Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bioshock 2 | Review

Synopsis: 2K Games blessed us with a copy of their recent follow up sequel to the 2007 Game of the Year, Bioshock. Bioshock 2 puts fans back in Rapture, approximately 10 years after the original title left off, except this time you take on the role of the loved and hated Big Daddy. New elements have been added this time around, allowing dual wielding weapons and plasmids, increasing the available combinations to take on splicers, Big Daddies, and the new Big Sister. Multiplayer has also been added to the sequel which expands on the fall of Rapture, allowing the player to choose from a handful of Plasmid test subject for Sinclair Solutions. Experience points are given in multiplayer rounds to help the player level up, earning new weapons, plasmids, and tonics to help your chances of survival. Multiplayer game modes come in the form of Free-For-All, Team Death Match, and new multiplayer game modes like Capture the Sister and more. After spending a week with both the single and multiplayer of Bioshock 2, I have your review for any of those on the fence about purchasing this title.

Praise: Unfortunately, you are not Jack returning to Rapture, but instead you take on the role of the original prototype Big Daddy, and it is FUN. This time you get to dual wield, which means quickly after shooting of your plasmid, you don’t have to wait to change your weapon or ability, you can immediately unload whatever weapon you have armed to take out the opposition faster, and the drill doesn’t disappoint either. While one would think Rapture would be too confined to have a fresh look, 2K Games did a great job of keeping the environments fresh and making the story engaging. Along with a strong new story there are a lot of references to the events that took place in the first game, which fills in the player as to what happened between the original and the sequel along with giving a background to those new to the Bioshock history. The gameplay is extremely fluid and the massive number of combinations to take out anyone or anything in your way makes researching feel a little less like a chore, ultimately resulting in some sweet perks. While I’m not a huge fan of multiplayer games, I have devoted a good amount of time with the numerous gameplay modes favoring Civil War, which seems to be the equivalent of Team Deathmatch, and found it to be a lot of fun, with the perks received when your player levels up along with the achievements to strive for kept me coming back for more.

Gripes: Unfortunately, this sequel has some very big shoes to fill and in doing so, there was a few shortcomings. The level of difficulty with the big sisters seems to be hard for the first encounter; however, after you get a couple more plasmids and weapons, they seem to be easier to take down than the Big Daddies. The developers stated that the Big Daddies will heal themselves making it so that you will not be able to go at them, not worrying about dying, restarting from the vita chambers, then finding them with the amount of health when you died as they will heal themselves, however, they heal slowly, so that tactic still works. Using the little sisters to gather ADAM is a neat new feature at first however halfway through my first play through, I found the feature to grow old and no longer used my Little Sister’s to gather ADAM, while still having a sufficient amount to purchase new plasmids and tonics. Lastly, I wanted to touch base on the multiplayer, the only problem I had with almost every match was lag when I would go through doors, occasionally freezing, and how the game would end if the host quit. Luckily, most of the time the host doesn’t quit, but the lag encountered when going through doors would happen on every match I tried and it was only for a second or two.

What could top the feeling of the first time I came across a big daddy in Bioshock? That is easily answered with the first time I saw the Big Sister hunting me in my return to Rapture. There was a level of skepticism going into this sequel as my first concern is that Bioshock 2 would be a watered down version of the first, but it is almost as fresh as the original with some nice additions to keep me playing after completing the story. Whether you are a fan of the original or new to the series, Bioshock 2 is well worth the wait, providing a strong story, beautiful environments, fast paced battle, and an engrossing multiplayer.

Mashbuttons.com gives Bioshock 2 a 9 out of 10.

Bioshock 2 is available now for the Xbox 360, PC, and PlayStation 3.

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