Tuesday, January 11, 2011

BioShock 2 (X360)

I don't know what that is, but it sure looks angry.

After around four months since buying it from Gameplay.co.uk, I decided to begin BioShock 2 again last weekend. When I first started  out, it just didn’t compare to its predecessor. Everything felt hackneyed, tacked-on, needless. Then I encountered my first Big Sister, and I became intrigued.

BioShock 2 is a classic difficult second album. The first one was brilliant, widely praised and mostly only criticised for its poor use of weapon system which, while creatively mixing genetic abilities with traditional guns and ammo, also boiled down to allowing you to go storming through the game’s story armed with just a wrench.

The sequel introduces a new principal character, Dr Sofia Lamb, who feels as if she should have featured at least as a brief mention in the first game if we are to be led to believe that she is as important as she is portrayed in this sequel. Unfortunately, this is not the case, and so while the story is gripping and largely as enjoyable as the first, it does not feel like it really relates to the first.

In saying all this, do not get me wrong, Bioshock 2 is really good fun. It is, in my opinion, a lot more frightening and tense than the first game. This is especially thanks to the introduction of the Big Sisters: hyper-powered, crazy-fast, metal-clad girls that screech at you upon arrival and general always make for an exciting battle sequence. Where the Big Daddies are still around and still imposing with their brute force, they are no longer the most threatening enemy. Being old as it is, Bioshock 2 should be available for around the £8 mark now, and I would recommend it particularly if you really enjoyed the atmosphere and story of the first. The gameplay has not really changed, however, and so I would recommend those who have not played the first to probably just stick to that.

I have started following the Super Happy Fun Time Show podcast as of last week. It’s serving as an enjoyable, if more casual counterpoint to the Giant Bombcast, which I still maintain is the most enjoyable podcast I have encountered.

My final piece of news is that I purchased the first title from my Games of 2010 list, Mass Effect 2. It shipped out today, so I hope to be playing it by the end of the week. I had debated starting with the first game, but basically due to time constraints on my free time these days, I simply don’t feel as if I will be able to follow the full story of the first game. One thing, in closing, is that I am starting to notice more and more is that sequels just keep getting better and better.

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