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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: 2K Games
Developed By: 2K Marin
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Players: 1 (2-16 online)
Rated: M (Mature)
Release Date: February 9, 2010
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written By: Marcus Prunty

April 9, 2010 - Many people have got into FPS (First-Person Shooters) due to games like Call of Duty and Medal of Honor, while I shied away from them due to not being interested in replaying war scenarios. While there have been other FPS titles that broke ware-base trend, none of them capture my attention quite like 2Kís BioShock. Instead of an epic struggle taking place on a battlefield, in BioShock took place within the confines of an underwater city known as Rapture. Andrew Ryan created this city in order to escape the oppression of governments and religion, thus creating a free society. Due to Ryanís approach on creating a free society, science and technology flourished hand-and-hand, which lead to the creation of ADAM; stem cells that are harvested from an unknown species of sea slug, which regenerates damaged tissue and modifies the human genome. With devising a way to mass produce ADAM through implanting these slugs into the stomachs of little girls, ADAM became a lucrative product to have, granting consumerís superhuman abilitiesÖ Sounds pretty sci-fi doesnít it? The little girls soon became known as Little Sisters and the basis for survival in Rapture.

In the first game u play as Jack, a plane crash survivor who must survive the city of Rapture. Upon his arrival, he notices that all is not as it should be and must arm himself with various weapons and ADAM if he has any hope of survival. Most of the people living in Rapture are either dead or have gone mad due to abusing ADAM. The Little Sisters are protected by enhanced men in armored diving suits known as Big Daddies. In order for you to extract ADAM to gain more power to survive, you have to take away the Little Sisters from the Big Daddies. With the choice of harvesting the little sisters for raw ADAM, which means killing them or adopting them from the torment of being ADAM searchers, you the story soon morphs into a game that hinges on life and death, and the choices you have to make. Moreover, that was just the first game you can see why it was so addicting.

With the brief history of Rapture and story behind the first BioShock title, letís move on to the real reason you are reading this articleÖ BioShock 2. 2k Marinís sequel to the acclaimed 2008 title picks up 8 years later after the events of the first BioShock. Instead of being in control of Jack from the first title, you are now a Big Daddy, the prototype to be exact. Andrew Ryan is nowhere to be found and now you must content with Sofia Lamb, as she tries to turn your Little Sister against you. Besides the obvious progression within the story arc, BioShock 2 also features a fully developed multiplayer, which was absent from the first installment. If you played the first game, you will be pleased to know that they kept the gameplay mechanics basically the same as the original BioShock, just with a few enhancements. You will still have access to weapons like the rivet gun, shotgun, machine gun and as well as the plasmids. As you are in search of your Little Sister Eleanor, which happens to be Sofia Lambís daughter, you will discover lots of audiotapes along the way which fills you in as to what has happen since BioShockís storyline concluded. Sofia Lamb differs from that of Andrew Ryan in that Ryan was all about individualism, while Lamb is all about compassion and teamwork. And this difference in society will lead to some interesting encounters while roaming Rapture.

Seeing as you are in the shoes of a Bid Daddy, you are responsible for protecting the Little Sisters, though it doesnít mean you can harvest those of another Bid Daddy. When it comes to harvesting or adopting Little Sisters, 2K Marin opted to rework the animations so they have a grander affect on the individual playing the game. If you choose to harvest the Little Sister, she screams and writhes as she tries to escape your grasp as you kill her to take her Raw ADAM. This is a visceral and graphic moment, so depending on your mindset, it can make you feel bad about your choice to the point where you would avoid doing it in the future or it looks cool to you so you do it to all of them. Harvesting the Little Sisters will bring about an instant increase in ADAM, which is vital to staying alive. If you choose to adopt the Little Sisters from another Big Daddy, which prove to be a tough fight most of the time, the Little Sisters can lead you to dead bodies that are giving off a faint sent of ADAM. As the Little Sister extracts the ADAM from the dead bodies, prepare to defend her as swarms of splicers will hot out of every corner trying to kill your Little Sister and you in the process. These defensive battles are intense at times and allow for the use of several of your weapons in order to survive.

Speaking on weapons, a lot of weapons from the first BioShock carry over to BioShock 2. While they are still very useful, some of the new gadgets you have now actually work a lot better. One of the weapons is the trap bolts and rivets, which you attach to the walls, floor and ceiling. When an enemy walks by this trap, the weapon goes off shooting the enemy dead. Another weapon I found pretty useful was the mini-turret. With the mini-turret, you can throw them onto the ground and they will shoot anything that comes within their firing range. The reason I love this weapon so much, though I couldnít use it as much was because when the Little Sister is extracting ADAM from dead bodies, you can set a few of these around her, protecting her while she does her job. By the time she is done, all the enemies have been wiped out without yourself having to fire a single bullet.

Additional changes made in BioShock 2 come in how you use the plasmids and weapons. As a Bid Daddy, you can now dual-wield weapons, which allows you to use both your weapons and plasmids at the same time. You are also able to switch between your plasmids and weapons on the fly, making it easier to switch to a better weapon mid-battle. The upgrades to your weapons and plasmids are also more focused in the since that the first two upgrades for the weapons will increase stability and ammo amount. With the third upgrade, your weapon will obtain a special ability. In regards to the plasmids, with every upgrade, the plasmids become stronger and more deadly. An example of this is the electric ball, which is one of the first plasmids you get. At first, it will only show one enemy, however once you begin to upgrade said weapon, you will be able to shock multiple enemies at the same time. The research camera also received some refinements in that you no longer have to take the perfect shot of an enemy in order to find out their weaknesses. Once an enemy is in your sight, you click for the picture and the fight will be recorded. Once the fight is finished, you will learn of the enemies weaknesses, which will definitely come in handy in future battles. And then there is the hacking system, which got rid of the uses of connecting tubes and pipes for a more traditional setup where you must get the moving bar to stop in the green or blue spots. Another change to the hacking systems is that you are no longer safe from enemies attacking you. If you donít clear out an area prior to hacking a unit, you will be attacked and possibly killed while trying to use the hack mechanic.

The bigger the game, the bigger the assortment of enemies to do battle with. In BioShock 2, you must deal with several different enemies including brute splicers, rumblers, bouncers, Alpha Series; of which the latter three are different types of Big Daddies. And then there is the Big Sister, the perfect example of women protecting women. Big Sisters are basically Little Sisters that are all grown up and looking for a little action. They have their own distinct version of the armored diving suit which allows them to be quick and very agile. The can jump from wall to wall, wall to chandelier, wall to in your faceÖ all while using plasmids to deliver heavy damage to you. If you happen to fall in battle against a Big Sister or any other enemy, a Vita-Chamber will respawn you into the battle. If you happen to of had a Little Sister accompanying you, she will be waiting outside the chamber for your resurrection. For those bad asses who donít need to stinking Vita-Chambers, you can go into the options menu to turn them off and use only your save points to start over when you die.

The sense of moral obligation within this FPS makes you question all your actions throughout the game. In most FPS, you shoot and kill anyone you stand within your way. You are given a set mission and nothing or no one gets in your way. In BioShock 2, youíre given the option to kill several people including the Little Sisters and itís these decisions that will shape the outcome of the story and your sanity. Are you a straight killer like you would have to be in games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 or Resistance 2? Or are you capable of saving the innocent and protecting the weak? There are a total of six different endings within BioShock 2, depending on the moral choices you make throughout the game. I will not tell you what they are because I want you to play the game first unhindered and make up your mind as you go. Moreover, once you finished your first play through you can Google, look up the different endings, replay the game, and go for them.

The visuals in BioShock 2 have been bumped up and the game looks better then its predecessor in my opinion. You can stand and watch the water ripple and run down the walls from the ceiling. In addition, as you pass through these mini waterfalls your vision blurs as it would if you actually walked through a waterfall. Some of the most visually inspiring moments within BioShock 2 include looking out the window to see the surrounding destruction and sea life within the water that surrounds Rapture. Another moment is when you actually have to traverse the ocean bottom outside of Rapture going from one access point to the next. 2K Marin did a great job with the feel of it all. In addition, accompanied with the nice visuals is a very good audio track. The music that underscores the levels reflects the mood of the situation. When your about to battle a Big Sister you get a pulse pounding sounds and shaking that lets you know your in impending danger as the game tells you that a big sister is approaching. They did a good job with that as well as the annoying alarms that you trigger when you try to hack the security cameras or the safes.

The added feature of a multiplayer gives you even more hours of gameplay to do after or before you do the story mode if you like. The events of the multiplayer take place prior to the original Bioshock game in which there is a civil war occurring in Rapture. As you battle against other players all over the world, you will increase your rank and unlock more weapons, plasmids, and tonics, which you can use to customize your character further. There is a free for all type death match and team based games like most first-person shooters. While I didnít spend as much time within the multiplayer as many would have, I can tell you that itís an engrossing experience befitting the BioShock folklore.

BioShock 2 is not a departure from the original game as its takes a lot of the gameplay mechanics, tweaks them, and improves on what was already there. The new storyline is a lot less complex as the original game but that is give youíre more playing time and less time trying to understand whatís going on. The upgraded moral barometer that is used in the game may give you pause or a second thought when it comes to killing certain people in the game. Right or wrong once again, the main object of this game is to survive Rapture and rescue Eleanor. The sound and visual design of the game are well done and you will feel this game while you are playing it because they are both meshed together so well. If you tire of the typical FPS thatís run and gun and kill everything and everyone and want more of a story that will make you think in and underwater environment BioShock 2 is a must play. 2k Marin did a good job on this sequel everything is meshed together, taken to the next level, and improved upon. This is must play so go out and buy or rent this game and continue the story of Rapture.


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