The original BioShock, released back in 2007, is arguably one of the most atmospheric games ever made, and also, one of the most original. So it was no surprise that a sequel would eventually be released, and despite concern that it’s made by a new development team, and despite the fact that the main protagonist of BioShock 1 is out, BioShock 2 is everything one might expect from a sequel: it delivers in almost every way one expected.
In case you’re not familiar with BioShock, it centers around the failed world of Rapture, set in a retro futuristic underwater city where you at first was introduced to it (in the original), but now, you play as Big Daddy himself, one of the massive creatures that was your main nemesis in the first game. BioShock 2 takes place 10 years after the original ended, where Rapture creator Andrew Ryan was defeated, and as mentioned, you play as Big Daddy, and you have a little sister to protect as well. And while you can still harvest or save the girls, you can now also adopt them as well.
But don’t think you’ll be getting off that easy, you’ll still have a lot of moral choices to make, tough choices, that seem to work better and are better implemented in the story than in the previous game. And just like before, you’ll be able to upgrade your abilities and powers, and again, it seems that BioShock 2 has streamlined this system as well.
The single player part seems to be more balanced, everything from the new power ups, the mini-games, controls, there’s just a feeling that BioShock 2 sorts out most of the small quirks that the original game had, however, one thing that isn’t new is Rapture itself. While it’s a beautiful location, it seems a lot of is is repeat from BioShock 1, and there isn’t much new besides a few levels where you go underwater. Overall, the missions seem a bit too alike, but the great writing and story manages to even things out.
The brand new feature this time is the multiplayer component, which offers the usual deathmatch, team deathmatch etc. modes, where you will be pitted against other human players, and where you can use regular weapons and your plasma powers as well. There’s even a progress system where you’ll level up and unlock bonus items. While the multiplayer won’t be as important as it was in, say, Modern Warfare 2, it’s still a solid feature that will definitely be tried by most who play BioShock 2. However, the main centerpiece is still the campaign, and it’s a bloody good one.
The game looks gorgeous, but not from a technical standpoint, it uses the same, and rather dated, engine, but it’s good enough to deliver stunning artwork and details that make Rapture just as immersive and atmospheric as it was two years ago with BioShock. The audio and music are great, and especially the soundtrack is just plain awesome and should deserve some kind of award. Overall, BioShock is definitely a game that you should play, especially if you liked the first one — and who didn’t, honestly?
Improves over the original
Smooth gameplay and controls
Multiplayer isn’t anything special
Rapture can get a bit repetitive
Overall score: 8/10