Review: Bioshock 2

Jul 6, 2011

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Right now you’re all wondering which game to spend your money on. Well if you have $19.99 laying around, or 300 Goozex┬á points, you can dive into the world of Rapture. While we tend to focus on what’s new or soon to be released, often we over look the recent hits that we had to ignore because of Modern Warfare or whatever the big hit at the time was. And I admit I had my doubts when I first picked up Bioshock 2. My history as a PC gamer has taught me that games like Bioshock are best played with a keyboard and mouse. It’s also vitally important to have your face a foot away from the display. Even more important that all that, is that I played the first Bioshock on my PC back in 2007. So as you move through the next few paragraphs, keep it in the back of your mind that I was in constant comparison mode to my PC experience of Bioshock 1.

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In this sequel, you play a different role than before. The stress-inducing Big Daddy’s are now your brethren as you fight through incredibly fascinating underwater-world of Rapture in search of your Little Sister, Eleanor Lamb. The good news is you play as the Delta model of the Big Daddy series. You are not quite as strong but you are still heavier in Rapture than players of Bioshock 1 remember. This is great news for folks who want more of Rapture, but want it slightly differently. The pacing is very familiar: you navigate from building to building picking up items from storage containers, trash cans, unfortunate enemies, and the like. For time to time you will find upgrade machines where you can enhance your old-school weapons (more on this to come), plasmids, or just buy some ammo. The environment feels alive through various methods such as audio logs, graffiti, and hacking safes and bots. It’s rare that a game can take you to another world like an old-school fantasy book.

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Regarding combat, the weapons are a throw-back to the days of Doom and Quake. They are functional and great against particular enemies. This can be learned through trial and error or through the Research function which video records your battles and then unlocks secret combat techniques - very cool stuff. Combat is where I like to compare to the PC. It’s the same old story here: precision is lost, movement is less effective in firefights, and because I sit 8 feet from my 52″ HDTV, I still have trouble seeing all the details. The big question is, did it affect my experience dramatically? In short, no. This is still an outstanding FPS that is the right amount of story, action, exploration, puzzle, and quirky characters to keep me wanting more. Bring on Bioshock Infinite!

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