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PS3 Review – Bioshock 2

February 15, 2010 Written by Cameron Teague

Though it was late to the PS3 party, the original Bioshock was one of the best games released for the PS3–or any console for that matter.  With an impressive setting, a well-told story, and fun action, Bioshock set the bar high for an eventual sequel.  Now we have that follow up with Bioshock 2.  Does it continue to raise the bar set by the original?

Bioshock 2 drops players back into Rapture 8 years after the events of the first game and puts them into the role of ‘Subject Delta,’ a Big Daddy and one of the early models of its kind. Players find that they are searching for their daughter, who is being held captive at the hands of Rapture’s new leader, Sofia Lamb. It’s back into the world of Rapture, full of various splicers, new models of Big Daddies, and a new entry to the family, the Big Sister. You are given some clues as to what has happened since the first game, but if you are looking for a lot of details, you will be disappointed.  Also, if you are looking for the same kind of plot twists that made the first game great, you will be left wanting, as this game shows you the enemy at the beginning, and it’s just a matter of getting to her.

If you have played the original Bioshock, then you should be right at home in the 2nd one, because the gameplay has not really changed much between the two. However, this time you assume the role of a Big Daddy, one of the fearsome foes you tangled with in the first game. Let me tell you, there is almost nothing that beats putting on that Daddy suit and mangling people with your drill. In the game you are given a weapon in your right hand, while your left hand is used for a plasmids. Plasmids in the game grant you powers like Fire or, my personal favorite, Insect Swarm, which, as its name suggests, sends a swarm of insects towards your enemies. You can easily swap between different plasmids and guns with the touch of L1 or R1. You can carry 8 plasmids at one time and collect 8 different weapons during the course of the game. Each gun contains many different uses depending on the ammunition that you load into it and each gun can be upgraded 3 times at upgrade stations throughout the game.

Just like the first Bioshock, you will find vending machines in Rapture that will sell you health, eve, and ammunition. If you choose, you can simply buy for the regular price, or you can hack the machine to get a lower price. Hacking in the game has been simplified, and it is much easier to get into vending machines, safes, turrets and security bots. When you choose to hack something, you are given a bar with a pointer moving back and forth. You simply click X once the pointer is over a green area and continue until the machine is hacked. Or if you prefer, you can always pay to hack it, but with the simplicity of the hacking system and the tonics you get later on, there is really no point.

Speaking about Tonics, during the game you will be able to use ADAM that you have collected to purchase new tonics. These tonics grant you bonuses to your hacking, researching skills, and other boosts. You start with just a few open slots but over time you can unlock 18 tonic slots to customize your Daddy the way you want. You can also film your enemies to learn more about their movements and gain combat bonuses against them.  Gain more research points by filming the enemy and then proceeding to destroy it in their world.

The gameplay is not exactly the same from the first game as you have new tools at your disposal this time. For starters you now have the ability to hack cameras, turrets and doors from a distance. This is very useful as you don’t have to run up and get wailed on while trying to hack, which is exactly what I found myself doing through most of the first game. You also gain the ability to adopt a little sister and carry her around with you. Little Sisters in the game are of course little girls who are protected by the Big Daddies and go around collecting ADAM, which is a drug that has driven the residents of Rapture insane. Now you can be the one to let the Sister harvest some ADAM while you stand guard but beware, once she starts you will have half of Rapture coming down on you so be prepared. Once collected ADAM is used to purchase new Plasmids, Tonics, health and eve.

Now after you have used the Little Sister to harvest from two bodies you now must head to a vent and decide just what to do with her. You can either save the girl and release her or you can harvest the girl. The benefits here being that if you harvest her you get more ADAM but if you save a few little sisters, they will reward you with gifts that are very good. So either way it just all falls down to preference here, which for me was to save them (my fiance made me promise not to kill any).

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