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Bioshock 2
PC, XBox 360, Playstation 3

Reviewed on: PC

2K Marin
Publisher: 2K Games
Rated: "M" for Mature

CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

Audio/Visual: 6
Gameplay: 5
Lasting Appeal: 5
Overall: 6
CHEATfactor: 6

Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat; I’m a bit protective over the original Bioshock.  Not only did I choose the game as the best of the last decade, I also referred to 2007’s masterpiece as one of the most important games to ever be released. So yes, I was on the “Bioshock doesn’t need a sequel” bandwagon. Forgive me for thinking that the one game that left me with no questions didn’t need to be continued.

What’s surprising is that 2K Marin has done an absolutely fantastic job recreating the world of Rapture – to an extent. It’s all here, the Splicers, the eerie feeling, the Big Daddies; it just doesn’t feel quite like it should. Sure, the developers followed the formula exactly but it almost feels forced in a way. No, Bioshock 2 isn’t the masterpiece its predecessor was, but it is however a damn good game.

Your return trip to Rapture won’t be on familiar terms. As I said above, the ending to the original Bioshock wrapped up Jack’s story pretty tight, so forcing the character to return in some way would be incredibly awkward. No, instead – you’ll be playing as a Big Daddy, the original Big Daddy in fact. As Subject Delta, you’re reactivated after 10 years and learn that someone is kidnapping young girls from the surface and turning them into the fiendish little sisters. While playing as a Big Daddy may seem cool – and at times it is, it destroys a bit of the mystery the first game established. Finding a Big Daddy in the first game was one of the most exciting experiences I’ve ever had in a game. It was tense, you had to plot – it was the stuff of gaming magic. Now that you are one though, it just doesn’t feel right. Sure you’re not the same as the Big Daddies you’ll encounter but it takes away from the whole David VS Goliath thing the original did so well.

" insanely solid first person shooter with an incredible amount of depth."


Don’t think your time in Rapture will be an easy one though – you’re going to have to deal with a new enemy; the Big Sister. This cross between a Little Sister and Big Daddy is quick, limber and…a pain in your ass.  Trust me, by the time you finish Bioshock 2 you’re going to hate the shrill squeal a Big Sister makes when she’s about to attack. Oh don’t get me wrong, the battles are fun – they just seem to pop up in all of the worst places. Fighting a Big Sister is an entirely different mechanic than fighting a Big Daddy. The later is a passive fight as the Big Daddy won’t attack you unless you go after him or the Little Sister, but the Big Sister will hunt you down and attack. The difference may seem slim but it forces you to be on your toes in Rapture.

The core gameplay of Bioshock 2 hasn’t changed much – and that’s a very good thing. It’s still an insanely solid first person shooter with an incredible amount of depth. The best thing about Bioshock is that from the audio tapes to the minor touches, there’s so much to do – but the game never holds your hand and forces you to do anything but play through the main campaign. There’s plenty of new plasmids and weapons to use and each one feels remarkably rewarding; plus there’s the new ability to dual-wield which makes switching between your plasmids and weapons so much easier.

"’s amazing what a series of 70-year old music can do."


Ask anyone what’s the first thing that comes to their mind when they think of Bioshock and you’re sure to hear something about the mood. The original dripped with an eerie, yet calming feel that drew players in with a false sense of security, and thankfully the sequel retains every bit of it – dare I say that it even does a better job. The Big Band music plays and fits so well with the world of Rapture; it’s eerie and tense but at the same time there’s a sense of haunting beauty to it. Most FPS games these days come packed with a hard rock soundtrack, but it’s amazing what a series of 70-year old music can do.

When I first heard Bioshock 2 would have multiplayer, I was outraged. The first game was such a success and it didn’t need death matches or capture the flag. While I was right about that, I must give kudos to the team at 2K Marin for handling the inclusion of multiplayer so well. Rather than just tack the modes on, they’re used to further the game’s story. While playing online you’ll be witnessing the fall of Rapture first hand. It’s an interesting twist and opens up a new chapter in the game’s story, and plays quite well.

Bioshock 2 isn’t the game its predecessor was, but it does a damn good job trying to be. 2K Marin does a great job trying to replicate the feeling of the original with only a few missteps. It’s not going to replace anyone’s love for the original but it will be considered as one of the year’s best. Welcome back Rapture. You’ve been missed. 



CHEATS USED: Unlock All Plasmids, Invisibility, Kill Security Bots, more

One of the best parts of both Bioshock games is exploring the world of Rapture and seeing what you find, but if you don’t feel like exploring, the Cheat Happens Bioshock 2 trainer is for you. Seriously, how cool is it to gain all plasmids? Now that’s awesome.  While I don’t recommend using the invisibility cheat – you’ll miss the Splicer’s reactions to you, I do recommend the Kill Security Bots cheat – they’re the game’s most annoying enemy.



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