BioShock 2 Reader Review
I really struggled to get into this and came perilously close to giving up on it. Despite really enjoying the first game I was not particularly excited about the prospect of this game. Rapture was an amazing place to visit the first time around but unfortunately was not as interesting in the sequel as the novelty had long since wore off.
I chose to play it on the hard difficulty. This initially seemed like a mistake as the enemies seemed quite brutal in the amount of damage they could do in the early stages. The instant respawning mechanic of the vita chambers ensured progress continued, although in a rather unsatisfactory and demoralising manner. Some of the more intense fights became attritional slogs, whittling away small amounts of little sister health before being repeatedly despatched until the job was done. It didn't help that the story was not particularly interesting, and where the audio diaries had really added to the story and atmosphere of the first game. In this game they seemed superfluous as I did not care about the story at all really.
As the game progressed and more plasmid and gene tonics became available the game became more enjoyable, with a pleasing amount of tactical freedom to develop your big daddy to suit your play style. The plasmids remain fun to use, so having their use stifled by stingy eve limits seemed a bit of a shame. Eventually I found a gene tonic that drastically reduced eve consumption at the expense of not being able to use any weapons other than the drill. That tonic combined with the water of life tonic alleviated the need to be constantly limiting plasmid use and made the game more enjoyable. (at the cost of having to hang around stood in water whilst the meters fill up again). Setting up defensive perimeters to protect the little sisters was quite good fun, invariably though, my best laid plans would be disturbed by the constantly respawning splicers.
The general aesthetic of the game does not seem to have aged that well. Graphically it did not impress me much. I was also dogged by frequent crashes. These were probably nothing to do with the game and more to do with my pc overheating but it did add to the overall frustration with the experience and the general feeling that this game would have been equally good on a console rather than the pc.
I was pleased that the developers did not insist on all the diaries needing to be collected to activate the historian achievement. I was a bit irritated however that the thuggish splicers dried up after the first level with the camera. This meant that I was unable to complete the researcher achievement. If that sort of thing means anything to you and you haven't played this yet - make sure to max that line out before you leave the level.