Looking Back on BioShock 2

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Welcome back to Rapture.  As a staff we decided to replay BioShock and now BioShock 2 in preparation for BioShock Infinite’s release later this month.  We haven’t been this excited about a game for a little while, I think the last one would have been Boarderlands 2 (a unanimous favorite here at Tie Attack).  Our article about BioShock was a real look at the game, this one will be a little different.

BioShock 2 ended up kind of getting a bad rap, not because it is a bad game, but mostly because almost all fans agree that it didn’t live up to the precedence set by the original.  I’ll get this out of the way right out of the gate, we love BioShock 2.  The game does have several differences from the first BioShock, some for the better, some for the worse.  We’re going to assume you’ve played BioShock and point out the differences that we liked.

big daddy

Daddy’s Home

The obvious difference in BioShock 2 is one that we all knew from the trailer, you play as a Big Daddy.  At first I was very excited to play as one of the hulking scuba gear dawning caretakers, but then realized that this is the main reason why BioShock 2 seems so polarizing.

In the first BioShock you play a man with little to no back story and discover the secrets of Rapture, an underwater dystopia.  The fact that you now have taken control of a Big Daddy means that the story of your character has changed, but the surrounding environment remained mostly the same, makes it an odd experience for those who have played through the original BioShock.  I think placing the story in an entirely different environment (as 2K has done for Infinite) would have made the game much stronger and more appealing to the series fans.

drill upgrades

Up Your Arsenal

An aspect of BioShock that we enjoyed, but found seemed a little insignificant, was the ability to upgrade weaponry.  In the first game you basically would run into upgrade stations, pick which gun you would like to upgrade, and the weapon would become more effective.  Simple, but not enough for us.

Bioshock 2 on the other hand allows your weapons to be upgraded several times.  The first 2 tiers of upgrade are to generally make the gun more efficient in combat, after that each gun can be given a special ability.  In reality, the upgrades still aren’t truly significant and don’t advance the story in any way, but it was nice to see a little focus placed on an aspect we loved.

duel wield

Duel Wield…Kinda

This was a change that made me jump for joy and pirouette on inside, you now get to use your plasmids and weapons side by side.  In the original BioShock you had a plasmid mode and a weapon mode.  Switching between the two modes, and then choosing a gun/plasmid, then the type of ammo was extremely difficult to do in tense combat situations.  BioShock 2 allows for you to use both simultaneously which, in my opinion, improved gameplay and combat by miles.

hacking

Hacking

I know this is so minor, but it was something that multiple staff members mentioned, the hacking of machines in the original BioShock is WAY better than the hacking in BioShock 2.  In case you don’t recall, in the BioShock universe you can hack several machines from auto gunner turrets, to security robots, to health stations.  In the first game hacking was done by playing a “pipe game” and trying to direct a moving line of liquid from the entrance point to the exit point.  In this second installment you simply time a pin’s movement and hit a button.

Sure hacking could get tedious, but making so mindless seemed like a bit of a copout.

Were you a fan of BioShock 2?  Why or why not?  Let us know in the comments!

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