The first BioShock was a critically acclaimed hit, and was highly regarded as the game of 2007. It introduced you to the underwater world of Rapture, put you up against Big Daddies, and delivered a unique and engaging story. 2K Games hopes to perfect the world of Rapture with the sequel, BioShock 2. Your second trip to Rapture will hand you a Bid Daddy suit and a drill and will also throw you in a ring of Splicers for some multiplayer fun. BioShock 2 has the heavy task of reintroducing us to the world of Rapture, and establishing Bioshock as a series and not just a one hit wonder. Now, “would you kindly” read on.
The story of BioShock 2 takes place ten years after the original game. You take on the role of a prototype Big Daddy, commonly referred to as, Subject Delta; you are also the first Big Daddy to be bonded with a Little Sister. It just so happens that the Little Sister is Elanor Lamb, the daughter of Sofia Lamb who is the antagonist of BioShock 2. Your Little Sister is taken from you while you’re left for dead, and after waking up your only task is to get her back. That is the story of BioShock 2 in simple terms, but there is way more to it as you progress and find audio diaries. You will learn the origins behind some of the things that make up Rapture, and although Sofia Lamb is no Andrew Ryan, BioShock 2 still has some good characters to follow the story. You’ll get the most out of the story if you played the first game, but first timers could get through it with a few minor confusions. BioShock 2 delivers a good story that is easier to digest but it doesn’t top the first.
Playing as a Big Daddy in BioShock 2 has its advantages on the gameplay. For starters, you can now duel-wield a plasmid and a gun, which eliminates having to switch back and forward between plasmids and guns. Not many new plasmids are introduced in BioShock 2, you pretty much only need and use the basic ones like the electric, fire, and freeze plasmids. Luckily you can upgrade the plasmids, making every plasmid much better to use; turn a simple fireball into a flamethrower out of the palm of your hand. The same goes for the weapons in the game. You get a shotgun, machine gun, rocket launcher, and a new gun called the Rivet Gun, and a couple more. If you’re lucky enough to find the hidden weapon upgrade stations in the levels, then you can turn do more damage and eventually add lightning striking shots and other special things. Being a Bid Daddy also comes with the infamous Drill. You can drill your enemies and leap towards them with a melee hit so long as you have fuel for it. I didn’t find myself using the drill after the initial try in the earlier stages of the game, mainly because it’s not as great as you would expect.
The game does take place in stage like form, so there is no going back to explore, once you leave the main area you can never go back. There are also segments of the game which have you out in the water life of Rapture, but they feel too linear and there is no sense of real exploration to them. Gathering ADAM, to buy plasmids, comes in a form of adopting a Little Sister by killing her Big Daddy. Once you become her Big Daddy, you can take her to certain dead enemy bodies in which she begins to suck the ADAM out via a needle. While the gathering, you must protect yourself and the Little Sister from Splicers which show up to take the ADAM. these gatherings are optional so you’re not forced into taking part in this, but it’ll help if you want to make progress. Once a gathering is complete you can choose whether you want to rescue the Little Sister or harvest her. These choices and a few other moral choices in the game will determine the ending of the game.
BioShock 2 introduces a first for Bioshock with the addition of multiplayer. You can choose between several different Splicers as who you want to play as, although it makes no difference. You have an apartment in which you can make minor customizations to your character, check the leaderboards, switch between weapons, and listen to audio diaries from the Splicers in the multiplayer; which give some added info on the history of your character. you can find the common game types online like deathmatch, team deathmatch, and team survival. but you can also find Capture the Flag and Oddball but with both having a BioShock 2 twist to them. I found all the game types enjoyable and the overall multiplayer was great, definitely not something that was just slapped on for the added value. There are a bunch of unlockables in the multiplayer so there is incentive to keep playing but I question the long lasting appeal of the multiplayer compared to other shooters out now.
In terms of sound and graphics, BioShock 2 is great. The game looks way better than the original, but that’s expected. you can choose to make the game run at 60fps in the options menu, but if you do then you’re open to screen tearing issues and frame rate problems.The sound in BioShock is one I particularly enjoy due to the sounds of the 1960’s type of music. It’s appropriate when it needs to be and when the lights are out and you’re roaming in the dark, the score kicks in for that part. The voice acting is pretty good, I have nothing more to say or anything negative on it. Just know that no one delivers like Armin Shimerman did for Andrew Ryan.
2K Games made the improvements it needed to make in the first game with BioShock 2, but it lacks the depth the story had in the first game. The return to Rapture might of lost some of its nostalgia for some but you must return. Not doing so will only make you miss out on a great sequel. BioShock 2 solidifies that the name BioShock isn’t just a one hit wonder, it is now a great series of games that I hope continues on.