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Aim to shock with BioShock 2

Entering Rapture in the first iteration of BioShock was a monumental experience for me. As the unfortunate survivor of a plane crash, I explored the decaying shell of the once-thriving utopian city with glee.

tech reviews Updated: Feb 16, 2010 19:59 IST
Avinash Bali

Entering Rapture in the first iteration of BioShock was a monumental experience for me. As the unfortunate survivor of a plane crash, I explored the decaying shell of the once-thriving utopian city with glee.

It all started when its inhabitants discovered Adam, a substance capable of modifying and mutating the genetic code making one stronger, faster and a tad less human in the bargain. But to survive the danger, you had to fill yourself with Adam too.

Gameplay
BioShock 2 is a lot like its predecessor. It too takes place in Rapture but instead of an unfortunate survivor, you’re a drill wielding Big Daddy who’s been separated from his little sister.

Of course this time round you’ll face tougher challenges, perhaps the biggest arising from the Big Sisters, faster and meaner variants of the Big Daddies who fight most of the boss battles in the game.

Like BioShock the build up to the encounter with the Big Sister is a lot more intimidating than the showdown itself. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that you can now wield a Plasmid and a weapon, both of which can be upgraded using Adam.

To obtain that, you can either ‘harvest’ the Little Sisters (which rewards you with more Adam but kills them in the process) or save them. To reach the Little Sisters you have to battle her guardian, but this time it’s a bit easier because you have newer ammunition like the rivet gun, spear gun and mini turrets etc.

Once you adopt a little sister, you can carry her all around Rapture and if you come across a dead corpse oozing Adam, you can send her off to harvest it. But be warned; doing so will alert all enemies nearby who’ll descend on you in a matter of minutes.

So plan your traps and strategise in advance. Don’t worry, that doesn’t take the fun out of the fights, because these encounters are extremely intense and are an awesome addition to the series.

Multiplayer mode
Another massive addition to the franchise is the inclusion of multiplayer. Running around Rapture zapping and shooting your friends sounds like fun in theory but its translation to the game world isn’t that smooth. For one, gameplay feels a bit clunky and unpolished as compared to the single player campaign.

Like most of the shooters on the block today, you have persistent unlocks but in an era dominated by Modern Warfare 2, this game’s MP doesn’t stand a chance. Still it’s not all bad but we’re not too sure this franchise needed that addition.

Visual treat Rapture looks as gorgeous as ever and developer 2K Marin has proved that the Unreal 3 engine is capable of creating beautiful environments instead of the clichéd brown palette synonymous with it.

Even though the city is decaying at a rapid pace, it looks as vibrant and colourful as ever. Characters are as creepy and awesome as ever and even with all the intense action on screen, the frame rates stay rock solid.

Verdict
Honestly, I had my doubts about BioShock 2. But I have to give it to the developers for not repeating a single level from BioShock. You get to explore a side of Rapture you have never seen before.

Sure, newer plasmids and enemies might have been nice, but it’s still a solid shooter backed by solid productions values.http://tech2.in.com/go/109492.

What we like
You wield a plasmid and a weapon together
Big Sisters are challenging
Overall solid shooter

What we don’t
Multiplayer is a bit of a let down

It’s the same dystopic wasteland you encountered in the first game, but this time around, you’ll get to visit a side of it you’ve never seen before. Hit the PC with a friend for the newest multiplayer in town