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Bioshock 2 Review

The sequel of the critically aclaimed Bioshock by 2K Marin and Irational, Bioshock 2, is the new release of this month… or 2. From the developers of the first game, the studios expand from 2 to 5 studios. 2K Marin, Digital Extremes, which do the multiplayer, 2K Australia, 2K China, and Arkane Studios were brought together to create this amazing sequel. Bioshock 2 combines the gunplay of the first game with some interesting story arcs to create a truly competent experience. And since I have not played the first game, there is no bias in the review. Hit the jump for the review.

The first thing you notice about Bioshock 2 is that the graphic style is very…I’d like to say over the top, but it’s more like dark, grimy, intense, but it has a feeling of an almost cartoony vibe. The combat feels very good, combining the plasmids with the gunplay brings more to the plate. When ever you are reloading a gun, which takes a while, you can just zap a guy or set him on fire to force him to stop shooting you while your gun is inactive. Each gun has their own distinctive style and feel. The new addition, The Drill, is not very powerful as you start, but once you start upgrading it to the max, it becomes one of your neccesary weapons to take down the big guys. By the end of the game I felt like I needed more weapons, I felt as though I have used the weapons so much, I have already got a feel for all of them. The one reason that I have felt this way is because I mainly used one plasmid, the electric bolt, exclusively throughout the whole game, mainly because it worked the best. The amount of enemies in the game are pretty immense and the bosses and mini bosses were satisfying to kill. The last thing I want to say about the guns and the gunplay is that there are not enough upgrade stations throughout Rapture to realy fell satisfied with all the weapons.

Alot of your upgrades come from Adam, which you obtain by rescuing, harvesting, and protecting little sisters while they are harvesting Adam filled dead people. To obtain a little sister you have to kill her Big Daddy protector, and as I said before, killing these things are satisfying as well as tough. The relationship between the little sisters and the big daddy is really there, you can really feel it. Whenever you approach the Big Daddy, little sister combo, the little sister is always pushing the Big Daddy on, and they each have their nicknames such as bubbles. Once you obtain the little sister, you can do three things: Go through the level and harvest all the Adam filled people, go to a vent (a place where you can release your little sister) and save her and obtain some Adam, or you can harvest her and obtain a lot of Adam. The only downside of harvesting the little sister is that a Big Sister will come and you will have to fight her (once you defeat her you get more Adam from her body) and the decisions you make with the little sister affect the end game. If you choose to grind and go through the level and harvest some Adam, you will have to protect the little sister while she does so. Before you start the harvesting sequence, you have to set up with the defensive weapons and ammo that you have. You can set traps, hack turrets and security cameras, and get to a place that you have a strategic advantage against your enemies. Once you set up, you put the sister down and she starts harvesting. The sequence of defending your little sister is very fun, if you set up right. Watching splicers rush in and try to stop the little sister fail is quite satisfying.

From what I have heard about the first Bioshock, Bioshock 2’s story seems a bit underwhelming compared to the first game. But what the game lacks in plotline, it gains in story telling and epic set-pieces. Whenever you travel from place to place underwater you can see the emensity of rapture and how the city has been shaped over the years. The way the characters talk to, which is through a radio like device, is a little overused in games, but still present an interesting take on story telling. The way that everything is in first person is also pretty cool. It takes a while for the plot to get interesting, for the beggining few missions is just: go there, oh no something is blocking the way, go in take out the thing that is blocking you, repeat. A little over half way through the game, the plot and mission structure changes toward the better, and it starts getting more and more fun and interesting. There is a lot of stuff in-game that you can take time and see/listen to to find out a bit more about Rapture, Andrew Ryan, and you.

The multiplayer is an interesting concept, but not executed that well. While it is still fun, and brings some new aspects to the table, you probably will not play it that long. Some of the most interesting things are the research and hacking. Whenever you kill an enemy player, you can go up to his body and research him for extra damage to that certain player. The weapon/plasmid combo is brought from the single player to the multiplayer and it works pretty well. Although I have not been frozen myself, freezing other people is pretty damn fun. As you progress you unlock weapons, plasmids, and character customization options, which are really funny and humorous in a tongue in cheek manor.

The game definatly holds up as a next gen shooter. Although the controls for the PC are a bit glitchy and kinda counter intuitive. The graphics are good, the style and the feel of the weapons makes the game better by far. Even though the story takes a while to pick up, some decisions affect the outcome of the game, and the ending is very satisfying. Unbiased and uncompared to Bioshock original, Bioshock 2 gets a 9.5 out of 10. I truly think that if a game is like its previous, and does better things as well as improves upon things the first game does, it should be getting a higher score than the original, not a lower one as a lot of sites are doing. Hope you enjoyed the review, check back for more.

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