The first Bioshock game was a refreshing change of scenery and pace compared to a lot of other shooters, taking place in the dark, underwater ‘utopia’ of Rapture.
Bioshock 2 brings you back 8 years later (1968) to take control of a Big Daddy who has no memory of the last decade and wants to find the Little Sister he was originally paired with.
A sequel to such a unique title was always going to be tricky to pull off. However 2k Marin have done well to recreate the atmosphere of the original game while keeping it different enough that you can tell time has passed.
Plasmids return so while R2 fires the gun you have in your right hand, L2 shoots the plasmid ability from your left hand. Along with the fire, ice and electric abilities come some trap abilities such as cyclone tornado based one that sends enemies off in a spin.
You are able to collect the Little Sisters as in the first title but now that you are a Big Daddy you are also able to let them harvest ADAM while you protect them to get yourself better upgrades.
The story isn’t as strong as the original but I still found it to be enjoyable and battling your way through Rapture felt as good as before. Bumping into a few familiar faces also helped.
The gameplay is improved from the first game in my opinion with the controls feeling a lot more responsive, the extra powers helping and, in particular, the new system for hacking making the game easier to get to grips with.
My main complaint is the fact that although you are a fearsome Big Daddy you’ll often find just a couple of melee hits from an enemy will take you down.
I understand they don’t want to overpower you and make the game too easy but perhaps the answer would’ve been a God Of War type of affair where you’d be attacked by 5 or 10 enemies at a time so if you were killed it felt like it took a lot more to finish you off.
Multiplayer makes it’s series debut and I was pleasantly surprised. The footage I’d seen looked quite ropey but playing it was something different and it was good fun, though not a game I could see myself playing for any great deal of time online.
At the end of the day this is definitely a title that revels in the world created for it by the previous game. You don’t have to have played the original to enjoy this game but you’ll probably get more of it if you have.
Just like the first game, Bioshock 2 won’t be to everybody’s taste but it is a title that is worth your time and effort. With the newly announced Bioshock Infinite moving away from Rapture this may be your last chance to visit the underwater metropolis. It’s a trip I would recommend.