Bioshock 2: Overview of impressions

 

It looks like the much anticipated Bioshock 2 is going in the right direction; back down into the depths of our nightmares

We at Phonica can’t wait for Bioshock 2. We adored the first outing, with its supreme balance of chills, spills, design and action, and from what we’ve seen so far, the second instalment looks just as good. Let’s run through what we know, and try and get some answers to what we don’t.

Well, the first change 2K have made to Bioshock 2 is the character you play. In the first game, you played a helpless wash-up on Rapture’s shore, who had to struggle and fight his way out (or so it seemed) of the tormented underwater city. But in the second game, the tables have tuned. In the original Bioshock, the most deadly and terrifying enemy you could encounter was the dreaded Big Daddy. To take down one of these twisted hunks of mutated insanity, you had to use all of your guile and wisdom. But in Bioshock 2, you don’t have to worry about this, as you are a Big Daddy!

As a Big Daddy, you’ll have to protect and obey one of those wired little girls from the first game; the Little Sisters. We are still unsure regarding how this relationship will work, but ideally we’re hoping for a bit of a mix. We don’t want to be ordered around like a dog for the games entirety, but we also hope we’re not going to have to act as transporters to a Ming vase-type character. We’ll have to wait and see though.

Plot and story wise, Bioshock 2 is going to return to Rapture, although time will have moved forward ten years. We’re not going to ruin both Bioshock and Bioshock 2 by telling you too much (I’ve ruined so many games for myself this way!) but we can tell you that the plot continues on from the first game, and involves a central character whom you’re heavily involved with. That’s all we’re saying though; you’ll spoil the surprise!

Although the majority of Bioshock 2 is set within the confines of Rapture, you do occasionally get to set foot outside. Thanks to the suit your Big Daddy character wears, you can now dive outside and explore the surrounding seabed. From the screens and videos we’ve forcefully harvested (or just seen on youtube) the underwater sections look stunning. The water is murky and dirty, the surrounding vegetation and coral is horrendously mutated, and the whole experience looks deeply unpleasant; can’t wait to play it!

Rapture itself still looks as remarkable as ever, and luckily, new areas are ripe for exploration. You still get to visit the sections from the first game, and follow the footsteps of your previous character, but the new sections look truly epic. They’re in the same style as Bioshock, with a mix of 50s nostalgia and haunting undercurrents, but overall they feel deeper in some way.

As you get to play as a Big Daddy in Bioshock 2, the measly human enemies of the first game will prove no match. As you drill and dismember another mad psycho, you may be concerned that Bioshock 2 is a bit easy, or at least too forgiving. Well thankfully (or not in some cases) 2K have created a far more powerful enemy for you to grapple with. As you play Bioshock 2, you’ll find the remnants of her (yes, her) victims, but it’s not until you finally see her that you’ll know you’re going to have your work cut out. Yep, be prepared to meet, Big Sister.

We don’t want to get too excited about Bioshock 2, as there’s nothing worse than playing a game that’s let down by your own preset expectations and opinions. But from what we’ve salvaged and pieced together from the wreckage that is the Web, we don’t think Bioshock 2 is going to be a let down. Fingers crossed anyway…

Scott Tierney

 

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