Bioshock back in 2007 was known to everyone as game of the year and better known for introducing the wonderful yet hellish underwater world of Rapture. The fallin city belonged to a man named Andrew Ryan, who’s ambition drove chaos and death amongst the people of Rapture. Almost 3 years later and we now have the sequel to that game but can it deliver on the same goods as before? In a short answer yes, but not without a few shortcomings.
In the original Bioshock you play as a man named Jack who’s plane mysteriously crashes into the ocean, leaving him stranded and left to uncover the already abandoned underwater city of Rapture. Finding out the cause that led to the cities destruction, you come to realize how the plane crash may have not have been as mysterious as once thought. Ten years after these events, we now have our setting for Bioshock 2, and a new force in control by the name of Sofia Lamb. Her movement is actually forming an alliance with splicers and whoever is left in Rapture which she calls “The Family. You pilot the suit of a once feared Big Daddy; Your mission is to find the little sister that you have been bound too and was taken away from you ten years ago by Sofia Lamb.
The city of Rapture is beautiful as it is erie to look at, the abandoned yet flooded streets are still being terrorized with adam craved splicers. New enemies are here, like the Brute Splicer, attacking head on and throwing things at you in a fiery rage. Aside the Big Daddies who make their return we also see the introduction of the Big Sisters, who are none other then the Little Sisters from ten years ago that were saved by Jack. These girls are no joke and are the fastest, wildest of the bunch. They jump on walls, attacking with plasmids and weapons alike. The enemy AI is definitely smarted this time around, running up to health stations if their running low or regrouping for team based attacks. They will keep you on your toes and even surprise you at time.
The most important thing to keep in mind about this game (if you have played the first one), is that while you may think its tantalizing to play as a Big Daddy, you are physically not any stronger then Jack was in the original Bioshock. You are actually just a prototype of the first Big Daddy that was produced , and while you can hold the weapons that Big Daddies do, you do not inherit the giant hulk like traits of the others. Now that we got that out of the way, the good news is that you are able to splice up which regular Big Daddies can’t do and can even control these new found powers with a weapon already on the other hand. New and old plasmids are here to take control of and can be upgraded as well. Purchasing the highest plasmid of something like the Winter Blast will let you charge up to completely freeze your enemy and sometimes break them into tiny pieces. New weapons are also in your arsenal. The infamous Big Daddy drill is at your disposal, a nail gun, machine gun and other weapons which are all upgradable by stations but more importantly is the bonus third upgrade for each weapon that gives it a special feature, after getting two from the same gun. For some it might take a moment of practice to shoot with one hand and use plasmids on the other but the two work extremely well and is necessary as you progress through the game.
Like the first one the Little Sisters play an essential part in this game. As a Big Daddy you will now have the decision of either adopting a Little Sister, allowing you to take her to corpses filled with adam to extract from. However this attracts junked up splicers from all over so you will need to defend her until the adam bar fills up. Filling her up with adam and taking them back to their vents gives you the option to either save them (the good guy approach) or harvest them, maximizing the amount of adam you can get from them, this can also be done if you do not want to adopt them as well. Before making any of these choices you will have to actually face the Big Daddy they have protecting them. No easy feet as their are a number of different Big Daddies and when all the Little Sisters are cleared out from a stage you now have the daunting task of facing a Big Sister.
Their is so much to do in Bioshock 2, what made the first one a huge success takes it a step further in this game. Gene tonics are back for special passive traits, camera research has been overhauled allowing you to take a recording in progress while fighting an enemy. Graphically has only been improved a notch up from the first, detailing what was already a great looking game. The sounds is also great quality, voice acting is some of the best seen in a video game and the music keeps the creepy tone for the entire game.
Everything is an upgrade here, the only thing that will kind of leave you disappointed is the actual story line and while not bad it just doesn’t deliver the wow factor you really got to enjoy in the first game. Characters lack a certain depth or a charismatic charm to them. Rapture’s new environments seems like the rest of the tour and while the return itself is good it doesn’t break from what has been seen in the past. Though added experiences like walking out into sea is here it doesn’t do much and won’t make you actually look forward to it. The improvements is what will keep you in the game and everything you loved in the original.
Coming from another 2K studio, multiplayer makes its debut in this game. This received criticism early on when announced, as the first game didn’t have one, leaving fans petrified that it might compromise the single player experience. We’re happy to report that its not the case here, infact it has its own back story which takes place before the events of Bioshock 1. They give you a lobby area to play with to change outfits, look at leader boards, change your weapon load out, all before entering an actual game. Resembling multiplay games like Modern Warfare 2 you gain points within a match that will level you up to unlock new plasmids, tonics and weapons that can be customized for different load outs you want to create. This is useful for either playing on the defensive or going all out on your opponent if you like to take the offensive. The modes are actually quite good and nothing is more thrilling then getting into the random Big Daddy suit (and we mean a real Big Daddy this time) that appears and pummeling everyone into the ground. We’re not sure the draw the multiplayer will have in the long run but it definitely makes for easy fun. It has already been said that 2K plans on releasing new DLC for multiplayer in the future.
Bioshock 2 is a good time all around and will bring those familiar with the first game back at home. Multiplayer does its job, not taking anything away from the experience. Hours can be had by completing the story in more then one way, you can spend a great deal of time just perfecting strategies and possibilities. The game is not as impressive graphically as others, the new improvements are a step up and keep a game which is essentially the same as its 2007 predecessor current. This will definitely satisfy veterans and new comers alike.
[starreviewmulti id=2 tpl=20]