GOONL!NE Advent Calendar for 2010: #2 – BioShock 2

By James Love.

Let’s get straight to the point here. BioShock rocked, hard. It was one of the stand-out titles from 2007 (and 2008 on PS3) and it’s story-driven gameplay has left a mark on minds of gamers ever since.

In 2 months time (yes, only 2 short months to go now!) 2K Games will be inviting us all back to Rapture, but the big question is, will it charm us all over again second time round?

If you never played the first game, you’re an absolute fool! Go buy it now. Right now. For those of you who have already played it, a little refresh in the story last time round will do us no harm at all, and for those of you reading on who haven’t played it, it’s hidden in a nice spoiler-friendly font for you.

In the first game you played as Jack, who crash landed near a lighthouse in the middle of the ocean after his plane journey took an unfortunate turn for the worst. As he enters the lighthouse, he stumbles upon the formerly magnificent city of Rapture, designed by Andrew Ryan, as a haven for artists, scientists and other brilliant minds, but it was torn apart by greed and corruption, and the battle between Ryan and local Rapture gangster, Frank Fontaine, for ADAM, which has the power to re-write genetic code to give you superhuman powers. Everything in moderation we’re always told, unfortunately some residents didn’t listen and became slightly addicted to the stuff. You’ll find these fellas all through Rapture, they’re the Splicers.

Jack is guided throughout the game by an Irish guy called Atlas but dun dun dunnnnn… he turns out to be Fontaine, manipulating you for his own means! The phrase “Would you kindly…” is often repeated through the game, and Fontaine has it programmed into you do his bidding when he utters it, as he proves when he makes you kill Ryan. Jack manages to fight this though, and in the end, kills Fontaine.

There we go, back to BioShock 2 now. Remember the mess Rapture was in last time we left? Well, it’s worse now. Much worse. The Splicers are as prevalent as ever, but there is a new boy to contend with this time, the Brute, who charges at you, and if he hits you, it’s literally like train, you’ll be in bad shape. He’s the least of your worries though, the Big Sisters, the main new addition to BioShock 2, are the ladies you have to watch out for. Led by Andrew Ryan’s political nemesis Sophia Lamb, she has total dominion over them, her motives though in the battle against the Big Daddies are so far unclear, but as we get closer to launch, hopefully 2K will give us more of an insight into her persona.

This time around you’re not Jack, some average Joe enriched by plasmids. You are Delta, the original Big Daddy. Your purpose is simple, to find your Little Sister and protect her from Lamb and her goons.

BioShock 2 features new weapons and powers to combat the numerous enemies in Rapture, the Drill being one that is particularly interesting. Fuel hungry but very powerful, upgrading this bad boy to max will decimate opponents with relative ease, and it also doubles up as a shield too. Nice. The Dart Gun is another new addition, and although it may sound a tad weedy, it is reminiscent of the Bolt Gun from Killzone 2, and it has the ability to pin enemies to walls.

The biggest fear I have with BioShock 2 though is the addition of multiplayer. BioShock was such a pure experience, the quality and time devoted to it were obvious but could this ruin the new game? Well, I’m really hoping not, as I had similar reservations for Uncharted 2 but I’m glad to say I was proved very, very wrong there.

New twists are put on existing game modes. For instance, Capture the Flag could do with a new lease of life, and BioShock 2 has given it one. Now instead of a flag, you save a Lil’ Sis. As with CtF, there are two teams, one charged with protecting her and the other with getting their hands on her.

Regular death and team deathmatches are spiced up Metal Gear Online-style. In MGO, one player could randomly be selected to be Snake, in BioShock 2, one person can be the Big Daddy.

BioShock 2 will hopefully be the sequel the original game deserves, new antagonists to get to know and hate, new elements to the gameplay and a nostalgic return to a former location that’s been ravaged by time and the sea. The only question remains, will the story be as amazing as last time? I guess only time will tell, we’ve got until February 9th to find out.

One Response to “GOONL!NE Advent Calendar for 2010: #2 – BioShock 2”

  1. Katlin Says:

    I’m buying this for PC as soon as I can! I’ve been playing the version I got at but I want to get it legally.