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BioShock 2

BioShock 2

BioShock 2

BioShock 2 is a first-person shooter video game developed by 2K Marin for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The sequel to the 2007 video game BioShock, it was released worldwide on February 9, 2010. The OS X version of the game was released by Feral Interactive on March 30, 2012.

The game is set in the fictional underwater dystopia of Rapture. The game opens with a cutscene set in 1958 then jumps 10 years to when Delta wakes up in 1968, eight years after the events of the first BioShock. The protagonist and player-controlled character is an Alpha series of Big Daddy, a human being that has been mentally conditioned to protect Little Sisters which is amongst the first of its kind. The player-controlled character Big Daddy, named Subject Delta who was previously paired with a single Little Sister, reactivates with no recollection of the past decade's events and scours the city in an attempt to relocate the Little Sister that he was paired with. Fearing this reunion will ruin her plans for the city, Sofia Lamb, the antagonist, sends out her spliced up followers that she calls "The Rapture Family" and new Big Sisters in an attempt to deter Delta.

BioShock 2 Plot

BioShock 2 takes place in Rapture in 1968, 8 years after the events of the first game. Tenenbaum has briefly returned to Rapture once she realizes that someone is continuing her work by enslaving new Little Sisters. It is shown through flashbacks and audio recordings that the player character, Subject Delta (the fourth Big Daddy created), is forced to commit suicide in 1958 by Sofia Lamb through the use of a mind-controlling plasmid. This was done in part because Delta's Little Sister, Eleanor, is actually Lamb's daughter. Lamb was originally brought to Rapture to help psychologically-stressed citizens of the underwater city cope with the lack of sunlight and used persuasion to entice her patients into a cult called "The Rapture Family", and attempted to spread her altruistic ideals throughout Rapture. Andrew Ryan discovered this through a mole, Stanley Poole, and had Lamb thrown in prison leaving Eleanor in the care of Grace Holloway. Eleanor eventually confronted Poole about his betrayal of her mother. Poole panicked, kidnapping Eleanor and leaving her in a Little Sister's Orphanage, eventually leading to her conversion into a Little Sister. Lamb later returned to the city, reclaimed her daughter from Delta, and gained control of Rapture after Ryan's death. Lamb guided the development of the aging Little Sisters into more dangerous Big Sisters and sent them out to the Atlantic coastline to kidnap little girls for conversion into new Little Sisters in Rapture.

In 1968, Eleanor, now a teenager, has gained control over many of the Little Sisters and uses them to revive Subject Delta at a Vita Chamber. Delta is drawn towards Eleanor by their past Big Daddy-Little Sister connection. Brigid Tenenbaum encounters Delta, and explains that unless Delta reunites with Eleanor, a fail-safe device will trigger that will put Delta into a coma. With the help of the Little Sisters under Eleanor's control and Tenenbaum's ally, Augustus Sinclair, Delta makes his way towards Lamb's stronghold, encountering both Poole and Holloway en route. As Delta progresses, it becomes clear that Lamb is seeking to use ADAM to transform Eleanor into a perfect embodiment of her altruistic ideals. Lamb's ultimate goal is to have the collected minds and memories of everyone in Rapture become a part of Eleanor through the use of the genetic memory in ADAM, thus making her an "Embodiment of the Family" which Lamb believes will put an end to "The Self".

Delta arrives at a containment chamber where Eleanor is held, but Lamb captures him and severs his bond with Eleanor by temporarily stopping her heart. Though Eleanor survives, Delta is now slowly dying as the bond cannot be re-established. Eleanor uses a Little Sister to bring Delta a plasmid which allows him to control the Sisters thus enabling him to bring Eleanor a completed Big Sister suit, and allowing Eleanor to become a Big Sister. Eleanor then escapes with it, rescues Delta, and together they head for an escape pod that Sinclair has arranged to leave Rapture. The two find that Lamb has converted Sinclair into a Big Daddy, and Delta is forced to finish him off. After a final climactic showdown with the remnants of The Rapture Family, Eleanor and Delta make it to the escape pod but a final trap set by Lamb mortally wounds Delta and starts to send the entire building into the deep ocean rift. Eleanor teleports out of the explosion to the rising escape craft, but Delta is trapped on the outside. Using the last of his strength, he manages to grab onto the side of the escape pod and climb to its top as it rises. Trapped in the flooded escape pod with her mother, Eleanor makes the choice to either kill or save Sofia Lamb based on what she has learned from the player's actions.

There are several possible endings depending on how the player has performed during the game; these are based on whether the player has rescued all the Little Sisters or harvested them, and if they have spared the lives of non-player characters Holloway, Poole and Alexander within the game. If a certain number of them have been spared, Eleanor will save Lamb. If the player killed all of these characters, or have not saved enough, Eleanor will allow Lamb to drown. When the pod reaches the surface, Eleanor finds a dying Delta barely hanging onto the pod. Depending on how the player has chosen to deal with the Little Sisters, the ending will change. If the player has rescued all of the Little Sisters, Eleanor will absorb the ADAM from Delta, taking his mind and memories into herself, and leaving Rapture behind forever accompanied by a group of rescued Little Sisters. If the player has chosen to harvest all of the Little Sisters, Eleanor will absorb Delta's power and use it to make herself even stronger to dominate the world alone as the corpses of Rapture's residents float to the surface. A mix of harvesting and rescuing of the Little Sisters will leave Eleanor to opt against absorbing Delta's ADAM and mourn Delta's passing.

BioShock 2 Gameplay

BioShock 2 is presented as a first-person shooter, with the player taking on the role of Subject Delta, a prototype for the Big Daddies 8 years after the events of the first game. As in BioShock, the player explores Rapture and fights off splicers, the remaining psychotic human population of the undersea city, using a combination of the environment, weapons, plasmids, and tonics. Plasmids and tonics are special genetic-reencoding liquids that grant the user active or passive abilities, respectively, and include many of those introduced in BioShock as well as new ones. For example, plasmids can give the player the ability to use telekinesis or to invoke fire, while tonics can improve the player's movement speed, attack damage, or damage resistance. Several of the weapons in BioShock 2 were previously seen carried by Big Daddies in the first game, including a powerful drill and a rivet gun. The player can use each weapon in a close-range melee attack, unlike in the first game, and is able to equip a weapon and a plasmid at the same time, which they can use in quick succession to destroy enemies. For example, the player might freeze a foe using a plasmid then shatter it using a spear gun. If the player is killed, they are revived in the nearest "vita-chamber."

As the player explores Rapture, they will collect ammo, health, recovery items, money and EVE (a liquid used to power plasmid use). Money can be used to purchase more items at vending machines scattered around the city. The player will also encounter security systems which can be hacked through a mini-game; this requires the player to stop a quick-moving needle one or more times in the correctly colored areas of a gauge. Stopping it within a green area progresses the sequence or potentially ends it; stopping in a blue area may grant a bonus to the hacking result, landing in a white area shocks the player (dealing a small amount of damage); and landing in a red area causes a security alert. The player also gains access to a research video camera. In BioShock 2, once the player begins recording an enemy, the player has a short time to damage that enemy in creative ways in order to score a number of points, which are then added towards the total research points of that enemy type. At various levels of research, the player is rewarded with new abilities. Certain areas of the game take place entirely underwater, limiting the actions the player can perform.

As a Big Daddy, the player can attempt to defeat other Big Daddies who are themselves escorting Little Sisters. Should the player succeed, they can then choose to either harvest or adopt the Little Sister. While adopted, the Little Sister can lead the player to corpses from whom she can extract more ADAM. While she does this, the player must defend her from splicer attacks and other foes. Once the Little Sister has collected enough ADAM, the player can then return her to an escape vent, where the player must choose to either rescue or harvest the Little Sister. Rescuing her gives the player a modest amount of ADAM but also the possibility of beneficial gifts later; harvesting her yields a large ADAM boost. ADAM can then be spent at Gatherer's Garden machines throughout Rapture to buy new plasmids, gene tonics, slots, or health/eve upgrades. Once the player has either rescued or harvested each of the Little Sisters on the level, the player will be attacked by a Big Sister. The Big Sister's agility and resourcefulness will task the player with a difficult fight before the player can proceed further in the game.

Reception
BioShock 2 received mostly positive reviews, resulting in an average score of 88 out of 100 according to review aggregator Metacritic. GamesRadar's Charlie Barratt awarded the game with a perfect score stating that "The weapons are better. The plasmids are better. The enemies are better. At some points, even the storytelling is better. What's most amazing and surprising about BioShock 2, however, is that by diving deeper into Rapture's tortured history and exploring more of Rapture's haunted world, it actually manages to make the original BioShock better, too."

Game Informer's Andrew Reiner scored the game an 8.25. He criticised the game, saying that "For roughly 10 hours, BioShock 2 follows directly in its forefather's footsteps, too fearful to inject anything new into this twisted world." However, he praised the game's ending stating that "Eventually this disappointing adventure does turn a corner. It takes 10 hours to get there, but the final two acts (lasting approximately three hours) are brilliant." He concluded with "BioShock 2 eventually becomes the sequel I hoped for, but spends too much time getting there." In 2013, Liz Lanier of Game Informer included Dr. Sofia Lamb among top ten female villains in video games, stating that "an extremist obsessed with the "greater good," Lamb will sacrifice anything and anyone for her own agenda; whether that means brainwashing or murdering to create her utopia, she's down."

IGN scored the game a 9.1/10 and said that "anyone looking for a first-person shooter that offers more than flat, stereotypical characters and copy-and-paste supersoldier plots, one that attempts to establish a sense of right and wrong and loops you into the decision making process, and one that's set in one of the most vividly realized settings around should pick up BioShock 2. It's a game in which story, setting, and gameplay are expertly blended to create an experience that's as thought-provoking as it is entertaining." IGN's review also stated that the game does not look as visually impressive as its predecessor, but it is still one of the best-looking games around because of its unique art style. In a round-table style video chat, IGN editors said that Rapture was less mysterious because players have seen it before, and that was a major strike against the game. Since the original had such an eerie mysterious feel to it, the twists and turns seen in the sequel seemed less surprising.

Tom Price of TeamXbox gave the game an overall score of 9.2/10 saying that "BioShock 2 remains one of the most original, exciting, subversive and intriguing shooters out there for you to play, and you shouldn't miss the experience of doing that."

Eurogamer's Tom Bramwell was more critical of BioShock 2. Though he scored the game a very positive 8/10 overall, he noted that "The single-player campaign... will and should be damned for its long, slow start, during which the game struggles to make its intentions clear, but once past that the developers find a new tempo that wrings just enough extra quality out of the existing framework to justify your patience, even if the game still feels flat in the context of more daring and elaborate sequels like Mass Effect 2 and last year's Assassin's Creed follow-up."

It should be noted that, while not a major controversy, the PC version was not received well by some users because of the lack of gamepad support. 2K Games was rather reluctant to disclose as to why they removed the feature. When asked if they will be adding support in the future, 2K said simply that they wouldn't be. The community created a petition supporting the addition of this feature in the hopes that it would change the developers' minds. The gamepad support was eventually added in the Steam update in October 2013.


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