BioShock 2: Remastered (2016, original 2010)

BioShock 2: Remastered (2016, original 2010), directed by Jordan Thomas, written by Jordan Thomas, developed by 2K Australia, 2K Marin, Digital Extremes, published by 2K Games

As BioShock was a hit game, it wasn't a big surprise, that there would be more of it. And as far as sequels go, BioShock 2 is rather literally more of the same as what was served in the 1st game. This time around, the game is an expansion of the final part of BioShock, where you get to play as a Big Daddy. So, while you get to insert your body full of plasmids, you also get to protect the ADAM gathering Little Sisters.

New Year's Eve, 1958, Big Daddy, code-named Delta, is protecting his Little Sister when they are attacked. A woman called Sofia Lamb approaches him, tells him that the girl is, in fact, her daughter Eleanor and forces Delta to fire a bullet through his brain. 

A decade passes. Delta wakes up from a rejuvenation chamber and is instantly contacted by Eleanor. She has plodded behind her mother's back, who is now holding Rapture in her grasp. Sofia Lamb, a psychologist who is looking to create the perfect, unselfish voice for the people from her daughter, is keeping Eleanor caged. But little she knows, that Eleanor shares a deep bond with her former guardian just as she shares a bond with the Little Sisters, whom she had helped her to find Delta's body and rejuvenate him.

Eleanor is not the only one the help Delta, there's also Mr. Sinclair, an entrepreneur, who assists him on his way to Eleanor. Just like in the first game, you need to find your way through the levels filled with demented citizens of Rapture, armed to the teeth, with both firearms and plasmids bought with ADAM. You get all the familiar ones from the 1st game, like fire, electricity and hypnosis among other things.

As a whole, BioShock 2 doesn't offer much in terms of novelty. The enemies are mostly the same from the 1st game, the only major differences are the Big Sisters, female versions of Big Daddies. Big Sisters are faster and more agile and generally attack you only after you've either rescued or drained every Little Sister on any given level, making them mini-boss battles. But, after you learn their weak spots, and are armed with plasmids, they become easier to dispose of. 

There's really nothing wrong in trying to serve more the same, as the gameplay itself is pretty solid. But on the other hand, BioShock 2 comes out as a bit of a bland experience. Not that Lamb is a bad villain, but because it offers very little anything new. And the side stories of BioShock 2 don't really manage to get to the same as the first game, which revolves around the destruction of utopia. In BioShock 2, the utopia has been dead for years and Rapture is now a place of predators, all kinds of predators, who even go above the surface from time to time to kidnap little girls to be the new Little Sisters. It's all a bit tiring in the worst horror sequel fashion.

The most originality BioShock 2 manages is the short segment in the latter part of the game, where you get to control a Little Sister for a while. This allows you to see Rapture from an entirely different point of view, as the Little Sisters don't see the underwater city as derelict it is, they see it as an ethereal place, clad in white curtains. During this scene, you need to find a Big sister suit for Eleanor, who becomes an ally you can call into battle with you.

As it is in the first game, what you do with the Little Sisters has an effect on how the game ends. Eleanor, shielded as she is, learns from her actions, becoming either good, evil or something in between according to her actions. So, depending on what kind of ending you want, play accordingly.

There's also a DLC episode for BioShock 2, a mini story revolving around Minerva's Den, the computer facility of Rapture meant for automating the underwater city. Again, you step in the shoes of a Big Daddy, Sigma, who is recruited by one of the Den's former builders, Charles Milton Porter, who was ruined by his former companion Reed Wahl, who is now using the Thinker, the supercomputer, as his own prediction machine.

Another voice joining to guide Sigma is Doctor Brigid Tenenbaum. She has returned back to Rapture to help Porter as well as trying to find a way to stop Sofia Lamb, who is using the Little Sister for her own goals. 

BioShock 2 isn't a bad game. As I said, it does offer more of the same as the 1st game, but on the other hand, that's not necessarily a bad thing. And for its benefit, it doesn't try to pull out a similar curve ball as the 1st, as that could have just come out as tacky.

You can get BioShock 2: Remastered from GOG and Steam among other places.