If you've enjoyed the first BioShock, then you will most likely enjoy its sequel. It doesn't have the same overall twist and freshness as the first title but the plot is enjoyable and actually gives you even more of a moral dilemma since you take the role of a Big Daddy and not Jack exploring rapture with no original purpose and killing indiscriminately. The multiplayer is a welcoming surprise to what many thought would be a tacked on extra - it's most definitely not.
||Loading Reality Scoring|
(all Xbox 360 reviews)
|Score Meaning: Fantastic game! In spite of small flaws, this game brings something different to the table and executes incredibly well. Any game receiving this score is a contender for game of the year.|
||February 9, 2010||Final Score||4.5|
The way 2K Boston was wrapped up and thrown into a dumpster and pushed out to sea to discover their version of Rapture, 2K Marin and company seems to have delivered on the promise of experiencing BioShock 2 from the other side of the Big Daddy's suit. While 2K Marin worked on the story side of the game, Digital Extremes refined the new multiplayer portion of Bioshock 2.
This time around instead of heading the calls of Andrew Ryan and Frank Fontaine with some simple catch phrases such as, "would you kindly" to lead you from one portion of Rapture to another you play the role of Subject Delta, a Big Daddy. Not just any Big Daddy though, but the first to be pair-bonded successfully with a Little Sister. You start the game walking out of a Vita Chamber (a respawn chamber if you will) and glancing at your reflection in the tunnel of the ever degrading Rapture to make sure you realize who you are. If the loud thumps of your heavy boots, circular visor, sluggish motion or the cover art of the box didn't already give it away for you.
You begin to understand a little more as to why you're here and what your mission is with the help of Augustus Sinclair who is a friend of a former BioShock character, Dr. Tenenbaum. You start to see there's a solid story on the horizon from the get-go. Andrew Ryan has brought in a psychologist to help folks deal with life under the sea and she begins to twist the minds of the Rapture community to help her begin her overthrow of Ryan and the world he's created. The writing all over the walls is evidence to this betrayal of Andrew Ryan in favor of the psychologist, Dr. Sophia Lamb.
Look daddy, an angel!
As a Big Daddy in the undersea utopia, you know your duty that you must fulfill by helping Little Sisters collect a little ADAM will do nothing but good things for you and your lust for Plasmids and Tonics. Throughout the entire game you have the option to adopt a Little Sister and let her collect even more ADAM than just harvesting her by navigating to the location of a specific fallen Splicer. You place her down to shove her needle in and gobble up the goods from the Splicer while you protect her from the blood hound like enemies who seem to almost taste the ADAM before it even makes its way into the Little Sisters needle.
The world still maintains it's glimmer but it certainly isn't as pretty as experiencing the original title for the first time. Call me crazy, but when I see water forcing its way in through the ceiling or walls I make sure to run through it like an 8 year old with a sprinkler on a hot day just to watch the ripples of the water run over my visor.
Of course you get a lot of water on your visor when you actually make your way out into the ocean floor and move from one building to another. It's always fun to jump as if your in low gravity and float back down to the ocean bed. There's not nearly as much exploration while out in the sea as I initially expected, but it was a nice touch to add something new that you wish you could have done in the first game.
You can setup multiple traps such as motion detected mines, trap rivets or a simple turret. After you collect from two different locations you can make your way to a vent and decide if you will save or harvest her.
That's a HUGE bi - er, Big Sister.
Once all Little Sisters are dealt with, you'll get a not so nice visit from a Big Sister every time. These Big Sisters are what was once Little Sisters all grown up with bigger needles in hand. They are easily one of the toughest opponents you will face in BioShock 2. The only exception to the toughest would have to be another new enemy, the brute splicer, who look like an overgrown gorilla in a shredded suit and tie.
There are a few more weapons introduced in the game with each one (excluding the drill) still maintaining three different ammunition's for each. My personal favorite has to be the speargun and it's insanely fun to shoot rocket spear ammo that will sink into nearly any enemy and drive them back and forth across the room and then a grand finale explosion. There's only a few new plasmids but a ton of new tonics fill any void you may feel with the lack of new plasmids. All should rejoice when they hear you now have total control over your plasmids remaining on your left hand read and your weapon in your right hand at all times! Crazy concept, I know.
The sound in the game is fairly impressive as well. The chatter amongst splicers reminds me somewhat of the grunts from the world of Halo and is pretty entertaining at times. Walking through a door and then watching two of your enemies start after each other with insults is the way every utopia should be. The audio logs are back as well with well over 100 of them spread throughout Rapture. The familiar sound of turrets coming to life after a security camera has caught you will haunt you if you hear any sound like that any other game here on out.
Enjoying the fruit of Digital Extremes labor for the online portion of BioShock 2 was surprisingly sweet. Multiplayer is set in 1959, just before the story of the original BioShock. Many put down the idea of placing any form of multiplayer into the already enthralling world of BioShock.. yet it works fairly well.
You'd better stop or I'll tell Mr. B!
Players can choose between 6 characters and upgrade their melee weapon and masks as they progress through the Call of Duty like leveling system. You are allowed 3 different loadouts which you may use for different gametypes or situations that you may run into online that you want to counteract. Every few levels you receive something new from your arsenal. There's even a couple weapons, plasmids and tonics that are not in the single player that you can take advantage of in the online.
Levels are easily obtainable as almost 9 hours has gotten me to level 30 out of 40 levels. There's a total of 10 familiar multiplayer maps from BioShock and 7 multiplayer modes to delve into. The usual suspects of gametypes identical to land grab (turf war), CTF (capture the sister), oddball (ADAM grab) and team deathwatch (civil war) are all present.
Another nice touch done for the multiplayer is your very own apartment where you can listen to new audio diaries from Rapture residents and messages from Sinclair Solutions as you level online. There's a gene-bank that allows you to modify your loadouts, a closet to change your wardrobe, along with a newspaper box that shows you the online leaderboards. And of course you've got your very own Bathysphere that when you pull the lever in, it takes you to your own online lobby to start gathering a group or simply start into a match by yourself.
The game as a whole is a pleasure to have and doesn't disappoint as much as I thought it was going to. It's even enjoyable enough that I plan on going back through it on hard to try to capture some of the few remaining achievements. I say give the game a shot if you enjoyed the first one and even if you haven't played BioShock, the sequel does a good enough job that you don't really have to know any back-story... although it helps wrap up the overall feeling of Rapture.
4.5 / 5
Written by Kyle (Monster) Monday, 01 March 2010 10:07