Description official descriptions
Ten years have passed since the events in BioShock. The underwater-city Rapture has further deteriorated, with water breaking in everywhere and whole sections flooded by water. But as bad as the situation is, the city still isn’t empty. After Andrew Ryan’s death, his long adversary, the psychiatrist Dr. Sophia Lamb took over the helm – embracing her own cult, making the mutated splicers that roam the city her worshippers. In the middle is Delta, the first of the protectors of the Little Sisters better known as Big Daddies. Eternally bonded to one and only one Little Sister called Eleanor, daughter of Sophia Lamb, he’s damned to search the city and find her or die trying.
The player slips into the mighty boots of Delta, making his way in a typical first-person-shooter-style through the city of Rapture to find and confront Dr. Sophia Lamb, who holds Eleanor against her will. The switch of perspective, in the first game the player was a normal human, also brings with it a few changes in gameplay. The most important being, that the player can now use both one of the eleven available plasmids and one of the several different weapons at the same time, allowing him to burn enemies while pumping them full of bullets. Other plasmids include “Winter Blast” which freezes an enemy or “Scout” which allows the player to leave his body and look around unnoticed. The weapons on the hand range from the famous Big-Daddy-Drill over a powerful double-barrel-shotgun to a grenade launcher.
As in the first game, both weapons and plasmids are upgradeable. While the weapons just require the player to find a special workstation, upgrades for plasmids and tonics (granting passive effects) are bought at special vending machines called “Gatherer’s Garden” with the rare substance called “Adam”. As in the first game, the Little Sisters roaming the levels are the key to getting access to Adam. But since the player himself is a Big Daddy, the process is a bit different this time around. While the player still needs to kill the accompanying Big Daddy to get access to the Little Sister, he can choose to adopt it afterwards instead of just harvesting it. The Little Sister will then sit on his shoulder and look for Adam-infused bodies in the level to harvest them.
Setting down a Little Sister to harvest a body will unleash hell as every splicer in the level will try to kill her, requiring the player to protect the little girl from harm until its finished collecting. Once a Little Sister has harvested two bodies, the player can again either harvest her himself, or free her. Either action grants him more or less Adam and at the same time may alert a Big Sister. As opposed to the Big Daddies, they are nimble, fast and very deadly.
Another important change is the new hacking-mini-game which is the same in all versions now and requires the player to hit the green or blue spaces on a gauge with a constantly spinning needle. If he doesn’t hit the right field, he either gets a electro-shock or will sound the alarm. A successful hack on the other will lower the prices at vending machines or turn turrets over to the player’s side. The new mini-game also allows the player to fight and walk around while hacking as well as hacking from a distance thanks to the arrows shot by the hacking-tool.
BioShock 2 features multiplayer for up to 10 players which was developed independently from the single player by a different developer and tells the story before the first game. By gaining ranks for kills and winning matches, the player unlocks access to additional radio messages advancing the story behind the civil war that raged in the city between the Splicers and Andrew Ryan’s security force. The available multiplayer-mode include Deathmatch, Team-Deathmatch, Capture and Hold, Capture the Sister and Adam Grab. The latter requires the players to collect and protect the sole Little Sister in the level in order to gain points. Capture the Sister on the other hand puts two teams against each other with one team trying to bring the Little Sister to a vent and the other trying to prevent that. Each mode also features the possibility of one player slipping into the role of a Big Daddy.
- 3D Engine: Unreal Engine 3
- BioShock series
- Gameplay feature: Multiple endings
- Gameplay feature: Photography
- Gameplay feature: Scuba diving / Snorkeling
- Games for Windows Live releases
- Games with 451
- Green Pepper releases
- Japanese PlayStation 3 games with full English support
- Middleware: Bink Video
- Physics Engine: Havok
- PlayStation 3 Platinum Range releases
- Setting: Aquatic / Underwater
- Software Pyramide releases
- Theme: Dieselpunk
- Xbox 360 Platinum Hits releases
Credits (Windows version)
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Average score: 85% (based on 93 ratings)
Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 105 ratings with 1 reviews)
So, here I am, having just finished BioShock 2 when people are still playing the third game in the series. I could have played this game as well, but I had other games that I wanted to play first. One of them was the original BioShock just to get its bad ending. After it was a success, it was inevitable that 2K produced a sequel that has a lot more involved.
You control a Big Daddy known as Subject Delta, at the time when Splicers still roam the underwater city of Rapture. This time, Dr. Sophia Lamb has filled the void left by Andrew Ryan after he was attacked with a golf club, and she plans to make the Splicers her worshippers. Her daughter, Eleanor, shares a special bond with Delta since she was a child, and Lamb is holding her against her will. In BioShock 2, Delta must make his way to Eleanor, while overcoming the traps that her mother has put in place for him.
BioShock 2 has the same underwater setting that the first game had; and the health, vending machines, and other things are the same. The gameplay has been slightly tweaked. There are new splicers to deal with, such as the Brute Splicer (who I likened to the Tank from Left 4 Dead 2) and several Big Daddy variations. Besides the Splicers, there are a couple of NPCs you have to deal with. The number of health kits that you can carry is halved, and hacking has become much easier. With the latter, you don't have to worry about with connecting pipes to the exit. You just need to stop a needle in a certain area. Miss this area, and those flying security things try to take you down.
With the Little Sisters, you still have to kill the Big Daddy in order to get to them, but there is a lot more involved. Unless you want to harvest her straight away, you can adopt them, and this means leading her to what she calls an “angel” and setting her down. You then have to protect her from Splicers while she gathers ADAM. After she gathers two lots of ADAM, you can then direct her to her vent and rescue or harvest her. The animations that plays when either action is performed remains the same as the first game. It is also nice that the Little Sisters in the game sob like a real human being, not let out those ghoulish cries. Also introduced in are the Big Sister who take quite a pounding to kill, just like the other, bigger enemies that you will face. They also look like cyborgs with their glowing red eyes and let out a mechanized yell.
At one stage I fought a Big Daddy while I still carried a Little Sister on my back, and managed to kill him. I couldn't pick up another Little Sister, so I left her standing there sobbing for ages. When I came back to get her, she still sobbed when she was on my back. Surely, this is a bug, but it must be a hilarious one. With the characters, we got to meet Little Sisters, Big Daddies, and Big Sisters. Will we see Little Daddies as well? I highly doubt it.
New plasmids have arrived, any those that were found in the original have also been tweaked. One such plasmid is called Hypnotize (formerly Enrage), which causes enemies to turn against each other, not just splicer. It's always entertaining to watch a Brute Spider trying to bring down a Big Daddy. One of the new ones is Scout which lets you search an area unnoticed and attack any splicers nearby while still being invisible.
Not only do you have a huge arsenal of weapons that look and function the same (unless you upgrade them), but you are also equipped with a drill at the start of the game, and have the ability to carry a weapon in one hand and a plasmid in the other. You are shown how to electrocute Splicers (with the Electro Bolt plasmid) while killing them with the drill. And that's the combination that I used throughout the majority of the game. I made sure that the electrocution lasts by going to a Gatherers' Garden and upgrading the plasmid there.
The graphics are great, having been up to the same standard as BioShock. I liked walking around underwater and ignoring the yellow arrow that directs me to my goal. The loading screen is brilliantly designed, and its main focus is the old-fashioned radio with pictures showing you the areas you can expect. There are tips on how to succeed in the game rather than quotes. Who knew that old-fashioned radios had more than one speaker?
The game still uses licensed songs from the Thirties right through to about the Sixties, and you'll hear them as you make your way through the game. Even the aforementioned loading screens allow you to listen to a piece. Each new area took me five minutes to load, I could have almost heard the entire song. But that's okay, as I could [Alt]-[Tab] out of the game and do something else, then come back into the game when the new areas were loaded. Having said that, I didn't want the screen to disappear. The sound effects are exactly the same as the first game pretty much.
There are a lot more endings than BioShock, and whatever ending you get to watch depends on the treatment of the Little Sisters and how you deal with the NPCs. For example, if you intend to save all the Little Sisters and spare the life of the NPCs, expect to get the best ending. This is the same one that I had. The closing scene has spectacular graphics that are reminiscent to BioShock Infinite. Because of these multiple endings, BioShock 2 deserves to be played more than once.
Apart from the long loading screens, I found nothing else to complain about.
The Bottom Line
So, is BioShock 2 an improvement over the original? Yes, it definitely is. Most of the gameplay has been slightly tweaked, but a majority of the Splicers remain the same. Your actions throughout the game also determine which of the several endings that you get to watch. Because of this, this sequel is replayable, because the player can change their ways. There are some multiplayer components and downloadable content that I neglected to mention here, but I will be discussing the latter in another review or two. Is it worth getting? Well, if you are a fan of the original, I just cannot see why you should not like this. It has “superb” written over it.
Windows · by Katakis | カタキス (43051) · 2014
1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die
BioShock 2 is mentioned in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by Tony Mott
The "Rumbler" Big Daddy that appears in this game is based on the "Slow Pro" Big Daddy that was cut from the first game.
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Sicarius.
Macintosh added by Sciere.
Game added April 19th, 2010. Last modified December 2nd, 2023.