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Xbox 360 Game Review

Bioshock 2


Format: Xbox 360
2K Games
RRP: £49.99
5 026555 248846
Age Restrictions: 18+
Available 09 February 2010

The halls of Rapture once again echo with sins of the past. Along the Atlantic coastline, a monster has been snatching little girls and bringing them back to the undersea city of Rapture. You are the very first Big Daddy as you travel through the decrepit and beautiful fallen city, chasing an unseen foe in search of answers and your own survival...

Set 10 years after the events that unfolded in Bioshock, Bioshock 2 pretty much delivers more of the same. If you bought and enjoyed the first Bioshock game, then you'll also enjoy this - mainly because it's almost identical. There's very little that's new here and to be honest the whole experience gets very monotonous very quickly.

There's also no grand opening or interesting introduction to the world of Rapture, as there was with the first game. In fact, I think it's fair to say that Bioshock 2 is a bit of a step backwards. It's still a good game, but as you already know what to expect, a lot of the mystery and wonder of exploring is absent from this game.

This time around you play as one of the city's Rosies (or Big Daddys). Your task is to dodge the residents and traps throughout the city, find any Little Sisters, kill their Big Daddy (at which point you can harvest the Little Sister for her ADAM, or adopt her). If you adopt her you then have to find corpses and let the Little Sister harvest them for ADAM. This takes a while and also attracts a lot of the nearby enemies. So, you have to protect the Little Sister from harm while she does her job. Once she's collected enough ADAM from enough bodies she leads you to an escape vent and you are again offered the chance to harvest her for more ADAM, or set her free (which gives you less ADAM). Again, these choices play a role in how your character progresses - as well as helping to determine which one of the game's different endings you reach. Each area of the city has it's own number of Little Sisters, and you should collect as much ADAM as possible in order to help you gain additional plasmids, tonics and weapons.

Plasmids (basically special powers) are slowly unlocked as you progress throughout the game. When you earn one one of these powers (like the ability to fire bolts of electricity, telekinesis or fire balls) they are fairly basic, but upgrades can be unlocked as you progress through the game.

Tonics allow you to change things like your speed or damage you can do to your enemies.

And finally, there are your standard weapons - which include a large drill, machine gun, shotgun, a rivet gun and a harpoon gun. These also can be upgrade and most have different types of ammo you can buy.

The scarcity of ammo is a bit of a sticking point and you'll find yourself running out of ammo pretty quickly on all but the easiest game setting. It can be very frustrating being in the middle of a fight knowing you have hardly any ammo left. Thankfully, as you don't actually die you just respawn, when you do engage the enemy again any damage you had previously done is taken into account.

Once again you have the ability to hack machines, weapons and safes. This time you have to press a button to stop a moving line on a green or blue section of a chart. If you stop the line on a red or white section you are electrocuted. But stop it on green or blue and you are either rewarded or progress to the next level which is harder (this all depends on what you are trying to hack)

As with the first game there is an unseen voice who has tapped into the city's communications in order to offer you help. And, as before, there are plenty of surprises and little changes in the game play. Your main goal in this game is to unlock clues as to what is going on and confront the city's new leader, Sofia Lamb and stop her from destroying the city.

As I mentioned earlier, this game feels like a reworked version of the first installment. However, if you enjoyed the first game, this does add plenty of additional information to your understanding of Rapture. I just can't help thinking that quite a few people are going to feel a little short changed.


Darren Rea

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