Under the Sea | Bioshock 2 Review

Bioshock 2 attracted some controversy when it was first announced. It was coming out at a time when almost every game that was somewhat successful tried becoming a franchise. Also, the team behind the original Bioshock was no involved.

You play as Delta, the first Big Daddy, as he looks for the little sister he is bounded to. Elena Lamb, the little sister's original mother, is trying to stop Delta from getting to her. Delta is assisted by a business man named Sinclair. But why? No idea. Their motivations are unclear. Like in the original Bioshock, you come across interesting characters. But here they all have something to do with Delta and his little sister. You find audio tapes that reveal more backstory on some characters. There are multiple endings that change based on what choices the player makes. It’s interesting because you do not know that certain actions will have an impact on the ending.  

Being a Big Daddy gives you certain advantages. You are stronger and therefore able to wield certain weapons. You can also use plasmids at the same time as the other weapons, which is very convenient. The biggest problem I’ve had with the combat is that the game tries to be more action driven than the first one. But for the first half of the game ammo is scares, so that makes the game a little unbalanced. I found myself rarely prepared for most conflicts because I was low on ammo and health. It’s almost as if the game didn’t know if it wanted to be an action game or a horror game like the first one. So they decided to be both, but it made the game unfair in certain situations. During certain moments you fight Big Sisters. They are the female version of a Big Daddy except they are much quicker and powerful than a big daddy. Taking them down is a challenge but it is satisfying every time. 

In this collection, Bioshock 2 has slightly better visuals. The textures and the lighting look much better. Even though Bioshock 2 didn’t get the same treatment as the original, it is still a good looking game and Rapture has never looked better.

Minerva’s Den

Minerva’s Den is the single player DLC for Bioshock 2. You play as Subject Sigma (another Big Daddy) who is tasked to retrieve The Thinkers programming code. The Thinker is a super computer that is responsible for controlling all of Raptures technology. The best way to describe Minerva’s Den is that its more Bioshock. Which is always a good thing. It has everything that you love about Bioshock: collectibles, action, creepy atmosphere, and it’s pretty lengthy for DLC too. It takes about four hours to finish, longer if you try to collect everything.

Verdict

Overall, I think Bioshock 2 is the weakest entry in the series, but still worth playing. While the characters are not as motivated and the story is not as interesting as in the first one, it’s great to be back in Rapture again. And with the inclusion of Minerva’s Den makes this a worthwhile trip back to the underwater city of Rapture. 

8/10