BioShock 2 Reviews

BioShock 2: Protector Trials

BioShock 2: Protector Trials

The splice is right?

BioShock, eh? Moody, thought-provoking stuff. Troubling stuff. Deep stuff, allegedly. How about adding a challenge mode?

Actually, why stop at that? Why not throw in a rhythm action section too? We can get the Puppini Sisters to record a bebop version of Manilow's classic Bermuda Triangle - sample lyric: Bermuda Triangle, it makes people disappear / Bermuda Triangle, don't go too near - and I'll cave a Little Sister's head in every time we get to a drum break.

So 2K isn't being particularly creative in the way it extends the BioShock 2 universe yet - apparently the new gadgets and story content are up next - but that hardly matters. The Protector Trials may not be the most exciting attraction in Rapture (that's the cheap real estate coupled with the fact that plagues, insanity and spreading leaks have really tackled inflation) but it's good for a few hours of frantic action all the same.

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BioShock 2

BioShock 2

Water of discontent.

How do you make a sequel to the illusion of choice? However the developers of BioShock 2 chose to approach the production of their watery follow-up, they were destined to begin just as trapped within the framework of its narrative inheritance as the former citizens of Rapture are within their rusting cage at the bottom of the Atlantic. Such was the power and significance of that defining encounter with Andrew Ryan two thirds of the way through the original BioShock.

BioShock was very much about Ryan - a philosophical idealist who built a city at the bottom of the ocean to house people "for whom work is our wage", where no god or government could find or tax or spite them. BioShock 2 shifts from one extreme to another, exploring the circumstances that drew psychiatrist Sofia Lamb to the city and the role she then played in Ryan's downfall. The two ideologues don't have much in common, but they do both act as catalysts for the events that befall the rest of the cast, of whom you are one, while another is a little girl named Eleanor.

Once upon a time, as Ryan's Rapture fell apart in the hands of mere men and women, opportunists like the first game's Frank Fontaine rose to prominence in search of power. Through their endeavours the population became addicted to genetic modifiers called plasmids, developed with help from a substance called ADAM. As the people needed more ADAM to keep on splicing, so the city gave birth to Little Sisters, fever-dreaming girls escorted by lobotomised bodyguards called Big Daddies, who stalked the corridors of the city collecting the drug from those who perished under its influence.

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