Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Game Review: Bioshock 2

I'm kinda cheap when it comes to my video games. I pick up damn near everything used. $50 is too much for most games. $20 is more my speed.

My point is that this review is WAY late. But if you haven't played it, it's new to you.

BioShock 2 Launch Trailer - Watch more Game Trailers

I picked up the original Bioshock awhile back and loved it. It had great architecture well drawn, a good storyline that unfolded over the whole game, and it was not only fun to play but fun to watch. Yummy would come over on weekends, we'd order pizza, and she'd insist that I'd play Bioshock.

Bioshock 2 reviews weren't good. By the end of the first game you'd become a cybernetic monstrosity called a Big Daddy who protected the little girls they'd been experimenting on. But he had his vision obscured and was harder to move than the human. But he was tough. Hearing that we'd spend the whole second game as a Big Daddy was disappointing. And we'd hear the story was rubbish. But when I found it for $10-15 I figured what the heck.

Really, it was over criticized. Sure, you're a Big Daddy, but you've lost the points I was really complaining about from being a Big Daddy in the first game. It's something on the order of 10 years since the first game. Somehow the highly leaky underwater city hasn't flooded yet. The Ayn Rand philosophies that brought down the people who founded the city (and you killed in the first game) have been replaced with the worship of a Stalinist. Sure, she preaches a wonderful benefits for all society, but really she's getting them to worship her... or else. She's gonna turn her own daughter into some brilliant, benevolent creature with no sense of self. Something that can run the society for the good of all and none for itself. But here's the thing. I'm playing the daughter's father. And I'm coming to get her back.

The game runs on something of a track. You're not terribly open in how to proceed, but you get to choose how you handle the threats. And from time to time you get to make a choice. It doesn't affect things at the time, but it has the potential for some significant changes later on in the game. The game judges what kind of person you are.

There were a few things I got sick of. Every Little Sister you save has the potential to get you a bunch of the chemical to earn you new powers. You have to protect her as she harvests two corpses. But that gets old fast. I started skipping it.

It was as fun to play as the original game, but not as creepy as the original. It was also as fun to watch. Yummy still insisted that I play it for her.

And I plan to pick up the next Bioshock game. It doesn't take place in the same undersea failed utopia. It looks more steampunk and sky based with no real connection to the previous two games.

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