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February 9, 2010



- Ability to dual-wield Plasmids and weapons is a big asset in tougher fights
- While multiplayer won’t pull anyone away from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 for long, it is a welcome addition and entertaining with its refreshing offerings, including the chance to don the Big Daddy suit and kick online ass



- None of the supposedly difficult fights, especially against the Big Sisters, are difficult
- Story is a bit convoluted and confusing at times, but listening to diary recordings left all over Rapture at least helps to explain what’s going on
- Trying to protect the Little Sisters collecting ADAM is so difficult, most gamers with just fall back on the easy option of harvesting the ADAM by simply killing the Little Sister



Review: BioShock (360)

Review: Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (360)

Review: Mercenaries 2: World in Flames (360)



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Bioshock 2

Score: 9.0 / 10


bioshock 2          bioshock 2


Rapture was the utopian dream of Andrew Ryan that became a dystopian nightmare. Set in a somewhat-alternate version of history, he envisioned an underwater city designed as a hidden-away escape; where a collective of “enlightened” people could create a new society. Here, intellectual and artistic freedom would flourish without the constraints of increasingly hostile societal, religious and political demands and stresses of a post-World War II world. Alas, Ryan’s Rapture quickly fell prey to the same cancers of the world above the sea that obscured it under the waves, quickly descending into the same pit of human




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darkness and corruption gamers saw firsthand in BioShock.


In BioShock 2, gamers return to the crumbling façade of Rapture.


While the story might not be as good as its predecessor, visually and atmospherically, BioShock 2 is exceptionally creepy-scary beautiful. Gamers will see with their own eyes the decrepit, dark and dangerous realm of


Rapture, a once-beautiful undersea oasis of intellect, that’s now a bastion of damp decay. Gamers will visit plenty of frightening and dimly slit locales throughout Rapture, and even take a few short excursions in their Big Daddy suit across the ocean floor surrounding the undersea city. Danger lurks everywhere, from the Splicers that come at you in droves, to the multiple Big Daddies that need to be defeated to “kidnap” their Little Sisters, to the acrobatic and quick sonic-screaming banshee-esque Big Sisters that try and rescue those Little Sisters you’ve taken or avenge those that you’ve killed.


Early on, until gamers build up their health meter, fights against almost any opponent are difficult. However, once the health meter has been boosted, fights are pretty tame, even against the supposedly tough-to-beat Big Sisters.


Big Daddy fights are usually the most difficult, although they can essentially be avoided. Unless gamers attack a Big Daddy, they will ignore you. But in order to get the ADAM that gamers need to support the RPG-style upgrades, they need to “recruit” already-attached Little Sisters away from their current Big Daddy. The only way to do that is to take down the Big Daddy itself. And, once they’ve defeated the Big Daddy, if gamers take the easiest path to extract the needed ADAM (by killing the Little Sisters and securing the ADAM they have already collected), Big Sisters come running to enact their revenge.


That’s opposed to the ADAM path that the game really wants you take: assume control over the Little Sister, find a Splicer body that has ADAM, and protect her from a Splicer onslaught while she harvests the ADAM. This gives you more ADAM than simply killing the Little Sister and taking her ADAM, but the first time I tried it (in the one instance where it was required), it literally took over 100 tries before my Little Sister and Big Daddy survived. And only because the game gave me a huge break, because I was killed for the 101st time just as the Little Sister finished collecting the ADAM. Upon respawning in the Vita-Chamber that serves as the in-game save system, though, I was given credit for the ADAM harvest and allowed to finally continue the adventure. From that point out, every Little Sister was immediately killed for her ADAM. No way was I going through that totally frustrating ADAM protection act again.


bioshock 2          bioshock 2


Despite that Little Sister harvesting debacle, none of the game’s adversaries are too hard to defeat in the latter stages of the game, when BioShock 2 becomes more of a sleuthing adventure than a first-person firefight.


But BioShock 2 is very good at giving gamers a solid adventure game that requires interacting a lot with environmental elements such as security cameras and turrets and the many vending machines that upgrade weaponry and Subject Delta’s many abilities.


Those abilities give gamers a right-handed large weapon such as the Big Daddy drill or guns but also a powerful Plasmid attack (ice and fire the two most impressive) in the left hand. Even better, gamers can now dual-wield the Plasmid and weapon attack on enemies, making it that much easier to traverse Rapture.


BioShock 2’s single-player adventure is very good on its own, but unlike the original BioShock, there is a multiplayer mode in BioShock 2, and it is also very good. While it certainly won’t pull anyone away from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2’s exceptional online gameplay for long, it is a welcome addition and entertaining with its refreshing offerings, including the chance to don the Big Daddy suit and kick online ass.


BioShock 2 is a stellar first-person shooter adventure with plenty of boogey men scares and thrills around every black corner. BioShock 2’s message is a strong one – that no matter where mankind seeks to create an enlightened utopia, sooner or later, the human race is doomed to dive to the deepest depths of its collective dark dystopian soul.


‑ Lee Cieniawa


(March 27, 2010)


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