It’s been 10 years since, and Rapture, that underwater Eden, brainchild of Andrew Ryan – visionary or demented genius, (take your pick), is even more derelict, its denizens even more twisted as the sea has partially managed to reclaim what was hers. The sphere that encompassed the sprawling city is slowly crumbling. As a result, you’ll be wetting your feet more often.
The shoe, or boot rather, is on the other foot – you play a Big Daddy and you’ll explore Rapture not as the molester of the Little Sisters but their protector, while they harvest Adam for you. Or if the thought of playing nursemaid to a needle wielding creature cum little girl makes you nauseous, you can always be bad and harvest them – choices!
Gameplay is more engaging now, and you’re not bogged down with puny details. For example, switching between plasmids and weapons is no longer an irritant – both are equipped simultaneously. The research camera is now a video camera that doesn’t cramp your style in fights, where you’d sacrifice tactics for getting the perfect picture. Plasmids also work very differently as you go up the chain upgrading them, and this makes for some interesting gameplay as well as replay ability as you try various options.
You’ll cross swords with Sofia Lamb – the new queen of Rapture, who’s pretty much whipped everyone into a frenzy about creating a new society with compassion being the key and you’re naturally the last lock to be opened err...up. The splicers are back, a few new enemies including brute splicers and surprisingly ferocious and tactical Big Sisters – female big daddies who’ll unload plasmids on your person, among other nasties.
The graphics engine is ageing, although water ripples and its interaction with any sort of lighting still amazes – it was great for 2007, is good now. The sound component is very solid – creaks and groans of the city, shrieks of splicers and the hum of ancient machinery – all combine to give a chilling ambience. Multiplayer makes a cursory albeit welcome appearance. Overall, Bioshock 2 is an engaging romp, and if you liked the original, you owe it to yourself to try it.
Developer: 2K Marin
Publisher: 2K Games
Price: X Box 360 / PS3 - Rs. 2,499, PC - Rs. 699/-