Bioshock 2

Bioshock22K Games’ BioShock 2 is set several years after the first BioShock game.  In the sequel, the series expands the one player, first person shooter mayhem on the PlayStation 3 with playable “Big Daddies” (genetically altered men in underwater diving suits), different endings to a volatile storyline, and an online multiplayer mode for two to ten players.

In this installment, players battle the main antagonist, Sofia Lamb, and her screeching Big Sisters, which act as level bosses. Collectible audio dairies fill in important details about civil war among an underwater Atlantis-type utopia gone wrong called Rapture.  Their issues are mainly due to a green substance called ADAM, which alters genetics.

In brief, ADAM gathering Little Sisters pair up with protective Big Daddies initially established by a test subject called Subject Delta, the fourth Big Daddy, and Eleanor. The resultant tragedy galvanizes a more emotional story with darker themes where player choices to adopt, rescue, or harvest Little Sisters throughout the game shape one of four possible game endings.

Developers ramp up the action with customizable Big Daddy battle sets with a weapon in the right hand and special Plasmid power in the left. Upgrades, vending machine items, and other collectibles keep players grabbing items constantly for experience points and more firepower while the story and impending action prompt endless weapon combinations. Familiar weapons advance in common sense ways — the crossbow becomes the spear gun (which is great for shattering frozen enemies).

Strategy is always a key activity. The hack tool accesses vending machines, destroys snooping cameras, and transforms security bots and gun turrets for tactical advantages. The enemy AI could be better. Players can easily draw out enemies by running into the open then retreating back to an ideal attack point.

Within the seven multiplayer modes, players can custom their Big Daddy with weapon combinations according to their personal playing style. Civil War, Survival of the Fittest, and Last Splicer Standing are self-explanatory while familiar formats come in original packages like Capture the Sister (flag) or ADAM Grab (keep away).

Composer Gary Schyman returns for another amazing musical score while developers boost the graphics with improved lighting, which highlights special areas. The game is also available in “special” and “rapture” editions. Look for downloadable content for the Xbox 360 and PC versions and possibly the PlayStation 3 version.

BioShock 2 is rated M (Mature) by the ESRB for Blood, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, and Strong Language. also PC and Xbox 360.

Copyright © Michael Siebenaler

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