player to heal at a lower price, but also turns the stations into deadly traps, as all enemies trying to heal will be instantly killed. However, destroying Health Stations would give the player extra First Aid Kits to start the battle.
- If traps (such as Trap Rivets or Cyclone Trap) are available, the player should deploy traps near the Little Sister at all times, since enemies can approach her quickly and without any warnings. Proximity Mines are the best choices of traps, as they can defeat most enemies instantly, and require a short amount of time and a low level of skills to set up. Charging a Cyclone Trap with Electro Bolt or Incinerate! is also a good alternative.
- Trap Rivets and Trap Spears, on the other hand, are harder to master and may not kill enemies instantly, making them less practical than the Proximity Mines as traps. However, they are less expensive and can be shot at a target directly which deals a decent amount of damage, especially when one scores a headshot.
- Decoy can distract enemies from the player, but cannot distract them from the Little Sister, therefore it cannot eliminate the use of traps.
- Despite the research system being absent in this DLC, the Drill Dash ability is available and is the key to success in some trials.
- In the Bonus trials, the Plasmid Summon Eleanor can be equipped and used.
- Obtaining a grade of A+ in all trials is not required.
- The Enemy of the Family achievement, which requires the player to earn a grade of A in all trials, does not count Bonus Trials.
- Completing all the Bonus Trials will unlock the Guardian Angel achievement.
Obtaining all stars, which means simply completing all the trials regardless of grades, will unlock the Master Protector Gene Tonic in Minerva's Den, the second single player downloadable content for BioShock 2. That Tonic, which increases the amount of ADAM Little Sisters harvest from corpses by forty, can be acquired at any Gatherer's Gardens in this additional content without any in-game cost. Also, concept art related to this extension can be unlocked too.
- In bonus trial mode, using the Natural Camouflage Tonic will cause a Splicer to wander around and ignore the Little Sister.
Behind the Scenes
- Initially, The Protector Trials and later on Minerva's Den were only released for Xbox and PS3, but after a large community outcry from PC players the development team resumed production and estimated that it would be released by December 2010 for free. The PC version of the DLC was finally released on the 14th March, 2011.
- In the level Simon Wales' Church, the corpse from which the Little Sister gathers ADAM has the same model as Father Simon Wales.
- Although the Gene Banks are only visible and accessible during the Bonus Trials, they still appear on the map during the first three.
- When using Cyclone Trap, it is possible to see 001 on the Alpha Big Daddy's wrist. This could possibly mean he is the first Alpha Series, or Subject Alpha.
- An unused radio message from Tenenbaum in Minerva's Den reveals that The Protector Trials was to be canon to the game's story, with the scientist using several reactivated Alpha Series in order to steal as much ADAM as possible from Lamb and her Splicers and interfere with her plans. Once their work was done, she would then deliver Subject Sigma a gift via a Pneumo Tube at the Air-Tite Archives to help him in his work.
- The Protector Trials on Xbox.com
- "BioShock 2: Protector Trials DLC Hands-On" article at GameSpot.com
- Single Player DLC article on G4TV.com
- Elizabeth Tobey's Post on 2K Games Forum on DLC Cancellation.
- Elizabeth Tobey's Post on 2K Games Forum on DLC Continuation.
- "Protector Trials Coming to PC on March 14" article at the Cult of Rapture
- "There are other Alpha Series, awakened like you, working to steal away ADAM from Lamb and her Splicers. Once their trials are complete, I will be able to send a… care package, that might help you to survive here in Minerva's Den." – Reward for Your Efforts
- "Through much sacrifice by my Little Ones und their protectors, I have secured a gift which should be of great use to you. It is waiting in the pneumo at Air-Tite Archives. Please, go there when you can. Und, Herr Sigma… good luck." - Gift in the Pneumo at Air-Tite