Senior Reviews Older Post Apocalyptic-Styled Game’s Sequel

Senior Reviews Older Post Apocalyptic-Styled Game’s Sequel
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What do you think when it comes to the year 1960s? The failed invasion of Cuba, dubbed the Bay of Pigs? Richard Nixon’s presidential campaign win? Maybe the assassination of John Kennedy? To me, the underwater Atlantic Ocean city of Rapture comes to mind, alongside all of its long-lost fame, fortune and prosperity. Fortunately, this city never has been in existence, but it certainly exists in the 2010 2k Marin video game, by the name of Bioshock 2. Despite the game being a little more than a decade more, it remains one of the most notable games of its day.

Bioshock 2 takes place in the fictional city Rapture, which was built under the Atlantic Ocean by Andrew Ryan. He ruled over the city with an iron fist, posing as a powerful dictator who was unaccountable for his actions. His lack of restriction and the city had led to its downfall at the hands of politics, human experiments, and genetic-altering drugs. In the first game, a man named Jack was involved in an airplane crash, leaving him stranded in Rapture. He would then have to not only save the family of his unseen aide but also take down the dictator himself. Through the power of physically destroyed drug addicts and giant, metal “Big Daddies,” the task was shown to not be an easy one.

In Bioshock 2, you instead play as the wrongfully judged enemy of the previous game, one of the first-ever successful Big Daddy models known as Subject Delta. Your objective is to save the little sister you have been bound to upon revival, who has been stolen by Rapture’s new leader by the name of Sofia Lamb. Right off the bat, the twist is that the player is controlling the colossal but misunderstood enemy of the first game, which was slightly experienced previously. The story may seem simple at first, but the context continuously rolls out the more you dive into Rapture. Just the story alone is already good enough to learn my liking.

As a player coming back from the previous game and its experiences, it was easy to tell that various aspects were different from what they had before. The weapon layout is the same, being the more you progress, you will eventually come across a new weapon. You instead find a rivet gun, a .5 caliber machine gun, a buck shotgun, a speargun, and a grenade launcher. It was neat to see that each weapon is the same and different at the same, while still having the alternate ammo system present. What made it even better is the fact that Big Daddy’s drill was a usable weapon, rather than a handheld melee weapon.

Other than the weapon differences, the most notable changed system is the hacking in my opinion. Originally, hacking would be an entire puzzle that would have to be solved for a successful hack. In two, all you have to do is hit a button when a needle is in a successful hack zone a couple of times. I do wish they kept the original puzzle system instead of something basic, but at the same time, it helps get through hacking much quicker. The presence of a bonus zone gives a helpful effect if it is also a neat inclusion as well.

Another returning system from Bioshock 1 is the research system. When you were to face an enemy, you could use a camera to take action shots, which would research the enemy and eventually unlock bonuses. In two, the system is upgraded to record your fights with enemies instead of taking pictures. You start recording, use multiple combat methods, which earn points that lead to powerful bonuses for weapons and plasmids. I enjoyed this system remake more than the others, as it was easier to research overall while continuing to attack in the process.

Speaking of plasmids, the combat system in the game remains relatively unchanged but still has the shine that Bioshock has when it comes to combat. Like one, you have a melee weapon and ranged weapons, along with more powerful and useful alternate ammo. Besides physical weapons, you also have plasmids at your side, which unleash certain otherworldly powers from one’s hand. In my opinion, electro bolt and insect swarm remain the best to use. The gene tonics have also been made simpler, with there no longer being multiple categories. When you find a tonic, you simply equip it under one gene tonic menu, unlike number one. ADAM is significantly easier to find as well. At multiple points of the game, you have to find Little Sisters with the choice of gathering ADAM. When you do at a certain point, waves of enemies will come while the sister extracts, which the player has to fend off until she is done. Whatever ADAM she gathers, you get a big cut of it.

I will also say that the endings of the game make more sense, with even the bad endings making better sense than Bioshock 1’s did. Overall, Bioshock 2 is a great game for people who like post-apocalyptic environments and shooters, alongside some seemingly supernatural aspects. The game takes around ten hours to complete, while never ceasing the excitement, suspense, and mystery surrounding it all. It is easy to say that number two is my favorite among the three in the series. The easiest way to play the game is to purchase Bioshock: The Collection, which includes the remastered versions of all three games. It is available for purchase on PC and most consoles.

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