Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bioshock 2 Review

Game: Bioshock 2
Genre: First-person Shooter
Developer(s): 2K Marin, 2K Australia
Publisher(s): 2K Games
Release Date: 2/9/2010
Rating: M
System: XBOX 360, Play station 3, PC

I hope you brought you swim suit because we’re going back for another dip in the pool with Bioshock 2. This is the sequel to 2007's Game of the Year Bioshock. It is a first-person shooter. You play as Subject Delta, a Big Daddy, the first one to be exact. You had your own little sister and life was good. She would gather ADAM and you would kill anyone who would try to hurt her. Then they took her from you and killed you. The game takes place 10 years after the events of Bioshock 1. When you awake the city's founder, Andrew Ryan, is dead and now it is run by Sofia Lamb and her Splicers. But where is your little sister? Is she ok? What have they done to her? You must find out.

This game plays like the first one. In this case, it's not a bad thing if you never played the prequel. If you played Bioshock, however, you will notice some small changes. You still get guns and Plasmids but now you can wield both of them at the same time. Finally. It made for some intense situations but it was more frustrating at times. There is a melee button instead of a melee weapon. This comes in handy during heated battles or ambushes. Also if you run out of ammo, you can just hit them with you weapon. Speaking of weapons, all of them can be upgraded. There are only 5 weapons in this game, compared to the 7 you got in the prequel. To compensate for the lack of weapons, you get 2 gadgets: a research camera and a hacking tool. The research camera is similar to the one on the first game, but instead of taking pictures it records the subject. While the camera is recording you can still attack. The data recorded is graded, so the more you mix up you attacks the better you grade. The hacking tool is like a dart gun for hacking. Gun turrets, vending machines, health stations, security bots and cameras can be hacked. You shoot the dart at whatever you want to hack, and then a meter comes up. The meter has a sliding arrow and 4 zones, green, red, white and blue. You have to hit the green zones to hack correctly. If you hit the red zones you set off the alarm, the white shocks you. The blue ones give you bonuses like a free item or extra damage. This is better than the tube system in the first game where you had to connect the tubes so the circuit flow could connect.

Plasmids are the games version of super powers. You can shoot fire, electricity, or freeze you foes. Those who played the first one will be happy to know that most of the originals have returned but are "New and Improved". For example, you can now charge them for more damage or for longer lasting effects. The Gene Tonics has also returned. These are passive skills that act automatically. Some make you stronger against attacks others may help you hack better. You can change your Plasmids and Gene Tonics freely at Gene Banks.

The AI is the same from the first game. The Splices have the same “fight or flight” personality. The Big Daddies act the same too. The game does "explain" why they are like this. After the abuse of ADAM Splices become like addicts searching for their next fix. Hmm…sounds familiar. The Big Daddies were subjected to various plasmids experiments and test, making them mindless protectors of their bonded Little Sisters. The developers did try to mix things up with 3 new enemies, Brute Splicers, The Rumbler Big Daddy and Big Sisters. Brute Splicers are like the Bouncer Big Daddy but can throw things and doesn't have a little sister. The Rumbler Big Daddy is just a Big Daddy that shoots grenades and turrets at you. The Big Sisters are only real new enemy. They are tough. They can flip around, charge and tackle you and even shoot fire.

Bioshock 2 now has multiplayer. This is a first for the franchise. Surprisingly it is good. Some games have multiplayer as an afterthought but it’s actually a part of the story here. The multiplayer takes place before Bioshock 1, so you get to play what happened to Rapture. You are part of the "Sinclair Solutions Program" (guinea pig) were you test out the Plasmids in combat situations. You are given an apartment where you can change you appearance, weapons, or view you stats. It has a Modern Warfare style of leveling up. Instead of points it uses ADAM. There 7 play modes: Survival of the Fittest, Civil War, Capture the Sister, Turf War, ADAM Grab, Team ADAM Grab and Last Splicer Standing. Survival of the Fittest is free-for-all with 6-10 people. Civil War is a team vs. (Atlas vs. Ryan). Capture the Sister is like capture the flag but it’s a Little Sister. Turf War is like king of the hill. ADAM Grab is where you hold the Little Sister for as long as possible. Team ADAM Grab same as ADAM Grab but with a team. Last Splicer Standing similar to Civil War but its four rounds with no respawns. The team with the most surviving members wins a round. Win the most rounds you win the game.

There aren’t that many bad things with the game that stand out. Besides the AI, the game is short. It's about 20 hours. If you know what you are doing, you could beat it in about 10. If you played the first one, some of the task will seem familiar. Some of the places feel like add-on to other areas in the first game. I'm not saying they look the same but some place could pass for smaller levels of the first game.

In a nutshell, Bioshock 2 is good game. Good story, improved controls, fun multiplayer. The AI is passable, short game play, and the feeling that it could have been a downloadable game are what hurt it.

Final Rating: 3/5

1 comment:

  1. You guys are being so generous with this review.
    I absolutely loathe this game because of the swarms; especially when harvesting Adam.
    I also had a lot of problems with the controls being very slow and at other times, possessed... maybe it's because I'm on the 360.
    I would die during a fight, take my hand off the controller to facepalm and then i would respawn in a vitachamber still shooting, even though my finger is no where near the trigger.
    My controller works alright for other games, just not this.
    it doesn't seem like an improvement over the last game, story or gameplay wise
    I personally give it a .25/5.