Friday, 19 February 2010

The Moderner # 2 - Bioshock 2 (XBOX 360)

Bioshock came out three years ago and was widely received by critics across the board, and even garnering a Game of the Year award. And quite rightly so, because it was so engrossing and had a storyline that could have been written by Arthur C. Clarke and pulled you in. The graphics were outstanding and it played like a dream. Now, in 2010, the sequel has arrived after much hype on both the 360 and PS3 adn also the PC. So, how does this follow up measure to the excellent original. Well.....

Original receipe or extra crispy?

The game starts off in 1959, with you as a Big Daddy. Well, a prototype Big Daddy known as Delta. You are looking after a Little Sister known as Elenore, who gets found by a woman claiming to be her mother. She commands you to take off your helmet, take a gun and point it to your head and then fire, which you do. Ten years later, you wake up (ok, just been shot in the head and then you wake up. I can('t) see the idea there....however crap it is) in need of some answers. Sound familiar? The plot nearly echoes the one found in the original (apart from the Big Daddy character you play), with you wanting answers and needing to get out of Rapture alive. So, shall we look at Big Daddy in all his glory?

This won't hurt...until I jab you with this pointy thing!

The first thing you'll notice when you load this up, is that the graphics haven't been updated at all. They look the same and, in some instances, they look worse. Some textures take a while to update, making them look like an N64 game. The Splicers look exactly the same as in BS, and move in exactly the same way. The only additions to the roster of enemies is the Big Daddy Mk2, which can fire rockets and deploy mini turrets and a Big Sister, which can use Plasmids like Incinerate and Telekinesis and is incredibly fast and Brute Splicers who look like they've done an Arnold Schwarzenegger and have been pumping iron, are quite tough and, for some reason, have an English accent. Now, the new Big Daddies/Big Sisters look good. Very good, in fact. The Brute Splicers look awful and are textureless monstrosities when up close. The Art Deco scenery is the same as in BS as well, and hasn't been updated. It just smacks lof laziness where they just taken the first game and changed the levels without reskinning it or, at least, making the place look old.

Trust me, I'm a dentist!

Gameplay is, surprise surprise, the same as the original. Controls are the same, with the bumper buttons changing the weapons and plasmids, respectively. Left trigger fires your Plasmid, Right fires your weapons. Saying that, though, the controls are intuitive and are very responsive indeed. But, the weapon and Plasmid dials you can open up are the same and haven't been changed at all. The Weapons you can pick up have been changed, though, which includes a Double Barrel Shotgun, Spear Gun (which, I have to say, is awesome to use), Rivet Gun, Drill and a .50 Caliber Automatic Machine Gun. The camera makes a comeback, which not only takes photo's so you can research Splicers and things, but carries on filming until the subject is dead or goes a certain distance from you. You get research point for taking photo's of various splicers and even get hints as to what to take them down with. Again, its been done before in the orignal, so it no longer feels fresh. The combat seems to be a bit easier aswell, but you can only carry 5 EVE hypos and 5 First Aid Kits, making it that bit harder, but by the time you reach the third section, you would have lost interest. It just plays lazy as well. Having to go to one place to find one person who has certain object for you to carry on. Instead of the Blathyspheres, there is an underwater Train System, which you can only go each stop once, so you have to make sure you've done everything before carrying on, unlike Bioshock, where you can go to whatever stop you want. One gameplay mechanic they've added that was only sampled in the first one, is the chance to protect Little Sisters as they gather ADAM for you. You can also Harvest or Rescue them, all of which effects the ending, much like in the first......again. And thats the problem. Because you've seen it and played it before, it no longer feels new. It's a problem that runs through the game. To have taken 3 years to develop it, you would have thought that it would be something special. But, it's just more fo the same, and it's just like FIFA: the same every year with one or two tweaks and they have the cheek to charge £40 for it. I will say, they deserve something for adding Multiplayer, but it's like the Multiplayer in Modern Warfare 2. Pick your weapons, pick you plasmids and gene tonics and even your clothes and off you go. Even this feels like a last minute addition and is just plain boring.

Sorry, but, like Dante's Inferno, I feel ripped off for paying £40 for it. It's just not worth it at all. Plays ok, looks crap but, I will say something, in that the music and sound is good. But thats it. Mind you, even they are recycled from Bioshock.

Sorry, 2K, but this is just a big of're fired!

5/10 JSW's Lazy Arse Award.

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