BioShock 2 reviews have naturally continued over the past few months, so here's a selection of insights on 2K Games' sequel to BioShock. The lengtiesth, most indepth take comes from ComputerGames.ro 87/100.
I dig the whole unpredictable battles are the most interesting concept, but this time the whole thing was taken a bit too far. Which also goes for various safes. The moment you crack it, 3 or 4 splicers will suddenly appear behind you, even though 30 seconds ago there's wasn't anyone around in 500 meter radius. Oy, leave me alone, don't you have any other hobbies? What the heck did you do for 8 years, camp the place and wait for someone smarter than you to come around and open it?
This gets worse when fighting the Big Sister, aka the new boogie man. er, woman in Rapture, who's actually a Little Sister all grown up. Thing is, after you rescue or kill all the Little Sisters in an area, the Big Sister will immediately pop-up to skin you alive, because she's mad at you. Ok, I totally dig that if I've killed all the younglings, I did something reprehensible, I have to suffer the consequences, but what's with the me murder you thing if I've saved all of them? Uhm, hello, I did everything I could for them, now go away, would you kindly? But noooo, you have to fight her each time because the script says so.
These mini-boss battles will get old pretty quick until you finish the game, because you know exactly when they're going to take place (and you can even exploit this by choosing where to save or kill the last Little Sister from the level), thus eliminating any kind of suspense or feeling that you're going to face the big-bad-wolf. And it's not about these design tricks which have been around since forever and used in BioShock as well, but the in-your-face way in which they're used, sabotaging what is otherwise an excellent atmosphere.
Another somewhat throwaway but no less thrilling addition are the sporadic brushes with Sofia Lamb's collection of marauding Big Sisters, which are quicker, more agile and - to be frank - more bad-ass upgraded versions of the Big Daddies. Usually rearing up after the player has either rescued or harvested a Little Sister, an onrushing Big Sister cannot be evaded and will keep coming until defeated. While considerably harder to deal with at the beginning of the game due to a lack of available Plasmid powers and projectile weaponry, the Big Sister clashes are likely to be remembered for the blood-curdling siren wail that announces their imminent arrival. Wonderfully brief and always exciting, frantically selecting the right blend of armaments to fight off a Big Sister will provide players with plenty of heart-pounding and sweaty-palmed memories - and dishing out the pain when suitably evolved is endlessly satisfying.
The idea of actually fulfilling a Big Daddy's role as a protector is definitely an intriguing idea, but the way the developers went about it makes the entire ordeal tedious and artificial. Every single time, without fail, letting a Little Sister harvest a corpse triggers waves upon waves of Splicers. They keep coming until your Little Sister is done with her job and after the first two or three times of playing defense, it wears and the game never explains why only your Little Sister attracts Splicer spawns or where they even come from. And with so many Splicers coming at you at once, the entire ordeal is mindless, losing a lot of the methodical flow when AI and environment manipulation was a more viable solution when facing a handful of Splicers. Yes, you can definitely skip these portions altogether and face the black and white dilemma of whether or not you'll save or harvest a Little Sister, but that means losing out on a large amount of ADAM. It's becomes a job you do it for the pay. It goes a long way to get in the way of all the exploration, which is still plenty fun and occasionally poignant, and defending Little Sisters detracts from the game rather than it being a welcomed addition.
PSX Extreme 8.9.
But once you get your feet wet, you'll certainly have a blast if you enjoyed the original. Scrounging about for helpful items and ammo never seems to get old, hacking is a little repetitive and it's not exactly an inspired puzzle mechanic, but it's still fun, and there's a great deal of strategy involved. For instance, this time you get a research camera and you can take pictures of enemies, which will then yield valuable information that can greatly assist you in your quest. And then there's the inevitable balance one must strike between Plasmids and firearms; you expend EVE when using Plasmids and of course, you use ammo when using your weapons. So maybe if you're low on EVE, you'll have to rely on your firearms; if you're low on ammo, you'll have to rely on your Plasmids. But what Plasmids to equip? What's best for the situation? Freezing enemies with Winter Blast is great '˜cuz you can shatter .m to bits, but once shattered, you can't search a corpse for potentially valuable items. Electro Bolt stuns enemies but doesn't really hurt them, and enemies on fire can set you on fire.
Big Download Must Own.
BioShock 2 is a relatively easy game. If you are experienced with the first game, or with first-person shooters in general, you would do best to play on Hard. The difficulty on Hard is tuned just right for players returning to the franchise or fans of the genre. While you won't feel quite like a Big Daddy until about halfway through the game, it's worth it, as the game just won't challenge you whatsoever if you play on any other difficulty. Playing on Normal or below gives you an immense abundance of ammo and cash that makes playing the game a breeze. This seems to be a trend with FPS games recently (hard being the new normal) and BioShock 2 is no exception to this trend.
The ADAM harvesting model has been changed quite a bit from the previous Bioshock game and now is more in-depth. The first game simply had you choosing whether to harvest or save the Little Sister after you defeated her Big Daddy protector. However, in the sequel, you'll take a more active role with them. You must use them to find and harvest ADAM from dead bodies. They'll be able to seek them out corpses rich with ADAM and then extract it, but as they're doing so, they'll be under assault from splicers. Therefore, you must make sure to keep them protected until they can finish, which means setting up traps to keep the splicers from getting to you and your Little Sister.And if you're looking for jokes and critical satire, Yahtzee's Zero Punctuation takes a look as well.