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A Video Game Rant: Bioshock 2

Posted by travizzt on February 12, 2010

Bioshock 2. Is it a step in the right direction? Is it plain fun?

Now before I begin, I’m not reviewing the game. I’m not a game reviewer. This is more of a response to a review of the game in Game Informer‘s 203 issue. In it they gave the game a 8.25 score, which really bugged me. Yes, it’s not a bad score by any means, but just the things mentioned in the review really got under my skin, so I need to rant about it.

Before I go on my rant, let me say this. It’s a great game. It was fun and after I beat it I really did feel satisfied. Yes, there are some flaws (and I’ll get into those later) that I found, but if I were to rate the game on a 1-10 scale, it’ll have to be a 9. But, like I said, I’m not reviewing the game. I’m just stating my opinions of the game.

Bioshock 2 isn’t necessary a carbon copy, like some say, of the original Bioshock. It is its own game and has its own merits. Rapture, the underwater city in which the game takes place, does look the same. Why wouldn’t it? It does seem a little more rundown in some areas and others not so much. It still has the creepy, dystopian atmosphere with disturbing imagery along with beautiful seascapes. The feel of the game is just the same as Bioshock, and why wouldn’t it be that way? Why change something that was perfect from the beginning? There is no need and good thing that it wasn’t changed.

Now, some say that it feels exactly the same in every way as the first one. This is what I find wrong. It does share similarities, which it really should. But for the most part, the game in itself is different.

For one thing, you’re a Big Daddy in this game, one of the firsts. At times it doesn’t feel like you are, you aren’t overly powerful as the others but in reality, wouldn’t the first be weaker? You’re more like a prototype model than an in-production Big Daddy.

The Big Daddy you are in Bioshock 2 does look a little weaker.

The Big Daddy from Bioshock 1 looks much tougher.

Secondly, game play is vastly different. The combat is better and smoother. Using plasmids is much easier, which is something that I didn’t really like in the first game.

Duo wielding makes the combat much smoother and easier.

Thirdly, gathering Adam is an exciting twist. When you ‘adopt’ a Little Sister, you can gather Adam out of certain corpses around the stage. This is where you need some strategy. As soon as the Little Sister starts her gathering, it becomes an all out Splicer rush to steal her. You need to plan traps ahead of time to protect, and even then you need to be smart about it. Not all the traps you set are going to stop the mad rush. It’s just an exciting, heart racing event.

Fourthly, the Little Sisters themselves. In the first Bioshock, they were creepy little girls that just gave you Adam for upgrading your plasmids. Now I felt more attached to them than before. With what they say after you shock or burn a Splicer is really funny and cute, in a twisted way. I just felt more connected to their welfare than the first.

Finally, the Splicers. Now for the most part, they are the same as the first game. You have the Thug, Leadhead, Spider, and Houdini as in the first game. But now you have a Brute Splicer, which is pretty much a Big Daddy but a Splicer instead. They bring a new element to the game.

All in all, this game is different, but in a similar way.

However, there were somethings I didn’t really care for.
First, the underwater scenes. They were just underplayed. Yes they were beautiful to look at, but just not that exciting.

Pretty to look at, but nothing to do.

Second, linear game play. Everything is more go here, leave, next place, leave, etc. You can’t go back to previous areas. It doesn’t really hurt the story too much, but it is a downer.

Thirdly, the multiplayer. I’ve only played two games but I didn’t really care for it too much. Sure it was interesting but it didn’t flow and feel right. Like something was missing…

Finally, the Big Sisters. They were just underused. When I first heard about them, it appeared like there was only going to be one of them, and she can terrorize you at anytime. Which makes the story a lot more creepy. Your first meeting with her is really frightening. She’s overpowered and deadly. But then you learn that there are more than one and it just so happens that they appear after every time you free a little sister. I just didn’t like how they were used, but I loved the idea behind them.

Concept art for the Big Sister. I love the other variations.

Final Artwork for the Big Sister and it still looks creepy.

Honestly, even with the flaws, it’s still a marvelous game. It’s exciting and really kept the atmosphere of the first game. So why would you rate it so low? I don’t know. Maybe they were expecting a totally different game, with loads of new things that would make Bioshock 2 feel like another different game. Even with the lackluster multiplayer, it shouldn’t deserve anything lower than a 8.5. It’s a great sequel to a wonderful original. What more would you want?

**Note: I don’t own any of the above images. They were found in Google Images.**

3 Responses to “A Video Game Rant: Bioshock 2”

  1. fassefnia said


    I was searching to bioshock images and a stumbled onto your blog. I just started playing Bioshock. I know it’s been since it’s release however, I hadn’t played games in a while. Anyways, I like the game. There are some improvements that can made that I’m sure was made in the second version. One is that it looks like the plasmids can be simultaneously be used with your weapon. In the first one this is a nuisance. I do envy the power big brother has. I hope I’ll achieve more strength through-out the game. I know at the least these are two the areas that have been improved. Will I buy the second one? I highly doubt it. Once I finish this game I’ll be onto something new, modern warfare 2 looks pretty good.

  2. julia said

    i just have to agree with everything :)

    since i love the game, (im like obsessed with it, i completed the entire Bioshock 2 in days) i just gotta leave a reply.
    i think your ”article” was well written. it was short, but thats not bad.
    when reading this, after completing the game, i started thinking about everything that you mentioned in your ”article”. and so i got the feeling that i wanted to complete the game again. but this time, go in to every room, explore everything and also rescue/harvest all the little sisters. i think that everyone that likes shooters and scary, exciting areas/enemies, would definetely like to play this game after reading your article, since i wanted to complete the game again after reading it.
    the game absolutely gets a nine from me :)

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