Bioshock 2 review

Posted on February 28, 2010 by

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The original Bioshock was a cinematic tour-de-force and one of the best games ever made- atmospheric, engaging, thought-provoking. Bioshock 2 is the inevitable sequel. Taking place a decade after the events of the original, young girls are going missing all along the atlantic coast, being stolen away to Rapture (An underwater city) for nefarious purposes. Bioshock 2 puts you in control of one of the original Big Daddies, (The now iconic foes in the diving suits with the drills on their hands) and sees you questing through a desolated Rapture to solve the mystery and free Rapture once and for all.

We all remember that first glimpse of Rapture from the Bathysphere. The way the goosebumps ran up your arms. The fear you felt when you met that first splicer with hooks for hands who disappeared into the shadows while you were weaponless and defenceless. Bioshock 2 tries to replicate moments like those, but they fall flat because, well, the first game did it so well. I, like many fans, would probably have preferred it if the developers, 2K Games, had simply moved on to something new, but we’re due another 3 sequels/prequels and a movie.

The Big Daddies return, but aren't nearly as scary as...

Graphically speaking, Bioshock 2 looks fantastic- the lighting shimmers through the water outside to make shifting patterns on the walls of the gloomy rusting corridors. The textures are smooth and well-defined, and the characters are expressive and well drawn. Everything you look at is sharper and smoother than in the original.

The gameplay, particularly the gunplay, is tightened up considerably from the first game. Playing as a Bid Daddy, you have access to the drill arm as your primary melee weapon, which provides some spectacularly gory moments as you drive it into the head of an unsuspecting splicer. Also available in your arsenal is a shotgun, a rivet gun and even a gatling cannon. The plasmids also return, in more powerful and more varied forms, although the most useful ones are still things like Incinerate!, which can set fire to foes and oil slicks.

One thing Bioshock 2 has that the original didn’t, is multiplayer- but this time with a twist. The multiplayer of Bioshock 2 is set long before either of the games, during the first days of the fall of Rapture and the civil war that caused it. The Multiplayer is functional, with a number of match types including Capture the flag, free for all, team deathmatch and last man standing.

...The Big Sisters.

Bioshock 2 is, overall, a technically superior game, but the story fails to capture the same feelings of wonder, fear and danger, and feels more like a supplement to the original than a new story in itself. It’s not better than the original, but it is almost as good, and given how incredible the first game was, that should speak volumes about how good Bioshock 2 is. Well worth adding to your collection, just don’t expect to be marvelled in the same ways as you were before.

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Posted in: Games