Top positive review
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Truly A Excellent Value
on January 16, 2013
The BioShock series needs no introduction. It's one of the best new franchises of this generation for sure. Not for everybody, but regardless, an amazing series. Now, the whole series is up for grabs in this package, and for the price it's almost criminal to not pass out on it.
First, the games. BioShock needs no introduction. It's my all time favorite game of all time alongside System Shock 2, and it's one of those games that absolutely deserves its rankings amongst the top of any "Best of...." list. It's also the game that made me realize what Video Games are. As a former film buff who once turned my nose up at video games, BioShock was the game that made me realize I can't ignore video games; in fact, BioShock made me momentarily forget about film entirely. BioShock isn't all that perfect (as one knows, the endings are terrible, and the final boss battle lacks the emotional climax the game needed), but the end impact of the game makes little niggling story issues near vapid once you factor in the whole experience. That experience, rich with meaning, beauty, humor, horror, and so much more. I wouldn't trade it for the world. If any game proves that video games are an amazing art form, BioShock is one of those games.
Game play has always been a controversial part of the series. Some people love the game play, some people couldn't get into it, and some people hate it. Personally, I grew up on the mechanics (I've been a fan of the franchise ever since its inception, and I still play BioShock), and I've always loved the combat in this game over just about any other FPS, much more than Halo, COD, and even other sandbox shooters like Crysis (though I love all of those franchises, don't get me wrong. Well, except COD these days, but that's not really the developers fault). Either way, I go back to the game and find news and creative ways to play, so have fun and don't be afraid to use all the tools you have. There's a good reason why I replay BioShock over and over (probably played it from start to finish more than ten times), and to this day no other FPS compels me to do this. So yeah, still an amazing game, and still my personal all time favorite.
BioShock 2, even to this day, remains a somewhat controversial game in the series. Some fans loved it, while others feel apprehension towards BioShock 2 and is considered unnecessary. Some see it as a deeper exploration into the world of Rapture, insomuch that the title becomes another must play; the whole tale of Rapture just isn't the same without it. It also has better combat, as well as implementing a much better final act than the original (we all know how that turned out). Others, on the hand, are quick to dismiss it as a lazy retread of the first game. I've always felt that the criticisms were mostly a knee jerk reaction. Aside from the combat being improved, deeper, and extremely satisfying, the story itself does say some new interesting things, and touches on things the original did not have. Personally, I don't like it *as* much as I do the original, but that's not really an insult on my part. I never really considered it to be an absolute must play like the original, but don't listen to the detractors and ignore it wholesale. BioShock 2 is an excellent game in it's own right, and I always personally felt it doesn't deserve the vitriol it gets.
So yeah, so both games are terrific, but what about that bonus content? I've played through all of the bonus content plenty of times, and it's all a ton of fun. Organized lists rule, so here we go.
First, the BioShock downloadable content:
* Plasmid and Gene Tonic Pack. Includes the following: Sonic Boom, giving one the ability to knock enemies back with force. Machine Buster 1 @ 2, which increases damage towards security devices. EVE Saver, which decreases EVE consumption when using Plasmids. Vending Expert 1 @ 2, which decreases prices in vending machines.
* The Challenge Rooms. These were available, beforehand, to only PS3 owners, but thankfully this isn't the case here. These challenge rooms provide the player with the ability to participate in certain challenges, which are akin to solving puzzles, such as being able to defeat a Big Daddy without using any offensive weapons or plasmids. There's around three of these particular levels, and they are all set in different places in Rapture that we haven't seen before. They are pretty much made to give BioShock players fun and interesting challenges. They can be pretty short, but they provide any BioShock fan an interesting game play experience.
Second, the BioShock 2 downloadable content:
* Sinclair Solutions Test Pack. This is basically a minor add on for BioShock 2 MP. Aside from raising the level cap to 50, you also get two unlockable characters, twenty new unlockable trials (only available to those who reached level 41), a third weapon upgrade for all weapons, and five new masks.
* Minerva's Den. This is easily the best DLC this package has to offer. It's an absolutely wonderful single player story, dealing with the struggle between brilliant Mathematician Charles M Porter and Engineer Reed Wahl. Minerva's Den is also a fascinating, amazing place to explore (as one might expect from BioShock, obviously), the area being basically a big computer center (Think the halls of , with a Retro-Futuristic bent). Not only that, its ending is FINALLY the first game in the series to have a powerful, really beautiful ending. It's a great tale, and one that all BioShock fans need to play. Also, you get some new enemies (most notable a new Big Daddy), a new weapon (Ion Laser), and a new plasmid (Gravity Well).
* Rapture Metro. This includes six MP maps (Dionysus Park, Fighting McDonaugh's, Fontaine Fisheries, Pauper's Drop, Siren Alley, and Smuggler's Hideout), a new game mode (Kill 'em Kindly), and the ability to raise your level cap to 50 and start over again with a special mask. For those who are huge fans of Rapture as much as I am, it's actually really cool to just fire up an empty match and explore renditions of the city within its prime. For MP fans, it's simply an expansion to add to the arsenal of ways to face off against one another, all with interesting layouts to make matches interesting. Finally, the new game mode essentially makes players use nothing but MP specific Gene Tonics and the environment as your means of combat.
* The Protector Trials. Set during the events of BioShock 2, these game modes function very much like a typical challenge room. Basically, Tenenbaum wants you protect the Little Sisters, and each level is basically one long ADAM harvest run through. It works like this. Each challenge has their own specific plasmids and weapons for each level, and you need to know how to use those specific tools to fend off waves of splicers as they attempt to attack your Little Sister. Through each match, you then get awarded a certain numbers of stars, depending on how well you did due to various factors that overall mark your session and measure your overall success.
I think this amazing package makes it pretty clear this is an excellent value. If you've ever been interested in the BioShock series, you really have no reason not to purchase this. Seriously, I'd still pay full price for the first BioShock, and BioShock 2 has always been a seriously underrated game. With the addition of a plethora of excellent downloadable content, the fact that this totals up to a mere thirty dollars makes this package a complete steal. If you haven't played a BioShock game, what the heck are you waiting for? You have no reason not to get this!