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I remember buying the first Bioshock for a couple of £'s in a previous steam sale, and without a doubt I was not dissapointed. In case you haven't played the first one, Bioshock centers around the world of Rapture an underwater city corrupt by the use of special plasmids. While my first visit to Rapture had engaged me with a great introduction to the world, and the game played well with a spectacular storyline, this time it felt more like visiting an old friend. In Bioshock 2 you take on the role of a particularly special Big Daddy ("Delta"), and Sophia Lamb is the main antagonist in the story as opposed to Andrew Ryan in the last one.
The gameplay is generally very similar to it's prequel with the same selection of plasmids available, and more or less the same selection of guns at your disposal. With one main exception that is. As a Big Daddy, the drill is one of the main melee weapons that you possess, a pretty cool toy to be fair but it does make the game a little easier by the end. At first I found the game was much more difficult to play, espicially with the presence of a new enemy the Big Sister, a pretty quick feeted machine. Although as I progressed and obtained abilities such as the 'drill dash' killing conventional splicers became easier and slightly repetitive. This time there is more adam collecting involved as you have to knock off Big Daddies to get to little sisters, to then depend her as she collects more adam from numerous bodies. Making the game last a little longer, and just that bit more challenging. As ever you get to choose whether you would like to be a good boy saving the little sisters for less adam or a bad boy by harvesting them for more adam to buy other new plasmids in return. Once you have dealt with all of the little sisters, a Big Sister will appear to make things that little bit more interesting. Hacking machines have also been adjusted, all machines have to be controlled by successfully clicking the mouse where a pointer goes over a green region in a gauge. Failing to do so will cause damage to yourself, worse still it will cause security alarms to go off if you hit a red region leading security bots to attack you. Hacking is now done during real-time play making the choice of a hack more of a strategic maneuver, and you can find or buy auto-hack and remote-hack darts to make the task a little easier.
The graphics are nothing too special, the details on objects, surroundings and enemies are moderate compared to others games released over the past couple of years, but it's ensured that the game is scalable and compatiable for previous fans with possibly older machines. As long as you have a 3.0ghz processor and a graphics card with 256mb memory you shouldn't have many issues with running it. The lighting and shadows have always impressed me with this game in producing an eerie atmosphere and keeping with it's genre. It definately shows when you start jumping from splicers behind you, that it still maintains to be a generally scary game. This is not only down to the lighting, but the music and the clever positioning of splicers themselves. When you obtain the fire plasmid for example, one of the statues re-animates as a splicer before you get the chance to test the thing! Nonetheless it's nice to know at this point that it's not always a case of duck and shoot and that there are some things in there to keep you on your toes.
Overall, I feel that Bioshock 2 is more of an extension to Bioshock 1. As ever, it's an enjoyable game but only a few new features of play have been introduced and the storyline itself almost adds onto the original game. None of the tricks have been lost from the old game though, and it still poses as a good buy for the pc gamer. Look out for it on Steam.
What I love about this game is that they really work to make sure you feel like you are exploring a city, and not just hallway after hallway. I highly recommend taking the time to explore every inch of what is available, because they put in a lot of effort with details. From the graffiti on the walls to the lighting effects it creates a real, although somewhat dilapidated, environment. Similar to the 1st Bioshock, the atmosphere they create is incredibly engaging and really draws you in. It's basically the same city that Bioshock 1 was based in, although I haven't seen anything I recognise yet. The main difference between Bioshock 1 & 2 is that in this one your character is the first ever big daddy. Unlike the big daddies in the first game you get to use plasmids and collect adam from the little sisters. You can also melee attack which is something that was missing from the first game.
If you liked the first Bioshock you will love this one.