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This review was submitted by Gregory Calacouris. If you’ve played BioShock 2, or just want to ask Gregory more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.
BioShock 2 (Xbox 360)
The dystopian world of Rapture makes a stunning return. Filled with moral choices of binary opposition, BioShock 2 manages to make your inner self feel solitary in a reborn Rapture family. But it all felt a little too similar.
Drill Daddy: Having a drill for an arm? Why thankyou. The inclusion of the drill is a kindly switch from the wrench. Despite the great mix of plasmids and weapons, the drill is just irresistible in giving splicers a real battering up close and personal. The “one-two punch” from the first game is supercharged with the Electro Bolt + Drill Dash combo!
“Here’s an angel daddy”: The relationship between the Little Sisters and Big Daddies is a morbidly thrilling aspect of BioShock 2. Protecting (or harvesting) Little Sisters was better developed than the first game. Having splicers hunt your little sister allowed creativity from the full arsenal of attacks available.
Symphonic Score: The score to BioShock 2 is simply perfect. Garry Schyman does a great job of following on from his efforts in the original game. The music manages to possess the same themes and leitmotifs of the original game and still create its own unique sound that fits in with the new areas of Rapture.
Once a nightmare: The game’s biggest falling is the unavoidable issue that it simply is a sequel. Returning to Rapture felt like returning home. Living up to the original BioShock was a tough ask, but it just felt like 2K were playing it a little bit too safe by sticking too close to the first game.
Multiplayer Madness: The introduction of multiplayer to BioShock was a ridiculous decision. Ignoring the gameplay bugs and issues, the multiplayer ruins the entire atmosphere of the BioShock games. The multiplayer removed all aspects of feeling alone (from single player) and converts them into a bizarre circus of brawling.
Hacking: Before you start calling me crazy, I did love how hacking was ‘live’ and left you open to attacks. But it felt too easy. I loved the challenge of the pipe minigame in the original game. The needle just felt like old FIFA games where striking the green zone gave a top corner goal. But I’m not suggesting a ‘live’ pipe game – that would just be absurd.
Glitches: Whilst the game was relatively glitch free. There were two that kept bugging me: the zoom and focus of the map kept playing up and was actually quite confusing; and where was the great “Welcome to the circus of value!” from the original BioShock?
Overall, BioShock 2 is a surprisingly excellent sequel to a difficult act to follow. The gameplay is diverse and fun, allowing as much or little depth as you choose. However where the game falls short is that it does not try anything radically bold like the original and it left me feeling too prepared in a game that should have offered more.
Reviewed by: Gregory Calacouris
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