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Veteran Member - Level 13
In case my hero image, or my avatar (thanks TurdFurgy!) didn't tip you off, I'm a huge fan of Bioshock. One and Two. One thing I've noticed is while most people generally love the first one, the second one get's quite a bit of hate. Last year I published a blog about my favorite games of this generation (shameless plug here).
And much like I expected, Bioshock 2 was the one people most disagreed with. While I definitely don't think it quite stands up to Bioshock, I do believe it is a great game. Because honestly, it doesn't seem fair to expect it to. How can you recapture that wonder and horror of seeing Rapture, or a Big Daddy protecting a Little Sister for the first time?
(Few Video Game Environments are as fascinating and horrifying as Rapture)
Bioshock 2 couldn't recapture those moments, so it did the only thing it could do: take us deeper into the madness, further into Rapture's haunted halls. From the Fishbowl Diner, to Ryan Amusements, I loved seeing more of this twisted city. Bioshock 2 also made several great gameplay improvements. Duel wielding weapons with plasmids sped up the action nicely, making it feel more natural. While the new hacking mini-game was much faster, without taking you out of the action like the last one. And the Big Sisters provided a new face of terror.
And we haven't even talked about the biggest change yet.
Playing as a Big Daddy was a refreshing change of pace for me. I loved Bioshock's survival horror feeling, but it was nice to be able fling splicers around like nobody's business this time. Jack's wrench smacked 'em around alright, but Delta's drill turns 'em into blood smears. It was also interesting seeing Rapture from the eyes of an insider. And it added to the Little Sister decision. You aren't a stranger anymore, they trust you now.
Bioshock will always be one of my favorite games, and nothing else could capture that magic of seeing Rapture for the first time. But I think Bioshock 2 stands well it's own.
Just my thoughts.
On an unrelated note...
This thing is awesome.