Bioshock 2

March 6, 2010 at 3:27 am | Posted in Reviews, Xbox 360 Reviews | Leave a comment
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8 years have passed since our first visit to Rapture, and somehow despite being as leaky a structure as it was. Rapture still stands tall beneath the fathoms in the Atlantic Ocean. But new issues have risen and things from the past are prepared to roam the halls of 1968.

It seems the insane story of all that was Bioshock in the first one wasn’t enough for the second visit and there was a lot more going on even before Jack Ryan, the protagonist of the original returned to Rapture. This time, our story begins in 1958, two years before the events. Where our character, the original prototype Big Daddy, is killed in front of his little sister at the request of a Sofia Lamb, a psychiatrist brought in at the request of the public of Rapture to help cope with living underwater in such a place.

Fast forward to 1968 and our Big Daddy is brought back to life mysteriously. The fall of Andrew Ryan and Fontaine has brought Sofia Lambs idea of a more family like cult to fruitition which the inhabitants now live by. Our Big Daddy, known as Delta, is re awakened and contacted by his original Little Sister who is now older and needs your help against Sofia to stop her control of the city, and to stop her mission in stealing children from the surface to use as Little Sisters down below.

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Well, that’s more than enough story so let’s get into the game play. With such a gem that was Bioshock, understandably, it was pretty hard to follow up. A majority of the fans of the game, including myself would vouch for the one part of the game they wouldn’t have missed was the part where we played as the Big Daddy. His movements were slow and heavy, and the main game play element whilst being one of these brutes was to escort and protect your Little Sister.

So those of you who weren’t fans of that moment may be a little put off when we are, in fact a Big Daddy throughout, and a majority of dragging the game play out, involves escorting and protecting Little Sisters.

Whilst being one of the rather un-fun parts of the game play, it’s made a little easier with the ability that Delta holds with using Plasmids. Why? Because Delta is the first Daddy. The prototype. Now, this begs the question as to why don’t the final versions of the Big Daddys, or any other Big Daddys (except for the Big Sisters) can’t use plasmids. It’s a confusing little side note, but can only really be seen as a little bit of a plot thread.

Plasmid wise, the majority of them are the same as in the first. The plasmids are upgradable and at times mixable. Imagine a Cyclone Trap, with a little bit of a shocking treatment. Or perhaps the same trap filled with bees? The combos can become quite interesting. However the plasmids and Adam are relatively easy to come by now. The scarceness of Adam (The currency for the plasmids) almost gets to the point where you’ve sometimes got a little too much; regardless of the moral paths you take. You can leave the sisters, take them around to extract Adam, and the rescue or harvest them, and you’ll still be wondering around with a diving suit filled of the stuff. No wonder your footsteps are so heavy.

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Banes of Bio 1, like the plumbing…I mean. Hacking mini games are a thing of the past and are now more instant. Depending on your reaction times. That’s right, yet another game with a bit of the old QTE abuse. This can make hacking a lot more easier, or a bit more of a pain than it needs to be, especially if you hit that button at the wrong time.

Visually the game is still impressive as ever but something is lacking in the atmosphere of the game. Whilst you’re still immersed in the world of Rapture, the eerie feeling you would get playing the original is lacking. Those quiet corridors with nothing but the soft echo of music from a stereogram in a far room are gone and replaced with a lot more action or dialogue between characters. There’s a lot less disturbing scenes which really project how insane things had got for characters back in Bioshock are a lot more infrequent. The lack of ‘big developed and intricate characters’ really takes its toll on delivering those moments that really made Rapture real and are replaced with characters who played key roles in both your creation and demise, leading to yet more ‘morality choices’ which are becoming more increasing in games today which lead to different endings.

Fans of Bioshock will reel in the Audio tapes fleshing out more stories and telling more tales from other inhabitants and visitors of Rapture, both good and bad.

More notably, Bioshock 2 includes a multiplayer. This is quite obvious due to the definite cut in Single player length. Compared to Bio 1. Uncommon with multiplayers however, Bioshock 2’s multiplayer manages to include all the usual suspects of online competitive game types it also managed to provide us with more stories. The multiplayer is set in 1959 just before Jack Ryans arrival to Rapture and after the beginning events of #2 start. The story here follows the ‘Civil War’ which broke out and usually explains why the hell everyone’s beating the living hell out of each other one Jack Ryan gets accustomed to his trusty wrench. We play as Splicers that are sponsored by Plasmid manufacturer, ‘Sinclair Solutions’ who supply Splicers with new plasmids, tonics and upgrades in return for ‘testing’ them whilst out fighting with their neighbours. Think of it of the Nectar card of Rapture; get those bonus points by trying out the newest weaponry. There’s even a large ranking system which with enough points rewards players with new weapons and plasmids along with diaries telling more tales of the lives of Rapture. More DLC is expected to hit the stores regarding the multiplayer.

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Bioshock 2 is a title you really want to live up to the hype and greatness Bio 1 brought to the world. The struggling ‘2nd coming’ is always a hard concept to put forward to evolve and succeed. Bio 2 is a good sequel and a must for the fans, but still definitely lives in its predecessor’s shadow. Downloadable content is also available soon.

7.9

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