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WeView: BioShock 2

Under the sea.

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.

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  1. Origami Killer
    Since: May 2010

    BioShock 2 is actually the only game of the series I’ve played. Only just started the first one now, and Infinite is downloading as I type.

    I must say I really enjoyed Bioshock 2. I think Rapture is a fantastic idea for a setting, and it was well imagined. It looked wonderful too, I particularly liked the late 50’s vibe. The whole place was eerie as well. Story wasn’t the best I’ve come across but as you say the Sophia Lamb character was quite devious.
    I had a lot of fun playing around with plasmids and drilling people to death, even if that sounds a little morbid.
    Bargain Bin.

    Comment posted on 26/03/2013 at 15:09.
  2. Eldave0
    Since: Aug 2008

    The first Bioshock is easily one of the best games I’ve ever played, joining Uncharted 2 and RE4 as my favourite games of all time. Great storyline, interesting location, enjoyable gameplay. The second felt like an incredibly pointless sequel, adding nothing but a half-baked multiplayer. It was clear the game was handled by the developers b-team. Bargain Bin it

    Comment posted on 26/03/2013 at 15:18.
  3. matthangzhou
    Since: Sep 2010

    Bioshock 1 was incredibly well thought out and a masterpiece. For many bioshock 2 did not do enough different but for me it was everything a sequel should be: bigger, bolder and who wouldn’t want to be a big daddy!?
    BUY IT.

    Or having read the infinite reviews maybe buy that instead, hell, but all three!

    Comment posted on 26/03/2013 at 15:32.
    • matthangzhou
      Since: Sep 2010

      *buy all three. I could blame autocorrect but I think the Heineken is more to blame to be honest.

      Comment posted on 26/03/2013 at 15:36.
  4. Taylor Made
    Since: Oct 2011

    I’m not a huge bioshock fan but my friend hyped it, so I bought both one & 2. I enjoyed one, not that amazing apart from its underwater.

    Now the reason 2 is not the best game of the lot is due to the fact, it’s all similar, it’s like an added DLC no one wanted!

    Bin it

    Comment posted on 26/03/2013 at 15:35.
  5. XisTG
    Since: May 2010

    I played this one after having love the original. While it didn’t come close to the first iteration of Bioshock, this sequel is still an enjoyable game; the Big Sister is actually a nice addition to the game and there is something cool about playing as a Big Daddy for a change.
    Tried the multiplayer a couple of times but there was nothing in there to keep me coming back.
    Bargain Bin It is my verdict.

    Comment posted on 26/03/2013 at 16:09.
  6. sabbat7001
    Since: Jun 2010

    The problem with Bioshock 2 is that the first game set the bar so damned high. It’s not a bad game in and of itself but when it’s (fairly) placed next to the original it totally pales. The sense of wonder and otherworldliness had all been used up and Bioshock 2 felt unnecessary. The multiplayer was tacked on because that’s what all the cool kids are doing and was another unnecessary part of the whole experience.

    I felt the tale had been told and I didn’t need to see rapture through the eyes of a Bag Daddy. As I said previously though, that’s when comparing it the Bioshock which, especially from a narrative standpoint, is one of the best games ever made. Yes I used a lot of commas there. The game when taken alone is not bad and is perfectly enjoyable but you kind of need to play part 1 for part 2 to make any sense.

    For the purposes of this article my official rating is Bargain Bin It but unless you can get it for next to nothing (under $15/£10 max then you should avoid it and buy Bioshock Infinite that has the original Bioshock on the disk).

    Comment posted on 26/03/2013 at 19:00.
  7. bmg_123
    Since: Feb 2012

    BUY IT! Amazing, incredible, amazing. Sure, it’s not flawless but the best moments far outweigh the lesser. In some ways, it’s a better game than the first, but all in all, the three games are all perfection in my opinion. That is my objective opinion…

    Comment posted on 26/03/2013 at 19:00.
  8. MadBoJangles
    Since: Nov 2009

    Buy it.
    Great to see the wonderful world of Rapture from a different perspective imo.
    Yeah the MP was tacked on, pointless, unwanted and frankly a bit shit, but nobody was forced to play it. I enjoyed the campaign just fine, looking forward to Infinite :)

    Comment posted on 26/03/2013 at 19:41.
  9. Paulo Vinicius Radtke
    Since: Aug 2008

    Bargain bin it. It’s a decent shooter, although not even close to it’s predecessor. It looks like the original Bioshock. It plays as the original Bioshock. Also, it tries very hard to have a plot just like Bioshock. But in the end, you’ll fell like you’re playing a farce. Given Lamb’s importance in the second game (and evidence of interactions with Ryan), it feels awkward that there was no significant mention of her in the first game. This alone breaks the illusion of a coherent universe. Not to mention that connecting the dots this time is so much easier that you ask yourself why they do even care with the plot. Maybe for newcomers to the series, Bioshock 2 may feel like a better game. But for anyone who has been to Rapture before, it’s an entertaining game with solid game play. But one game that lacks originality to make it stand against it’s predecessor. No wonder Kevin Levine decided not to go back to Rapture, but reach to the skies on Infinite.

    Comment posted on 28/03/2013 at 03:04.
  10. The Lone Steven
    Never heard of him.
    Since: May 2010

    Bioshock 1 introduced us to Rapture, the world’s only underwater city and allows anything in the name of bussiness. But it then had a civil war and by the time Jack visits it, it’s run down. We saw Big Daddies,splicers and plasmids. It was enjoyable apart from the second half of the game as i always get bored at that point. So did Bioshock 2 surpass the first one? HELL YES!

    You are Subject Delta, the very first successful Big Daddy. He is an Alpha series meaning he can use plasmids but he is also bound to protect his little sister or face death. It starts off with showing what i assume is the start of the civil war then the game fastforwards 10 years later. Rapture is dead. Only splicers and people who work for Lamb are alive or those who have managed to hide from both. The entire plot revolves around Delta trying to find Elenor, his little sister. It sounds simple but it is actually more complex from that. From discovering Delta’s origins to discovering what Rapture has turned into it. It is well written and if you get the very good ending, it will make you cry. It made me shed tears and will always do.

    As usual, you have harvest or save little sisters for Adam, no, not our resident cowboy hat wearing freak but the stuff required to buy plasmids. This time around, you can dual wield them. The underwater sections are excellent.

    The soundtrack reflects the overall tone of the game. The first game had a bit of hope, the second game does not. And reflects it via the soundtrack. Even the opening cutscene has that sad sounding song playing. And by hope, i mean there is no hope for Rapture regaining it’s glory as it’s falling apart, both literally and metaphorically.

    A new enemy is introduced in Bioshock 2. The Big Sister. Little sisters that have grown up and act as protectors for the little ones. Unlike most big daddies, they are more agile, more agressive and can use plasmids. They will appear every time you save all of the little sisters or harvest them and tend to be challenging fights. There are several new plasmids introduced, some useful, some you won’t use.

    Subject Delta is a far better character then Jack was. You could say, he is the only bit of Rapture left that is still alive. His actions will influnce Elanor.

    Overall, it’s an excellent game and unlike the previous one, i was engaged in it’s plot and atmoshphere from the very start to the very end. It is a BUY IT but seeing as it’s very cheap nowadays, it’s probably a Bargain Bin game. That said, you owe it to yourself to BUY IT! Oh and there is the MP, it has the usual modes but in a Bioshock skin. It is meant to protray the civil war but it doesn’t pull it off.

    Comment posted on 28/03/2013 at 11:38.

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