Reader Review: BioShock 2

Reader Review: BioShock 2

Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Henry does, as he wonders what happened to his trusty wrench.

Yes, that’s right, we’re now publishing reader reviews here on Kotaku. This is your chance to deliver sensible game purchasing advice to the rest of the Kotaku community.

And thanks to the very kind chaps at Madman Entertainment, purveyor of all kinds of cool, indie and esoteric film, the best reader review we publish each month will win a prize pack containing ten of the latest Madman DVD releases.

This review was submitted by Henry Chung. If you’ve played BioShock 2, or just want to ask Henry more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Bioshock 2 (360, PS3, PC)

Developed by 2K Marin, BioShock 2 is a sequel to 2007’s widely acclaimed game of the same name. Once again set in the utopia turned dystopia city of Rapture, you play as a Big Daddy who has no recollection of his past and with a mission to relocate your Little Sister.


I’m Gonna Drill You, Sucker!: Playing as a Big Daddy means you’re going to get big weapons such as the drill which allows you to… well drill your foes in the face and pummel even your strongest rivals. Other clever inclusions such as the remote hacker allow you to fire darts and hack objects at range; hacking a turret facing unsuspecting splicers can be quite satisfying.

A Fiddler’s Delight: Garry Schyman returns to score BioShock’s soundtrack and once again captures the desolate nature of the game through strong overtones of solo violin tracks. The game also features classic songs from the 1950s that provide a strange juxtaposition to the events happening in the game.


Story: Nothing really develops beyond what is presented to you at the start, there are barely any twists and the moral choices presented to you are can be fairly obvious considering that playing as the good guy can result in more rewards.

Big Sister Is Watching: Not exactly strong nor are they difficult to kill, however they are annoying. The flashing words “Big Sister is approaching” meant that you’re going to have to put down what you’re doing and fight.

Making a sequel can be difficult, particular if the original game executed its concepts so well. BioShock 2 improves on a number of things such as the gameplay, however seems to be lacking in its narrative which to me is the most important element of the series.

Reviewed by: Henry Chung

You can have your Reader Review published on Kotaku. Send your review to us at the usual address. Make sure it’s written in the same format as above and in under 500 words – yes, we’ve upped the word limit. We’ll publish the best ones we get and the best of the month will win a Madman DVD prize pack.


  • The thing I hated most about this game is the difficulty. Terribly balanced hard gameplay. It wasn’t hard exactly, given i only died a handful of times, just frustrating and cheap. Some people might enjoy the extra “challenge” but I just found it stupid.
    The loot system is also a complete joke. I was walking around with capped out cash and ammo. I found myself choosing not to hack vendors, just so I could offload extra cash to avoid the annoying “wallet already full” notification. Somehow, this singlehandedly ruined my sense of immersion.
    Also, I reckon the vita chambers should be defaulted to off, or replaced by good old fashioned checkpoints. I felt like a total noob when I died, and each and every time reloaded. It just defeats the purpose of “winning” if when you go back to fight baddies they’re at a quarter health.

    Big sisters, on the other hand, were great fun on hard. Moderately difficult, in that they had heaps of health, but fair, because they rely mainly on dodge-able attacks. The final big sister fight was truly epic.

    • The series of “shock” games has always been synonymous with cheap kills and hits, you can think of it as RPG like mechanics where you hit as much as they hit you.

      But I do find it strange to hear that you did die, despite having all that cash. Perhaps you didn’t heal enough?

      • Yeah, I appreciate the style of difficulty, just not the execution. Bioshock1 had a much fairer and fun balance, imo.
        And as to the deaths, I healed, but I was playing pc where I had to wrestle with zany controls, and hence wasted a lot of health packs. Plus, having 5 isn’t enough with the cheap damage.

  • The story isn’t really about the new things, but learning about your past, Eleanor’s past, and everyone else you meet’s past (Grace, Alex, Sinclair, etc). How many audio diaries did you find? I quite liked the story :\ I got the found 100 diaries achievement, if that means anything..

    • Theres no doubt that the story of Bioshock 2 focused on finding about the past. And once again the audio logs were excellent and provided much needed detail in the back story.

      However I found the game lacking in any real development or any real villain rather. To me that was a let down, especially having played the first game and even going back as far as the original systemshock games.

  • I am only a silver member on 360 – Am I going to be missing something if I can’t paly this “story driven” multiplayer?

  • my favourite part in the whole game was hearing Gil Alexander say ‘Agnus Dei’ on the tape recorder. so pleasant.

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