Customer Review

44 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Slightly Lesser Flavour, 18 Feb. 2010
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Bioshock 2 (PC DVD) (CD-ROM)
OK this is a review based on the game and not the DRM issues, Steam or the limited activitions. I disagree with all these things (except Steam which I personally find to be a superb service on the whole) and my thoughts regarding games publishers deciding how many times we can install and enjoy their games would'nt fit on the entire Amazon site. Just be aware that I am strictly against the idea. Anyway, having purchased and (agonisingly) download the game from Steam I am in a position to give an opinion based upon the actual game and not the issues surrounding it. So here goes.

The game is set 10 years after the ending of it's predesessor. After the downfall of Andrew Ryan and Fontaine, Psychologist Dr. Sofia Lamb has taken control of the under water city of Rapture. After wrestling control of her biological daughter Eleanor from the grasp of Big Daddy 'Delta' (who you will play as) she sets about controlling all the little sister's throughout Rapture. (sorry to anyone not following, go back and play Bioshock to understand my ramblings). At the start of the game Eleanor Lamb is now all grown up and wishes to be reaquainted with her Big Daddy and also stop her insane mother from destroying her beloved utopia. From this point onwards the events of Bioshock 2 take place and I would hate to ruin anyone's enjoyment by revealing parts of the plot, just know that although the story is not as strong as the original, it has enough twists & turns to entertain throughout the 8 or 9 hour playing time. However, my first complaint is of the prime antagonist (Dr Lamb), she is just not that prominant and her desires seem tame in comparison to Andrew Ryan's breath-taking plans. The use of radio-relayed messages to tell the story and give a little insight/backstory is still an inspired move but does also seem a little dated now after both the original Bioshock and the fantastic Batman: Arkyum Asylum implemented the idea so well. But all-in-all the plot and script is still of a high calibre and most should find it enjoyable.

One area in which the game has received a bit of a face-lift are the physics of combat. The game feels much more fluid than the original with the use of the right mouse button to execute plasmids (magic powers for the un-iniciated) and the left button for the use of various guns. The whole experience just feels better and gives you an unending amount of ways in which to dispatch your foes. One complaint which could be levelled at it is the fact that their are very few new plasmids to play around with and the ones which are new only become available towards the end of the main story. This is a problem I would also label at the rest of the game, it all feels like we've been here before with the developers seemingly taking the minimal amount of risk. The layout of the HUD (Heads Up Display) is exactly the same as the original, the game uses the same Unreal engine so it looks and plays the same as the original and the art design of the levels is exactly the same.

One risk the developers did take was to implement a new hacking method in which you have to stop a moving arrow within a certain area. The fact that you have to do said task whilst fighting off splicers (the zombie-like mutants) makes for a much more frantic experience than the first games 'PipeMania' inspired minigame. General fights are now also a much more chaotic and exhilerating experience, with splicers taking cover behind any object and trojectiles seemingly ricocheting off of all surfaces. Big Daddy battles are also a much more tactical excersise. You can now employ the use of mini-turrets and hacked security terminals to fight alongside you.

This sequel also introduces the Big Sister. These are basically various Little Sisters who have grown and taken their fashion sense from the diving suit prima-donna's The Big Daddy. Their goal is to release all the little sister's from their supposed incaptivity by the ambling Big Daddy. The arrival of any Big Sister fight is met with a banshee-like squeal which warns you of your impending doom, for Big Sister battles are the most challenging aspect of the entire game and the finish of any will be met with ahuge amounts of relief and a great sense of satisfaction.

Another disadvantage this game suffers from is the lack of memorable locations. The first game had many places which will live long in the memory like Fontaine Fisheries or Olympus Heights (who could forget Sander Cohen?). At the end of this game I struggled to differenciate one area from another, instead it all felt like one long level which by default makes the game feel longer and more laboured than it's predesessor. This is a shame as the idea of Rapture and it's epic innards are what most draws me towards this series of game.

The multiplayer aspect of the game feels a little stilted and tacked-on for me. I don't beleive the game needed the added dimension that multiplayer brings and there are much better online shooters already on the market. The three modes of play are entitled Survival Of The Fittest (which is basically solo deathmatch), Civil War (team deathmatch) and Turf War (Capture and Hold). All are rudimentry and do their job well enough but I don't think I'll be giving up my time on Left 4 Dead, Team Fortress or Call Of Duty any time soon.

So in summary, I'd argue that the basics of this game in some ways surpass the original with much better fighting physics and the introduction of the dreaded Big Sister, but in so many ways it is the inferior sibling with the weaker storyline, dissapointing locations and poor antagonist being the main culprits. This feels like a proper sequel and not a rushed release and most people who enjoyed the original will find much to admire here as well.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 27 Jul 2011 16:33:05 BDT
Mr. T. White says:
Games for windows live is part of the game and is as appalling as people say it is. It constantly crashed for me too just as it does for so many others. Eventually after seven attempts I was able to play the game in single player. Please, game developers, USE STEAM - STEAM WORKS EXTREMELY WELL AT PROTECTING YOUR GAMES AND STEAM IS FAR MORE INTRUSIVE AND FAR BETTER LIKED THAN GFWL!!!

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Sep 2011 17:13:28 BDT
To be fair, I think Joseph Stalin is probably better liked than GFWL.

Posted on 17 Aug 2012 16:45:47 BDT
Seafireliv says:
Steam is far more intrusive? Why would I want a utility that`s far more intrusive? No thanks. I hate Steam because it thinks it Big Brother.

At least Windows let`s you play an Offline game Offline!

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Aug 2012 23:48:30 BDT
Mr. T. White says:
@seafireliv, you might be surprised to know that, once installation is finished, steam allows anyone to play offline as often as any steam user likes. The only time they need go online is if they care to receive updates on anything they want to play.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Aug 2012 13:55:46 BDT
Last edited by the author on 18 Aug 2012 13:56:45 BDT
Seafireliv says:
Well I do have a Steam game and i`ve sometimes been forced back online for reasons I don`t understand. One day, all of a sudden, it`ll say `Steam can`t find an Online connection` and i`m thinking `Why? I only play Offline anyway`, then it refuses to let me play until i go back Online. i once was refused to play the game I PAID for a whole week because of this and I had no net connection. Why should I go through that?

So, sorry, you are mistaken. Once you`re on Steam, IT decides when you can and can`t play your game and won`t let you play just because it don`t want you too. Not happy with that.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Aug 2012 17:30:19 BDT
Last edited by the author on 22 Aug 2012 17:31:51 BDT
Mr. T. White says:
"Forced back online" means that you are probably running games that have *not* been updated or patched to the latest versions. I have never been "forced" online or disallowed from playing in any way, any of my admittedly up to date games, by Steam. I don't believe that I have been given some kind of special exemption either. That is, the Steam games I use may be played offline as many times as I like. I don't know your computing skill level, so forgive me if you find what follows a little simplistic, but I'm only trying to help you see that Steam will work effortlessly well offline, provided you take the right steps. And maybe then you'll feel more neutral about Steam. So, having said that, here's how it works for me: I open Steam by double clicking its icon in the system tray. In the top left hand corner of the Steam application I left click the menu option where it says 'Steam' (i.e., you should see in the top of the app when running fullscreen or Windowed - 'Steam', 'View', 'Friends', 'Games', 'Help'). Then, in the menu list that appears, I left click "Go Offline" which is the second option you should see. You should then see a window box warning which tells you exactly the limitations of going offline, which is as follows: "Offline mode is used when you are about to unplug your, laptop or are otherwise expecting to be not connected to the internet. Many features such as friends, the server browser, will not be available while offline. Only games which are fully up to date will be available". I then click on "Restart in Offline mode" and can play offline for as long as I could possibly want. I'm left believing that the trouble you are possibly having is that you are trying to play games offline which have not (or never have?) been updated. In which case, if you update them, I would bet on it that, all other things being equal, you'd be able to play offline for many hours or even days and days afterwards. But maybe you dislike allowing Steam to patch the games you have, in which case, I wouldn't be surprised if you find that it doesn't work as you believed it should. Hope that helps you.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Apr 2013 20:37:02 BDT
Last edited by the author on 1 Apr 2013 20:37:50 BDT
D Hillerby says:
There are well known and well documented issues regarding Steam and its "offline" mode stopping working for no apparent reason. Its happened to me before even when games have been fully up to date. I have tried numerous solutions which have all failed. You'll then find a couple of days later for no apparent reason it will let you play your games off line again! It's very strange but there you go, I'm quite prepared to live with it as personally I like Steam, there better then some of the alternative DRM solutions.
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