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Discussion The Patient Gamer: Bioshock 2 - Remastered

GodisanAtheist

Platinum Member
Nov 16, 2006
2,222
598
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Bioshock. God. Damn.

I went into Bioshock 2 knowing that it is the much maligned, red-headed-stepchild of the Bioshock "trilogy". I was prepared to be disappointed. I was blown away.

You're back in Rapture, 10 years after the event of the original Bioshock. You're a prototype series "Big Daddy" in search of his Little Sister. Rapture is now under the control of the antithesis of Andrew Ryan: Sophia Lamb, a collectivist using the powers of ADAM to spawn the first "Utopian" AKA communist ubermench: someone that can be the best version of whatever society needs at any given moment. The whole game is a thematic reversal of the objectivism writ large of the first game: a celebration of the spirit of one against the will of the many.

Lets get the bad stuff out of the way: This game crashed a whole bunch. I'm not really sure what got "remastered" for the remaster, but holy hell stopping any sort of instability was definitely not it, and judging by online commentary I'm far from alone. The first 3/4 of the game was largely crash free, but the last 1/4 was a god damn crash fest . The game seemed crashiest when I was doing a "gather" mission or when i lit a Big Daddy/Big Sister up with the Inferno plasmid. It really is a testament to this game that I just used the quicksave key unsparingly and kept on kepting on after a crash.

Also, the game takes place in Rapture. The sheer awe and wonder of the first game is hard to capture on a revisit. The level designers did try, and each of the individual levels definitely has its own feel (some of the standouts being Ryan Amusements and Dionysus Park) but for all that effort I just didn't feel the same level of wonder and awe as I did playing the first game. This is not to fault the art style, but the game definitely has a "big box connected by corridors" level design rather than something really organic.

All that being said, the themes man, the themes. The beauty of "Levine" games (SS2, Bioshock, Bioshock: Infinite) if that the plot is interwoven with extremely relatable themes of parenthood, that sacred bond between a parent and child. Everyone has a Mother and Father, some of us have children. Much of the horror in SS2 and Bioshock derived from a perversion of this theme, the inherent trust of such a relationship being manipulated and used for malicious purposes. Bioshock 2 follows this theme in earnest: you are a father going through hell to save his child. Unlike the first game, there are a handful of actual decisions to make (mostly boiling down to showing mercy or taking revenge) that ultimately affect which ending of the game you receive. I played to the "good" ending, and I damn near had tears in my eyes. A bit sachrine, but thats not always a bad thing.

While many may disagree, I found Sophia Lamb to be a respectable villain, exemplary of how the pursuit of the good of the whole can be monstrous when placed at odds with the sovreignity of the individual. While certainly less startlingly in your face as the Objectivism of the first game , and a refrain that is familiar to essentially anyone who grew up with a "western" set of values, its still makes for a compelling narrative and the character's investment in opposing it is handled gracefully as well.

The gameplay was also excellent. While I don't remember much of the first game (its been ages since I played it), Bioshock 2 fixed one of everyone's biggest gripes with the combat from the first game by allowing the player to equip a plasmid in one hand and a weapon in the other, making many "support" plasmids more functional in actual gameplay. The plasmids themselves where polished up to make each of them feel like there was an actual gameplay purpose behind it rather than just making sure the requisite number of support powers were there for the illusiuon of "choose your play style". Ultimately, the action in BS2 feels much more kinetic and viceral than the first game, which felt more plodding.

If you liked Bioshock or Bioshock Infinite but never got around to playing Bioshock 2 because it "sucked" according to everyone who played it when it came out, you're doing yourself a disservice. With enough time and space between playing Bioshock games, Bioshock 2 is as much a breath of fresh air as others of its ken. Pick it up for 5 bucks, quick save every 10-15 minutes, have a god damn blast.
 

DigDog

Lifer
Jun 3, 2011
10,995
833
126
... i wasn't even aware this game existed.
i know bioshock exists - i didn't know there was one where you play as a big daddy.
 

mopardude87

Diamond Member
Oct 22, 2018
3,348
1,502
96
... i wasn't even aware this game existed.
i know bioshock exists - i didn't know there was one where you play as a big daddy.
Yup i got both the og and remaster and yeah i would only play the og. I tried the remaster of the og and i only wondered why i even bothered as it had nothing but issues plus i love the nostalgia of the og anyways it was perfect minus launching issues which has gotten worst with W10. Bioshock 2 is currently on my back log. Hopefully when i go and play it, i don't find myself facing a massive amount of issues like the og.

I played through the og like 3 times already, was the second game i ever bought next to BF2. Took forever to complete cause a friend of mine spoiled the ending for me. I almost ended our friendship cause of that LOL. Took years to forget it and i finally finished the og for the first time back in like 2015 no joke.
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
67,534
2,681
126
I enjoyed it. Kinda reminded me of Half Life Blue Shift where you play a different character in the same Story, although BS2 wasn't exactly the same Story. Infinite is the best of the trilogy, but it's significantly different and all 3 are just solid Games.
 

DAPUNISHER

Super Moderator and Elite Member
Moderator
Aug 22, 2001
21,777
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I have only played the first one, and that was so long ago, it was on console (360). Thanks for the review, I will have to pick the trilogy up the next time I see it going for $10 or so. Would love to play the first in all its glory on PC.

These threads tend to die fast, so I will recommend another game, for yourself and others. Ghost Recon Advanced War Fighter (2006) Man did that game age well. It was the big AAA showcase for Ageia PhysX at the time. Still my favorite single player military style combat simulator. It runs perfect, no crashes or major bugs, in an entire play through. Story is fairly generic, a Mexican general that we (the U.S.) trained, attempting to take over Mexico by coup. The stakes are the highest possible because they get their hands on the POTUS "football" during the game. You lead a Ghost team on mission after mission, as the situation deteriorates. On a couple of missions, you get dropped in the meat grinder alone, so pick the right load-out.

The game is difficult even on the "normal" setting, because they treat bullets like bullets. Even in body armor, you get wounded and die quickly. Head shots are as fatal to you as a one shot, as they are to the enemy. Squad control is where this game shines the brightest. I played it on console, and it was a horrible experience, having first played it on PC. It is not the same game. I have also read complaints of the squad being broken sometimes, but the fix for that is easy. Keep them close and micromanage them. Properly positioning your sniper, SAW, and anti-armor at all times, is paramount to them making it through the mission, and keeping some enemy patrol from killing you, before you even know they are there. You have a drone that lets you get a top down of the city for a few blocks around you. But snipers and patrols are often in places where it is very difficult to spot them. It will put a diamond on them when they are visible to it. It is a major help, since they can see you blocks away, and a couple of shots, at most, are fatal on the hard setting. They are easy to sneak up on, but they are all over the place, and there are .50 cals in stuff setup that will kill you and the squad in nothing flat, if you miss one or get in a hurry.

You do not get to spam save, so given the game's difficulty, you will have to have an itchy trigger finger, and use your squad properly to make it from checkpoint to checkpoint without numerous retries. I almost always load out as heavy as possible. There is a penalty for it, it affects your speed and aim. It is well worth it though, if you do not pick a weapon that you can get enemy ammo for. The extra magazines, and suppressed ancillary weapon, can make the difference. You can do the same for the squad.

Graphics have that dull palette that seemed to be in back then. But the character models, movement, and of course, the PhysX are excellent. I much prefer the more realistic body mechanics to the rag doll that I seem to remember predominated the period? You can shoot out tires, wood fences, get capped because you kicked those cans laying in the street, shoot out windows in vehicles, and blow vehicles up with spectacular explosions and effects for the time period. Everything it does, is commonplace now, but it is the grand daddy of a lot of it. Sadly, the environment is probably more destructable than some of the new games like Far Cry 5. When I think back, it was probably not the only game to do it even back then. However, it was the first one to combine it all, that impressed me as much as it did. The enemy A.I. is unbalanced, but better than MANY much newer games I have played. And judging by the reviews of the latest entry to the Ghost Recon franchise, miles ahead of it. You can memorize where enemies will be after dying a couple of times in a particular area, but then you die, it reloads, and sets them up different. The drone, when available is a big help with that. And using grenades and shooting baddies is very satisfying in this game. It really drives home why Nvidia bought PhysX. It definitely brought something to the gaming experience and immersion.

I will delete this, if anyone thinks this post is an unwelcome addition to the thread. Just hoping to keep the interest going, since it is depressingly quiet here now-a-days. Heck, no one even started a thread for Halo CE. :(
 
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mopardude87

Diamond Member
Oct 22, 2018
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I will delete this, if anyone thinks this post is an unwelcome addition to the thread. Just hoping to keep the interest going, since it is depressingly quiet here now-a-days. Heck, no one even started a thread for Halo CE. :(
To many people in absolute fear i think given this human malware situation. I was surprised about no Warzone thread and that game looks amazing. Didn't get it yet cause well not in the mood to be a beta tester YET. My hobby here i still have as much passion no matter what,i let no one or anything get in the way of the passions i enjoy. NOTHING at all.

I prob should download Warzone, friend had issues with password and resetting even despite knowing it, unable to play which is a shame. I rarely find anyone i could do co-op with. Staying home and gaming well that's a dream and well one way to certainly stay safe! I got a months supply of food,i am good right here. :) Let the rest kill each other, have a ball i say!
 
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GodisanAtheist

Platinum Member
Nov 16, 2006
2,222
598
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I enjoyed it. Kinda reminded me of Half Life Blue Shift where you play a different character in the same Story, although BS2 wasn't exactly the same Story. Infinite is the best of the trilogy, but it's significantly different and all 3 are just solid Games.
- Its definitely a sequel from a story perspective, as the bulk of the game occurs well after the events of the first. One could be forgiven though, as the world of rapture looks like its in the exact same state of decay in BS2 that it was in BS1, with largely the same set of enemies.

From a plot perspective, I found BS2 very easy to get into, and in many ways told the strongest story. In terms of plot, BS1 was basically Art Deco System Shock 2, and I really only understood (kinda) Infinite's plot after reading the wiki, I felt it was being more complicated than it had to be.

I have only played the first one, and that was so long ago, it was on console (360). Thanks for the review, I will have to pick the trilogy up the next time I see it going for $10 or so. Would love to play the first in all its glory on PC.

These threads tend to die fast, so I will recommend another game, for yourself and others. Ghost Recon Advanced War Fighter (2006) Man did that game age well. It was the big AAA showcase for Ageia PhysX at the time.

I will delete this, if anyone thinks this post is an unwelcome addition to the thread. Just hoping to keep the interest going, since it is depressingly quiet here now-a-days. Heck, no one even started a thread for Halo CE. :(
- Thanks for the recommendation! I generally try to stay away from military shooters that take themselves too seriously, the last one I attempted and enjoyed (from a single player perspective) was the OG Modern Warfare. I wish we were looking at a new Bad Company game in the near future, but I figure that series is dead.

I own the MCE on Steam and frankly I don't really want to start it until the entire collection is complete. I've already played through and beaten Halo 1-3, so I can wait till the thing is complete and patched up. I figure many are in the same boat.

To many people in absolute fear i think given this human malware situation.

Staying home and gaming well that's a dream and well one way to certainly stay safe! I got a months supply of food,i am good right here. :) Let the rest kill each other, have a ball i say!
- If anything, I figure people doing the whole "Social Distancing" and "Self Quarantine" thing would be a real boon to video gaming, clearing backlogs, and generally doing more of the internet thing.

I have to say though, as a bay area resident, the sudden disappearance of all crowds from everywhere is actually making the lure of the outside world stronger...
 
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mopardude87

Diamond Member
Oct 22, 2018
3,348
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-

- If anything, I figure people doing the whole "Social Distancing" and "Self Quarantine" thing would be a real boon to video gaming, clearing backlogs, and generally doing more of the internet thing.

I have to say though, as a bay area resident, the sudden disappearance of all crowds from everywhere is actually making the lure of the outside world stronger...
I honestly take a strange comfort in this, i really do. I simply avoid the large crowds and well i could enjoy the beaches and stuff just the same. I got a friend coming from Toronto in August,i plan to have the time of our lives checking out every single beach most likely. I enjoy sitting in front of the computer but not letting the human malware keep me from enjoying what life has to offer. If the condition gets to me, well at least i enjoyed what i could with what time i had instead of being a complete prisoner.

Still good to be safe, don't really need to be a prisoner either.
 

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