How do you make a sequel from the previous Bioshock game? Bioshock in itself was an excellent game that brought forward some new twists to the FPS genre, and allowed us to experience the strange and twisted world that is Rapture. So how does the sequel improve on this and bring even more to the table? Read our review to see if its the new Big Daddy.
Because this game has a deep story to it and if I had to mention them I would give away huge spoilers so I am going to write this review spoiler free. I will not mention much of the story, other than that it is set ten years after the first game and that you are playing as an original big daddy. The story of this game has many twists and turns that will keep you hooked just as much as the first one did. The story unfolds to you via the help of tapes that you can find during your journeys through rapture as well as visual scenes during the game.
If you have played the first Bioshock game then the controls will feel right at home as they are pretty much identical. The one major difference now is that because you are a Big Daddy you have the ability to hold your weapon and a plasmid as the same time. So you can shock the splicers and then shoot them with out swapping between the two, this helps make the action scenes a lot more intense and fierce, especially when you take on a Big Daddy.
Many of the old favourite plasmids make a return with the main ones being the electrify, incinerate and the telekinesis. Along with the plasmids come the tonics, which are the upgrades to yourself, so to speak, that while you have them equipped they they increase or help with certain things. For example there is one that you can equip that you give you Eve every time you you use a first aid kit. You can only hold a few tonics and plasmids at any one time but this be increased as there are a lot more tonics in the game and some pretty cool new plasmids. In order to upgrade you will require Adam (yip of course its back), the Adam you collect will help you upgrade your genes, basically upgrading yourself. The moral choice of harvesting the little sisters has returned, except this time you can use them first to gather more Adam from dead splicers. This also introduces the new gather gameplay where you must protect the little sister from waves of oncoming splicers as they try to get to the girl for the Adam.
Along with the plasmids and tonics you also get to control a decent size armory of guns each with their different ammo types, which you will need as you take on the splicers and the new dreaded Big Sisters. These Big Sisters are the ultimate big daddy, as they are fast, smart and also use the plasmids in there aid to try and take you down. You thought taking on a big daddy was tough wait until you face one of these Big Sisters! The one thing that I found irritating was the fact at how powerful the splicers are, even the very first which you encounter are pretty strong and can cause you some serious damage. I found this strange because, well you are a Big Daddy in a huge metal suit. Even with your drill and smacking them doesn’t seem to deal the right amount of damage. Nothing that ruins the game, it’s just something that I picked up on and thought it was worth a mention.
A new welcome improvement is the way that hacking is performed now. No more water pipes, it has been more simplified and quicker. This never breaks the action too much and is a very welcome improvement. When you hack the various safes, security bots, vending machines, turrets and cameras you now bring up a graph with various coloured section and a moving needle which you must select over the correct colour. You can now hack from a distance with the aid of that hack dart gun, allowing you to shoot hack dart into the various items you wish to hack and do so from a safe distance.
Of course with a sequel things always have to be twice as big/better than the original right? And that is why 2K introduced multiplayer in Bioshock 2, and oddly enough it is actually set during the fall of Rapture when things started to go pear shaped. You even gt your very own apartment where you can outfit your character and weapons before jumping into a game. The really enjoying aspect of the multiplayer that stood out for me was that the plasmids remained in the multiplayer, so now you could incinerate some one first and then shoot them with your shotgun. Also the Big Daddy suit, which when found gives you some serious fire power. The few modes are all takes on the classic multiplayer modes such as capture the little sister aka, capture the flag. There is also free for all, team deathmatch and some others that will keep you playing the multiplayer for a while but unfortunately it will not suck you away from the other FPS multiplayer games out there.
Graphics and Sound
There have been some improvements to the graphics of Bioshock 2 but nothing that really drops your jaw. The one thing that really deserves a mention is the art style and the various environments. During your escapades through Rapture you really start to believe that this crazy place under the sea exists which is falling to pieces. With water creaking in from leaks, the unmaintained areas, ran-sacked by the splicers, all bring this world to life.
The sound of Rapture is simply excellent, with great atmosphere and surround use, great voice acting and all round excellent sound effects help bring Rapture to life. Everything sounds as though they should the massive thumps of your footprints make you almost feel indestructible.
It’s going to be a familiar experience for anyone that played the original, but BioShock 2’s improvements to gameplay and its more focused storyline will make the experience of the game more playable and easier to take in. If you are looking for a first-person shooter that offers, something different from all the other types, one that loops you into the decision making process, and one that’s set in one of the most vividly realized settings around should pick up BioShock 2. It’s a game in which story, setting, and gameplay are expertly blended to create an experience that’s as thought-provoking as it is entertaining. Throw in a fairly decent multiplayer and you have a winner here.
Story – 8 A top tier single-player mode that’s entertaining the whole way through.
Gameplay – 8 Refinements and tweaks, to enhance the flow of gameplay and keep you rooted in the action.
Graphics – 7 Unmistakable art style prevails, making Rapture one of the most interesting worlds around.
Sound – 8 Excellent sound and even to notch voice acting.
Overall – 8 / 10
Written by Claudio Cecchi (Freak_c)
A HUGE thank you to Megarom for supplying the game for review.