It’s time to return to Rapture in the successor to one of this generation’s finest FPS titles but can 2K’s eagerly-awaited Bioshock 2 improve on perfection or is it left treading water? Read our BioShock 2 review to learn for yourself.
2007’s BioShock remains one of the most perfectly-realised videogames ever; the lush combination of plot, design, music and gameplay resulted in an instant masterpiece which captured the imaginations of gamers worldwide. It was also a pleasingly complete experience, with many fans commenting that a follow-up would be entirely unnecessary.
However, given the astonishing commercial and critical success of the original it was almost inevitable that a sequel would appear and while BioShock 2 lacks the element of surprise which made its predecessor so incredible it’s still head and shoulders above the vast majority of FPS titles.
Set a decade after the cataclysmic events of the first title, BioShock 2 puts you inside the underwater suit of Subject Delta – one of the first “Big Daddies” to be created in the aquatic utopia of Rapture. These hulking brutes guard the legions of “Little Sisters” which populate the crumbling city and it’s your sudden separation from your own Little Sister which triggers the epic events of this new instalment.
Playing from the perspective of a Big Daddy is a truly innovative experience, especially when you consider how feared these lumbering giants were in the first game. As well as being able to adopt Little Sisters and go hunting for the valuable chemical ADAM (which can be used to bolster your abilities) you can also equip gene-altering Plasmids that grant access to special powers such as telekinesis, lightening bolts and ice-cold blasts of air.
Other amendments to the core gameplay include the ability to dual-wield Plasmids and weaponry, which sets up some interesting tactical possibilities; for example, you can shock an enemy with a lightening bolt and then quickly rush in to attack them at close range with your devastating arm-drill.
The other big addition to BioShock 2 is the inclusion of multiplayer modes which see participants assuming the roles of Splicers prior to the events of the first game. Several gameplay options are available, including death matches and a “capture the flag” event where Little Sisters are the objective. For those of you that lamented the lack of online play in the original, this aspect should more than satisfy your needs.
BioShock 2 is every bit as well-written as its forebear and the expanded scope of the gameplay arguably makes this an as enjoyable outing. Granted, it does lack the impact of the first title and there are a lot of recycled concepts on show here, but when the overall package is this good, it seems rude to moan.