I still remember the first time I laid my eyes upon on the beauty of Rapture. I recall hopping into a bathysphere not being prepared for the amazing journey I was about to endure, I remember being greeted by the soothing voice of Atlus, I remember the hair on my back of my neck standing up as the splicer outside of my bathysphere scraping his hooks against the glass. I remember wanting more… Two and a half years later I am finally given the chance to return to Rapture, this time as a Big Daddy, not just any Big Daddy, Subject Delta, but the very first Big Daddy. He has been betrayed by Dr. Sophia Lamb as she his little sister, made him turn a gun on himself and pull the trigger. Ten years later he is given the chance to make things right, and hunt down Dr Lamb.
I’ll admit, when I first heard 2K Boston (now Irrational Games) wasn’t going to be back for the sequel, I was a bit disappointed and worried. Once I finally had BioShock 2 in my hands, though, all my worries went away. 2K Marin took everything 2K Boston built and added to it. I remember one of the biggest complaints from the first BioShock was the lack of multiplayer, well guess what, they added that too.
Multiplayer gives you the typical game modes; you have deathmatch, team deathmatch, last splicer standing, turf war, and capture the Sister. You are given the choice of 6 playable characters (8 if you got the 2 for pre-ordering) each with their own back story, unique weapon and dialogue. There are 50 Levels in multiplayer you can obtain; each advancement earns you new, plasmids, weapons and gene tonics to use to give you a slight advantage over your opponents. Your ranking is based on ADAM rewards, for example killing an enemy gives you 10 ADAM and getting yourself into a Big Daddy suit rewards you with 50 ADAM. The maps in multiplayer are areas you will or have visited throughout the game revamped to fit multiplayer needs. While it might not be the best multiplayer out there, it’s still quite entertaining, well at least on the 360 that is, I’ve yet to be able to get into a match on the PC version. Anyways enough about multiplayer let’s get on to the story.
Once again you begin your journey with no plasmids, and only a drill to protect yourself, not for long though, you are given plenty of weapons and plasmids along the way to add to your arsenal of splicer ass-kickery. Much like the first BioShock, you are given your first electric plasmid fairly early into the game, only instead of using your wrench for the one, two combo you get to use a drill (much more effective in my opinion), without giving too much away you get to see a few of the weapons and plasmids from the first game along with quite a few new ones. One of my favorites was the spear gun. Nothing pleases me more the sticking a splicer to the wall by their heads.
Speaking of splicers, you’re back to battling pretty much the same splicers in the original with only a few new baddies to toss a challenge at you. One new challenging enemy in BioShock 2 is the Big Sister, yes the Big Daddy is no longer the badass of rapture, now you must battle an extremely strong, agile and plasmid wielding Big Sister, The Big Sister more than once caused me much grief throughout Rapture. She always seemed to show up at the most inconvenient times, like when I was on my last health pack with no money to purchase more. After a while though, you’re easily able to predict when she’ll arrive, which brings me to my biggest complaint.
It kind of felt this way throughout the entire game, not a whole lot had changed, weapons, areas and even a lot of the enemies felt all too familiar, same objectives, same story, same options with the little sisters and an almost predictable story line, it was almost as if 2K Marin was scared to stray too far off of the path and went by old saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” While I am glad I got the same type of gameplay as the first I still would have liked to have seen more done with the story, I will say this though, towards the end just when I thought the game was about to end, (praying it wouldn’t) it didn’t, it kept me going for hours more than I had expected.
My first playthrough I decided to go for the dreaded Brass Balls achievement and just get it out of the way, this is an achievement I still have yet to get on the original BioShock. To my surprise it was much easier than I had expected, I almost always had my wallet packed full of money and there were plenty of vending machines to hack and more than enough ammo around when I needed it. I was a bit disappointed by this, I was really hoping for much more of a challenge and frustration. I recall having to conserve my ammo and health throughout the first BioShock, and running the other direction any time I pissed off a Big Daddy. In BioShock 2 I was rarely ever afraid. I no longer spent time planning my attacks; I wasted plenty of ammo and rarely found myself running away from anyone.
Overall I was quite pleased with BioShock 2, even though the story wasn’t as good as I’d hoped, it still kept me entertained for a good 20+ hours on hard difficulty. Rapture is as beautiful as ever, especially since it now displays in 1080p, Multiplayer is a lot of fun and I really hope they continue to support it, I also hope they bring more story DLC instead of just multiplayer DLC, I still haven’t satisfied my hunger for more of the history of Rapture. Definitely pick up BioShock 2, if you enjoyed the first game, you will absolutely love the second.
BioShock 2 was provided for review by the publisher.
Platform: PlayStation 3,Xbox 360,PC; Rated M
Developer: 2K Marin, 2K Australia, 2K China, Digital Extremes
Publisher: 2K Games
Release: February 9, 2010