GameSpot Reviews - BioShock 2 Video Review

Uploaded by gamespot on 09.02.2010

In the late 1940s, wealthy industrialist Andrew Ryan began construction of the utopia of his
dreams, a place where mankind was unfettered by petty morals, the hand of government, or
the word of God. When first we set foot into the underwater city over two years ago, we
learned of its sad and destructive decline into dystopia. Now, we return to Rapture out
of an unbreakable bond--a compulsive love that cannot be ignored. Despite a sometimes
inconsistent and ultimately less memorable story, BioShock 2's expanded set of moral
dilemmas, fun and engaging multiplayer, and improved combat mark it a sequel worthy of
its name. Whether or not you've experienced Rapture before, BioShock 2 is an all at once
beautiful, disturbing, and powerful experience that stays with you after it's been shut off.
Ten years have passed in Rapture since the events of the first game, and much has changed
in the city. Andrew Ryan is gone, and in his absence the city has fallen under the sway
of the altruistic collectivist Dr. Sophia Lamb. Though Lamb lacks the charisma and larger-than-life
presence of Ryan, she is a nonetheless dangerous foe with an army at her disposal and a personal
stake in seeing your destruction: her daughter Eleanor was once your Little Sister. That's
right, you're a Big Daddy, one of the hulking behemoths first seen in BioShock whose lot
in life is to escort around the adorable but intensely creepy girls called Little Sisters.
Waking up one day to find Eleanor missing, your only desire is to be reunited with her,
for yours is a love that can kill if it is unfulfilled.
Standing between you and your Little Sister is The Family, Lamb's collective of splicers--former
citizens of Rapture whose years of abusing a genetically-enhancing drug called ADAM has
granted them superhuman powers and a bad case of the crazies. To increase your potential
and unlock new abilities, you'll need to splice up yourself, and the only way to get ADAM
is to get your paws on one of the other Little Sisters roaming around Rapture. But if the
Little Sisters are the ADAM keymasters, then the Big Daddies are the gatekeepers, and they
won't part willingly with their tiny charges--you've got to put them down. With a Big Daddy eliminated,
the Little Sister is left defenseless, and her fate is entirely in your hands. Do you
lift her lovingly and temporarily adopt her? Do you mercilessly harvest her? Or do you
save her from her ghoulish condition? Each choice offers a varying degree of ADAM as
reward, but no matter what you choose, sooner or later Big Sister is going to catch up with
you. These former Little Sisters have been retrofitted with armor inspired by their guardians,
and they are fast, powerful, and pissed off at you.
Much like its predecessor, BioShock 2 is slower and more methodical than your average shooter.
There are often a number of ways to approach each encounter, such as going in guns blazing,
hacking security cameras or sentry turrets for extra help, confusing enemies to cause
in-fighting, and taking advantage of the environment itself. Besides the array of powerful weapons
you can wield, such as the drill, machine gun, and spear gun, you have access to offensive
genetic abilities called plasmids that let you do things like throw fireballs or zap
your enemies with a fist fulla loightning. This time around, you duel wield gun and plasmid
combinations to great effect, and there's a bit more emphasis on setting traps and preparing
for attacks. All in all, combat in BioShock 2 feels much more natural and effective than
it ever did before.
Besides its 10-12 hour long single-player campaign, BioShock 2 also features a surprisingly
fun and entertaining story-based multiplayer mode set during the fall of Rapture. As one
of a handful of pre-insanity splicers, you've joined the Sinclair Solutions Consumer Rewards
Program to test experimental weapons and plasmids in the war between Andrew Ryan and Atlus.
Multiplayer matches generally support up to 10 players, are much faster paced than the
single-player game, and are set in familiar locations such as Fort Frolic and Arcadia.
The seven game modes are BioShock takes on standard shooter multiplayer types such as
deathmatch, capture the flag, and domination, with a few twists. Your rank level determines
which weapons, plasmids, and gene tonics you have access to, and you earn ADAM to rank
up by winning matches and completing secondary objectives such as hacking turrets or taking
creeper photos of the bodies of your fallen enemies for "research". Big Daddies also make
an appearance in certain game modes, as one of the players is transformed into one of
the iron giants either at random or if they find happen to find a suit lying around.
Whether or not this is your second visit to Andrew Ryan's fallen paradise, there is still
wonder and amazement to be found in Rapture. BioShock 2's story may not be as consistent
or memorable as its predecessor's, but it is still a powerful and moving tale with tricky
new moral quandaries and an intensely satisfying conclusion.