After completing my second tour of Rapture I found myself wondering how we would return a third time. To say the first Bioshock was anything less than amazing is just plain wrong. 2K Marin had a large task in creating a sequel that would be as memorable as the first Bioshock. As you start the new game and start to get a familiar feeling of Rapture it becomes as though you never left. This is a success in my opinion.
The visuals in Bioshock 2 improve upon the first but not nearly as much as would be expected. The water is particularly good in the newer version. Dark shadows help create the creepy utopia-gone-wrong vibe that is emanating in the first game.
A lot of Bioshock’s success came from the story that pulled you in and refused to let go. Bioshock 2 is no different, from the prologue until the end you are treated with audio diaries giving you insight to the minds of the splicers and the main antagonist. There is no major plot twist like in the first game but that is acceptable. Several games that have plot twists try and repeat the process in the sequel and instead of being earth-shattering it is expected and stale.
A new feature in Bioshock 2 is multiplayer. I wasn’t expecting much to be honest and I am glad that I wasn’t. I find the multiplayer to be disappointing. 2K implemented a ranking and leveling system similar to Modern Warfare 2. This is where the similarities end. The servers tend to be laggy, there are few people playing the less popular modes and little incentive to get to the highest level. 2K also included a DLC that was already on the disc that you had to pay to unlock. After purchasing the game for $59.99 not many people wanted to drop $10.00 more to unlock ten more levels on day one. Overall multiplayer is a nice feature but I still don’t understand why it was necessary in this game. Bioshock is a story driven excellent first person shooter and I feel more time could have been spent on the single-player side.
Bioshock 2 is a game that has a lot of hype to live up to. Building on the success of the first game looked to be a daunting task and I feel 2K did a great job.