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Bioshock 2 - Early Single Player Impressions Ian's avatar
 
Spoiler Warning: Minor early details
Rapture
In the last couple of weeks I've played through the opening hours of far too many games. My games to play stack is higher than it's been in ages, and it's all BioWare's fault. Currently in the pile is Darksiders, Dante's Inferno, The Saboteur, Dark Void and now Bioshock 2. It's been a long time since I played Bioshock, and I had totally forgotten key things about that game such as that it doesn't have an inventory, and jump is on the Y button.

Awesome: This is totally Bioshock.

It's odd. Within minutes of firing up this game, I was already playing Bioshock. I was walking around a semi-open area, searching cash registers and bodies for food and monies, shocking people with plasmids while they are standing in water, and so forth. The biggest difference so far is that you now have a trusty drill as a melee weapon instead of your trusty wrench, and you can either just clunk people over the head with it, or use up some petrol getting it spinning and give people a real deepcoreing.

Boresome: So wait, it's just Bioshock?

For everything I like about Bioshock, this is pretty much exactly the same game initially down to the order in which the training happens. You start with a melee weapon, then get the electricity plasmid, then use it to shock people standing in water, then get a gun, then have a fight the Big Something, etc. At the same time as I was doing all this, I couldn't help but feel it was doing it worse at every stage. Where the original game had the aweomse plane crash, discovery of the lighthouse and amazing bathysphere descent to Rapture, this has a pre-rendered video intro that runs at half the frame rate of the game. It also seems to assume you've played the original and so does nothing to introduce the setting or the old characters, and pretty much says "Of course you remember Bioshock, so step to it son.", and away you go picking up new Andrew Ryan audio recordings like it's 2007 all over again.

Awesome: You are the big daddy!

Oh yeah, you are a big daddy but one without any of the drawbacks of being a big daddy, so you can run at normal speeds and turn off the helmet surround on the screen using the options menu. The plot as set up so far has you trying to get your little sister back which is a pretty big daddyish thing for you to be doing. Going in I thought the Big Daddy angle seemed really dumb, but actually playing it it's fine. At least it's a good justification for being silent this time. I wonder if you'll get to see your face at any point, I'm not sure I am ready for that.

Boresome: Inconsistent Graphics

There's a lot about the graphics that's either fine or identical to the original, but the rest suffer from a range of minor nit-picky issues. There some pretty low detail doodads sitting around, different water effects run at very noticeable different frame-rates, and people who have holes bored into them suffer no model damage whatsoever. Not big issues, just some things that make you go "Hey, what is up with that jerky water." and "Maybe I'm crazy but I would expect cramming this enormous drill into that man's face would leave more of a mark".

Awesome: Finally fine-aim!

Bioshock came out before fine-aim became standard and suffered for it if you go back and try and play it now. Fortunately the march of time has resulted in a decent fine-aim mode for the guns here. Bad news for your Modern Warfarers though, there is no way to map it to the left trigger. This game has a duel wielding system with guns on the right trigger and plasmids on the left, so the fine-aim is on click right stick or "R3" as some would have you call it. The dual-wielding mechanic seems a much better way of dealing with plasmids as I ended up not really using them in favour of guns and melee before, but when it's a mere trigger tap away its hard to resist just zapping everyone constantly.

Awesome: This is totally Bioshock. - You are the big daddy! - Finally fine-aim!

Boresome: So wait, it's just Bioshock? - Inconsistent Graphics

After Mass Effect 2 is over, I think this might be my first port of call. I imagine I can probably blow through this game pretty quickly when I get properly going on it. Tags: