Bioshock 2
Gameplay 9
Graphics 8
Sound 9

A great sequel that makes a lot of improvements over the original but at times feels too much like an expansion pack rather than a full fledged title. It is still a blast to play and has some great insights into the world of Rapture but don’t expect the plot to be as mind blowing as the first. Things really pick up towards the end so stick with it.

Gameplay: All the tweaks and improvements you could ask for.

Graphics: Very nice but its clear to see that the PC version is being held back by the games console roots.

Sound: Atmospheric and moody

Summary 8.7 Outstanding
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

Bioshock 2

Developer: 2K Marin, 2K China, Digital Extremes, 2K Australia, Feral Interactive (Mac) | Publisher: 2K Games, Feral Interactive (Mac) | Release Date: 2010 | Genre: First Person Shooter / Action / Adventure | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

The underwater dystopia of Rapture is a place very familiar to players of the 2007 hit, Bioshock. Finding yourself stranded in this crumbling undersea world was an experience unlike anything else and the mix of action mixed with great storytelling made Bioshock a hit despite numerous small flaws. The good news is that for Bioshock 2 almost all of the wrinkles have been ironed out but the bad news is that Rapture is starting to feel way too familiar

Bioshock 2 picks up nearly ten years after the events of the last game and places you in the clunking shoes of a “Big Daddy”. Don’t think you’ll be as tough as the hulking behemoths you are familiar with, “Subject Delta” is actually a forerunner of them and as such isn’t nearly as formidable. You will get access to all the Big Daddy toys like Rivet Guns and drills but there is more to Delta than meets the eye. Revived from certain death and on a mission to locate his little sister don’t expect this to be a rehash of Jacks journey from the first game.

To be honest I was quite sceptical about Bioshock 2 at first. The first game was great but I doubted that a second tour of Rapture would have the same impact. To their credit the developers have come up with a very good storyline which comes close to rivalling that of the first game at times. With Andrew Ryan out of the way a psychiatrist named Sofia Lamb has stepped up to take control over what’s left of Rapture and is shaping it to her twisted visions. Initially brought in to help the denizens of Rapture deal with the stress of underwater living she soon started to get her own twisted ideas and formed a cult. Without giving anything away about the plot suffice to say she has just as much interest in Eleanor, your little sister, as you have and will stop at nothing to keep you from reaching her.

Once the novelty of playing as a Big Daddy wears off (usually around the time you realize that despite your thudding footsteps a Splicer can still carve you up in no time) the sense of déjà vu starts to set in. The enhancements and new effects are obvious but this is still the same engine as the last game and the same type of locations. The city of Rapture is still leaking like a broken faucet but despite all the water flooding in everywhere never gets submerged.

Some new enemies show up to make things more interesting, most notably the “Big Sisters” who are the little sisters who have grown up under the twisted tutelage of Dr. Lamb. They are basically ninja versions of the Big Daddies and make for formidable foes. You’ll also be squaring off against other Alphas plus upgraded enemies from the last game.

Being a Big Daddy has its perks and you’ll now be able to use weapons and plasmids at the same time. No more fumbling around during combat to get effective combos going. This is a good thing as the game feels much more action oriented than the first. You’ll still stumble across diaries that are scattered about willy nilly and reveals more about the characters motivations but use a little sister to harvest Adam for you and watch as all hell breaks loose. That’s right you can now kill a rival Big Daddy and besides saving or harvesting their little sisters, adopt them and put them to work for yourself. This is especially handy as with the increased amount of plasmids and tonic slots you’ll want as much Adam as you can find to buy all the upgrades. Of course choosing the easy option of just harvesting the little sisters directly will have consequences so think carefully before you commit.

Despite feeling like just an expansion pack at first, the game really starts to pick up towards the end and by its conclusion you will have a deeper understanding of not just the Big Daddies and their little sisters but also about the events of the first game. The multi-player mode, set during the fall of Rapture is sure to please fans as well. Having multiple levels of upgrades for your plasmid powers makes even the old ones feel fresh again and the multiple ammo types for the weapons ensure that you’ll be using all of them instead of just sticking to the most “powerful” ones. The new underwater sections look very nice but since you can’t do anything except move around they don’t add much to the gameplay and merely serve as a pretty way to get from certain locations to others. The new hacking system is far more exciting and the remote hacking tool opens up more strategic options during combat. Using a film camera to record and research enemies during combat is also step up from the static photo taking one from the first game.

The audio impressed me and once again the songs from the olden days fit the 1960’s setting of the game perfectly. I had to laugh at how appropriate tracks like “Daddy Won’t You Please Come Home” and “The Boogieman” was. The other audio is pretty good too, nice and creepy while exploring with the tempo picking up during combat. Voice acting is top notch and the comments from the little sisters catching a ride on your shoulders are especially funny. Weapons also sounded a lot beefier to me than they were in the last game and the iconic moans from the Big Daddies are as menacing as always.

I’ve heard some complaints about the game being buggy but aside from a crash or two didn’t experience any performance issues or mouse lagginess as reported in some cases. I wish I could say the same about the mandatory Games For Windows Live feature which you have to install if you want’ to save your game even if you have no interest in Microsoft and their plans for world domination. All went well until my offline profile mysteriously disappeared rending my savegames useless and forcing me to start over. I blame Microsoft for this nonsense and not the game. The games graphics are good but clearly held back by its console roots which unfortunately is a common occurrence.

Bioshock 2 is proof of the importance of a good story as even with all the improvements and enhancements to the gameplay it doesn’t have quite the same impact as the first title. It’s still a brilliant albeit somewhat short experience that’s essential to all Bioshock fans. The difficulty has been ramped up, the action more intense and the setting more twisted but its a pity that all the best parts have been squashed into the last few hours of the game. Bioshock 3 is really going to have to be pretty spectacular to keep the franchise from sliding into mediocrity. A great game but not as great as the original.

*Review originally published 2010.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7
  • Processor: AMD Athlon 64 Processor 3800+ 2.4Ghz or better, Intel Pentium 4 530 3.0Ghz Processor or better
  • Memory: 2GB
  • Graphics: NVIDIA 7800GT 256MB graphics card or better, ATI Radeon X1900 256MB graphics card or better
  • DirectX®: DirectX 9.0c
  • Hard Drive: 11GB
  • Sound: 100% DirectX 9.0C compliant sound card or onboard sound
  • Processor: AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+ Dual Core 2.60Ghz, Intel Core 2 Duo E6420 Dual Core 2.13Ghz
  • Memory: 3GB
  • Graphics: NVIDIA 8800GT 512MB graphics card or better, ATI Radeon HD4830 512MB graphics card or better
  • Other Requirements: Initial installation requires one-time internet connection; software installations required including Microsoft Visual C++2008 Runtime Libraries, Microsoft DirectX.
  • OS: 10.9.5
  • Processor: 2 GHz
  • Memory: 4GB
  • Graphics: 256 MB The following graphics cards are not supported: ATI X1xxx series, ATI HD2xxx series, Intel GMA series, NVIDIA 7xxx series and NVIDIA 9400.
  • Hard Drive: 18GB
  • OS: 10.10.5
  • Processor: 2.4 GHz
  • Memory: 4GB
  • Graphics: 512 MB The following graphics cards are not supported: ATI X1xxx series, ATI HD2xxx series, Intel GMA series, NVIDIA 7xxx series and NVIDIA 9400.
  • Hard Drive: 18GB
  • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 or newer, other unsupported distros may work
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0Ghz or equivalent
  • Memory: 3 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Intel Core HD Graphics 3000/4000, NVIDIA 8800 GT, ATI Radeon HD 4850 or better (Open Source Drivers NOT SUPPORTED)
  • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
  • Sound Card: lib32-alsa-plugins or libasound2-plugins:i386 and libasound2-plugins-extra:i386 may be required.
  • Additional Notes: NOT SUPPORTED: ATI Radeon X1600, Intel GMA950, NVIDIA Geforce 7050
  • OS: Ubuntu 14.04
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 2.8Ghz or equivalent
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 450, AMD Radeon HD 5670 or better
  • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space

Related posts

Long Live The Queen

Long Live The Queen

Long Live The Queen makes for a nice change of pace and is one of those titles that you will probably end up playing way longer than expected. It has a lot of replay value and once you are hooked you will want to see everything that it has to offer. Don't let the cute visuals fool you into thinking this title is aimed purely at the female demographic. Gameplay: A unique blend of styles that make for a engrossing and addictive experience. Graphics: I love the visual style, but found myself wishing for some animations. Sound: Some soothing piano tunes.

Assassin’s Creed™

Assassin's Creed™

Assassin's Creed is a great game that is hampered by a few small flaws that drag it down from greatness. Don't let this stop you from experiencing a truly epic and unique storyline that will have you gripped right until the end.  Gameplay: A little rough around the edges at times, but with plenty of cool ideas. Graphics: Some epic scenes. Sound: Quite immersive.

Gryphon Knight Epic

Gryphon Knight Epic

With only eight levels it doesn’t take very long to complete Gryphon Knight Epic, but the game is certainly enjoyable while it lasts. It doesn’t have the speed or overwhelming odds of a bullet hell shooter, but the slower pace still provides a challenge. Add to that the beautiful pixel art visuals and you have a game that all retro fans will enjoy. Gameplay: The pace is a bit slower than modern side scrolling shooters, but still challenging and enjoyable. Graphics: Beautiful pixel art visuals with detailed backgrounds and tons of enemy variety. Sound: Not bad, but not exactly memorable either.

Guilty Gear X2 #Reload

Guilty Gear X2 #Reload

While most fans would have loved to see a PC port of Guilty Gear Xrd, the latest installment in the series, appear on PC instead of #Reload, it doesn’t mean that it should be dismissed. This game still has just as much to offer as it did ten years ago and fighting game fans that somehow missed out on it are in for a treat. There are a ton of modes that will keep you busy for ages and the huge cast of crazy characters offer something for every fighting style. Considering its age the game has held up extremely well and hopefully garners enough interest to prove that there is a market for more of these games on PC. Gameplay: A huge character roster to select from and fast paced fights makes for an adrenaline pumping experience. Graphics: The visuals might be old and 2D, but they still look very impressive and the game is not afraid to take things over the top. Sound: Some of the character voices can become annoying after extended playing sessions, but the soundtrack is still great.

Kraven Manor

Kraven Manor

There's no denying that Kraven Manor can be completed rather quickly, but it packs a lot of scares into its short runtime. The story could probably have benefited from it being fleshed out a little bit more, but the creepy antagonist and sinister atmosphere of the manor itself makes for a memorable experience. The game doesn't go overboard with the scares, but knows how to mess with you which makes for a startling experience, at least the first time through. Graphics: Nice visuals and excellent use of light. Sound: Great audio and creepy sound effects. Gameplay. Creepy and absorbing, but a little too short for my liking.

Icebound

Icebound

With its Steampunk fantasy setting and fleshed out characters Icebound is a Western visual novel that definitely shouldn’t be overlooked. The writing is for the most part very good and the story features plenty of intrigue. The visuals are a bit rough in places, but the excellent soundtrack deserves a special mention. It is a must for visual novel fans, but the puzzle elements and great story will appeal to other players as well. Gameplay: Icebound features a great story, interesting setting and even some nice puzzle mini-games. Graphics: Good, but rather uneven. Sound: No voice acting, but the soundtrack is superb.

Leave a comment

twelve − two =