Friday, September 13, 2013

1PanelReview BioShock 2

And finally, the last missing BioShock from this list of quick reviews!

My BioShock reviews:

What it is: BioShock 2

Which is: A First Person Shooter video game
Created by: 2K Marin/Australia/China & Darkside Game Studios
Year: 2010
Available on: Xbox 360, PC & PS3

BioShock 2 is the direct sequel to the first BioShock. For a reminder, the original BioShock was sort of a spiritual successor to the System Shock series. Same general ideas (presenting a failing utopian city) and much of the same general gameplay as well. Instead of exploring another new world, "K Games had some of its studios work on a second BioShock game immediately while the main team and Kevin Levine from the first game were hard at work at the actual successor to the previous game. What followed was a second adventure in the underwater city of Rapture.

What's Good about it: If you liked the original BioShock, chances are this one will attract you as much. Better yet, if you played through and enjoy BioShock 1, I'm pretty sure you already played the sequel (at least tried it once).
Basically speaking, BioShock expand upon many ideas from the first game. All the powers make a comeback, there's more weapons, more places to visit. 
The story also expands upon the first one, while it isn't as engaging or surprising as the first time, the game works in the beginning as a prequel to the first one, then jumps ahead and becomes a proper sequel taking place after the fall of Rapture. It's a nice way to tie the stories and see what happens next.
If you liked the whole lore of BioShock, particularly the mysterious Big Daddies and their Little Sisters, then you will absolutely adore the Big Sister! Too bad her fights are kinda sucky though..
The alternate choices for the ending makes a comeback as well, depending on what you decide to do with the Little Sisters, save them, or harvest them for your own powers.
Finally, storywise I'd say its better than BioShock Infinite, since it actually makes more sense.

What's Bad about it: The entire game feels like a BioShock 1 redux. You even get the revisit plenty of old previous areas from the original game, albeit under a slightly different look.
If this was the old days of computer gaming, I'm pretty sure this would have been an half priced expansion pack instead of a full game.
Don't let its multiplayer fool, they didn't spend half the production on that to make it a better game... just to make it seem like a proper second installment. (plus you won't find anyone there nowadays)
Did you like the little segment playing as a Big Daddy at the end of the original game? Sure, it was fun, because it was only a small portion and not an entire game! That means a slower, louder, stranger protagonist. Thankfully they didn't represent his "view" in the HUD display... That would have gotten fast pretty quick.
Speaking of which, the whole game has a feeling for getting repetitive. The level design is more straightforward and linear this time.
The fights to clean each new area, against other local Big Daddies following by the Big Sister once the area harvested/saved gets super dull as well. It's like a lack of imagination and originality through these stunning settings. Too bad...

Overall: I wouldn't call BioShock 2 a bad game per say, but it does feel less inspired. It's a simple copy-paste job to keep the IP alive, by a entirely new team following simple guidelines and not trying much.
On a second hand though, it's fun to see ho this game ended up featuring a lot of ideas from Infinite, the team worked off notes from Ken Levine which would go on to be the basis for Infinite. Hence the similar plotlines and ideas (the daughter-turned weapon and savior of the city-thing, the "Lamb" who grew up in the laboratories, the rise and fall of the city due to its own founders, both main female protagonists pretty similar in design and name Eleanor=Elizabeth, etc.).
I give it: 2 / 3 Quacks!

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