BioShock 2

Anything But Waterlogged

BioShock 2 takes a few departures from the original game, for the better, and makes its own imprint in the sand.
Author: Ryan Green
Published: April 23, 2010
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By the end of the original BioShock, I had very little intention to return to the bottom of the sea again. Sure, I loved the story's narrative, the environment, and the broad range of characters you meet along the way, but it felt complete (except for the end of the game; what the frak). I felt that BioShock was so great that I even bothered to play it again on the PS3. When they announced the sequel (note: not a squeakquel), I like many others were skeptical of the necessity of another journey through Rapture. BioShock 2 doesn't necessarily set out to outdo or tie up the loose ends of the first game, but the expectation is there, just like any other sequel.

By now I'm sure you know what BioShock 2 is about, and if you didn't, you just need to take a look at the front cover. Instead of a vulnerable man exploring a strange new place, you play as an early model Big Daddy. Like any other guardian of the Little Sisters, you are tasked with protecting these freakish yet valuable children from harm. It might not be as difficult for a regular Big Daddy, but there are just a few more variables stacked against you.

The main game takes place after the Fall of Rapture and after the events of the first game. BioShock 2 doesn't ignore what happened in the first game and they often, although subtly, throw back to it. Through many audio logs, you will hear from or about many familiar characters, and thankfully Andrew Ryan is one of them. Hearing about Ryan's struggle with the multiple figureheads of Rapture really helps to round out the struggles he faced.

The primary antagonist of BioShock 2 is Sophia Lamb, a psychiatrist who possess radically different ideas of how Rapture should be run. More importantly, she is a Woman of the People in a way that Andrew Ryan wasn't at all. Her nurturing persona easily convinces the Splicers to do whatever she wants. In a shift from the original, BioShock 2's Splicers are more interested in killing Big Daddies than killing little sisters for ADAM. This is, no doubt, law dictated by Lamb who rules at least this portion of Rapture.

To improve your odds of survival, there are a few things that you can do throughout the game. First and foremost, you can upgrade your plasmids (super powers) and weapons (pew pew machines). But perhaps the more important point is your actions. From choosing to save a Little Sister to killing another person, your actions will have consequences on your game. You might get more ADAM (currency for buying new plasmids and tonics) if you harvest a Little Sister, but you could also miss out on some really nice gifts later on. This pseudo-karma system never plays out on the scale of a game like Fallout 3 or even The Force Unleashed.

Although your actions can change what items or ending you get, even on the hardest difficulty, you can complete the game without too much trouble. Every game event that would cause you to have a game over is rather avoidable too, as BioShock 2 breaks down into all-too-repetitive horde fights. Aside from fighting a random foe hiding in the shadows or a protector (Big Daddy characters), there never feels like there is any variety in your encounters. Gone are the moments of terror when the lights go out and the echoes of sanity ring through the halls of Rapture. The atmosphere is different; you are a giant punching bag with plenty of resources at your disposal, no matter how much you shun kindness from your playthrough. In many ways, Rapture is truly lost.
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