Mid-game Review: Bioshock 2

***WARNING: VIDEO GAME NERD ALERT (if you are not interested in games in the slightest, you won’t much care about what is included in this post)***

The season of completing law school apps has started (and if there were any question about whether or not it had, you can look at the number of “apply to our random school in who knows where USA and we’ll even waive the application fee!” in my inbox right now).

As I begin to address the numerous things I need to accomplish in the next 2 months in order to execute the perfect “applied in September” rolling admissions strategy, I’m using up every last second not spent at work, running (Queens Half-Marathon is at the end of this month!), or finishing necessary errands on Bioshock 2.

Initially, I tried the original Bioshock, didn’t like it, and eventually ended up trying it again a year or so later and loved it. As soon as I finished playing the original, I wanted to play the sequel. Sometimes a sequel will land pretty flat after an amazing debut game, but with the Bioshock franchise, that is thankfully not the case.

In the original you were expected to take down some Big Daddies in order to rescue/harvest (I always rescued) the Little Sisters (yes, you, a mere mortal, are expected to take down those big things encased entirely in metal). Rescuing them garnered you some ADAM, which you could use to level up. Harvesting them garnered you even more ADAM, but that also made you kind of evil and I have this weird thing with video games where I just gravitate more toward the more conscientious character. In the sequel, you are the Big Daddy and your job is to basically rescue (read: steal) Little Sisters from other Big Daddies, use them to harvest for ADAM, and then opt to either rescue/harvest them for more ADAM. Pretty much everything that made the original game great is back in the sequel, so there’s not much to complain about if you really liked the first game. Additionally, there are some new odds and ends that I like better in Bioshock 2:

  • First, the research camera is actually far more workable in the sequel and I can actually use it without getting killed/seriously injured. You aim it at the enemy you want to research, start recording, and then go about your business taking it down. The entire scene is recorded for posterity and you garner research points, which go toward increased abilities against different enemies you’ve researched as well as additional capabilities (e.g. plasmids for example).
  • Also, while a lot of the weapons from the original make a return in the sequel, there are some new additions like the spear gun and drill, which are loads ‘o fun. Unlike the original game where you can get away with relying on one or two weapons to the exclusion of everything else, you will most likely need to cycle through all of the weapons as different weapons work better on some enemies and not others (e.g. Splicer versus a Big Daddy).
  • The boss fights in the sequel remind me a lot more of a, you know, boss fight. They seemed sort of like formalities in the original game, but in the sequel they are far more defined and even somewhat difficult. I beat the Preacher last night who was kind of a pain in the ass, and I will say that it’s always funny how in the video game world, you can always tell when something’s about to go down because you will come across a literal cache of weapons, power ups, items, etc. It’s one of those “gee, I wonder if a boss fight is coming?” moments.

I haven’t finished Bioshock 2 yet, but I’ve played through about 4 levels or so and I’ve loved every minute of it. It’s fun and seriously mindless entertainment that is always helpful when the rest of your day is consumed by working hard, running hard, and navigating the seemingly endless world of applying to law schools.


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