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BioShock 2 (Xbox 360)

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Genre: Action & Shooter / CD-ROM for Xbox 360 / Suitable for 18 years and over / ESRB Rating: Everyone / Release Date: 2010-02-09 / Published by Take 2 Interactive

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    Your dooyooMiles Miles

    15 Reviews
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      02.08.2013 00:13
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      A great follow up to the first game.

      Bioshock 2 -- Bioshock is a game that I had been wanting to play for a few years now. I played a demo of the original and always meant to get round to buying and playing the game. I got Bioshock 2 on the cheap and thought well why not. This is rare for me as I hate to read a 4th book in a series first or see a sequel to a movie before the first movie; that said it is not a normal thing for me to be able to play a game sequel before the original either, but I'm glad that I did on this occasion.So what is Bioshock 2 about? Let's take a little look. -- The Premise -- The setting for Bioshock 2 is the fictional underwater world of Rapture. The game opens with a cut scene set in 1958 then jumps 10 years to when the player wakes up in 1968, eight years after the events of the first BioShock story. You play the role of a 'Big Daddy', a human being that has been mentally conditioned to protect Little Sisters which is amongst the first of its kind. Your particular Big Daddy character is called Subject Delta, who reactivates with no recollection of the past decade's events and scours the city in an attempt to relocate the Little Sister that he was paired with in the first Bioshock story. The little sister was called Eleanor Lamb. She is the daughter of Sofia Lamb. Sofia Lamb thinks that this will foil her plans to control the city so she sends out other Big Daddies to stop Delta in his tracks. The aim of the game is for Delta to find Eleanor and stop Sophia from talking control of Rapture. There are many little sisters roaming the city and they are all protected by Big Daddies. It is up to Subject Delta to kill the Big Daddies in order to free the little sisters or harvest them himself to produce 'ADAM'. ADAM can be used to buy weapon upgrades and new powers to help Delta in his quest to stop Sophia Lamb. He will also come up against Lamb's minions, known as 'Splicers' and every time he successfully harvests or frees a little sister he will be trailed and attacked by the powerful 'Big Sisters', which are very dangerous and hard to kill. -- Characters -- Sophia Lamb - Dr. Sofia Lamb M.D, Ph.D., is a clinical psychiatrist and the primary antagonist of BioShock 2. She has taken over Andrew Ryan's position as the leader of Rapture, albeit with a completely different ideological view and a sarcasm that can really get a bit tedious. From an early age Sofia Lamb was raised by her father. He was a physician, and was a firm believer in the utilitarian ideal of the greater good, which he referred to as "the triage imperative'' Sofia Lamb adopted his philosophy and later followed in his footsteps, studying medicine at the University of Oxford and where she specialised in psychiatry. Whilst living in Hiroshima, Japan, during World War II, she worked as a missionary providing medical relief for the survivors of the Hiroshima bombing. Lamb survived the bombings, but learned that long, dear friends she made in Hiroshima were killed. Lamb was appalled when she discovered the United States were using her own moralistic ideals of "the greater good" to justify the bombing, and this convinced her that the world was doomed to destroy itself. When Andrew Ryan invited her down to his utopia to provide counselling for the isolated populace, she welcomed the opportunity. The problem was that ideas of grandeur must eventually come to a head and living there was not enough; she had to control it."For every choice, there is an echo. With each act, we change the world. One man chose a city, free of law and God, but others chose corruption and so the city fell. If the world was reborn at your image, would it be paradise or perdition?" âEuro*Sofia Lamb Eleanor Lamb - Eleanor Lamb is the daughter of Sofia Lamb, and is a previous Little Sister. Roughly ten years after the 1958 New Year's Eve Riots she contacts Subject Delta, beginning the events of BioShock 2. Eleanor still remembers Delta after ten years and knows he is searching for her. Throughout the course of the game, she will leave him gifts and messages written on the walls of the city. In the story of BioShock 2, her behaviour is highly influenced by Delta's actions towards the Little Sisters and NPCs. Augustus Sinclair - Augustus Sinclair was one of the key figures in Rapture's science community, governor of Ryan Amusements, as well as an important businessman. His business, Sinclair Solutions, was one of the most important Plasmid-researching companies in Rapture, and he is a significant character in BioShock 2, guiding Subject Delta to Eleanor Lamb. Subject Delta - Subject Delta is the protagonist of BioShock 2. Delta was the first successful Big Daddy subject bonded to a Little Sister. He has a Delta symbol on his suit. Delta is the fourth letter in the Greek alphabet, signifying that Delta was the fourth test subject taken from Persephone for Alpha Series conversion at Fontaine Futuristics. Delta is also a symbol commonly used in mathematics to represent change or variation. You better get used to this guy as you will be controlling him throughout Rapture. -- Gameplay -- The gameplay on Bioshock 2 is quite smooth and the controls easy to pick up and use. One of the more favourable things about this game is the fact that there are a multitude of different weapons and powers at your disposal, so once one weapon is empty you usually find yourself with plenty of back-up; but don't get too trigger happy because it can be deadly to run out and hard to get ammunition if you don't have the money to do so. The game is primarily a first person shooter and the camera angles and movement are very good as regards this type of game. It can be a very exciting game and there are many tough moments to play out. It can also be scary in parts and sometimes enemies can come flying out of nowhere; so, as mentioned, if you do find yourself low on ammo or without any, it can become really tense and testing. It is also very enjoyable. As mentioned in the premise, you can collect Adam in order to upgrade weapons and buy ammunition. Ammunition can also be gained by killing enemies and collecting theirs after they drop it once dead. You can also find ammunition and money in various places, such as trash cans, cupboards, drawers and a multitude of other places. There are also dispensing machines dotted throughout Rapture, where you can purchase ammunition and food for energy. You can also purchase Eve. The simplest way to explain Adam and Eve is that Adam relates to weapons and is always red in colour. Eve relates to the powers you own or can obtain and is coloured blue. The red Adam weapons include shotguns, pistols, machine guns, rivet guns, harpoons and your drill, which is connected to your arm. Eve attributes, which are called Plasmids, include telekinesis, energy bolts, lightening blasts, fireballs, cloaking devices, insect swarms and the ability to make enemies attack themselves. You can also send out a decoy to enable you to see what is coming up around the next few corners and check out the next area. You also have an on board camera, which when aimed at an enemy, will allow you to find out about its weaknesses and its history. Throughout rapture you will pick up recordings. These messages are story line based and will either give you background on someone or something you need to bypass or important information that you need to know. In order to gain Adam you need to kill a Big Daddy and adopt the little sister that he was protecting. This is no mean feat, and believe me they can put up one hell of a fight. You should never go into battle with a Big daddy unless you are well stocked up on ammunition and weapons and enough Eve to power your special attributes. Once you have defeated the Big Daddy you can harvest the little sister straight away to gain some Adam or you can adopt her. If you decide to adopt her she will sit on your shoulder. You can then press a button for the little sister to guide you to Adam. This comes in the form of an enemy corpse lying somewhere in Rapture. You will see a golden trail which you must follow to get to the corpse. Once there you can place the little sister down and ask her to withdraw the Adam from the body. Again, as with the Big Daddy fight, you should never do this unless you are stocked up on Eve and have plenty of ammunition. This can be a more deadly battle than fighting a Big daddy because the moment that the little sister starts to collect Adam, you will be attacked, as will she, by numerous splicers. It is your job to protect the little sister while she extracts the Adam. This can be pretty daunting in the later levels as the game becomes harder. You have to hold off the attack until the Adam is extracted, which can take a few minutes and seem like an eternity when you're battling the splicers. If killing a Big Daddy can be hard and protecting a little sister while she is extracting even harder, then what comes as a result of her extracting the Adam tops them both. Once she has extracted the Adam you can take her to a harvesting point and you can either kill her to gain more Adam or harvest her to save her soul but receive less Adam. Once this is achieved you will hear a nasty, high pitched shrieking sound and be chased by a Big Sister. It feels like you are being pursued by the skeletal version of the Terminator and can be quite hair-raising. They are also very difficult to kill. There are also security systems spread throughout rapture and these come in the form of cameras and security bots. If you get caught in the security light of a camera then the bots will be alerted. Bots are propeller driven and can be pesky little foes. They can be shot down or turned off by pressing the button on a bot shutdown modem. Once a bot is disarmed you can hack into it to bring it back to power. The bot will then protect you for a short period, which can come in handy; especially if you have two or three of them by your side. There are also bots in the form of security turrets, which are stationery but react to movement with a hail of bullets. You are also able to place mini turrets yourself in order to help in fights. This is a good aid when protecting a little sister while she is extracting Adam. There are also security doors in various places and you can open these by hacking them with your rivet gun and a hack dart, which can be fired from distance at the doors control panel, which would not be able to be reached otherwise. Hacking is also a way of gaining health from first aid machines and free gifts from dispensers. You can also hack safes for greater rewards but be careful as failing to hack can result in an electric shock and death if your health is low. You will find that your character dies on quite a number of occasions in Bioshock 2 and when you do you will be transported to the last save point that you passed. These are called Vita chambers and can save you a hell of a lot of time in the game in the sense that you don't have to go all the way back to the start of a level when you die. So you need to make sure you pass by one to activate it. The game contains many achievement points to collect and a lot of them are very deep into the game, so a lot of stamina is needed to collect them. You have to be in this game for the long haul to if you want to collect them all and some of them are difficult. You will require some replays to go back and get ones that you missed. -- Multi-player -- Bioshock 2 includes a fully-featured Multiplayer experience called the 'Fall of Rapture'. The game takes place a year before the events of the first BioShock, and depicts the events of the Rapture Civil War. The player's character is a product tester for Sinclair Solutions, a company owned by Augustus Sinclair that is attempting to cash in on the conflict between Andrew Ryan and Atlas. Each team has its own narrator providing voice-over on the events of the match; Atlas' side has a strong-spirited woman who refers to the enemy as "Fascists," while Ryan's team is organized by a man who calls the enemy the "Parasites." The multiplayer functions are still available but finding enough people on there for a good enough game at any one time is difficult, especially with the new Bioshock game now out. -- Final Thoughts -- Overall, Bioshock 2 is a very entertaining game and I would recommend it to fans of the genre. I wouldn't recommend it to young kids as it is probably a little too serious and hard to follow and you need a good attention span to concentrate and play it properly. For the adult players, the storyline is quite good and it has a certain mystery feel to it that reminds me of the old PC games in the 'Myst' series although it is more hands on and involving than that game. That is probably due to the fact that it has the shooter element to it as opposed to the more puzzle based Myst games. Overall the feel and look of the game is good and it is an enjoyable experience. I think the longevity is really good but I don't know how many people would actually stick it out as it can be repetitive after four or five long levels. There are nine locations to play through in the game and some are revisited. I would recommend the game to the more hard-core players of the gaming world but it can also be played for a bit of fun without having to complete it. I give Bioshock 2 four out of five stars for the sheers volume of work that has gone into making it. 2K Marin, the company who developed the game, should certainly feel proud of their achievement. ©Lee Billingham

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        17.11.2011 17:37

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        Good but not good enough.

        I actually got Bioshock 2 long before I brought the original game. I took a chance with Bioshock 2, as it's not normally the type of game I'm drawn to. I was soon immersed in an estranged underwater world, and didn't really understand what was going on, but made best of the situation. The game is set 8 years after the events of the first Bioshock (although some fans of the series will argue that the game could well have been set at the same time as the original) and this time you play Subject Delta, one of the original Big Daddy's created in Rapture. As with the original the player fights off Splicers (the remaining populace of the city of Rapture. Much like 'Junkies' of todays world. People adicted to using the Plasmids and Tonics.) Your other foes include other Big Daddy's which are the protectors of the ADAM extracting Little Sisters. In order to grab your own Little Sister you must defeat their own Big Daddy in order to adopt her. The new foe in the game comes in the form of the Big Sister who is hell bent on stopping you reaching your goals. The Big Sister was designed by your biggest foe in the game, their intent? To capture new little girls to turn into Little Sisters. The plot see's you trying to locate Eleanor Lamb, your lost Little Sister and take down her mother and the main protagonist Sophia Lamb. Through out Rapture you meet friends and foes, some will guide you, some you choose to let them live or kill them for their crimes, some you just have to plain kill. The differences between the sequel and the original come in the form of the Multiplayer, with seven different modes of play to choose from. Survival of the fittest is the free-for-all mode which see's you get points for killing other players. Civil War is your team deathmatch, putting you into a group to kill off the other team. Last Splicer Standing is a variation of Civil War, in which players do not respawn after being killed. Capture The Sister takes a nod to traditional capture the flag, where the player is placed into a team, one team to protect the little sister, the other team to try and capture her. ADAM Grab see's you trying to capture the Little Sister and holding her for as long as possible, this also can be played in a team style and the Turf War has you split into two teams trying to hold certain positions on the map. Overall I found the gameplay wasn't much of a shock, if you enjoyed Bioshock then you'd probably enjoy Bioshock 2. It still contains the claustrophobic hallways just with a few new twists and turns thrown in. From the new Beefed up Splicers to the skittering Spider Splicers but if you're looking for an in depth storyline like the original then you won't find it here. The storyline is confusing, and leaves you asking the questions why some of the characters are still in Rapture when they disagree with the original creators views. If you want a game that's visually beautiful then you can't go wrong with Bioshock 2. The graphics in the game are perfect much like it's original, but unless you want challenging gameplay I'd steer clear.

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        12.01.2011 01:50
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        The game is quite enjoyable, but I feel the story pales compared to the original.

        I have never anticipated a game more than Bioshock 2 (Half Life 2 included). I pre ordered it, which is something I have never done, got a promotional t shirt much to my delight and then finally got the game. I took holiday off work, my best friend came to stay, we made food and snacks and we did not leave the lounge until we had completed it. I had been checking 'there's something in the sea.com' the viral promotional website for the game religiously since I heard about it and was expecting a masterpiece. Needless to say we were sorely dissapointed. The game takes place eight years after the original leaves us. You play as 'Subject Delta' one of the first Big Daddies to be programmed to protect the Little Sisters back in 1958. But the Rapture psychologist Eleanor Lamb forces him to commit suicide in order to liberate his Little Sister (Lamb's daughter, Sofia). In 1968 Sofia has gained control of the Little Sisters and uses them to return Delta to life. Through their Big Daddy/Little Sister connection Delta is drawn to Sofia and embarks to find her. Along the way Delta must contend with Eleanor Lamb and her 'Rapture family' who have no desire to see Sofia and her Big Daddy reunite. The gameplay remains the same as the original. A typical first person shooter but with the addition of 'plasmids' genetically engineered devices that give you various powers to assist you in combat. Likewise the setting, the underwater city of Rapture remains just as beautiful and asthetically stunning as it did in the first game, indeed with the addition of new areas you do not find yourself travelling through the original maps of Rapture allowing you to explore new areas of the city. Unfortunately it was the story that spoiled it for me. If you are coming to Bioshock 2 for the first time you may not be aware of the promotional hype that surrounded it. A viral website was set up where you saw through the eyes of 'Mark' a man trying to find his missing daughter Cindy. The website was updated frequently, following Mark's journey to find Rapture. First in the comfort of his home office where you could interact with the new information he was finding and objects relating to Rapture, then on the boat he uses to finally travel there. The game itself gives very little reference to Mark's search and when he finally does appear it is to commit an act that is completely uncharacteristic. It seems almost pointless to create such an in depth experience in the build up to only then throw it away in the game itself. It also felt like they rec-conned much of the original storyline to fit in with the new image of Andrew Ryan who now pales next to the feminist, Eleanor Lamb, and whose philosophy simply cannot contend with. Some of the situations seemed a little strange, when you move from level to level a little more of the story is revealed but in some parts the story actually goes against what was said in the previous level. I also could not figure out what some of the newly introduced characters were doing in Rapture in the first place, as they seem to hate Ryan's philosophy from the off. As for the multiplayer aspect, that worked out quite well. In it you have your pick of characters to play and customise them before facing off against other players in a series of varied games. I thoroughly enjoyed the multiplayer but found, after a long stint of not playing it, that other players that had advanced to the higher levels had extraordinary abilities and unfortunately there were some who have access to cheats. During games like this it was far from fun, instead just a flurry where you can pretty much put your controller on the floor and watch yourself die repeatedly. But playing with people of the same skill level as you is nothing but fun. Unfortunately the multiplayer games play like the fun distractions they are, but do not make up for the dissapointing storyline. All in all the game did not live up to the hype surrounding it and the poor storyline has made me very apprehensive and wary of Bioshock: Infinite...which I shall not be pre ordering

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        24.09.2010 14:02
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        Games don't come much better.

        There's the good news and the bad news - which are, as it happens, the same news; Bioshock 2 is almost identical to its predecessor. In a game of Big Daddies and Little Sisters, this sequel is what - the Big Brother to 2007's phenomenally successful dystopian shooter? The positive slant on this, of course, is that just about everything that made the first game so hands-down brilliant applies here too, and what's more, some of the few annoyances of Bioshock have been tweaked and ironed-out. As before, this game is a graphical marvel - the decaying utopia of city-under-the-sea Rapture is brought alive in all its broken, art deco glory, and its twisted inhabitants skulk around its flooded halls and deserted theatres with just the same ominous menace. A perfectly-judged soundtrack, paired with some fantastic voice-acting sets the stage for a intensely atmospheric adventure. The gameplay and level of design is again of the highest calibre, and from the moment you awake in your hulking diving suit, you're plunged, fully-immersed into the world of Rapture. If there's an element of Bioshock 2 that doesn't live up to its forbearer, though, it's the story. Bioshock boasted a plot that didn't seem to belong in a video game, and could have come straight out of a novel - and a particularly good one at that. The game seemed to be just a means of letting its involving, twisty-turny narrative evolve. Here, though, that's not quite the case. The game follows through from the first outing and develops the Rapture lore, but it's never quite the same gripping, intriguing experience. Here the plot's just something that happens while you play. As games go, it's great, but as Bioshock goes, it's not of the established level. That story, then, begins as you wake up amidst the ruins of Rapture, your last memory being the bullet to the head you took at the hands of Sofia Lamb, the dying city's usurper leader, who stepped into the breach left by founder Andrew Ryan's demise in the first game. Understandably, you're not best pleased about your death - not to mention somewhat perplexed by your resurrection - but this is more than just a revenge mission. You, as the first Big Daddy (diving suit-clad guardians of Rapture's gene-gathering Little Sisters) created, mean to unearth the seemingly shady truth about Lamb and the little girls she lures to Rapture, and track down the child with whom you were once bonded for life. Who just happens to be Eleanor Lamb, Sofia's daughter. Which might just explain why you were killed. Through the omnipresent voice of (Sofia) Lamb, who glowers down from video screens and banners (not to mention the graffiti daubed across the walls; "Lamb's watching you ..."), plus the audio diaries left behind by those who once lived and worked in Rapture, you gradually peel back the layers of mistruths and conspiracy that surround the ruins. I referred to the first game as being the bastard son of Doom and Myst, and this is much the same blend of the visceral and the cerebral. Sure, there's big guns and a host of body-altering plasmids (the discovery of which kick-started the civil war that brought this paradise to its knees), but there's also an engrossing storyline of psychological warfare and social revolution. As much as it's rather fun to jab a needle into your arm, giving you the power to fire electricity into your opponents from your fingertips, followed up with a few rounds from your shotgun, it's equally satisfying to search crumbling museums and train stations for the clues to Rapture's fall from glory. For every jolt of dark pleasure you get from seeing your genetically-ramped-up enemies crashing into a corridor you've lined with limb-removing booby traps, the thrill of hacking open a safe to discover a hidden diary which sheds new light on the mysteries surrounding you is just as gratifying. The only real problem with all this is that you've already done it once, assuming you've played Bioshock. Obviously a sequel will be wise to carry through the themes of its predecessor, but this is more than that - at times, the game feels like a play-for-play rerun of the original - you pick up your weapons and plasmids in the same order, you carry out the same types of missions, you encounter many of the same enemies and dispatch of them in the same ways. It's all just as good as the first game - and in some ways better - but there's little to compare with the brilliance of discovering all this for the first time. Bioshock 2 lacks the freshness of its little brother, and occasionally feels more like an expansion pack than a separate game. What's more, without the wonderful mid-game twist of Bioshock, this plays out in a rather tamer manner, although it redeems itself with an excellent endgame. There has been progress from the first game, however - you can now wield plasmids and weapons simultaneously, giving greater freedom of devastation in combat (engulf a massive grunt with flame with one hand and pump him full of rocket-powered spears with the other, why not). The annoying hacking mini-game has been replaced by a simpler, less infuriating version that now unfolds in real time, meaning you need to be aware of getting shot in the back while you're trying to open a safe or reactivate a security robot. Some new weapons are welcome additions, and given you're now playing as a Big Daddy, a new serial badass has been created. Imaginatively called Big Sisters, they're faster than you, they're stronger than you, and they carry off the diving suit look with substantially more panache. I hope I haven't given an overly negative impression of Bioshock 2 - in short, it's brilliant. There aren't many games that blend opposing elements of gameplay together quite so well, and the mechanics and atmosphere of the experience really raise it above the level of a conventional shooter. You'll get sucked into the dark world of Rapture, and will genuinely miss it when it's over. How long till Bioshock 3, I wonder? (and it is coming, the action transposed from the seas to the skies). It isn't as good as the first game, so if you're new to the series, you really need to start there - from a storytelling perspective as much as a gameplaying one - but if you've already worn out the first instalment of the tale, this is an essential purchase. Simply enough, it rocks.

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          26.06.2010 10:49
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          A masterclass in the first-person genre.

          Bioshock 2 is the much anticipated sequel to the BAFTA winning game Bioshock. In the new iteration, gameplay has been tweaked, the graphics improved and fundamental elements from the first game transformed. The result is an immersive, insightful and adrenaline-filled game experience which will leave you coming back for more. Appearance It is clear from the outset that Bioshock 2 sports a level of polish many other games can merely dream of possessing. With sleek, 1950s style menus, an underwater sequence on loop in the background and simple, easy-to-use lists, the menus alone aid the atmosphere of an underwater dystopia. When on an in-game menu, two key elements of gameplay are placed to the bottom left and right corners of the screen: cash remaining on the left and ADAM on the right. You will soon learn that this system helps you plan ahead and ensure that you are on the right track, a simple but effective design decision by 2K games. Graphically, it is almost impossible to find a foot wrong. The atmosphere, character models and environments are more varied than the first game and surprisingly look even better than they did in the first iteration, high praise indeed. Lighting is an essential element of gameplay, breeding a sense of insecurity and uneasiness whereby enemies can unexpectedly lunge out from the darkness and challenge your reaction times. Enemy animations are also varied, with a wealth of different characters emerging as the game progresses and each racing up to you with different weaponry in their own unique way. The way this is displayed cannot be understated, as it really does run in tandem with the uneasy atmosphere and lend the game some unique charm. The first-person view has been tweaked to suit the new role of the Big Daddy, with the left hand now used for plasmids and the right for weaponry. Each plasmid is brilliantly rendered, with bees whizzing around your hand with the 'insect swarm' plasmid, your hand visibly freezing with 'winter blast' and electricity springing from your hand for the 'electro shock'. Each animation really is stylishly executed and shows the player how powerful the Big Daddy really is. The HUD is simplified from the first game, showing simply how much EVE, health and ammo is left, a better system which quickly and effectively helps the player. An interesting feature making a comeback from the first game are the audio logbooks. On picking these up, the player is offered inside knowledge of the secrets within Rapture in a non-obtrusive manner; while in some games it would be required to read a long block of text, in Bioshock 2 different characters narrate the details as you carry on playing, helping along the immersive nature of the game. Likewise, objectives are relayed to you in the same manner, allowing you to continue a mission while always being kept abreast of new objectives. Sound in general is a highlight of the game, with enemies' maniacal cries, the Big Daddy's groans and atmospheric noises blending with the graphical excellence to form a masterclass in game presentation. Gameplay The story mode of the game is not only one of the best in recent times, but arguably the best ever seen in a game. With the new focus on being a Big Daddy and protecting the Little Sisters in this iteration, the player is dealt a sense of the great responsibility and power of the protagonist. What's more, each decision made throughout the game will have a knock-on effect by the end, with varied endings meaning the game can be played through multiple times in different ways. As far as gameplay itself is concerned, it has been simplified so that weapons and plasmids can be used concurrently. This is a very simple but essential design change from the first game, allowing the player to attack enemies in new and inventive ways, merging strange plasmids with general weapons. Furthermore, the wealth of plasmids and weaponry enables the player to approach the game in their own unique way. Upgrades are a key fibre of the game and seem like a truly integrated aspect, not an ill-thought-out add-on. As in the first game, it is necessary to purchase plasmids, ammo and health, among other things, from various vending machines scattered throughout the levels, a neat touch which helps along the feel of total immersion. You soon learn that prioritising funds is essential to progress, most notably on higher difficulty levels, as foes become much stronger by the end and need more firepower and health to be endured. This is most important in the new Big Sister battles, where the new foe is incredibly powerful and needs to be defeated tactically rather than with all guns blazing. The story itself is sound and does not become tiresome. It is interesting, enjoyable and satisfying once you reach the end, as all of the pieces from the first and this game come together nicely. The learning curve in the game is rather average on earlier levels, but if the difficulty is increased, hardcore gamers will be treated to a real challenge. In addition to the very lengthy story mode, online functionality has been added and is very fun to play. I encountered no lag, was quickly put into games and enjoyed the XP system whereby new weapons and plasmids were earned ad you ranked up. By no means does it replace a Call of Duty-style multiplayer mode in its magnitude, but as a secondary game mode it will not disappoint Bioshock fans. Summary This game is simply amazing. Merging excellent graphics and sound with an immersive story mode, a dedicated online mode and a host of gameplay tweaks, Bioshock 2 reaches the heights of its predecessor and excels even those at times. 2K games has created one of the most memorable and unique games in Bioshock 2, and it must be considered a serious contender for Game of the Year.

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          15.06.2010 19:58
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          I would recomend this to anyone who is a fan of first person shooters. Brilliant!!

          Bioshock 2 is a first-person shooter, based in Rapture 8 years after its predecessor Bioshock. You get the chance to play as a Big Daddy this time, with the choice to "rescue" or "harvest" the Little Sisters along the way. Simiarly to the original Bioshock, you can collect Plasmids and different weapons along the way, in order to aid your search for the Little Sister you were separated from in the beginning. I had long awaited this sequel, from the minute I was hooked onto Bioshock. This wa definately worth the two year wait! I could barely but this down! My only con about this was that the game could have done with being a bit longer - it did seem to come to an abrupt end. Like in Bioshock, you have Big Daddies you need to battle in order to adopt the Little Sisters, but you now also have Big Sisters to cope with aswell. Big Sisters are the main enemy within the game. Killing the Big Daddies is a walk in the park in comparisson to having to deal with a Big Sister. Each Little Sister you rescue, can lead you to up to 2 bodies, from which they can harvest Adam - Which is used for various upgrades within the game. After this, you can either "rescue" or "harvest" her. There are various Xbox achievements for just rescuing or just harvesting. If you were to do one or the other, it can completely change how your strategy is within the game. You have various points where you can show off your good or bad side. Because of this, it means you can go back, play the game again with a different strategy, and end up with a different ending. As with the first game, you can hack security cameras, security bots and turrets to make them your allies. Same goes with the gem of a find that is the safe. The method used to hack is competely different to that of Bioshock. Instead of building pathways for the water flow, you need to have reflexes of a hawk in order to stop a moving needle in the correct area. It is simple at first, but you need to stop it more and more times in a row, and when you get to the more difficult safes, it can mean security alarms being set off several times before cracking it. Very annoying at times! All in all, I loved the first 2 so much, I really hope there is a Bioshock 3!

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            06.05.2010 10:30
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            A highly anticipated, but somewhat unfulfiling, return to Rapture.

            I awaited this game with a level of anticipation I had not experienced since resident evil 4 came out. I even pre-ordered this title, which was very strange behavior for me, but such was my love of the first game. It was such a fresh innovation, such a fantastic idea. From the very first minute of gameplay I was intrigued, and from then on I actually felt like I was on a purposeful journey. Not only that, but the environment was like nothing I had seen before. The beauty rendered in the water, the sheer detail in the artdeco cityscape, I was astounded. The whole thing was fantastic and a hot contender for GAME OF MY LIFE. When this one arrived, it went straight in the console. However, it didn't take long for terror to set in my heart, not only by the somewhat confusing opening dialogue, but by how intensely reminiscent it was. Within about 10 minutes, as much as I was open to a new experience, I couldn't help feel as though it was somehow second hand, like I had gone back in time to 2007 and to the first game, just slightly different. I began to get angry, saying to myself 'this is exactly the same' or 'oh great, same plasmid again'. Don't get me wrong, I loved the advent of the rivet gun, the first underwater experience (which was undoubtedly majestic), but for a sequel it was all too familiar, and this was a flavour right through the game. However, doom and gloom aside, the game did build momentum and I was once again trapping my own consciousness within the walls of rapture. The story was well told and flowed well, though at times I found myself losing track of my objective or who I was supposed to be decapitating. Then again, I was equally gripped to the events through this game as the last. The novelty of the little sisters and their contribution to your progression was very interesting. In that respect also, there is a lot more variety in battle, and the element of preparation when protecting the little sisters as you await the splicer onslaught was a treat for me. I have a somewhat meticulous nature when it comes to games and, again not only in environment but the gameplay also, attention to detail is met fantastically. Beautiful design, similar but well animated enemies and of course the well casted vocal actors (although young Eleanor's English accent was HIGHLY dubious). In terms of combat, being a big daddy, enemies come thick and fast, are often harder (especially with other big daddies) and require a lot more lateral thinking to overcome. It did become a bit of a trifling matter in the last game, just sweeping aside enemies with any of your unstoppably powerful upgraded weapons, but the ante is upped in the sequel. The combination of weapon/plasmid here works very well and, again, really ups the pace of the action. Then there's the multiplayer. Whilst I congratulate 2K on giving it a try, I must say that it is pretty abysmal when up against almost all other multiplayers. It is boring, biased, graphically inadequate and highly repetative. I don't know what more I can say, I spent so little time on it. I did, however, buy the game for the single-player, so I am not too enraged by this. Some might say the developers simply took a good thing and made it better. Whilst I agree to an extent, does this constitute a TRUE sequel? We come to expect change in sequels now, a totally new game which is true to the franchise yet is nonetheless an individual instalment in itself. Bioshock 2 is more like a huge expansion pack. Don't get me wrong, I loved it all the same, it is just a shame that I couldn't have the experience I had with the first game all over again, and that would have been easy for me because I was so receptive to the second game and desperate for it to be amazing! I hope 2K take this criticism and do something about it for the next game, which I will still be pr-ordering. So, conclusion? I loved the game, but deep in my heart I cannot escape the sense of disapppointment, that feeling of unfulfilment. Perhaps my expectations were far to high for the sequel; after all, how do you improve on a near-perfect game? It is surely a challenge, and I can understand the pressures on the developers to construct and release the game as quickly as possible. My fear is that they will get complacent, rest on their laurels and fail to make another uber-awesome 'smack in the face fantastic' game. They will nonetheless be benefitting from the contents of my pocket when Bioshock 3 arrives. For any Bioshock fan, I would recommend buying the sequel, if only for the experience and opportunity to form your own opinion on it, as this varies a lot with different people. For those new to Bioshock, for God's sake PLAY THE FIRST ONE. You will not be disappointed with it. Then decide, based on your judgement of the first, whether you want to take the risk with the second. It has been really interesting to read people's comments on Bioshock 2, but it is a sad fact that so many people agree with me. Graphics: 10/10 Gameplay & Controls: 8/10 Sound & Voice-acting: 9/10 Story: 8/10 Multiplayer: 5/10 Replay-value: 7/10 Overall: 8/10

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            02.04.2010 23:04
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            A good game worth your time.

            Bioshock 2 is the direct sequel to Bioshock, set 10 years after the first in Rapture. A sequel to one of the most beloved games in the past 5 years can be hard. And it was. 2k games attempted the sequel after creating such a great and rich universe, made the core gameplay better, but ultimately missed something sequels just can't achieve. The first one was so great due to the shroud of mystery as you descend into the unknown abyss known as Rapture, an underwater city kept secret from the rest of civilisation. The second one couldn't include the same element that made the first game so breathtaking and full of immersion. Bioshock 2 did, however, make the fundamental mechanics of the game much better. Being able to use your weapon and plasmids without constantly having to change between them was a breath of fresh air. Due to the many useful combinations, like electrocuting someone and then shooting them in the face, this was a godsend. They also removed the hacking minigame where you attach pipes together, which originally paused the game even if you where being eaten. They replaced it with a bar that moves side to side and you have to stop it in the right place, and this doesn't pause the game. This was agreed to work much better. Another feature added that is worth mentioning is multiplayer. Now you can take the fight of Rapture online with your friends. Overall a decent game, even if not as good as the first game. I would recommend it to any fan of the franchise.

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            26.03.2010 00:48
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            Reccomended to any fans of action or horror. Truly the best in-game cinematic experience.

            Making a sequel to one of the most beloved games of all time was never going to be an easy task. A recent example of this was Call of Duty 6; a game that essentially crumbled under the combined weight of the developers lack of ingenuity and their fanboys' unnatainable expectations... The first time the player, as Jack, steps into the submurged dystopia of Rapture - the experience is harrowing, but at the same time simply breathtaking. The immediate horror injected into the opening sequence of the original, with the Spider Splicer creepily trying to break into your bathysphere, is fantastic. The bathysphere is essentially your very brief sanctuary after witnessing the iconic "Welcome to Rapture" video, a sanctuary that perfectly establishes the gaming environment in which you're playing. The creepy splicer people are bad, the hackable machines can fire guns, there's a man wanting to help you over the radio, this city is messed up... ALL of those small details are perfect for first-time players, and you understand exactly how everything works - who you're supposed to kill, and who you shouldn't. HISTORY LESSON OVER - now lets cut to 2010. The introduction is poorly animated and is far less iconic than its predecessor, but is still gripping and shocking as a beginning nevertheless. You are Subject Delta, the "first" Big Daddy ever made. Your little sister companion, Eleanor, is attacked by a group of Splicers who want to harvest her for ADAM (a currency that allows you to purchase PLASMIDS - i.e, super powers.) Being the lumbering hulk that you are, you dash as fast as your cumbersome legs will take you straight into protection mode. After clearing out your opponents, you are stunned, hypnotised and eventually killed. I will say no more than that. Thus begins the epic saga that is, BioShock 2. The BioShock 2 storyline is interesting at best, with a fairly solid premise and a gripping introductory cutscene. My problem is it really does feel like a "fans only" type of game. I'm a massive fan of the original, so this isn't an issue for me - but I feel bad for new-comers who read reviews stating "You don't have to have played the original to enjoy this" and then decide to go and buy it. The very first Splicer in BioShock is well introduced, and help establish exactly who is the enemy in the game. As I took control of Delta for the first time, I found myself casually strolling through some rooms when out of nowhere a Splicer just ambled in and I took him down with one drill-punch. Now that's all well and good, but if you hadn't played the original - how were you to know that these guys are the bad guys? As for the audio tapes, they aren't explained this time around - you are just supposed to accept that they are there. I suppose you could say that BioShock 2 just picks up where the last game left off, in a sense, because it doesn't spend any time re-restablishing any of the core mechanics (i.e - how PLASMIDS became popular, why bots are allowed to be hacked, why the city turned into what it is today.) Those aren't really faults, especially for a fan of the original, but like I say - any newcomer won't have a clue what's going on. ALSO, the way the wrench weapon is introduced in the first game is iconic and beautiful - and you don't get any of that here. Your first gun is found lazily scattered on the floor next to a Big Daddy corpse. Big whoop. So far I think it's safe to say - i've been nothing but negative towards the game. I'm happy to report, however, that this is basically where the cons stop. Once you get past the first lazy and uninteresting two hours, you are finally treated to some superb storytelling, Oscar-worthy voice acting and brilliant gameplay. The controls are wonderful, and while it does take some getting used to the dual-weilding mechanic, you do eventually feel as if you are harnessing the true power of being a Big Daddy. Sometimes, when firing a certain plasmid it can come out delayed (resulting in you missing your opponent) - and that can get frustrating when you are trying to use your EVE as sparingly as possible, but again - that is a pernickety fault. The controls are smooth and responsive for the most part, and you'll never find an issue with these. The graphics are wonderful, simply wonderful. To me, I find they've actually somehow gotten worse in regards to the first game (when it was revamped for the PS3) - but because they have to cope with so much more this time round, I feel they do a wonderful job of remaining consistent, atmospheric and beautiful. The water effects are as good as ever, and the pre-rendered CGI for all of the (very few) cutscenes throughout the game are breathtaking. Better than anything Dreamworks or Pixar come out with, anyway.... The story, as is to be expected, is nowhere near as good as the first game - and the new antagonist: Sophia Lamb, is not as charming as Andrew Ryan. Again though, you must take BioShock 2 as what it is - a very, very, very worthy successor to one of the most perfect games of all time. The villain is not as good, but then - it would have taken a true stroke of genius to create a character who could better Andrew Ryan. Sophia, despite having an irriating voice (a trait I actually liked them putting in, as I felt it made me hate her more) has many great lines that are both honest and symbolic, and for this I really hail the new writing. It is very consistent and contends well against the original. I suppose I should also mention the online. It is definitely fun for brief periods of time, but ultimately winds up being your standard fair of seven different multiplayer games (mainly focused around team death-matches, capture the flag, territories etc.) that are entertaining, but very forgettable. For PS3 users - it's very similar to Uncharted 2's online. Entertaining, but you're really buying this for the main story. Thankyou for reading!

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            09.03.2010 17:05
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            Must-buy if you liked Bioshock 1, no buy if you didn't.

            Bioshock 2 When Bioshock was released in 2007, many people (including myself) marvelled at its brilliant mix of gameplay and story as it took you into the underwater utopia Rapture and it was easily one of the highlights of the Xbox 360 so far. Just over two years later and we have Bioshock 2, a sequel which is developed by a whopping four teams. Will this return to Rapture be four times as good as its predecessor, or does it sink to the bottom of the sea? Bishock 2 takes place ten years after the events of the first game, and it's worth brushing up on what took place ten years before as there are many references to the first game here which can be missed if one does not have knowledge. You play as a one of the first big daddies, who has lost his memory and is dying from being separated from his little sister. This is all the work of Sophia Lamb, who is holding your little sister and killing you at the same time. You must make your way through Rapture and save yourself with the help of an usually pleasant figure. It's still a hard hitting story, with many themes like religion and politics, and the atmosphere is still intensifying. With multiple endings, the choices you make will have an impact. While the game shows multiple choices, the actual structure to Bioshock 2 is linear. Many of the levels boil down to completing the objectives in the level, which mostly require you to follow the arrow on top of your screen and killing whatever gets in your way, and then returning to the train to take you to the next location. While you can search for hidden audio diaries and Little sisters, there aren't a whole lot of hidden goodies bar a couple of fancy puzzle rooms. The biggest problem with B2's structure is that once you've left a level, you can never backtrack to that level again which kills the feel of a free flowing city like in the first game, and instead feels like you're charging through level after level. If you miss anything like upgrade stations or diaries, you can't return to get them again, encouraging exploring levels before you get on the train. Like the first game, B2 features two types of currency. There's money, which pays for the standard stuff like medical packs and ammo, and then there's ADAM, the genetic juice which pays for the more interesting plasmid and tonic stuff. The only way to get ADAM is through the Little Sisters, who are usually accompanied by Big Daddies who aren't willing to give them up without a gunfight. Kill the daddy, and you can take the little sister and head down one of two roads. You can adopt them and use them to harvest ADAM from corpses, and then you can rescue or harvest them. Rescuing gives less ADAM, but the promise of bigger rewards down the road, yet Harvesting brings much bigger reward straight to you. What you do can have shocking consequences. Once you've dealt with all the Little sisters, you must face a new enemy, the Big Sister. These are basically more agile and slightly tougher versions of Big Daddies, but considering how fun it is to fight Big daddies, this is no bad thing. There are also a couple of new enemy types mixed in with the old splicers from Bioshock, including the large brutes which fall somewhere between the tougher splicers and big daddies, being a pain to kill and very tough. Thankfully, the research camera returns to aid you, though now it's different in that you film enemies, and using different moves on enemies helps you fully research enemies quicker. It is a much more interesting way of researching enemies. Being a Big Daddy, you are permanently equipped with a giant drill, which also has a satisfying Dash move unlocked a little bit into the game. The drill relies on fuel, so you don't just spam drill attacks, you can always smack a deranged splicer around the head with your drill. The weaponry has also been shaken up with variations on assault rifles and shotguns which make them feel different compared to the weapons from the first game. Just like the first game, each weapon feels like they pack a suitable punch, but the success to Bioshock 2's combat is the tactical elements. Certain situations, like three enemies in water, could require a certain electrical plasmid to kill them, yet there is no pressure to use them. Selecting weapons/plasmids will pause the game, allowing for assessment of the situation. There's plenty of freedom in how you deal with the psychos of Rapture. There are also a couple of other improvements. The plumbing hacking mini-game is gone and instead there is a mini-game where you must press the button when it hits the right area, and it doesn't pause combat meaning it's much more intense. There is also the ability to constantly duel wield plasmids and a weapon at the same time, adding a much more interesting tactic to the already in-depth combat. There are also many more moments when you have a moral choice, aside from harvesting or saving little sisters. Much like the sisters, these choices too affect the ending, meaning you need to choose carefully if you want a specific ending. Perhaps the most controversial addition to Bioshock 2 is multiplayer, mainly because the first game stood tall without the need to tack on competitive shootouts. But Digital Extremes, one of four developers on Bioshock 2, has created an admiral multiplayer mode to compliment the single player's 10-12 hours. It's unique because there seems to be some story elements to it, mainly in its introduction where you find out the story to the whole conflict in multiplayer. This takes place before the events of the first game, when civil war began over ADAM and caused the downfall of Rapture. On the battlefield, however, your weapons do much more of the talking. There are several modes including deathmatch and team deathmatch, capture the sister (flag) and domination modes. The game uses a Call of Duty style ranking system which includes classes, leveling up with kills and completing objectives and challenges like freeze 30 players online. The level cap is currently 40, but future DLC plans to increase that to fifty with unique challenges to go with it. The action can be quite chaotic, with players throwing their plasmids, turrets firing in the background and more. Yet, the game mostly manages to stay at a smooth pace. There are plenty of oil patches and pools of water to take advantage of too, as well as a power-up Big Daddy suit to find on the maps. It's a different, and extremely fun, kind of multiplayer. Bioshock 2 isn't a huge leap in visual fidelity over its predecessor, but the game perfectly conveys the sense of a destroyed utopia. Literally every room has some kind of destruction in it, and the few rooms you find that are intact just show how much of a disaster Rapture was. Enemy design is perfectly psychotic, but friendly characters look odd and disfigured. The 50s soundtrack feels like a rip from the Fallout series, and creates the same kind of weird atmosphere. Weapons sound raw, the taunts from enemy splicers will get under your skin and voice acting and writing is top notch, perfectly conveying the many themes in Bioshock 2's underbelly. Is Bioshock 2 good, bad or ugly? It's hard not to deny the appeal in Bioshock 2. It's similar to its predecessor, as it blends story with gameplay and immerses you in a ruined underwater utopia. It's arguably weaker than it's predecessor simply because it doesn't pack the same punch as it's predecessor, but improvements to gameplay, new choices you make and a solid new multiplayer component make it a must buy if you were a fan of the first game. It just won't convince you if you weren't already deep into the city of Rapture. Controls: 9 Gameplay: 8 Graphics: 8 Sound: 10 Value: 8 Overall 8.6 Bioshock 2 was released on February 9th, 2010 for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. It is rated for strong bloody violence and very strong language.

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              21.02.2010 19:28
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              Fan of the first one? definitely pick this up, the storyline doesn't disappoint

              So as an avid Bioshock fan I was seemingly foaming at the mouth (pretty picture, no?) on the 9th February when it was released. Can Take 2 do it again? bring out another Game Of The Year like the first? well, yes and no. --- Storyline --- We return to the city of Rapture, the perfect place where science and art is free and no one is governed or restrained....or not. Set 10 years after the events of Bioshock 1 the game begins with bit of a back story about who we are exactly. This time we are not Jack from the first game, but Subject Delta, the first Big Daddy that was successfully linked to a Little Sister. Without giving too much away basically you have a strong bond to a particular Little Sister called Eleanor. She has been taken from you back to her mother, Sofia Lamb and you will fight hell, high water and a whole lot of splicers to get to her. What is brilliant about this is that it is not quite as chaotic as the first one and with the whispers from Eleanor and the desperation in her voice she'll get you powering on to get to her no matter what stands in your way. --- Graphics --- Sticking true to the original the graphics are beautifully crafted both in and out of Rapture (as you can now venture outside (at certain points) to explore the damage in the ocean) and still have the lovingly twisted messages scrawled on the walls, bodies hanging or maimed in some way or another and general eeriness that makes this one to conjure up the nightmares. --- Gameplay ---- Armed with plasmids in the left and a nice array of vintage looking weapons in the right these include the new Spear gun (literally spear someone to the wall) and the Scout (go invisible and attack without being seen) plasmid you are ready to take out all the crazies and Adam sucking scum that surround this fallen city. Being a Big Daddy isn't quite like being a 'Rosie' Big Daddy from the first which was heavy, slow and clunky, rather this Big Daddy is fairly quick footed and a Gene Tonic or two can supe him up even more. The main challenges seem to come in the form of when you have a Little Sister to collect Adam for you, as soon as you get her to gather it, splicers and Alphas (earlier Big Daddy models) starting coming until she's finished and, as her Big Daddy, you must protector her from them. The control system is fairly easy to pick up, especially if you've played the first before and items like Gene Tonics (help you in ways such as increasing the speed you can research enemies, better protection against electrical attacks etc) and new Plasmids, keep the game feeling fresh throughout. --- Music --- The score is by Gary Schyman, who did the original score, so it is once again packed with hair raising tones that will increase the already distressing environment Rapture has become. --- Multiplayer --- I will admit now that I have not played the multiplayer side of the game (which is set BEFORE the first game, before Rapture fell into ruin) though the addition is very much welcomed and i'm sure it will not fail to disappoint. --- Disappointment --- The game did not seem to have as many twists (can't be said here for spoiler reasons) to the plot as the first and I think that it would be difficult to top such an innovative original concept. --- Overall --- The game is still as crystal clear and beautifully gory as it ever was with a nice and different storyline that pulls at the heart strings at points and playing as a Big Daddy did definitely give a different perspective to the game. Whilst a few more plasmids and guns would have been nice to see, it is fair to say that advancing this too far would totally wreck the core timeline the games are based around. Definitely worth picking up as i've completed it on Easy and most definitely plan to go back again with a more advanced difficulty to pick up all the tapes (recordings that give you fragments of peoples thoughts on what's happening/happened to Rapture) and rack up the achievements. It is also nice to note that what you do affects the ending, with 4 different ones available dependent on how you treat key characters in the game. Fan of the first one? definitely pick this up, the storyline doesn't disappoint and the gameplay is as good as ever.

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                17.02.2010 08:40
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                A must buy for all dyed in the wool fans, as well as gamers looking for something a bit different

                Bioshock 2 is the sequel to 2007's Game of the Year, and once again plunges you deep into the depths of the underwater city of Rapture. In Bioshock 2 you take the role of a Big Daddy unit (pictured on front cover) that has been forcibly seperated from his Little Sister by the new leader of Rapture, Sophia Lamb, following the falls from grace of Andrew Ryan and Frank Fontaine, the "baddies" of the last game. Awakening ten years later, the game takes place as you set off across Rapture to get to your little sister, who has been claimed by Sophia Lamb as her own daughter. What follows is a refreshingly different spin on the hugely diluted market of first person shooter games already out there. Good Points Whereas in the previous game you were witness to the beginning of the fall of Rapture, in this game you awaken as the city is in the grip of religious and political chaos, and it makes a big difference to both your surroundings and the game itself. A level of eeriness and tension is kept throughout, as you wade through pools of water, and creep around derelict buildings in search of health kits and ammo that may keep you alive long enough to get the answers you are looking for. This certainly isnt a game for the faint of heart, especially when everything goes dark and you have to rely on your headlamp to survive. This sense of fear is heightened by the masterfully composed soundtrack, which is a combination of 50's "crooner" style singing and haunting orchestral music, adding a welcome sense of vintage and authenticity to the experience. Another good side to this game is the addition of ADAM gathering, using the various Little Sisters you will encounter around the levels. Whereas in the original Bioshock, it was merely a case of killing the Sister's guardian and either harvesting or saving her, in Bioshock 2 you will have to adopt the Little Sister as your own, and take her to two specifically designated corpses in the level. Be warned however, as soon as you put her down to gather the ADAM, you will be attacked en mass by wave after wave of splicers all frantically attempting to get at the ADAM. Die, and you will be resurrected at a Vita Chamber, and will have to do the gather again, minus any ammo you expended during your defence. ADAM gathers not only extend the games longevity, they also gives the player the ability to think logically about their tactics, and place traps in strategic locations in order to buy themselves enough time to give the Little Sister enough time to finish her job, a feature not often seen in standard FPS. Add to that having to defend yourself against a Big Sister, an agile Plasmid weilding version of the Big Daddy, once you've dealt with all the Little Sisters in your particular level, and you've got yourself one hell of a challenge, especially on the higher difficulty settings. The plot is another reason that Bioshock 2 is a worthwhile purchase. Playing through the game itself will reveal to you a skeletal plot line, with lots of complex issues crammed in that would be difficult for gamers new to this franchise to understand. Search around for the audio diaries however, and the plot dramatically unfolds, revealing insights on all the key characters, as well as (at least partially) answering a few unanswered questions about the original game. Regardless of how you play the game though, the story is gripping if you dedicate the necessary amount of concentration and time to it, which if you enjoyed the first, or are just naturally inquisitive, you surely will. Lastly, the weaponry (a key part of any FPS) is another reason to get this game. Each weapon is tailored to suit the Big Daddy's look, and although there are only 8 weapons to collect in the entire game (two of these not even actually being offensive weapons in their own right) each one looks contemporary to the era as well as doing its job well. Upgrading your weapons at a "power to the people" machine is also a cool experience, as you actually see the upgrades change the gun in your hand. A special mention should go to the Speargun here, as if the player decides to take the "scope" upgrade for it, two mini fold down windscreens are installed on the top of the gun, that pop up with a sniper crosshairs on them as you aim down your sight at an enemy. Very retro and very deadly in steady hands. Linked to this of course are the "plasmids", giving you the ability to electrocute, incinerate, freeze or otherwise inconvenience your enemies at will. These too are upgradeable to level 3, using the ADAM from the Little Sisters, and believe me when I say that the effects are outstanding, particularly with Incinerate. Bad Points The speed at which you aim and turn the camera is extremely laboured in comparison to other FPS and this isn't ideal, especially when being mobbed by a group of ADAM hungry splicers. The number of times I was sent to a Vita Chamber because I couldn't react quickly enough to an attack must have counted in the hundreds. Also as I have already alluded to, the game itself is quite short, so much so that I would say that if you were to rush through it harvesting the Little Sisters instead of using them, and followed the guide arrow at all times instead of searching through the buildings, you'd probably have it sewn up in about 15 hours. This game handsomely rewards thoroughness and patience in a similar way to Fallout 3, and wasnt really designed for people who just want to finish as quickly as possible. The multiplayer is also a tad disappointing. Admittedly very few people will buy this game to play online (I know I certainly didn't), however if you do the experience will be less than life changing. As Bioshock 2 uses the Unreal Engine, the multiplayer just feels quite alot like a watered down, laxidatal version of Unreal tournament, and although 2K seemed to make an effort to put some new features into it, they come off as a tad pointless. A good effort that falls well short of the grand-daddy of all online FPS - CODMW2 Lastly, the plot will be a problem for some people. I was playing the game with my friend in the room and found I was having to pause every 5 minutes to explain to him what was going on and why things were as they were. If you don't concentrate you may lose the plot slightly, and that is the very essence of what makes Bioshock 2 a good game. I'd also say that you should definitely play the first game before you tackle this one, as it drops you straight into the plasmid/weaponry hybrid combat system, as well as pretty swiftly getting right into the action and not really updating you on the story so far, which seems pretty important during some parts of this game. NB: anybody wanting a loose insight into the Bioshock story should check out the Cult of Rapture at http://www.2kgames.com/cultofrapture/articles Bioshock 2 wont be winning game of the year for 2010, of that I'm pretty certain. However, if you find yourself with some time on your hands, want an FPS with a compelling storyline that offers something a bit fresh in a slowly becoming stale genre, and an experience that you aren't likely to forget once the end credits roll, I'd say get yourself a copy and dive into the world of Rapture and the fast becoming saga that is Bioshock. Warning: does not come with nappies for the easily scared!

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                17.02.2010 00:00
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                A highly recommended FPS purchase, but not quite an essential one.

                Bioshock 2 is the sequel to the somewhat overrated (In my opinion) Bioshock of 2007. Not too much has changed since the first game, except that you're now a prototype Big Daddy in Rapture. When the game begins, you don't have too much at your disposal, save for a weak lightning bolt and a giant drill for an arm. Of course, this quickly changes and before long you're wielding all sorts of armaments to bring the pain to your enemies. In addition to receiving new weapons, you can also upgrade the ones you have, and use different types of ammo for different foes, as was the case in the first game, so soon enough you're ready to take on enemies of any kind. The weapons in this game feel more 'heavy' this time around, and match your status as a Big Daddy well. You'll be walking around with a small minigun, harpoon and RPG launcher, for example, and all of the weapons feel good to use. Plasmids (the game's 'magic') also make a welcome return and will help you take down all kinds of enemies with more ease than would otherwise be possible. Evolved versions prove very useful against larger enemies, and are highly recommended if you're wanting to bring down such heavies. Brutes and Big Daddies, for example, are much easier to bring low if you manage to freeze them - especially if you can manage to smash them to bits before their icy cage melts. Using and combining plasmids with the environment is very well done; there really is nothing more satisfying than setting an enemy alight, watching them run for water, and electrocuting the puddle just as they leap in to extinguish themselves. The gorgeous and unique Art Deco style of the original BioShock returns here, and the Rapture Edition I purchased also comes with an art and game design book, which, at the same price as the game alone, was hard to turn down. The story is as confusing as it was in the first game, with a loose story telling itself to you, and you picking up bits of extra info as you progress through the game. As interesting and arty as this might be, I simply found it confusing - it's hard to concentrate on a voice recording while I'm being chased down a corridor by a legion of splicers. The big new enemy for this game is the 'Big Sister' - which are in fact grown up 'Little Sisters', and who are not your biggest fans. If you thought Big Daddies were troublesome, you're in for a shock. Big Sisters are as agile as spider splicers, as tough as Big Daddies, and use plasmids in the same way you do. In short, make sure you're armed to the teeth before engaging one. And if you see two, then make sure there's a Vita Chamber nearby. Vita Chambers, incidentally, are both a blessing and a curse in Bioshock 2, much as they were in the original game. Whilst offering an excellent 'continue point' system when things get hairy, they also mean that when things get hairy, you can happily just let yourself die and be back and ready for more. So many times during the game I simply refused to heal myself using medkits because I knew I could simply die and be revived nearby. Little sisters are back, and provide the game's moral compass. The little girls are once again protected by Big Daddies, and will harvest ADAM for you, which is the game's currency for plasmid and stat upgrades. Should you choose to rescue them, they'll give you a modest amount of ADAM each time they harvest it from a corpse. Or, you can choose to harvest the sister herself for a greater amount of ADAM. It's the usual total good or total evil system, with no real grey area, and since you'll have more than enough ADAM for your needs by the end of the game, only the coldest and blackest of hearts could justify harvesting the sisters. Bioshock 2 then, is a fair bit more than your standard FPS, with unique upgrades and special abilities to call its own, and while some things have improved since the original, there really isn't that much that's changed. That's not really a bad thing, because Bioshock was far from a bad game, however I still don't feel that the franchise has quite earned 5 star status justyet.

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                16.02.2010 15:25
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                Great game that does it's best

                Introduction You play as a subject delta who is the forth attempt at making what is known as a big daddy. I feel that the story is very good. In the first game I had the feeling of mystery and did not really know what was happening, with the second Bioshock game I have had a better understanding of what was going on which in some ways is good and enjoyable. Pros and Cons Pros Graphics are good Fun to play Story line kept me hooked Cons Online multiplayer is disappointing Hype has let this game down somewhat Game play I think that the second game is so much more fun than the first game. The weapons that they give you feel better and seem much more powerful than in the first game. The game difficulty has been made harder many times I have found myself to get stuck defiantly more times than in the first game and I usually like to play hard games and replay them on even harder difficulty levels, if you like to play hardier games then this is one for you. The gameplay does contain new things such as new guns, new baddies and new sisters to either save or kill. It does give you a lot of new things to do and most certainly you won't be bored doing the same old sort of things. Their is a lot of hidden depth in the game. Graphics I like my graphics so am always a fan of game that have good graphics, games these days keep getting better graphics and I was expecting the second Bioshock to have at least the graphics that the first Bioshock game had. There have been some major improvements over the original game. I also think that with the improvements to the graphics the game does look a lot freakier and scarier than over the original game. This time round it's a lot more realistic. Overall Overall I think that Bioshock 2 is much better than the first one, I have read a lot of bad press about Bioshock 2 and I think that has just been because people were hyping up the game and expecting far too much from it. Don't let the bad reviews get you down, go and buy this game now because it's fun to play I have gotten value for money out of this game and after all that's all that matters is weather you enjoyed it or not. I really did enjoy this game. I would recommend you to buy this game. This review is also on Ciao, Dooyoo and many other reviewing sites

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                15.02.2010 15:35
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                Bioshock 2 special edition is more then just a game, it is the Rapture experience

                I pre-ordered the special edition of this fantastic sequel to 2007's game of the year contender on playUK.com. For £69.99 It came in exclusive packaging, with an LP of the original game's soundtrack, scored by the wonderful Garry Schyman, a CD of the second game's soundtrack, "To the Lighthouse", again composed by Garry Schyman, three Bioshock 2 posters, which can be seen in the game around Rapture, and a fantastic book entitled "Deco Devolution", featuring images from the game and notes from the developers. The soundtrack to the second game is equally haunting as the first, and comes in a paper slip case, much like the packaging of the LP, "I am Rapture, Rapture is me". The CD is designed to look like an LP too, with a black surface, pitted like the underside of a record. The music is terrifying, the change in tempo forcing you to start running through the decaying halls, looking wildly from side to side expecting an ambush at any moment. Like the first game, the music is chiefly composed of stringed instruments, solo violins and cello's. The packaging of the special edition is beautiful, a large dark blue box, velvet lined, with a silvery blue butterfly emblazoned on the front of the lid. This butterfly is a symbol seen frequently throughout the game, and has been used heavily in the advertising campaign. The LP lays on top, with the posters to the left, rolled together in cellophane. Beneath the LP is the hardback book, which is filled with wonderful images. The colored pictures are separated into different chapters, going from the developmental stage through to the end product. It starts with a letter from the lead developer of Bioshock 2, welcoming people to the game. After that there it divides into chapters entitled: Citizens of Rapture Big Daddies Big Sisters Little Sisters Environments Weapons User Interface Ads Storyboard Credits The book is 168 pages long, published by game developers 2K Games, and is not for resale. The game itself has shiny silver lettering spelling out Bioshock 2 (they dropped the Sea of Dreams title) on the spine and the front of the case. There is a Big Daddy, which turns out to be the playable character "Delta", with a little sister perched lovingly on his shoulder. The game is rated 18, mostly due to the violence and the gore, rather then bad language or sexual content. The game is more fun to play then the first, being a big daddy doesn't hamper your speed or mobility, and despite the fact that you are wearing a helmet it can only be seen around the edges of the screen. The dual use of weapons and plasmids is definitely a bonus, and the ability to set traps, a big factor from the first game, has been massively improved. The cyclone trap, one of the under rated plasmids from the first game has returned new and improved, with the ability to place the traps on ceilings and walls, and can be used with other plasmids, such as incinerate, ice and electro bolt for devastating effects. The weapons have also been updated and improved, with an elephant gun, spear gun (featuring the very amusing rocket spear and the useful trap spear with electric cable). There is also the rivet gun, used by the Rosie Big Daddy in both games, and can be upgraded to set enemies on fire. There are also trap rivets for the strategic gamer. There is a new machine gun, reminiscent of a gattling gun, with various forms of ammunition, and the grenade launcher with the same forms of ammunition as the original. Frag grenades, heat seeking grenades and proximity mines (particularly good for setting traps again). They have improved the hacking as well, with the pipe mini game gone, and hack gun in, for ranged hacking. The hacking is also done in game, making it difficult to defend yourself whilst hacking. There is also the return of the shotgun, with two new forms of ammunition, the heavy slug (particularly good at piercing armored foes) and the phosphorus buck, which explodes after impact. The coup de grace of the weapons is undoubtedly the drill, knocking some fool to the floor, and then boring into him gives you a sick pleasure! The drill does have a limit with the fuel, meaning it isn't the limitless melee weapon we hoped for, but keeps the game challenging. The storyline is perhaps even better then the first, with the twist much closer to the end, and more endings depending on the decisions made throughout the game. It is no longer just about harvesting or adopting the little sisters, there are other choices to be made, and being merciful isn't always the best option. The subtleties of the game are much more complex and fascinating then the first. The Big Sisters are the big baddies of this game, though the Big Daddies are no cakewalk either. There are two new varieties of Big Daddy, the alpha series, the first prototype, horribly mutated and wielding a large array of weapons. There is also the Rumbler, a terrifying huge beast of a Big Daddy, equipped with a grenade launcher and mini turrets. The turrets are hackable, and when you get equipped with them they are fantastic as a defensive trap. The Big Sister's are massively fast, and very frequent. They signal their intent with a scream that shakes the camera, and they appear in a blackened blur. They are the appointed defenders of the Little Sisters, and whenever you save or harvest them they fly down to take you out. They have a large blade attached to their arm, a replacement for a drill. They are agile and mobile, hurl fireballs, and have huge telekinetic powers which they use to throw chunks of concrete at your head. They can be taken down, but it will terrify you trying to prepare. But as with the first one, it is Rapture that will stay with you. As you listen to the music, your mind will be transported to the decaying halls, barnacles encrusting the windows, filth marauding up the walls. Coral grows in rooms previously reclaimed by the sea. Water drips from the ceiling into stagnant pools on the cracked slimy floor, a dystopia that has undergone the trauma of ten years more decay then the first. The views through the windows to the seabed are breathtaking, the ADAM carrying sea slugs slither through the sand, undergrowth shaded in red and black, glowing toadstools shining with an otherworldly luminescence. Fissures in the sea bed have opened, with water bubbling from the heat below. Every now and again a Big Daddy will be walking past, their footsteps inaudible through the glass, but each time one of the massive metal boots thunders into the sand it can be felt in the vibrating controller in the palm of your hand. Sometimes they are making repairs to the external structure of the city. Sometimes a Big Sister will be seen, watching your progress from the shadows of the coral reef. This game echoes the atmosphere of the first, with the wonderful characters and plot that you come to expect from the 2K team. The multiplayer adds anew dimension and the gameplay is much better then the first, improved where no improvements could be made.

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