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on May 23, 2012
I own this game, but didn't buy it on Amazon. I simply had to put in my $0.02 to counteract the reviews here, both of which have nothing to do with the most important aspect: Is this game fun?

The answer to that question is a resounding YES. I've played and beat both of the Bioshock games, and while the first one had a more creepy, try-to-survive atmosphere (much like System Shock 2, if you were lucky enough to have played it), Bioshock 2 comes across as more... fun, for lack of a better word. The 1st one was insanely fun, don't get me wrong, this one just steps back on the creepiness factor a little bit, and focuses more on the fun factor. For example, as much fun as the weapon upgrades and plasmids are, the drill smash attack (where you LAUNCH across a room and bash enemies with your drill) is seriously the most fun attack I have ever seen in a first-person game.

This game is absolutely worth the asking price (especially since it's on sale as I write this). The game does include SecuROM, but honestly unless you have some philosophical issue with DRM in general, you will not notice any negative effects. The complaints of "it ruined my OS, and I had to reformat" or "it caused my disk drive to melt-down" are nothing but rumors. The limit of being able to install it on only 5 machines (I think that's still the case) could possibly affect some people, but unless you go through computers like popcorn, you aren't likely to have to install it on even 2 computers. As a very story-driven game, replayability is not one of its strongest suits.

Overall I give it a 9/10. Now that it's cheap, you absolutely can't go wrong.
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on October 9, 2013
I've been waiting for something positive to happen regarding the installation issues with this game and after reading this short article from PC Gamer just the other day, (http://goo.gl/c5hwoq) I decided to go ahead and download and install the game (fingers and toes crossed that all will be well!)

Using the "Add Game" feature from Steam, I did the "Activate a product on Steam" and followed all the prompts. I input the product code from the purchase and the game started downloading. It downloaded, installed and RAN perfectly! No issues with any second or third party this-or-that and total peace of mind! Phew!!!
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on May 20, 2013
If you want to play this game, you have to have at least an hour to kill for the set-up. First you need an Amazon account (OK, if you are here, you probably already have that), a steam account, and two separate Microsoft accounts (Games for Windows, and some other account I don't remember the name of). This involves all the set-up, email verification, Captcha, etc., downloading, installing, accepting of terms and conditions, updating, verifying the updating, etc. etc. that you can imagine. Then when you finally get to install the game, (after downloading it, of course) then there are a bunch of updates etc. that call for a system reboot etc. etc. etc. etc. You also need at least two separate activation codes (maybe more, I don't remember) and the silliest thing is an interface where you can't even copy/paste the activation code, but you have to type it in by hand (and you can't see the code because the activation screen is full-screen). When you are finished, you have an excellent game that is only ruined by the continual crashing of Games for Windows (or whatever the damn thing is called).

I think re-installing an operating system takes less time. This is absolutely ridiculous. Next time, I will just go directly to Steam and pay a little more.
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on November 19, 2012
The original Bioshock was masterful for many reasons. The game world was fantastic and yet somewhat plausible, and it was assisted by being one of the first Unreal Engine 3 games.

It was all tied together by an emphasis on Ayn Rand's philosophy. The philosophy gives a coherence behind the game world, which makes it more believable and immersive. the main enemy, splicers, are kind of like the end result of Ayn Rand's philosophy of selfishness being a virtue. ADAM is sort of a statement of how narcotics can take away the free will that is required for a Randian state to function. Much of Ryan's backstory shows how the philosophy can result in totalitarianism and doublespeak. Granted, this is a game, and so these horrible elements take precedence, but at least this gives a backstory.

This game is more Bioshock. It is better in many ways on a mechanical level, but on a larger story level it is completely unnecessary and does not help you understand the first game better, which is the duty of the sequel.

Instead, you get a separate story that is set in Rapture. You get fan fiction.

but first, the good. The good is that the game is much better. Combat is better. You can wield plasmids and weapons at the same time.

Hacking is especially improved. Gone is the stupid pipe game and now it is in real time (so you better be quick) and it rewards quick timing.

The game models are much improved too.

The decision between good and evil is much improved. Here, it is a genuine challenge to be good. To be good is truly the difficult path, since you have to defend a little sister while she harvests, and this is *very* challenging, especially at lower levels. It is much easier to just harvest every little sister you come across. I didn't have the heart for it though, so I freed them whenever I could.

There is a genuine moral choice at the end of each level and at the end, you do want to take the evil route, even if it is wrong.

You also have more exploration of the environment. For instance, for an underwater city, isn't it odd that you don't really get to see much underwater? Here, you do. That is a welcome addition.

You also...get a neat perspective shift. I'll leave it at that, but it is interesting.

Those are all significant improvements over the first game.

But, the main story does not really resonate. It is completey seperate from teh first game. It does not expand it in any way. Instead, it only inhabits the same setting and general backstory. It does not expand the original narrative in any way or round out any characters.

And in this, the threads of the world start to fall apart.

For instance, Sofia Lamb has a communal philosophy for getting things done. It is the complete opposite of Andrew Ryan's philosophy of fierce individualism.

Okay, this is interesting.

So why are there still splicers running around? Why aren't the splicers different? WHy don't they use team tactics? Why are they the same selfish a-holes that you saw in the first game? Splicers fit into Ryan's individualism philosophy gone amok, but here, they're just enemies carried over from the last game. Sofia Lamb's philosophy then isn't so far-reaching. She's just another titular bad guy at the end of the game.

It's a different chapter and an interesting one, but ultimately, not one that is necessary.
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on March 30, 2014
In my opinion, Bioshock 2 has the best gameplay in the series. It took the first game and refined what needed to be refined, fixed what needed to be fixed, and took out what needed to be taken out. The weapons are more fun, the enemies are more varied, and there are just so many way to play. Story wise, it's nothing special but by no means is it bad. The story was good enough to keep me interested but was admittedly predictable and forgettable. For this reason I don't think it quite surpassed the original, but it is still absolutely worth buying.

So the game on it's own was a ton of fun to play and I'm happy I bought it, however I did experience technical issues. You may have noticed that most of the reviews for the PC version of Bioshock 2 mention Windows Live and how it ruined an otherwise great game. But fear not, for that has since been removed and is no longer an issue. I was able to install the game on Steam quickly and easily. However about 3 hours in, my game started to crash every 5-10 minutes. Right in the middle of playing it would just randomly close with no warning. It only took a minute to re-open the game so I figured if I saved often it wouldn't be too much of an issue. But the crashes became more and more frequent to the point that I literally couldn't even continue. During this ordeal I tried to find a solution but it took a few hours to actually find one that worked, and by that point I was ready to throw my computer out the window. There were a couple other technical issues here and there but that was the only major one. This could all just be a result of my own ignorance when it comes to computers but considering I have never experienced an issue like this before, I doubt it's entirely my fault.

Bioshock 2 has a relatively weak story and the technical issues were a pain to fix, but the gameplay and atmosphere completely made up for it. The gameplay was more refined than in Bioshock 1 and it allowed for more freedom than Infinite. I can't recommend this game enough.
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on January 15, 2013
One thing I really like about the game is the retro look, like with the first BioShock game, the animation is very retro feeling in the way the game looks and plays, not to mention the music. The huge down side to the game is fact that the Microsoft Games for Windows Marketplace forced an update that keeps causing it to force close, when I'm able to play it for more than 5 minutes, I'm very content. Unfortunately the issue has been around for awhile because I've tried finding ways around the issue.

All in all, the game deserves 5 stars, except for the incorporation of the GFWM.
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on August 22, 2015
Bioshock 2 was buggy and took some effort to run. It would not run under dx10, only dx9(Windows 10). The gameplay was ok, but too short and not challenging enough. I wouldn't of bought this if I knew how hard it was to get to run. There are no returns for digital media.

Also after playing the game I had to "log out" and relog into Windows, something doesn't reset on the video and the screen is washout looking.
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on August 6, 2014
I have played Bioshock 1 and Infinite, someone suggested Bioshock 2 to me I love this game even though it's not too relevant to the story in a whole. Playing as a big daddy is great! Makes you feel like that much power should've only been capable in a Big Daddy anyways.
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on May 7, 2014
I deleted the game after about 1/2 hour. Walking around staring out a helmet face plate was too boring and limiting. Plus the UI was dirt slow. The action sequences also were repetitive From what little I played it was no where near the quality of the original. I bought it on sale cheap which was good. The game was not fun.
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on July 12, 2013
After working for about 10-15 minutes to get a game profile on portx360 (a software tool used to allow a controller to be used with a mouse/keyboard game), I started playing this game. I thought it was working, and I was having fun until I got tired... time for bed... I tried to save. Turns out the game hadn't finished downloading xbox live updates, profiles and who knows what other crap. No save for my first hour of play. THANKS MS! /slap. After two more game restarts, and updates it finally saves. Why Microsoft? Why? Are you going to support xbox live for this game forever, or will there come a time when you just can't play it because your servers no longer work? When I'm old and grey and want to play this game for a bit of nostalgia, if you could have just kept your hands off the stupid cloud profile crap, I will have had the ability to still play this. Number one rule of programming; If you don't want to support it for EVER, don't code it. We'll see how long forever is to you. My guess; no longer than 7 years.
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