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PS3 Game Review
For the few of you that may have missed the almost perfect Bioshock, both its predecessor and Bioshock 2 happen in the underwater city of Rapture, an art deco marvel which was built as a utopian society and it might just have succeeded. The discovery of a new form or marine life which, when harvested, produced ADAM, which the inhabitants discovered allowed them to rewrite their own genome, gaining them possession of great power. In Rapture power corrupted and the city fell upon itself in a civil war which left the remaining citizens half mad ravaged shadows of their former selves.
In the dystopian horror of Rapture ADAM could be used to create either Plasmids, modifications at a genetic level which must be constantly refuelled with EVE or Tonics which produce permanent modifications. As the city fell, unwilling participants were transformed into Big Daddy’s, creature in armoured diving suits, which were then set the task of protecting the Little Sisters, orphans who had been warped and whose only task is to harvest ADAM from corpses.
Bioshock 2 takes place nearly a decade after the events of the first game. You, the gamer, wake up in Rapture with no idea of who you are, but the first thing you notice is that you are a Big Daddy.
Being set in the same world, there is little new in the look and feel of the game, but then if something is near perfect why would you mess with it? The City is really special and, like in the first game, I spent as much time wandering about the city just enjoying the design. Well, I tried to because what has changed in the new game is the speed and scale of the combat.
This time around the player can arm themselves with both hardware and Plasmids, both of which have been increased leading to an insane level of destruction in the later portions of the game and let me tell you, my friend, you’re going to need them. Whilst a lot of the enemies look similar, this time they come at you with a vengeance.
One of the weaknesses of the first game was the combat, enemies would arrive, a couple at a time, and were fairly easy to dispatch. This time around you’re going to have to tool yourself up to the hilt. So it’s just as well that the city's builders thought to build in a lot of attack bots which you can hack, booths to upgrade and buy Plasmids and weapons. Hold onto you panties girls there's a pulse pounding game in store.
If you have one, this is a game which deserves to be played through your 5.1 system, or at the very least through earphones as the evocative soundscape adds a whole level of atmosphere which is normally missing in games. It’s not just the expositions so much as the cities ambient sound, like the dripping of water which pervades the whole city.
As you explore the city you gradually discover what has befallen both yourself and the city, partially this is through your allies and enemies and partially through recordings that you can pick up. And while you’re picking these up remember to have a good look around as the city is strewn with a myriad of useful stuff. Like the last game there is a philosophical core to the story, but this is almost immaterial to the sheer fun of getting so powerful that you can unleash hell on your enemies.
So is it worth a second go, well in reality the answer is yes. The combat is better, Rapture is always well worth a second visit and playing a Big Daddy is a real blast.
If this wasn’t enough the game has a multiplayer mode which whilst it loses some depth of the single player game is more than just an afterthought.
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