Bioshock 2 review by Honorabili
One Sentence Review:
“Taste my drill!”
8 out of 10
Although I never thought a sequel would have been made when I initially beat the first game, here is Bioshock 2. In Bioshock 2, you take the role of a special kind of Big Daddy, the caretakers of the Little Sisters that go around collecting ADAM, the chemical that turns people into psionics. I’m not going to put spoilers as to the complete story, not even the origins of the main character. You are basically running around, surviving, trying to figure out what you are, liberating or killing Little Sisters, picking up clues (sound recordings just like Bioshock 1 and System Shock 2), fighting a ton of ADAM addicts, etc. The game proceeds in a linear manner.
Most of the gameplay consists of exploring corridors, shooting and casting spells (I mean using plasmids), hacking machines (they made this much faster than the first game and simpler), picking up a TON of voice recordings, dealing with scripted events (traps), getting upgrades (both for weapons or plasmids or implants), fighting bosses (Big Daddies and Big Sisters), and eventually making moral decisions on whether to let characters live or die.
This game takes place about 10 years after the first game. The underground Utopia (dystopia) Rapture has gone to utter crap after the events of the first game but people still live within it. There are still a ton of ADAM crack heads running around fighting each other and Big Daddies protecting their Little Sisters while they play with the ADAM (the chemical from part 1 which lets people get plasmid powers).
You don’t really need to have played the first game but if you want a better idea of what’s going on, I recommend it, although they’re just about the same game.
The game is done is a 1930s-40s retro style. You will see a lot of things that might remind you of Fallout, such as ads that have drawings similar in style to the Pipboy and other similar and old cartoons of that era.
The game has a multiplayer component but I didn’t bother to play it. My friends that did said that there were very few players playing it, so I didn’t even bother. I played this game for the single player story, as will most people.
Bioshock 2 is available for PC, Xbox 360, and Playstation 3.
It’s no surprise that being able to ram a person’s face with an industrial drill or electrocuting them from the palm of your hand or freezing them and smashing them like Mortal Kombat is a lot of fun. All the different powers you get can change how you go around obliterating people and that’s really neat. Although for me the main tactic was freezing and smashing everything, you can create a ton of chaos doing that while summoning a swarm of bugs to go eat another enemy or confusing another group. Surprisingly, for me, the first time I played it I say it’s worth a fun factor score of 9 out of 10. On the replay I just stormed through the game and at that level of carnage the game probably gets a fun factor score of 7 or 8 out of 10.
The game only had 3 difficulty settings and that’s a problem.
When you play the game on the hardest setting you will be starved for ammo constantly. This makes it annoying especially when you have to fight a Big Daddy and you will empty out your ammo reserves. The game becomes annoying to play it at this setting for some parts of the game, especially when you have to farm Little Sister & Big Brother combos.
When you play it at the regular setting health packs, eve hypos, and ammo are way too abundant. The enemies die more realistic as well but you’re essentially a mix of superman and a tank.
With the limitations of only 3 difficulties, Difficulty Versatility get a score of 3 out of 10. They should have added 2 more difficulties, even one more in between hard and standard would have made it a lot more diverse.
At the time I wrote this the best price I found on gogamer.com for the PC version at $41.90. Steam is selling it at $50, which is too much, so I’m not even going to list them.
At around $40, considering I beat this game in a day it’s not much of a value to me. I give Value a score of 4 out of 10, simply because I enjoyed the experience of playing this game. I’d say it’s worth buying outright when it’s around $20 but most likely you will have beat it by then.
For my console friends, I recommend renting the game instead and beating it over a weekend.
The game is pretty much the same thing when you replay it except that maybe you decide to let people live or die and that will grant you a different kind of ending. The game is virtually the same thing, and it gets old to hear the same voice recordings that you pick up drone on the same information as before. I literally flew through the game on the 2nd replay since I knew where everything was.
Some people will still find fun in an immediate replay. It would be better to play it again some months or a year or so later since memory fades. I give replayability a score of 4 out of 10.
The sound effects are great in both Bioshock games and since a lot of the game has a SHOCK factor then you will want to play this game in a dark room with the sound cranked up all the way in volume. The guns sound perfect, the drill is freaking awesome, the footsteps over the different surfaces are great, reminding me of Thief 2’s sounds for that. The screaming from the enemies is nicely done, especially the shriek of the Big Sisters. It just encourages you to unload your entire ammo reserve on them.
The voice actors in the recordings you find do a nice job and they sound like the character portraits that they are. The Little Sisters sound like real little girls and they get scared and cry and say nice things as they go around ripping ADAM from corpses. The grunts from the Big Daddies sound like you’re fighting real mutant monsters. I particularly love the water sound effects as water bounces off your armored diving suit.
The only problem I had with the sound was that the built in reverb for the game is HORRIBLE. It made everything sound as if somebody had set their reverb too high on their sound track and some stuff was just completely inaudiable since the echoes over-echo each other. Just turn it off and the game will sound normal.
The sound is great but because of that bug it gets a Sound score of 9 out of 10.
The game doesn’t have music unless you are near a record player or jukebox OR you are loading a new level OR you reach a scripted action sequence. The music for the scripted action is tenseful and it’s well scored for the game. The rest of the music is old 1920s-1940s kind of music which goes along with the atmosphere of the game but some younger people might not enjoy it. Overall, I give music a score of 8 out of 10.
The game is a graphic delight. The retro style is persistent throughout the whole game and done as well as the original games in that 1930s-40s art deco kind of theme. The lighting and shadow affects are perfect, better than most other games I’ve played. The character models for everything in the game look great for the most part. Even looking out of a window in this game looks like a work of art. You have to see it for yourself. Graphics are simply a score of 10 out of 10.
The game never crashed even while doing alt-tab a lot. It took a little bit for it to come back to the game when you you alt-tab again but that’s fine and not much of a problem. I give Stability/Reliability a score of 9 out of 10.
The controls are the same as the first game. I found it a little annoying that C is crouch rather than CTRL as that is in most other FPS games these days, since CTRL forces the character to use, meaning WASTING, a first aid kit. You can remap the control but I used the default controls, so I guess that’s my fault. Other than that we have pretty standard WASD controls. Left mouse fires your gun/drill, shift does the melee attack, right click uses your plasmid. The game doesn’t have running other than doing the drill dash attack but that’s fine because your guy moves fast enough already. Controls get a score of 8 out of 10.
The game uses just about the same engine as the first game but it seems to me like it has been tweaked. It ran pretty flawless on my old gaming machines and that’s even at the highest settings for the game. Performance gets a score of 10 out of 10 in my book.
My history with this game:
At first I was irritated that I liked this game a lot more than Mass Effect 2. I was thinking the opposite would have happened.
I wish they would make more System Shock but I don’t think that will ever happen again. It’s still nice to see Bioshock growing and they already said that more games are on the way.
The first time I saw the trailer for the first Bioshock game I was in awe as to how brutal the action looked and how beautiful the environment was. I like how the game actually was just like the trailer and it wasn’t just some prerendered sequence that has stuff that you can’t do in the game. That’s really important to me for games to have.
I purposely avoided seeing any trailers for Bioshock 2 since I wanted it to have more of a shock factor on me. The game is just about the same as the original game but I enjoyed that one, as I have enjoyed this one the same.
System Shock purists often hate Bioshock but on their own they are pretty interesting games. They’re made in the same style as System Shock although they are usually a lot easier.
What was your experience with Bioshock 2? Leave your comments below or on our facebook, twitter, or myspace pages!