by William Thompson
reviewed on PC
Return to Rapture
Rapture… arguably one of the most beautifully rendered game locations in gaming history to date. The Art Deco underwater city was a stunning setting to the original BioShock storyline. The story was original, and although the game itself could have been classed as just another ‘shooter’, the use of plasmids as a way of using special powers meant that it was something unique. The moral dilemma that gamers had to go through when playing was certainly the extra component that made the story a fascinating one.
In search of Eleanor
In BioShock 2, we return to Rapture. But this time, gamers will assume the role of Subject Delta, a Big Daddy who has been, let us say – ‘decommissioned’. After ten years he suddenly awakes to find that the Little Sister he has been protecting, is nowhere in sight. So, as if his life depends on it, he sets off in search of the Little Sister, known as Eleanor.
But all is not well in the former utopia of Rapture (well, all was not well in the original either). A civil war seems to have been fought out between the followers of Andrew Ryan and those of a woman by the name of Sophia Lamb, a more religious leader who initially seems to have been the victorious leader of the conflict. Sophia too was behind the ‘death’ of Subject Delta and has more than a passing interest in Eleanor. She will stop at nothing to make sure that you, as Subject Delta, do not find your former Little Sister. Along the way, you will be guided by a number of Rapture’s citizens with the use of audio diaries scattered through the city. Most of the diaries give fill the gamer in on the story and give background details on important characters in the game.
But the story revolves around the search for Eleanor. And with it comes the moral dilemmas of the original. Should you harvest any Little Sisters you find, or should you rescue them. Being a Big Daddy (well, maybe not that big) in real life, my game style has a tendency to rescue as many of the little sisters as I can. Come on, who can resist helping out these ADAM guzzling cuties. The only problem with helping out these little girls is that setting them down to harvest ADAM from a corpse results in hordes of Splicers appearing in order to secure the ADAM for themselves. And in BioShock 2, it is not just the Splicers and the standard Big Daddies that you have to contend with. Massive Brute Splicers, more powerful Big Daddies and even Big Sisters will try and put an end to your mission.
Weapons and plasmids
To deal with the nasty inhabitants of Rapture, you are given a vast array of weaponry to choose from. Well, you start with one (the Big Daddy’s famous drill) and will collect more along the way including a rivet gun, machine gun, shotgun and even a spear gun. These weapons combined with the plasmids make your Big Daddy one hell of a tough adversary. The plasmids are similar to those from the original BioShock. Plasmids are special powers that can be purchased with ADAM. Unfortunately, like weapons, plasmids require ammunition in the form of EVE. Run out of EVE and your superpowers will be unavailable. Plasmids include Electric Shock, Incinerate and Telekinesis to name a few. The major difference between this sequel and the original is that weapons and plasmids can be used simultaneously, rather than having to switch between them as was the case with the original BioShock.
Another thing that has changed somewhat from the original involves the hacking of security devices and ammunition vending machines. Rather than the Pipe-Mania style hacking, BioShock 2 uses a sliding needle mechanic. Hitting a green (or even better, a blue) area results in the machine being hacked. Stopping the needle outside these areas causes alarm bells to wail and security bots to chase you.
Dual wielding weapons and Plasmids, Visuals and Audio are superb, Multiplayer increases replayability
Single player is largely the same as the original BioShock. Also some stability issues.