Somewhere…beyond the sea.
Gamerscore = 100 Acquired 17/7/2010
At first I was not going to buy BioShock 2. In fact I went as far as creating a huge post at Bitmob regarding my waning interest is what I thought at the time was a sequel that should likely have never existed. To me, the original BioShock told the story of Rapture and wrapped it up to my satisfaction. After completing BioShock I have come to this conclusion, I was partially right.
As I mentioned earlier I was set not to buy this game. But as its release approached I got caught up in the hype. In fact I became so en-Raptured (see what I did there) that I even purchased the elaborate Limited Edition which retailed for a cool $110. So not only was I in, I was in deep.
When I purchased the game back in February I decided to to head into possibly BioShock 2’s most contentious mode, its multiplayer offering. I was one of those people that felt that BioShock did not need a multiplayer component, but to my surprise it was actually quite novel and a change from my heavy Modern Warfare 2 playing I was engaged with at the time. I spent several hours levelling, gaining unlocks and powers, achieving half of the multiplayer levels when the good folks decided to offer downloadable content for its multiplayer. I had no interest in putting more money in to this game then I already had, so I stopped playing the multiplayer right then and there. I will commend the team(s) for surprising me with an excellent multiplayer component. Wrapping the multiplayer portion of the game I put BioShock 2 to rest, favouring other releases that were available at that time, and for some time after.
When I was on vacation back in June I decided it was time to tackle some of my backlog of games. I decided that BioShock 2 should top my list, so I set about playing the campaign. As to not to go too much in detail I will say this. BioShock 2, in my opinion, improves upon the game mechanics introduced in its predecessor. Because you are playing as a Big Daddy it opens up more combat possibilities. The Drill, splicing, and weaponry are all improved and the addition of traps and protecting Little Sisters as they harvest Adam create these great encounters which seem to bring all the residents of Rapture upon you at once. Add that to all the loot collecting and you have what I felt was a really engaging experience.
What spoiled that experience somewhat for me was the story. While the story is good, it suffered for me by playing BioShock first. Rapture and its populace seem to have continued without skipping a beat even though 10 years had passed from what seemed to be the end of Rapture. That and the introduction of Sofia Lamb as well as other minor characters gave the game a feeling to me that this game was taking place in an alternate reality, it felt to me that the developers of this game ‘retcond’ (retroactive continuity) the lore of BioShock. That is a dangerous move considering how beloved the original is in the gaming community.
In spite of the looming cloud of BioShock, BioShock 2 is a great game that improves on the original in practically every way…except for the story. I wish they could have meshed the continuity of these two games together better. Instead as I was playing this great BioShock game I was always left with this disconnect in the back of my mind that this future history was not right, and that ultimately taints what would have been a watershed (no pun intended) follow-up to what is widely considered one of the greatest games of this generation.