Continuing right along with my Bioshock series, I’ve arrived at the sequel to the fantastic original Bioshock, Bioshock 2. Game sequels, unlike film sequels, have the tendency to improve upon it’s predecessor. So, while the original Bioshock was a fantastic game, I was wondering how 2K could up the ante. Bioshock 2 is a wonderful sequel and one of the most fun gaming experiences I’ve ever had. However, it pales slightly in comparison to the original. That’s not saying the game isn’t still great, it’s just the original was so well-made that this game couldn’t really surpass it. The game does make improvements in a few departments however.
Bioshock 2 takes place eight years after the events of the Bioshock, as you control Subject Delta, one of the infamous Big Daddies. As Delta, you search for your little sister, Eleanor, whom you have been separated with by the villainous, Sofia Lamb, Eleanor’s mother. As you search the watery depths of Rapture with the aid of your ally, Augustus Sinclair via radio, you learn more about this mysterious city and it’s inhabitants. The closer you get to Eleanor, the more this city seems to become more terrifying.
Something right off the bat this game does well is expand on the already mysterious and intriguing lore of the city of Rapture. You learn more about the different inhabitants and what has mad everyone turn crazy. I love this atmosphere and being able to dig further into the history and mythos of Rapture is truly a delight. Speaking of atmosphere, it’s just as creepy and claustrophobic as the original. This time around, there’s a new enemy called the Big Sister which acts as an occasional mini-boss every so often in the game and everytime she appeared on screen, I ran and prepared to take her on. It adds a really intense gameplay mechanic and each Big Sister you kill brings a hefty reward with it.
Being a big daddy this time adds a hulking brutish feel to the game that wasn’t there in the first game. Being able to run through enemies with my power drill right arm was a gory delight. There also lies my first issue with the game, the power drill. It was so much fun but I never had fuel for it. No matter how much you pay for, you barely make it halfway full. I understand it’s a survival horror game and ammo is a little more scarce than your usual first person shooter but like I feel like I couldn’t justify paying money at the vending machines for fuel because it felt like I didn’t ever get what I was paying for. There are fuel stations for the drill scattered throughout the game but when I say scattered, I mean scattered. I found maybe two my entire twelve hour playthrough. It’s a shame because the drill is the best and arguably most fun weapon you get to use in the game.
The game brings back the moral dilemma present in the first game and expands on it by giving you the choice to kill or spare certain characters in the game. I loved this feature as it felt like the ending was changed towards my choices throughout the game, which does include harvesting or saving little sister’s again. I said in my original Bioshock review that my ending I got felt a little lacking because even though I deserved the ending because of the moral choices I made, I still felt it was kind of a little unjustified because of my choices. Here however, my ending was beautiful and felt so earned that I had a tear in my eye. The major thing this game does better than the original is the ending and I’m glad they wrapped up the story better this time. While the ending is probably the strongest part of the game, the beginning isn’t. The opening scene is good and intrigues me, but it takes forever for this game to get going. While the first game didn’t really get going at first, the opening act was so moody and intriguing that I was sucked in right away. Here however, the first two hours or so sort of drag until you finally meet Sinclair. That’s when the plot picks up steam and becomes really good.
Bioshock 2 is not a better game than the original but a fantastic addition to the series. The game is a little more challenging but in a frustratingly fun way. The atmosphere is still eerie, the mythos of Rapture are even deeper delved into and the gameplay is just as frantic and fun as ever. Besides a slowly paced opening act, the game has a deeply personal and beautiful story that has a fantastic finale and tear-jerking ending. If you are a fan of the first Bioshock, absolutely play the sequel.
- Finale/ending scene
- Gameplay still as fun as ever
- Opening act drags
- Power drill never has enough fuel