Bioshock 2

Date Completed : May 6th, 2013

bioshock_2_box_artI made a deal with myself that I wouldn’t allow myself to play Bioshock Infinite until I had completed Bioshock 2.  I hadn’t heard great things about Bioshock 2 but the original was freaking amazing and it was selling for only 4$ on eBay so I said why not.

Gameplay is essentially identical to the original Bioshock.  You pick up various different guns and shoot bad guys with them.  In addition to guns you can enhance your abilities by purchasing Plasmids.  Plasmids modify your genetic structure and give you fantastic powers such as the ability to shoot electricity (or even bees) out of your fingers.

Bad guys in the game take the form of ‘Splicers’.  Splicers are insane humans with genetic modifications that grant different abilities.  If you’re not frightened by the concept of a bunch of insane super humans trying to kill you then there is something wrong with you.  Splicers take different forms but the teleporting Houdini Splicer and wall-crawling Spider Splicers are the freakiest.  Big Daddies (who appear as diving suit wearing monstrosities) make a reappearance and continue to serve as the guardians of the little sisters (who gather the ADAM that is required to use Plasmids).  In an interesting twist several little sisters have grown up and have now become Big Sisters.  Big Sisters are very fast and powerful and thankfully don’t show up very often.

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This Big Sister will kick your ass!

The story of Bioshock is what sets it apart from other FPS games.  Philosophical explorations are fused with compelling narrative and creates a truly memorable experience.  Ten years after the events of Bioshock the city of Rapture, former monument to secular humanism, is in absolute chaos.  A new leader named Sofia Lamb is keeping a young woman named Eleanor captive.  You play the role of a Big Daddy named ‘Subject Delta’ who is psychically bonded to Eleanor (who happens to be a former little sister).  There is an ongoing narrative told through radio transmissions but other pieces of the story can be picked up by listening to audio recordings.  Further details are made apparent by reading the scrawlings left on walls by Splicers on the walls.  It seems the protagonist of the previous Bioshock has been deified and ‘The Lamb’ is now being referred to as a Savior.  There’s a lot of interesting things going on and I can’t go into them all here.  I’ve often talked to a friend of mine about starting a ‘Bioshock discussion club’.  There is a lot of great discussion material in this game.

The only criticism I had for the original Bioshock was the darkness and sameness of the graphics.  Everything is dark, dirty and has the same blue ‘under the ocean’ hue.  Bioshock 2 is more of that.  It’s hard to tell one area apart from another.  Even though the areas weren’t very large I often had a hard time memorizing the level layouts because everything looked so much alike.

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The entire game is dark and blue.

By the end of the game I was ready for it to be over.  Every time I thought I was getting close to the end another level showed up.  To be fair I was rushing a bit because I hope to get Bioshock Infinite for my Birthday next month (ARE YOU READING THIS SWEETHEART???).

Bioshock 2 also has a multiplayer mode which I didn’t try, and additional DLC which I didn’t buy.  There are multiple endings based on your actions and plenty of content to keep you busy for good long while.  The Bioshock series continues to offer the best narrative I’ve seen from first-person-shooter genre and is well worth your time.

Pros

  • Fantastic storytelling.
  • Multiple endings based on your actions.

Cons

  • Dark, blue, boring scenery.
Is it fun: Yes
Score: 8/10
Length:  12 hours
System: Playstation 3
Genre: First Person Shooter
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