BioShock 2 Review

All the enticing plot twists, including the strong coalesce of gameplay mechanics and exploration embodied the stellar outing that was 2007’s Game of the Year—BioShock. If you missed or forgot the first entry, let us inform and remind you, this game is very bizarre. Strange it is, however it nails the hammer on its disturbing concepts, whereas everything is more intriguing and innovative. In fact the entire setting of the original and the sequel is unique and pleasantly satisfying.

BioShock 2 welcomes gamers back to Rapture—an underwater civilization destroyed by science and commerce, which spawned an opposing threat known as splicers—the gene-spliced human population that transformed on the ocean floor. Gradually their sanity was devoured by their unrestricted experimentation as they tore each other apart, limb from limb. All that remained was contained in their own insanity. The rotting city began spawning Little Sisters—little girls who roam its leaky halls performing the repulsive task of plunging needles into the dead, while extracting and injecting genetic substances.

The sequel picks up ten years after the events of the original. A new lord has taken over Rapture named Sofia Lamb. She’s obsessed with bringing into existence a utopian society where compassion is the keystone, sense of self is entirely snuffed out and everyone instinctually strives to act in accordance to what’s beneficial to the whole. In practice this meant the development of a cult following in Rapture diametrically opposed to Andrew Ryan’s belief in progress through the ambition and determination of the individual.

Jack, the unfortunate protagonist from the first game is out. Unlike the original, as you were an outsider looking in at an inexplicably strange relationship dynamic, you’re now the overprotective parent of the odd pair known as Subject Delta. Gamers will control the prototype Big Daddy, which as all Big Daddies, was created to protect the girls. The objective is to search for a specific Little Sister, while fighting off Rapture’s lunatic crowd. Since you actually play as one of these giant armored monsters, the connection between the two is felt, and its one that is valued throughout the entire game, as you relay on the abilities of one an other to help complete different tasks. Even as you harvest the sisters for their ADAM (killing them so you can upgrade yourself), the mere choice, reinforces a sturdier system of moral choice within the game.

The progression structure remains intact from the first and the gameplay, at its core, remains the same, as gamers use a combination of weapons and special powers called plasmids to battle their way through freakish enemies on a quest that leads deep within Rapture’s recesses, uncovering all manner of ghoulish secrets on the way. However, you’ll move through a number of discrete stages where you’ll be assigned tasks unique to that area before getting back on the path to the story. Refuse to harvest? You can choose to adopt one of the Little Sisters instead. This leads into defense sequences where gamers perform the role of protector, vanquishing other wandering Big Daddies encountered in Rapture.

Multiplayer is a new addition to the BioShock universe and it doesn’t disappoint. As you dive into battle against others, you’ll be able to rank up and unlock a variety of weapons, plasmids and tonics to customize your character loadout during a match. Depending on whether you’re doing free –for-all deathmatchs or playing defense in team-based mode, the styles of loadouts you carry with you can be swapped around to play most effectively. A number of new weapons and plasmids have been added here as well to accommodate enhanced features.

BioShock 2 is the clear standout title of this year thus far and has enough ADAM to push its way into the conversation of 2010 Game of the Year. A strong follow-up, 2K and Irrational Games produce another blockbuster FPS.

Rating: 10/10

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