on February 13, 2010
- It's quite the atmospheric game. The art design and excellent sound effects draw you right into the world of Rapture. However creepy it may be, it's not very scary, allowing for a larger audience.
- Dual wielding plasmids and weapons is a success, making combat much smoother than the original game.
- Some neat moments in the game, leading to a good ending.
- The new hacking minigame is much less obtrusive than the old Pipe Dreams minigame.
- Multiplayer adds to value of the game.
- Feels more like an expansion pack than a full game. It just doesn't really provide anything new. As a result, Rapture doesn't quite have the mystery of the original game - you already know them by now.
- Defending the little sisters from waves after waves of enemies get old fast.
- It assumes you've played the first game and know everything about the game world (not necessarily that bad, since new players should play Bioshock 1 first anyway).
- The game is short, and the levels feel a little too same-y.
Despite the sameness of the game, it is still very fun to play, and that's really all that matters. The story, while not as memorable as the first game, is not bad by any means. If you're new to the series, please play the original game first - not only will you familiarize yourself with the settings and learn the background, you'll spot some neat references to that in this game. If you have already played Bioshock before, I definitely recommend you trying this one out too. It's worth your time!
on February 16, 2010
Maybe the title of this review is wrong, I don't care, because that's what Bioshock 2 is, good not great. And of course the obligatory comparison of the 'original' Bioshock is what it all boils down to, and the argument is there too, Is Bioshock 2 as good or better than the original.
Simply put, Bioshock 2 is very good, and well executed on a technical sense. Graphics go without any noticeable hitches, maybe some slowdown in more intense battles which could be the game itself or it could be that my 360 is dying again, it could be either one. Rapture is still Rapture, the under-water city is back and a little more run down from the original forray into the city, but it's missing that one thing that the original really drove. Rapture was a new place and damn was it creepy. Bioshock 2's return to Rapture lacks that newness, sure the locations that are visited are different and done well, but that initial fear of the unknown is gone and also that tension that the original Bioshock is a little more diffused, but that could be just the character that is being controlled and the essential story.
Playing a Big Daddy, Delta, the original Big Daddy as you try to find the little girl that you're linked to. Apparently a Big Daddy is linked to a specific little girl, as long as the little girl is alive so is the Big Daddy. The whole Big Daddy thing is pretty good, adopting the little girls as you go, basically becomes the way you power up in the game. The little girls collect Adam, and you as the Big Daddy have to protect the little girl from the Splicers as she collects, the fight to defend her is a good set piece, you have to use the trap rivets, and whatever security is around that you can hack and re-purpose. The 'Power to the People' weapon upgrade stations are around too, to tune out the weapons. There are way more resources available for the Big Daddy since there's way more Splicers in this game, more money, bigger guns, and dual weilding weapons and plasmids. The game works on every level, as far as gameplay, but there's just that creepiness missing that moment of anxiety as the lights flickered on and off, the occassional Splicer doing the whole creepy talk to throw you off balance for that one second.
Bioshock 2 is a great sequel, the game is good and is well done overall, there are no complaints regarding graphics, or the use of sound to create a little tension, toss in that happy period music, that's the Bioshock franchise. The essential issue that lies with Bioshock 2 is that Rapture is a place that was visited, that creepy tension in the second is diffused because you know what's going to happen, you know that when you hear the odd rantings of a Splicers that you're in for a fight, or when the lights flicker on and off something is coming. The original Bioshock did a fantastic job of creating that tension, that desperate sense of 'you're running out of bullets, health packs, and EVE', and conversely so does Bioshock 2, but not on that same level. The story-telling focuses more on the cultist views of Sophia Lamb rather then Andrew Ryan, Sophia Lamb is by no means as interesting as Andrew Ryan. The conflicting socio-politcal views of Ryan and Lamb are obvious. Ryan being more the individualist within a completely free market system as compared to Lamb's communial collectivist views are interesting corner stones, Ryan's old empire still exists and is interactive and is interesting when compared to Lamb's views being spouted out over the P/A or when you see a shrine with Splicers praying to it. The story is well done and implemented throughout and as before you get much of the backstory delivered through tapes.
In the end Bioshock 2 is solid game, it performs on par with the original but it's still missing that new 'wow' factor, that lil bit of more tension that made the first one such an anxious exploration into Rapture, a broken city that has an interesting history. The original showcased a new city, and the sequel builds upon that world, it feels like a sequel. However, it's a well done sequel, if you're a fan of Bioshock, the sequel is a good game to spend time with, lots to see and on a technical sense it delivers. If a third venture to Rapture happens, I'd love to see the point and circumstance, and events that lead up to Rapture going nuts, it's something that is alluded to throughout Bioshock 1 and 2, but it's never been completely explored as a story within Rapture, it's the biggest event that happens to that city, but we never see all of it.
I didn't review the multi-player component, I think that's more or less standard with games of this genre, so it's either good or not. I think games should be reviewed on the single player merits first and foremost, multi-player doesn't deliver the story, characters and experience like the single player provides. That's why I didn't look at the multi-player, for that simple, that multi-player is a thin, story-less adaptation of the single player only with a larger number of players.
"Bioshock 2" is certainly a worthy follow-up to the original version. The story remains similar, but interesting nonetheless. This game has the ability to hold my attention for hours. I find it challenging, yet not so hard that it is impossible to clear the levels. The game continues to be rather eerie, made all the more so with the enemies jumping out from unexpected places, the old-fashioned music, and the background.
My only complaint would be that the graphics are a little basic compared to the outstanding ones that I've seen in recently released games.
Overall, a fun, challenging, exciting game, well worth adding to your collection.
on January 3, 2011
Challenge with any sequel is that they tend to be either very close to the original or very different. The risk goes up with the degree of difference so if the original was a success, why change it. This is what happened here, Bioshock 2 continues to user the same formula with some rather minor alterations to its predecessor. The result is great by all means, as we know it from the original, graphics, combat mechanics, special powers, sound etc, however the suspense and surprise is essentially gone, the player already knows the world and behaviour of its inhabitants to a large degree and is hardly surprised. Also, the couple of new types of enemies hardly make a difference. The story is ok, but feels rather predictable, it is missing some of the twists and turns present in the original. Overall the game is still fun to play, but over rather quickly, no trouble to beat this over a weekend. If you have played the original you will likely play the sequel, if you haven't, better to start from the beginning.