BioShock 2 took the series where – let’s be honest – it really didn’t need to go. It’s all sort of clicked in my mind after playing Infinite that Rapture should’ve been a one-time venture, with novels and other mediums expanding the story.
Not that it was a bad game, though; the return to Rapture didn’t quite live up to the original game in the terms of story and progression, but there were numerous excellent gameplay improvements – including the ability to wield Plasmids and guns at the same time (seriously, that was a massive improvement). It retained the excellent level design along with almost everything and, honestly, 2K Marin did a damn good job.
It was Irrational Games’ and therefore Ken Levine’s departure that was most noticeable. Levine is a hero of storytelling, something he’s proved with System Shock 2, BioShock and again with Infinite. BioShock 2 simply couldn’t match BioShock’s twisting story or incredible characters like Atlas and Andrew Ryan, although there were plenty of great characters including Sophia Lamb and the new, mysterious Big Sister.
BioShock 2 is quite important to me in that my review was my first piece of writing ever posted on this website – over three years ago. It’s nice looking back at my review now and seeing how my writing has evolved; I still remember Peter emailing me to ask if he could publish it and I have a lot of fond memories from back then with both TheSixthAxis and StartGame.
Anyway, enough of that boring real stuff: I scored the game an impressive 9/10, though I’m not sure that I’d stick by that score in retrospect, particularly with Infinite doing so much more. In conclusion, I noted:
Although it may be missing some of the charm in the characters that made its predecessor so brilliant it still delivers one of the best-scripted narratives of recent times. With the multiplayer proving a hit and being a good change from the single player mode’s slow paced and immersive gameplay, this game will not disappoint fans of BioShock. However, newcomers should probably play the first game beforehand to be able to put the pieces of the big puzzle that is Rapture together.
Well said, past Blair. Just not extremely well written. Don’t worry, you’ll get there one day. Maybe.
The multiplayer also brought something fresh to the world of Rapture and it was – in my own opinion – a bit underrated and although largely unnecessary still a good bit of fun. It had a good set-up, too, with Plasmid testing playing a big part and although it was perhaps not mechanically sound, it was certainly different from some of the generic multiplayer set-ups we see in some games.
Perhaps you were surprisingly pleased by BioShock 2 or perhaps it was just a total disappointment to you – whatever the case is, we’d like to know.
Would you kindly drop a comment below with a concise review of BioShock 2? Remember to stick a Buy It, Bargain Bin It, Rent It or Avoid It tag on the end and, if you get them in by Sunday afternoon, you’ll have a chance to be included in next week’s WeView Verdict round-up.