BioShock 2 Review

  • Posted February 11th, 2010 at 12:09 EDT by Adam Dolge

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BioShock 2

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BioShock 2 is a worthy follow-up to the critically acclaimed odyssey in Rapture. While there is only a modest amount of updates, the game stands well on its own through a new and exciting story, online multiplayer, and tremendous presentation.

We like

  • How the story is presented through audio diaries, spray-painted messages, and flashbacks
  • The still intriguing world of Rapture
  • The new and exciting multiplayer

We dislike

  • Some of the missions are repetitive
  • While the story is told well, it is not quite as captivating and interesting as the first game

See PSU's review on Metacritic & GameRankings

Returning to Rapture is a lot like visiting Disney Land as an adult. It doesn't have that same awe-inspiring presence, the locals are still hostile and a bit tweaked, and while all the sites (and amusements?) are familiar, there's still a welcoming sense of nostalgia that makes the long lines worth the wait. Your first time visiting both was likely filled with excitement, intrigue, and mystery. But when you return, you already know what to expect – the environment is familiar enough to feel like you know your way around. So when you return to Rapture in BioShock 2, does all that familiarity and loss of mystery take anything away from the experience? The short and easiest answer is no, but the more accurate answer is a little, maybe, just a bit, not too much. This will all depend on how much you enjoyed and played 2008's critically acclaimed BioShock (or 2007, if you happened to experience it on 360/PC). If you dare to trek back into the underwater city, you have a lot to look forward to.

BioShock 2, developed by 2K Marin, takes place 10 years after the events of the first game. Instead of playing as a mysterious man washed ashore after a plane accident, the protagonist is a Big Daddy. Without spoiling too much of the plot, it should be noted that although fans of the first game will obviously be familiar with these behemoths, we should point out that you are not as elite as some of the other metal giants you'll find in Rapture. Nonetheless, you'll have complete access to the Big Daddy's drill, along with a host of plasmids and various weapons, new and old. As a Big Daddy, you are tasked with watching over Little Sisters. The main character's Little Sister happens to be the daughter of Rapture's new boss, Sophia Lamb (more on Sophia later). All you have to do is venture through Rapture, and rescue your Little Sister. Of course, you'll have to deal with splicers, other Big Daddies, and the newly introduced Big Sisters.

To better understand BioShock 2, it's important to take a quick look at the story of the original game. The underwater city of Rapture, conceived by Andrew Ryan, was supposed to be a Utopian society. ADAM was eventually discovered. This substance genetically altered those who used it. Little Sisters harvest the ADAM, and Big Daddies must protect these girls from the junky splicers that seek to consume as much ADAM as possible. Rapture failed. As the second games picks up, the city is in even greater disrepair. Leaky walls, agitated splicers, and an enormous amount of junk food compose the city. Sophia Lamb takes over the role of Andrew Ryan. The use of audio diaries return as the main storytelling mechanism. You'll quickly learn that Lamb has been abducting little girls from the surface world to act as the new Little Sisters. It works, and the city is once again filled with ADAM hungry residents.

This is a true sequel, meaning all the familiarities of the first game are there, plus some new , albeit somewhat minor additions to keep it feeling fresh. Like the original, BioShock 2 is a first-person shooter with RPG elements through Plasmid upgades (that game's magic elements), and genetic alterations. The player guides the Big Daddy through the city, uses the standard array of weapons, and Plasmids to defeat enemies both small and large. The use of the drill is pretty satisfying, especially later in game. When you get the charge ability, the drill really turns into a valuable weapon. Coupled with the winter blast ability, even your biggest enemies can be tamed.

Combat is relatively traditional for a FPS. Weapons like the shotgun and machine gun can be tough to control at the beginning, but by upgrading your weapons, you can add stability, a bigger clip size, and ammo that packs a bigger punch. You can also set traps in BioShock 2. These are nearly required to fend off splicers when you have to protect a Little Sister while she gathers ADAM from a dead enemy. The player also has a full arsenal of Plasmid powers, including incinerate, electro bolt and the aforementioned winter blast.

Your enemies in BioShock 2 ... (continued on next page)

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  • Related game: BioShock 2

    Release date (US):
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