Artificial Continuum

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

~Opening Comments~

Well everyone, after 2 years of patient waiting it's finally here, BIOSHOCK 2. After staying up all night I was able to beat it and be here to tell you of my adventure's through an even more twisted Rapture.
(I'll be following Nick's review style)


Though a bit different than the mysterious "figure and fight your way out" story of the first game, Bioshock 2 sets your goal right at the beginning (If I accidentally spoil something my bad). Set around 8 years after Jack's romp through Rapture, a woman named Sofia Lamb (a long time political rival of Andrew Ryan) has turned Rapture and it's splicers into her "family". The undersea world is still recovering from the death of Andrew Ryan and the destruction left behind in the first game. Here is where ole project Delta, the first successful Big Daddy, makes his return from a 10 year coma. For you see Sofia had taken your daughter, Eleanor, 10 years ago (yes the first little sister) and Delta cannot survive unless he is near her, so with the help of Tenenbaum and Mr. Sinclaire himself, your off on a powerhouse rampage of splicer killing destruction. What really stood out about the new story was the depth of explaination. Where Adam comes from, why the little sisters are so important, and why rapture fell the way it did are all answered in Bioshock 2. As well as the science behind plasmids. But the real downside to the story is that very little mystery is involved. In the first Bioshock, rapture held secrets and you were forced to go through and discover the rise and fall. In Bioshock 2, however, you already know all this and it loses some of the aesthetic. That aside, I greatly enjoyed the story and the ending was touching (for a shooter/survival horror it was a very sweet ending, but there is also an bad ending that is a bit more bitter). Much like in the the first game, your morality is based on whether you harvest or save the sisters (I can't bring myself to harvest any) but there are a few more choices you must make that decide whether you are more man or monster. In the end, the story has it's flaws, but it is interesting and will keep you desiring more:

Score: B+


The gameplay in Bioshock 2, while still having the same feeling as the first, went through a few improvements. The shooting and killing of the first game is back but with the new perspective and weapons available only to the big guys themselves. I have to say, zapping enemies with a fist full of pain and shoving a drill down their throats is a good reliever of stress. But that aside, you periodically find fun new ways of inflicting pain like the speargun and a Big Daddy orginal, the rivet gun, throughout the game. The game starts out pretty difficult, the scarcity of ammo and med packs leave you bashing baddies with the drill. But later you gain access to more powers and munitions than you'll know what to do with. That being said, combat never really gets old, you'll always find new combinations of massive destruction. All this talk of killing and I have yet to mention the enemies. The same cast of generic splicer baddies are back again in Bioshock 2 but with new additions like the muscle-head brutes (think chargers from L4D2), the Rumbler Big Daddies, and the long awaited Big Sisters, your in for a hell of a fight. Finally, an interesting new addition is the escorting of the little sisters. Much like the end of the first one, upon killing a Big Daddy you can either harvest or adopt a little sister. When you adopt one, you take it around to harvest Adam from preset corpses. When you set her down, get ready for a fight. Essentially you must protect her from harm while she gathers Adam for you. At first it's fun, but around the last three little sisters I saved, it got kind of annoying. Finally the best new addition was the updated hacking system. Now done in real time, the hacking system replaces the old annoying puzzle game that took you out of the experience with a needle going back and forth between a semi-circular dial. If you mess up, you either get shocked or alert security. Also, with the remote hacking tool, you can shoot darts the allow you to hack safely from a distance. A good addition to some interesting gameplay.

Grade: A


Don't expect a huge difference in graphics this time around. While they are noticeably better, I can't say they wow'd me in comparison to the first game. I'm not, however saying they're bad. The graphics are beautiful and really bring attention to what Rapture once was and what it is becoming. In my entire play through, I didn't encounter one graphical glitch which is something to celebrate.

Graphics: B+


One of the greatest things about the Bioshock series will always be that creepy drowned out 50's music coupled with excellent voice acting. The soundtrack is great, adding exciting battle music, creepy roaming music, and a few tracks for those occasional heartfelt scenes. And for a game with a silent protagonist the supporting character voices are very well done, the audio journals would always leave me craving more well narrated pieces to the story, the conversations between splicers I would eavesdrop on made me laugh. Overall the sounds were beautifully arranged.

Grade: A


Another great game by 2K, Bioshock 2 does an able bodied job of filling the shoes of it's predecessor. I greatly look forward to the third game (if there is one).

Overall: A

"If Utopia is not a place, but a people. . . then we must choose carefully. For the world is about to change and in our story . . . Rapture was just the beginning . . ."
~Eleanor (Good good ending)


All 3 Alternate Endings (just if your curious)