Bioshock 2 Review
10 years, 3 months ago Posted in: Computers, Gaming, Opinions, Slider 0
Bioshock 2 Review

I need to start off by saying that Bioshock 2 has 3 frustrating layers of DRM when accessed through Steam.  It took about 3 restarts of the game, a password reset, and some toying around my firewall to get through the Valve Protection, SecureRom, and Windows Live security just to get this game started.  Trying to get past the Games for Windows nonsense caused me to utter some choice words for companies who employ this silly tactic.  But if you can get over all the DRM nonsense Bioshock 2 is a very good game.

Like the original BioShock, you start the game in the underwater city of Rapture.  But unlike the protagonist of the first game you start out as a Big Daddy prototype.   A Big Daddy that is searching for his Little Sister, who happens to also be daughter of Sofia Lamb the Big Boss Applesauce in Rapture.  Of course the city of Rapture is still in decline some 10 years after the events of the original BioShock.  In this game you have the ability to hold traditional weapons in your right hand while using the powers granted to you by your Plasmids in your left.  This opens up a lot of combinations which can be used to defeat your foes throughout the game.  You need to put thought into which of these methods you are going to use to advance through the game.

The story of BioShock is very cookie cutter, and leaves you with the feeling that you’ve been here, done that all before.  In order to really get full immersion in the game you need to listen to discarded tapes around the game which fill in back stories about the game and help to build suspense.

Another big factor to this game is your choice to harvest or save your Little Sisters throughout the game.  This takes you down one of two paths in the game.  You may choose to save all of the Little Sisters, but in doing so will receive less Adam which is used to pump up your plasmids making it easier to plow through your enemies.  And contrary to that is you may take the ‘evil’ path and have a different ending, and NPCs throughout the game may be more apprehensive to you which can slow your progress in other ways.  Overall the trade offs to be good or bad in the game come out to be about equal.  However, in my play though the the game I often took the laborious path of saving the Little Sisters and playing the game on the path of ‘good’.

Hacking in this game is also easier when compared to the first one.  Instead of the crazy pipe mazes of the original Bioshock, the second one relies more on timing a needle to stop at a certain position.  I much prefer this rhythmic timing game as opposed to the old way.  To compliment your ability to hack items in game (safes, security, doors, turrets) you can also use hacking darts, and auto hacking darts to hack from a distance.  The difficulty comes when you tend to panic when you are in the middle of a hack and attacked at the same time.

Many of the Plasmids from the original are back, such as Electro Bolts, Incinerate, Freeze, and more.  As you progress through the game and enemies get progressively harder you need to upgrade all of these to stay competitive against them.  This is where the choice of harvesting Little Sisters for more Adam really starts to pull on your moral heartstrings.

Another feature about the game that I didn’t want to see brought back was the camera.  It is necessary to ‘research’ your target by taking a video of them when you simultaneously attack them.  Often when I defeated a difficult enemy and  forgot to film them, I was annoyed at the fact that there was something in game that I missed.  This is something that I would have liked to be seen knocked out, but some would welcome that fact that it adds another element to the game.

Visually it fees almost identical to the 2007 release of the original BioShock.  Like I mentioned earlier most of the game feels like you’ve done it so many times before, and the cookie cutter story doesn’t help much in that matter.  Visuals and Sound have all been improved over the original, but not so much that the game feels it really pushes any boundries.  Overall I am very happy with the game and more than happy to have played through it.  But I don’t think that this has that Half Life quality that I would be able to play it again years later and feel so satisfied.

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