Developer: 2K Marin and Digital Extremes
Publisher: 2K Games
Rating Guide: How I Review Games
Hello gamers. Happy Humpday to ya! I hope you had a great Valentine’s Day weekend. And better yet, I hope you got to celebrate the President’s Day holiday with plenty of gaming. If so, then high-five for a 4-day weekend!
I had hoped to get the special edition of BioShock 2 equipped with three vintage Rapture advertisement posters, an audio CD with BioShock 2 orchestral score, a BioShock 2 Art Book, 164 pages and hardcover, a vinyl 180g LP with BioShock orchestral score, and the game for Valentine’s Day but alas, cupid saw fit I shut up and enjoy the game I received on release day. I spent majority of the weekend playing BioShock 2 with my catheter and IV system in place. Some of you may have done the same and some of you just didn’t get into the first one to give the second a try. I’ll admit that I am substantially biased toward BioShock so; I am really not here to convert those who were blind to the brilliance of this master piece and its predecessor. I am really here for 3 reasons. (1) DeaconBlade has yet to revoke my rights to gallivant all over U360, (2) I love this game and (3) I really want to aim at those who are on the fence.
First and foremost, I want to address some of the hesitations that I have caught wind of from said fence dwellers. There was concern voiced about the creative director change from Ken Levine to Jordan Thomas and how it would affect this sequel. Many believed that the enchanting love fostered for the first BioShock could possibly leave them broken hearted in the second. I am here to tell you to go forth and love again with open arms. Go plant the slobberiest kiss you can on your copy of BioShock 2! I’ve also heard that because there is multi player in this edition that the main campaign will suffer. Again, this notion is false. Lastly, some have said that you had to play the first in order to play the second. That too is not true. Many other games pick up from where they left off when doing a sequel, making gamers feel obligated to finish or go purchase the previous installment but that is not necessary for BioShock 2. Though I personally recommend that gamers play the first at some point, I will not say it is mandatory for the enjoyment of this installment. 2K Games opted to keep what previous players were familiar with, but to also brought in new characters to forge a new story that stands on its own. Now that you are at ease, let’s dive into BioShock 2!
Gameplay, Graphics and Sound
This particular visit to rapture plays just as the first. For this adventure we get to play as a big Daddy. When I first heard this, I was afraid that playing as such a heavy character would have clunky and demanding controls but that is not the case. However, utilizing familiar controls you are able to toggle through abilities and weapons with the bumper buttons easily. The left and right typical trigger uses keep it simple and effective making for comfortable game play. Because of this comfort you are able to completely immerse yourself into the World of Rapture.
The sound and atmosphere has been the cornerstone of Bioshock’s success. Garry Schyman pulled no punches on the music weaved throughout the land of Rapture. All the sounds are strategically placed to really make the player forget that they are in there chair and believe they are a big daddy on a dangerous and thrilling quest. I believe the creaks and voices are what keep the player on their toes. The Rapture ambiance has the powerful audio to set the tone, and the moody visuals to deepen the playing experience. Graphics are smooth, dark, and just plain beautiful.
The setting, story, and game play combine for a magically thrilling and satisfying interactive movie. All the different characters the player comes upon, from the big sisters and splicers, to the soft delicate little sisters, make for an extreme spectrum of encounters that will tout this game a classic in any players gaming repertoire. As a sequel, the 2K crew did exactly what they were supposed to which is deliver a great game worth purchasing that would appeal to both newcomers and fans.
Xbox Live Extras
The MP in BioShock 2 is so much fun. Digital Extremes managed it well. Team up with up to 4 other players in multiplayer to use your abilities and throw down in the Rapture arena. In multiplayer you have the chance to minimally customize characters, rank up and go hard or go home on different game types. You can choose to play in turf war protecting your territory; Adam grab (team and individual) holding and defending the little sister for 3-5, and in Last Splicer Standing with no chance for respawn stay alive the longest. The multiplayer is quick and provides a great forum to show off all of the fighting techniques you have acquired during your campaign run. Though you cannot equip all of the plasmids, the custom combinations you choose can be placed in your loadout, making you ready for any level and any opponent.
Conclusion and Game Tips
Stay Alert: Pay attention to your surroundings. Note the health stations, vending machines and gene banks in case you need to run back to them in a pinch.
Collect Collect Collect: This game is an Easter egg hunters dream! If you like to search for items search away. Many of the items for purchase can be found through thorough searching.
Save: The level auto save feature is great but I suggest if you have gone a long distance, collected special items or fought a hard fight make sure that you save.
Knee Slappers: Be sure to enjoy the entertainment. This game has plenty of humor in it. Keep and eye and ear out to listen to what your enemies and little sisters are saying. Completely watch the short videos when you receive a plasmid or gene tonic for a good laugh. Don’t miss tag lines such as “You don’t have to out run those crazy splicers, just your neighbor!” Most of all just enjoy the brilliance of this work of art and have fun!
Join me for some BioShock 2 fun on Friday February 26th 2010 at 8 pm CST for a U360 Community Play Date.