Excerpt: I’ll admit it: it was with some resemption that I went down in the underwater world of Rapture for a second time. Although I was never completely convinced by the gunplay in the original game, its unique setting and atmosphere were not easy to forget.
Summary: The sequel, be it book, movie, game or even album, fans always want the chance to recapture the magic of discovery a second time. In the gaming world often a sequel means some cosmetic changes and a few innovations and that’s good for most.
Summary: Memorable stories in first-person shooters are increasingly uncommon. That's one of the many reasons the BioShock franchise shines so brightly--and the biggest motivation for playing Minerva's Den, an emotionally touching downloadable add-on for BioShock 2 .
Pros: Intriguing story that comes to a surprising and poignant end, Atmospheric visuals and sound effects really draw you in, Fun combat is further energized by new weapons, plasmids, and enemies, Great level design makes battles tense but never frustrating
Cons: Narrative structure is just like previous BioShock stories, A few of BioShock 2's irritations continue to linger
Conclusion: BioShock 2 sets out to make a name for itself, and overall it does. It improves on the original's gameplay while telling two different stories across modes. The experience isn't as powerful at the end, but the Little Sister bond makes up for that.
Excerpt: When I played the original Bioshock back in 1997, it hit me personally. Not just because it was the game I played when I suffered my first Red Ring of Death, but it brought back memories of another great series I used to play on the PC, System Shock.
Conclusion: I'm impressed that a game company identified a working formula and went with it. Bioshock 2 works because Bioshock worked. It's nice to see 2K Games got the story right, as it works well with the ending of the first Bioshock.
Conclusion: BioShock 2 is an enjoyable experience in its own right regardless of the few niggles which hold it back from being a true masterpiece. The game is unmistakeably more focused on combat than its predecessor, whose shadow it fails to step away from due to lack of atmosphere courtesy of a removed sense...
Excerpt: Many people had mixed feelings when 2K Games announced that they would be making a sequel to BioShock . I was among them. I worried just how a game with such an original concept, a surprisingly beautiful, yet creepy atmosphere, and no intentions for a continued story could be followed up.
Summary: Rapture, Andrew Ryan's failed utopia under the sea, remains one of gaming's most compelling worlds to inhabit, and BioShock 2 does a great job of drawing you in and making you feel right at home.
Pros: Rapture is as hauntingly gorgeous as ever, Tons of weapon and enemy variety, Hacking tool keeps gameplay flowing, Sound design is ridiculous
Cons: Story structure = missed opportunity, Uses Rapture as a crutch too often, Multiplayer works but feels vestigial
Summary: When the city of Rapture was first unveiled, it was an underwater dystopia ravaged by civil war and self-destructive genetic manipulation. This strange and unforgettable world was also one of awe and wonder.
Pros: Expanded set of moral quandaries, Story expands upon the world of Rapture, Fantastically atmospheric and creepy, Improved combat mechanics, Fun and engaging multiplayer
Cons: Less memorable story than BioShock, A bit too familiar for fans of its precursor