Slip on the oversized diving boots and make sure that your drill is well oiled, it’s time to return to Rapture.
I was going through a bit of a gaming drought at the time. Buying game after game, but nothing was really capturing my interest, my mind just wasn’t in it. Then, on the shelf, I saw Bioshock. Based in the underwater city of Rapture, this fps was highly stylised in an Art Deco fashion. I picked it up, and then put it down again. Art Deco is of less than no interest to me, and I really didn’t think that I could stomach an entire game that was based in this setting.
Anyway, I wandered the shop and found nothing else of interest, so I picked up Bioshock. At this point, you are probably expecting me to say that I went home, put the game on and discovered it was awesome. Not quite. The game actually sat upon my shelf for a good few weeks before I even tried it. Then, I only played it for about half an hour before resigning it to my shelf again for a further few weeks.
Then, one day, I was bored. Out came Bioshock and the rest is history. The game took over and I was in awe of the fact that this gem of a game had been sitting on my shelf for so long (although, I have come to realise that this is a habit of mine. Exactly the same happened with Mass Effect, Assassins Creed and The Darkness, which I really enjoyed). So, after all of that build up, Bioshock 2 has been top of my “must play now” list for a while. I just hope that it doesn’t crush my new found love of Art Deco…
Bioshock is published by 2K Games for the Xbox360, PS3 and PC and is set in the underwater Utopian city of Rapture, founded by Andrew Ryan. This second installment of the game takes the player roughly ten years forward from the events of the first. Rapture is even more decayed than before, yet still instantly recognisable. Players will come across many of the same locations during their adventure
But, this time around, the player will take on the form of a Big Daddy prototype, tasked with finding their Little Sister who was taken from them. Sophia Lamb, the person who took your Little Sister, has been abducting young girls from the surface world to replace those that were rescued during Bioshock.
Players of Bioshock will instantly feel at home in this sequel. The game plays more or less the same as before, with a host of locating and collecting missions. However, being inside that Big Daddy suit certainly has its advantages. Along with the Drill weapon, there are some new weapons, plasmids and upgrades to get your teeth into. The new protection missions, where the player has to protect a Little Sister from teh hordes of Splicers, are certainly more interesting than the equivalent mission in the first game. With the added weapons and such, more strategy can be employed. However, as with the first games protection mission, these missions can be extremely frustrating.
Possibly the most exciting addition to the game, single player mode at least, are the Big Sisters. These incredibly powerful beings were created by Sophia Lamb to abduct young girls from the surface world. They are fast and powerful, and serve as your main adversary during the game, in much the same way as the Big Daddies were in the first.
Most games are now expected to either have a multiplayer mode, or be carried by their strong single player game. Bioshock was definitely carried by its story, so it was surprising to hear that a multiplayer mode would be added to Bioshock 2. What was even more surprising was that the multiplayer mode actually had some purpose and was not just tacked on in an attempt to please the hordes. Unlike most other multiplayer modes, this one has a story.
Set before the events of the first game, during the Rapture civil war, players will find themselves aligned to one of two factions. Players will level up their character and unlock new weapons and plasmids, but also unlock new parts of the story.
Players begin by choosing one of a selection of characters, and can equip them with two weapons and two plasmids. They can also customise the look of their character, allowing for a certain amount of uniqueness. There are the usual selection of different matches to enjoy. Most exciting though is the appearance of the Big Daddy suit in each match. Find this suit and, even though not as powerful as a full Big Daddy suit form the main game, you will certainly have the advantage over all of your enemies.
Bioshock 2 still carries the same themes as the first game, albeit slightly more dilapidated. The game looks gorgeous and is just as dark and menacing as the first. The use of audio is, again, top notch and really adds to the atmosphere and underlying sense of impending doom. My only criticism is that the gamer is maybe too dark, especially on a couple of the multiplayer maps.
Bioshock 2 is an improvement in almost every single aspect of the game. The one place that it slips up is the story. The game is still great, but I am just not sure that it can be classed as great as the first. After all, Big Daddy boots are big boots to fill.