Ten years have passed since the fall of Andrew Ryan, leaving Rapture a beast without a head. Splicers roam the streets thirsty for Adam, and a new power rises to manipulate them. Sofia Lamb, a doctor, tries to give religion to the people. She tells the masses to put their faith in her daughter, Eleanor. There is a conflict of interest however, as Eleanor is your daughter. As Eleanor’s Big Daddy, you have an unbreakable bond with this girl. You are ready to do whatever it takes to rescue her, while Sofia Lamb is ready to do whatever it takes to keep her away from you.
In this installment of the Bioshock series, you take control of a Big Daddy, a devastating armored being assigned to Little Sisters for protection. Because you are huge now, all of your guns will be huge as well. From your arsenal you may choose from guns such as the Rivet Gun, a weapon which fires large bolts at your enemies, to weapons such as the Grenade Launcher. Every gun also has 3 different types of ammo to use, each serving its own purpose given the scenario. As you progress through the game, new guns and ammo will become available to you, adding new dimensions of gameplay with every level.
One of the more noticeable changes to gameplay from the first game is the addition of being able to duel-wield both plasmids and guns at the same time. Combat feels much more natural this way, opening up more room for combination attacks and burst damage. Unfortunately there were no new plasmids added into the game, (with the exception of “Scout”) recycling those from the previous. Another noticeable change that was made to the combat mechanics is being able to melee with any of your weapons, instead of restricting close quarters to a single weapon (though the drill does do significantly more damage up close).
In Bioshock 2 you may choose to use the roaming Little Sisters to your advantage. Once you have a Little Sister in your possession, a variety of options open up. You must decide whether to save the Little Sister, granting a hefty sum of Adam and their gratitude, or to harvest them for a much greater amount of Adam. If you choose to save the Little Sisters, they will reward you with useful items throughout the game. Before deciding what to do with them however, using them to gather Adam from dead bodies would be in your best interest. Each Little Sister may gather from up to two sources, granting you additional Adam. This is not as easy as it sounds though, as you must defend the Little Sister against waves of enemies as she slowly gathers. This is primarily where traps come into play, as it sometimes may be overwhelming to defend both yourself and your Little Sister at the same time. During random points in the game you will encounter Big Sisters, (really pissed off Big Sisters) who are some of the more formidable enemies in the game. They are hard to kill, but impossible to outrun.
Moral choice plays a big role in Bioshock 2. Not only must you choose whether to save or kill Little Sisters, but the fate of others are in your hands. It will be very hard to play a “good” playthrough of this game, as the people who you must decide whether to kill or let live don’t make it easy on you to do the latter. Whatever way you intend on playing, make sure that it is consistent throughout. A nice trophy (or achievement) lies in wait if you beat the game either completely good or completely evil.
Like any good story, Bioshock 2 holds a carrot on a stick in front of you. Throughout the entire course of the game you will be wanting to push forward to get closer to Eleanor. The beginning of the game leaves many ends untied, but with each level more and more becomes revealed. You will never feel as if you were killing for no reason, as everything that you do is to get closer to the goals at hand. The story is definitely a memorable one, and will leave you satisfied up until the end.
The addition of multiplayer plays a big part in Bioshock 2. The multiplayer is story based, (to an extent) taking part in 1959 before the civil war in Rapture. The learning curve is very short and the gameplay is gripping. The online play for Bioshock 2 will definitely add hours the game, but should not be seen on par with the singleplayer storyline. If you are interested in obtaining all the trophies (or achievements) then you will find yourself forced to sink a considerable amount of hours in the multiplayer.
Like the first, the graphics of Bioshock 2 are beautifully designed and rendered. The graphics are also literally like the first, however. Little to no improvement has been made on the actual character and terrain models. Though the graphics of both games stand their own even today, improvements could have definitely been made. The visuals of the multiplayer aspect of the game are significantly downgraded, resembling that of a past generation of gaming.
The sound of Bioshock 2 is as great as ever. The eerie feel is definitely enhanced with the audio, further adding incentive to uncover the mysteries of Rapture. An authentic 40s-50s feel is delivered with many noteworthy tracks from the time, serving as the perfect background music as you rip through the hordes of Splicers.
Bioshock 2 delivers on all fronts, serving as an improvement in almost every aspect of its predecessor. Not only is the combat more fluid and fun, but the overall presentation and feel of the game is authentic and memorable. Though the visuals and locations do feel very familiar, they definitely do not take away from the overall experience of the game as you are sucked into the world of Rapture.
|Pros||intriguing story, amazing combat, improves on a lot from the first.|
|Cons||Graphics were not improved on from original, awful visuals for multiplayer, familiar environments.|
|Verdict||Bioshock 2 is a fps that should not be missed by anyone, especially those who played and enjoyed the first.|