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Published on April 16th, 2019 | by voxx

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Bioshock 2 – The Underrated Classic

Bioshock. What other word can you use to describe this series other than brilliant, with its great worlds, deep law, brilliant storytelling and visuals, and fun, addictive gameplay? The collection has been remastered on Playstation and Xbox, and I’ve been playing them a lot, and yet none of my friends seem to be bothering with the second installment, skipping it to move straight onto ‘Infinite’. ‘Bioshock 2’ also has the lowest reviews, and I can’t help but wonder why.

The story takes place 10 years after the events of the original ‘Bioshock’, but before that certain events occur, setting things up. You take control of a big daddy called Delta, who is taking care of his little sister. For those who don’t know, big daddies are mechanized people in robot suits who guard small children as they collect adam, a rare currency in Rapture, the underwater city. However, whilst on patrol, your little sister Eleanor is taken by her mother, Sophia Lamb, and she supposedly kills you. 10 years later you awake to see Rapture in ruins, like in the original game, only worse, and corrupt people are worshipping Lamb as a savior. Suiting up, you go off in search for her, a far simpler storyline, but not without interesting background audio logs that teach you more about the characters and their world. Luckily, the gameplay was improved upon heavily, which makes up for the lack of depth and complexity the plot offers.

The presentation has a unique look, stylized just like the original with a few new elements, such as being able to go underwater and see sea life growing inside chambers, which is stunning to say the least. The new locations in Rapture are also fun to explore, keep you on edge guessing what’s around every corner. The unfamiliarity may be richer and brighter compared to the first game, but it is still dark and disturbed enough to feel like another sector of the same city you’re used to. The old and new enemy designs also come off as threatening, keeping the thrill of the original intact.

The gameplay is similar to the first game, but with vast improvements. You can access so many new and old weapons, such as a drill, spear guns, shotguns, machine guns, rockets, a hacking gun and more, and plasmids also return with different powers and abilities that you can use at the same time as a gun for more destruction. The focus has shifted more to action, with increased enemies, ammo and plasmid slots. Feeling overpowered was a massive change, and while in some respects it takes away from the scare factor, it’s just fun. Fighting big daddies is still a threatening and fun challenge, and protecting little sister for adam was always a treat. Choosing to save or kill them for currency was always a tough choice, though in this game they are of lesser value, as you are already powerful from the start. Once you have saved or harvested an area, you then face big sisters, robot-like creatures that are have high speed and agility, and so can be hard to take down. When the warning comes up, be prepared for the fight of your life.

The music is also a lot of fun and puts you right in the atmosphere. The 1950’s style is great, though it is somewhat drowned out by the audio logs. The new hacking game is also really fun, and far superior to the terrible pipe game we saw in the original, which was always a frustrating distraction that put me off the concept completely. The hacking game, in contrast, is more time-based and can be used to great effect if mastered.

I love this game just as much as the first, and it’s a shame more people don’t follow it, as it’s a thrilling experience. If you do have the ‘Bioshock’ collection, please do yourself a favour and play this game as well as the others. It’ll be well worth the investment.

- By Samuel Wood


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