Mar 22, 2011

30 Days of Gaming (22): Sequel That Disappointed Me

BioShock 2. Such a let down. Now don't get me wrong, it had it's moments, but it also lost some of the magic that made BioShock so amazing. First things first, you can totally tell it wasn't made by Irrational Games. Now don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with 2K Marin, but that is like having a Star Wars sequel not directed by George Lucas... oh wait... there was a Star Wars flick not directed by George Lucas. And it was amazing...

But back to BioShock 2. First things first, you played as a Big Daddy. Now while BioShock dabbled in this idea, the section in which you played as a Big Daddy was short and sweet, giving you just enough to satisfy your thirst and kept your appetite at bay. BioShock 2 was like being force fed this sweet moment after you had long passed the original liquid through your stomach. The biggest disappointment that playing as a Big Daddy brought? You could wield plasmids and guns at the same time. While the gameplay was designed around this, one of the best parts of the original BioShock was having to make the decision of when to use plasmids and when to use weapons. The game thrived on the duality and balance of this, and BioShock 2 just kinda threw it out of the window.

Next up, the moral decisions from the first game were completely done away with. I liked how BioShock handled moral decisions, it wasn't just a slider on a character sheet that went from Evil > Neutral > Good. You actually had repercussions that formulated how you shaped the main character. Maybe you were a few points of ADAM away from a critical upgrade when you came across a Little Sister. Do you harvest her to get the upgrade? Or free her and hold out until you get to another Little Sister? The was actually an effect to the cause of killing Big Daddies. In BioShock 2 Big Daddies, and even the Big Sisters, were nothing more than another enemy type on the check list.

And then there was the multiplayer. Talk about completely unnecessary. The multiplayer was so detached from the narrative of the single player that it felt like a totally different game that coincidentally had the same setting. Then there was the stupid rank up system that was stolen from Call of Duty that kept the more powerful plasmids and weapon upgrades out of reach, making the advantages long time players had over new comers absolutely ridiculous. Oh, and even though you were only playing as a Splicer, you could still wield plasmids and weapons at the same time. No logical reason, it is just cause the developers wanted it.

The narrative was okay at best. I did like the idea that instead of trying to make a Utopia that the survivors in Rapture were trying to create a Utopian, which is just an awesome idea, but it pales in comparison to the story behind the original BioShock. That and BioShock has one of the best twists at the climax of the story it rivals Vader telling Luke the truth about his father.

I adore the BioShock story and can't wait to see what happens in BioShock Infinite. I don't mind that BioShock 2 is part of the BioShock franchise, but it just feels like that awkward cousin in the corner that is into hard drugs and doesn't want to be part of the family. My hopes were so much higher...