24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2010
I did not buy this game on the day of its release, as so many people were complaining Bioshock series lost its magic in Bioshock 2. The Rapture city doesn't feel as novel anymore. But now that I have played through with it TWICE, I have to say these folks were dead wrong. Yes, the city, some of the villians and gameplay are similar, but that is why this game is labeled Bioshock 2 and not a new IP. Either way below are the pros and cons for the Bioshock2
-CHOICES, CHOICES, CHOICES: One of the aspects, gamers loved about the original is how you have to make choices in terms of litter sister throughout the game and how it affects the ending. In this one, they have taken a step further and improved this choice system. Not only for little sisters, but also for some other things you will have to make choices. This choices will affect the story (dialogues, cut scenes and ending) to a great degree and add decent replayability to the single player mode.
-MYSTERIOUS STORY: The story is suspenseful. It is not as good as the first one, but is still pretty good and will really drive you forward in the game. If you played Bioshock 1, it is certainly a plus; however, certainly not a requirement. Even if you did not play the original, you will be able to understand most of it.
-AMAZING UNDERWATER VISUAL ANG GRAPHICS: The city looks as stunning if not better as Bioshock 1. Better yet in this one you get to play UNDERWATER. While it may not sound as thrilling it truly adds great deal of feeling to the gameplay experience.
-PLAYING AS BIG DADDY: Initially you will be somewhat confused, but this gets to be real fun. You can still use plasmids as in the original, but you get access to heavy duty weapons as you are playing as big daddy. I won't spoil much for you but YOU WILL LOVE THE SPEAR GUN :)
-NEW WEAPONS, PLASMIDS and TONICS: In this game, you get access to all the cool plasmids from the original, but you also get to use some new mysterious plasmids and tonics. Expecially, if you decide to go for good ending, you will get some really cool plasmids. As for weapons, you will just love the big guns. Trust me on it.
-NEW ENEMIES and BOSSES: I don't want to spoil it so I will just say big sisters will make you wet your pants.
-FOUR ALTERNATE ENDINGS: Again refer to choices section
-EPIC MULTIPLAYER: This game offers a very unique multiplayer. It was a wonderful break from games like Modern Warfare 2. The modes such as capture the little sisters can be fun. Just wait till you play as a Big Daddy. The power you get will truly be intoxicating. Oh did I mention you can use very different plasmids than single player in multiplayer mode.
My only complain for this one was instead of focusing on multiplayer, they should have just focused on single player and made it longer. Don't get me wrong , it will still take you a while to go through it (8-12hrs depending on how much you decide to collect).
In summary, to me, Bioshock 2 lived up to the standards. It was enjoyable and has great replay value.
71 of 92 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2010
Bioshock, when it came out 2 years ago, completely reinvented the way I'd played first person shooters (I had never played System Shock 2). Diving into the sea, into a world eerily familiar to mid-20th century America was one of the most blindingly original, involving experiences I ever had with a controller. My main problem with Bioshock 2 is that this feeling of originality never returns. Despite what the designers do, this new main villain Sofia Lamb just doesn't strike the same terror at Andrew Ryan did and fighting splicers and other big daddies from the other perspective- that of a big daddy--just isn't as exciting or new as i would expect. The game feels so much like more of the same, and for that I give it fun factor of 5, because it builds on a brilliant foundation, but overall i feel its lack of originality compared to the original earns it only 4.
As an addendum-- I can find no issue technically with the game- I think it's running on the same Unreal engine as the first, and I believe that was pretty maxed out in the first one so there was likely not room for substantial improvements. The new plasmids aren't really as cool as the ones in the original game either, as they seem more practical (maybe not a complaint, but being able to go vertical just isn't as sweet as shooting bees at a guy). Graphics were good, sound was just as immersive as Bioshock 1, technically I really didn't have any problems with the game. I stand by the 5 I give it for fun, but I can only really give it a 4 because it just doesn't invoke that same sense of ingenuity I got in the first game.
67 of 88 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2010
I was a bit apprehensive about getting this game - I knew for fact that I'd get it, since I loved the original so much, but I was worried that the absence of Ken Levine would be too obvious on its story. However, I kinda ignored the voice in the back of my head, and decided to get the game anyway. When the 'more of the same' reviews started coming in, I wasn't disappointed; I loved the original game enough not to mind going through a very similar the game again (I played through Bioshock two or three times; each time finding something new in the game, or the story).
The beginning of Bioshock 2 seemed promising. It's certainly impossible to top the beginning of BS1 (the whole segment up to the exit from the bathysphere is classic), but there was a lot of promise in the presentation of the new antagonist of the game, including the shrines you find here and there, and the occasional communist drivel she spouts. Once you reach near the end, however, you begin to realize that there's really not much of a twist in terms of a plot. The ending(s) is predictable, at best. In the grand scheme of things, Lamb is barely touched upon; enough to make you wonder why she was chosen as an antagonist. Many of the characters you meet in the game seem transient; the last conflict with Sinclair is almost laughable in its brevity and insignificance. In short, the story of Bioshock 2 doesn't hold a candle to that of the first game.
On to gameplay.
The Big Sisters, which seemed to hold so much promise before the game's release are nothing but another enemy - one almost impossible to beat without dying - at least early in the game on Medium and Hard. No real story is presented to explain their existence, short of a silly blurb about them being Little Sisters in a specialized suit.
The underwater levels promised early on are nothing but brief stretches of linear path, and not deserving much mention.
The Big Daddy drill is an interesting weapon in the new arsenal, but it lacks in two serious aspects: a) the drill dash is not available until later on in the game, and this move is often crucial for survival, and b) unlike the wrench, it requires "ammunition", which is often scarce to come by, especially on higher difficulty levels. You are pretty much guaranteed to drain the drill's ammo in any serious fight; therefore, you cannot depend on it in any medium- to large-scale fights.
The variety of new weapons offered in the game is great, but you'll soon learn that you really need the drill, the shotgun, and the rocket launcher. The rivet gun becomes useless almost from the beginning - even headshots hardly scathe the opponents.
The music! One of the best parts of Bioshock is the music, as it sets the mood perfectly. In Bioshock 2, music is barely heard in five or six locations throughout the game. I have heard more old-timey music waiting for the game to load, than I have throughout the entire game; making me wonder why 2K even bothered licensing the songs.
That said, the game does make some good gameplay changes, including the spear gun, which is a fun weapon reminiscent of the one in Half-Life 2. Hacking is better, if not much more realistic, as now you need to hack as you play. While the underwater moments are all-too-brief, there are a few scenes which are beautiful and deserving a lot more attention, than that given. Another excellent addition was the view of the world through the eyes of a Little Sister - if you ever wondered why they refer to the splicers as 'angels', this part in the game makes the reason all-too clear.
All said, I'm far more disappointed by the lack of a solid story in this game, than I am by the elements of gameplay. Living up to the original is not an easy task, and while I didn't expect the same level of innovation from this one, what I did get, I expected - a sequel that desperately cried out for the attention of the author of the original.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2010
Returning to Rapture was refreshing, at first. Bioshock 2 is a good game but not a good sequel. If you are looking for a game that will continue what you experienced in the first game look no further because there isn't one. Without giving any spoilers Bioshock 2 is just a story about the induced relationship between the protectors (big daddies) and little sisters (this is discovered in the very beginning). Splicers have become more advanced, they are both stronger and a bit smarter. Using the drill as a weapon is amazing and absolutely a plus side. There are many other great aspects in the game but I don't want to ruin it. The game gets a little slow in the middle and it is significantly shorter than the first installation but don't let that discourage you, the game has some great gameplay!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2013
Bioshock is a fantastic game, on that you will get no argument from me. Over time though, it has been elevated in the eyes of its fans from a fantastic game, to one of the greatest games ever, and that is where poor Bioshock 2's troubles began. From the second Bioshock 2 was announced, the fans of the first game cried foul, saying that the first game was perfect the way it was, and there was no need for a second game; a sentiment that I agree with. The problem though, is that when said sequel came out, many people had already decided to hate this game, no matter what. Had 2k released a hollow experience of a game in a shameless attempt at a cash grab, then those sentiments would be spot on. Thankfully that is not the case.
Bioshock 2 is an amazing game, period. It is beautiful to behold, wonderfully written and acted, well staged, and a joy to play. Many people say the story in this game is so much weaker than the firsts, but those people seem to have conveniently forgotten how terrible Bioshock's ending was. All the twists, turns, and amazing acting culminated in a needlessly difficult escort mission, and an uninspired, superfluous boss fight. I am not bashing the first game; I am providing context for my comparison to Bioshock 2.
In Bioshock 2, you are a Prototype big daddy, on a mission to rescue your little sister from Lamb, the insane cult leader who has taken over rapture in Ryan's absence. The story is solid throughout, but it is at the end where is truly shines. I won't spoil it for you, but going for the Savior achievement really shows you why Bioshock 2's ending is superior to the first.
The controls and combat mechanics in Bioshock 2 are unquestionably superior those of its predecessor. Instead of having to cumbersomely switch between your weapons and Plasmids, you can dual wield, opening up a very satisfying array of strategic options. Throw out a cyclone trap in front of a charging enemy, and when they are shot into the air, pin them to the wall with your harpoon gun. The telekinesis ability from the first game was an interesting idea, but in Bioshock 2 its potential is finally realized. At its highest level, it allows you to pick splicers up bodily and fling them at their friends, further opening up what you can do in combat. The weapons and abilities in this game are varied, imaginative, and most importantly a total blast to play with.
Another point of contention with this game was the fact that it had online multiplayer "shoehorned" in. Now, had the multiplayer truly been tacked on, and uninspired, I would wholeheartedly agree. Thankfully, that is not the case. The multiplayer in Bioshock 2 is well executed and a lot of fun to play. Unique to multiplayer plasmid abilities can give you the edge over your opponent, and there are few things as satisfying as becoming a Big Daddy mid match, and wreaking havoc on your foes. In fact, the only thing more satisfying is being on the opposite side of that equation, and being the one to slay the great beast yourself.
Before I move onto the achievements, I would like to address the DLC available for Bioshock 2. For the most part, I am not a fan of DLC. Usually it is just an extra level or a couple of new abilities. Bioshock 2 however, goes above and beyond in the DLC department. The two multiplayer expanisons aren't really worth mentioning, and fall into the category of DLC that I dislike. Be warned that the Rapture Metro pack, while offering new levels, and rewards, was incredibly poorly executed, and not worth your time or hard earned dollar. What is worth a buy however are the Protector Trials, and Minerva's Den.
The Protector trials sees you having to protect a little sister from waves of splicers. How is this different from the escort mission that you dislike so much in the first game? Glad you asked. Bioshock 2's greatly expanded weapon and plasmid list makes these trials less a chore, and more an exciting challenge. I very much enjoyed the protector trials, but to be fair, I enjoyed protecting my little sister in the main game as well. If you don't find having to set up ingenious traps, and fighting off waves of bad guys to be enjoyable, than you know the Protector trials aren't for you. It is the next piece of DLC however, that influences my thinking when I say that Bioshock 2 is superior to the first.
Minerva's Den is my favorite part of this game. It is not a set of trials, it isn't multiplayer downloads, and it doesn't just offer a few new outfits. It is a microcosm of everything that made the first game great, combined with the gameplay mechanics that make the second game so much fun to play. In this stand alone story you play as a totally different character in a completely new section of Rapture. You are tasked with finding the computer that makes everything in the underwater city run. The story of Minerva's Den brings ties up loose ends left from the first and second game, while simultaneously telling a story, that in my opinion, is superior even to the first. The "twist" in the first game is legendary, and I acknowledge that, but Minerva's den has an equally surprising twist, and has a satisfying ending to boot. The new plasmid and weapon you get in Minerva's den have been called underwhelming by some, but I enjoyed them.
The achievements in Bioshock 2 range from unmissable story achievements, multiplayer progress, and satisfying skill based achievements. Thankfully, none of the single player achievements are controller breakingly difficult, and they also don't take away from the flow of the story. As stated before, I suggest going for the "savior" achievement on one of your playthroughs, just because, in my opinion, it delivers the most satisfying ending.
Bioshock 2, by itself, is an incredible game. When combined with the enjoyable Protector trials, it is even better. Minerva's Den, for me, as a whole was a more rewarding and enjoyable gaming experiecne than offered in both Bioshock and Bioshock 2, and its inclusion in Bioshock 2 makes this game an absolute must buy.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 2010
I sadly did not buy this game until it went on sale. I would say it was worth a fifty dollar value, something most games just aren't worth to me. The universe is still Bioshock with a number of gameplay tweaks. Now that plasmids are wieldable with guns I use them much more than the first Bioshock.
Big Sisters are scary and the story is unique. I almost feel like enough wasn't done at release to push this title as above and beyond the first Bioshock.
At the current price there is no reason not to own this game unless you haven't played the first and are waiting for a bundled release...which they should offer. I know a lot of games were released along with this one. If you don't own this or the first Bioshock yet be sure to pick them up.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on September 20, 2010
By now, there's not much new to be said about BioShock 2. No, it isn't as good as the first game, but honestly I don't know if any game is as good as the first BioShock. No, Ken Levine wasn't involved, and to some extent that's evident; or, more precisely, it's evident why he didn't feel compelled to explore Rapture further.
The premise of BioShock 2 isn't exactly new, since it's basically a reversal of the previous game. If BS1 explored a world powered by objectivism and capitalism, BS2 shows the city fallen into the hands of socialists. From a socioeconomic standpoint, it's an intriguing exploration of the evils of both sides, and a necessary response to the first game in that respect. Also, the dynamic of using plasmids and weapons simultaneously is incredibly useful and is something you will miss if you play a normal shooter afterwards. Multiplayer, despite its complete brokenness, was fun, and honestly it's a shame that no one plays it because I'd love to jump back in.
The voice acting that made the first game so memorable is back in full force: the detail put into all the diaries and enemies is impressive and something you should take the time to notice: enemies say hilarious things when walking around Rapture alone. As far as the "bosses," none of this game's characters are quite on the level of the first game's. I will never forget Dr. Steinman or Sander Cohen. I have, however, already forgotten many of the characters encountered here.
Biggest issue: it's super linear. Legitimately, you are on a rail car, and cannot revisit any past areas. Aside from the weight this puts on collecting audio diaries and the like, it just detracts from some of the fun in the first game of revisiting the beautifully crafted world of Rapture.
There are also a few loose ends that don't really get tied up, like what exactly happens to Tenenbaum after you encounter her in the beginning. That's more of a nitpicking fan thing though.
The end of the game, however, is a pleasant surprise and nothing like the disappointing pushover at the end of BS1. No, it's not a battle per se, but it's intriguing enough.
All in all, if you liked the first game you will like this one and should certainly play it. Moreover, the morality factor has been upped a bit, making your decisions throughout the game a bit harder and causing the conclusion of the game to come out in 1 of (i think) 6 different ways (though really this is just different 2-part combinations chosen from a pool of 4).
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 15, 2010
It's almost difficult reviewing Bioshock 2 on its own merits given its similarity to the first game. The resemblance between the two isn't necessarily a bad thing though seeing as how solid and polished the original Bioshock was. But if you've played through the first game you have a pretty good idea what to expect here-sadistic splicers, upgradeable weapons, an arsenal of plasmids, unique gene tonics and a ubiquitous dictator-type figure. Luckily though, Bioshock 2 has a few new tricks to add to the familiar mix as well-even if they are somewhat minor.
The main additions to the game are two-fold. First are the Big Sisters, screeching "boss" type figures that attack like banshees when you've rounded up all the little sisters in the area. They're not really that difficult (especially with any metal piercing weapons you have on hand) but the fights are exciting and fun none the less. The second change to the game comes in the form of Adam collection. You still kill Big Daddy's like in the original game (an entirely more satisfying experience than should be allowed) and collect little sisters, but now there are a few more steps involved for maximum Adam collection. These extra steps get a bit repetitive and tedious after a while though especially when you're several levels deep in the game. I groaned a bit toward the end when I had to round up yet another trio of Little Sisters-knowing all the tedious steps involved in the process. I suppose you could add the ability to play as a Big Daddy as another new feature of Bioshock 2, but this doesn't really add to or change the experience enough to notice a significant difference.
There are a few new weapons in the game too-of which I found the drill immensely satisfying. (It's a lovely way to teach splicers a lesson or two about attacking you head on) There are new plasmids and gene tonics as well, but nothing remarkably different than those in the first Bioshock.
All in all-despite the feeling of Deja Vu, I really enjoyed this return to Rapture and will definitely play through this game again. Both games in the Bioshock series are incredibly polished and in my opinion give a resounding "YES!" to the idiotic question "are video games art". Every object, every environment, every effect in these games is a real beauty to behold. Add a haunting score and a sense of atmosphere to that mix and you have a truly immersive experience. I'm really looking forward to where they take this series in "Bioshock Infinite".
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2010
The somewhat shocking sequel to one of the truly great titles out there launched earlier this year and we will see how well it lives up to its namesake.
The first issue was that the original didn't leave an opening for a sequel. At all. It had a very definite conclusion. So, 2K Marin had an ugly problem in even trying to start this game in the first place. And they shoehorn it as well as they can, but it is still clunky. It is illogical for a character who was, apparently, every inch as important as Ryan to suddenly appear out of nowhere in a city that had basically failed...deep in the ocean...in the middle of nowhere. Him "silencing" her is absurd since he seemed spectacularly incapable of doing so previously. He couldn't silence Fontaine...but Lamb? Yeah, he shut her up. Sure.
Dr Lamb also doesn't seem remotely real. Ryan, for his faults, came across as a true believer who failed. Lamb is just a stock villain who doesn't ring true. I get that she's the polar opposite of Ryan, but her motivation is just not really believable. But the games strength is in delving into the relationship between the Big Daddies and Little Sisters. You are Delta, one of the original Big Daddies. In the first title, they have a bizarre relationship, but here they flesh out the key question of WHY Big Daddies are so protective of these girls. The reason they give works so bravo to them.
The game definitely hits the action button much harder than the original. The original used atmosphere to generate tension. Since Rapture is now familiar territory, this title used Lambs hold over the Splicers as the main impetus for the action. You won't sit there and dread the next Splicer you see since you will see lots of them...constantly. There aren't many new enemy types, but without a huge influx of people, there wouldn't be. The two main new enemies, Big Sisters and Brute Splicers, are worthy adversaries. Fortunately, combat is so much easier this time. Dual wielding guns and plasmids makes a big difference. Sadly, melee is a joke as your drill compares to the original wrench. For a Big Daddy, you aren't the beast you'd expect. You have the choice of harvesting or killing Little Sisters, but now, you not only have to kill their Big Daddy, you must protect them from large onslaughts of enemies as they drain ADAM from certain corpses. This allows defensive strategy to be used here and the arsenal of defensive weaponry you have is impressive. the plasmids level up really well now, but you will end up relying on some heavily. As cool as a powered up Insect Swarm was...I still used the ice plasmid constantly. And they fixed up the irritating research camera, making it a video camera, allowing you to fight an enemy while researching.
I may seem awfully critical here, but this is an outstanding title. The game is terrific. Not as good as the original, but a game that cannot be ignored easily. The multiplayer is shockingly fun and they avoided an inane final Big Boss fight that killed the vibe of the game. They left no loose threads for a sequel, but I doubt that slows them down.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2010
Before I got this game I read reviews to see if it was worth getting early and paying more for or whether I should wait until the price was low enough to where it didn't matter if it was bad. Eventually I became to impatient and bought it anyway...and let me tell you, it was well worth the money!
Returning to Rapture gave me a sense of coming home and yet at the same time it was strange to be "back" when really this game takes place years before Bioshock (1). Plasmids and ammo weapons return, some the same but even more different. The duel-weilding offered to players in this game gives you more power and lets you take on the hoardes of Splicers with a cocky confidence. Stunning visuals also make a return with sights and scenes that take your breath away as much as the first descent into Rapture did.
Be prepared for the wicked fights against Big Sisters, an enemy the game will actually WARN you is coming.
In the end, this game is NOT one to be waited upon and will leave you with a sense of longing, not necessarily for Rapture (this game is pretty good at curing the adoration for the mysterious underwater metropolis that the more devoted Bioshock fans feel but, of course, I won't specify how) but rather, a longing for continuation, for the next installment of Bioshock (where we are transported to the floating city of Columbia) to see what other genius can be produced from the minds of the creators of such fantastical places like Rapture.