BioShock 2 (Xbox 360) Review by DavieMarshall

BioShock 2 (Xbox 360) achievements

BioShock 2 (Xbox 360)

4.2 from 11586 votes

There are 68 BioShock 2 (Xbox 360) achievements (50 without DLC) worth 2,417 (1,400)

138,321 tracked gamers have this game, 6,704 have completed it (4.85%)

210,623 (110,443)
TA Score for this game: 1,589
Posted on 16 March 10 at 10:48
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This review has 17 positive votes and 4 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
The original Bioshock was one of the greatest and most involving games I’d yet played on my Xbox 360. The story, the atmosphere, the sheer depth of the experience made it so much more than a game. Rapture was a real place. Living and breathing with hundreds of untold stories.

Despite this, I still worried that inevitably Bioshock 2 would appear and would be something of a let down. The main reason I thought this was that the original Bioshock was fuelled by Rapture. The fact it was so new, so unpredictable, and that there was so much to learn about it.

By the end of the game, Rapture felt almost homely, albeit in a macabre and twisted sense of word. The demise of Andrew Ryan and the truth of Frank Fontaine also meant that I felt any story placed after the events of Bioshock would lose some of their great anchors and influence.

However, I need not have feared, for Bioshock 2 is a triumphant return to Rapture. Set around eight years after the events of the initial Bioshock, Rapture now stands, bleeding profusely from every wound, yet as dark, sinister and uninviting as it ever did. From the second I took control, I was home again.

Sofia Lamb is our main antagonist throughout Bioshock 2. After toppling Andrew Ryan and his views of a ‘great chain’ society in which everyone pulled as one, for all, Sofia imparts her hopes for a ‘family’ who care not for themselves, but for ‘the greater good’.

Your role in all of this is as a Big Daddy. Specifically an Alpha series model, codenamed ‘Project Delta’. Delta is of the first generation of Big Daddy’s and was the first model successfully bonded with a Little Sister. Previous attempts had failed or destroyed the Big Daddy’s mentality to the point where they would become suicidal at the loss of the little on, or simply break down and weep.

Your assigned Little Sister is Eleanor Lamb, daughter of Sofia. In the opening cut scene Eleanor watches as you commit suicide at the command of Sofia Lamb’s mind control, and then… darkness.

Suddenly you awake from a Vita-Chamber, without any knowledge as to why, or how, but you quickly discover a vital piece of information. You MUST find Eleanor Lamb, before your conditioning causes your body and mind to shut down and death to follow.

The rest of the story flows gloriously, and the pockets of history hidden around Rapture in the form of audio-logs provide a detailed and colourful backdrop to the history and happenings of Rapture since the overthrowing of Andrew Ryan and Ryan Industries. The ‘levels’ are incredibly well constructed, and if you are a completionist, like myself, you will find each level can take up to three hours or more to fully explore, deconstruct and discover.

Playing as a Big Daddy you will of course have access to some of the most iconic weaponry associated with the fearsome brutes. The monstrous drill and crippling rivet gun at the heart of your arsenal. However, since being reborn through the Vita-Chamber, you are granted free will, and with it the ability to dual-wield Plasmids with your physical weapons ensuring you’re a deadly construction to any Splicer foolish to stand in your way.

Freed of your blinkered mind you will also be able to choose to adopt or harvest Little Sisters you find in Rapture, once you have challenged their Big Daddy to a dual of epic proportions and emerged victorious. Adopting a little one places them on your shoulder and allows them to lead you to ‘angels’ and harvest the Adam therein. Stay alert though, because as Splicers learn of the precious ADAM which is standing vulnerable on the ground, they will arrive, en-masse striking with sheer desperation to secure the ADAM they so desperately need.

This is where the game could have fallen down and become horribly repetitive, but each gather remains a massive struggle as a small war ensues between you and the rest of Rapture. You’re able to lay traps for Splicers in the form of Trap Rivets (motion activated rivet trip wires), electric spears, mini-turrets and proximity mines.

Attempting a gather on Hard mode without setting traps would be foolish as our friends the Leadhead, Thuggish and Houdini Splicers make a return along side their newest recruit, the Brute Splicer. After years of splicing relentlessly the affect is clear to see as these immense hulks hurl pillars, and debris at you, or simply try and charge you down head to head.

Once you have completed your gathers with your Little Sister (you may conduct two per little one you adopt before they become tired and ‘want to go to bed Mr Bubbles’) you can return them to a vent and choose to Save or Harvest them. Harvesting being the morally ‘evil’ choice of course, but rewarding you with greater amounts of ADAM.

Having gone through an iconic showdown to get to the Little Sister, a small war to gather the ADAM you won’t be allowed to rest as when you deal with a Little Sister, there’s a good chance their Big Sister will show up. Sporting Telekinesis, fire balls, agility a Big Daddy can only dream of and a piercing and disorientating shriek, Big Sisters are a formidable opponent, and they will not rest until one of you is dead.

Luckily there’s a host of new Plasmids at your disposal, such as the ability to call in Security Bots at a flick of the wrist. Outside of combat one of the most useful Plasmids is the ‘Scout’ upgrade. This allow you to leave your body and scout the upcoming areas, all whilst wielding any other Plasmid you have unlocked/bought and equipped.

The game ‘feels’ great too. The slight loss of vision around the very edges of the ‘camera’ where your helmet lies, the clunking of your boots as you trudge your way around Rapture, right down to the ‘pinging’ of bullets against your armour all makes it feel very solid, and very sturdy in it’s mechanics. It doesn’t feel like your in control of what is an effectively a floating camera as in some FPS games.

However, the true beauty of this game lies in it’s story telling ability, but you’d gain no thanks for dissecting this in a review when people are looking to purchase the game. Needless to say this game is almost perfection. At the time of writing the score for this title on Xbox LIVE (through the star rating system) clocks in at around 4.7 out of 5. An unbelievable score.

For me the game’s only issue was with the difficulty of the game. Being an experienced resident of Rapture, I jumped straight into Hard mode, which after a suitably difficult start which requires some real thought and attention to go into your play and offensive tactics, soon plays much like ‘Normal’ mode when you unlock the better Plasmids and Gene Tonics.

Ammo is too easy to come by, and by the end of the game I was completely maxed out on all available ammo types, first aid kits and EVE hypos. This still doesn’t detract from the game though as, after all, you’re a Big Daddy, and those guys don’t go down easy. Not at all. So it does help give you a feeling of superiority as you thunder through the halls of a dying city.

This is one of the few games (with the original Bioshock figuring into this number) that I’ve been genuinely excited to play. Like a great book which leaves you wanting one more paragraph, just one more page, just this next chapter. Bioshock 2 is a stunningly good game.

Buy it. Play it. Love it.

Rapture’s waiting.

STZ513 No discussion of MP?
Posted by STZ513 on 17 Mar 10 at 01:20
DavieMarshall No I felt I'd leave it out as for me the real crux of the game stands in SP. People more or less know what to expect from MP I think. That and the review was already massive in length.
Posted by DavieMarshall on 17 Mar 10 at 08:13