BioShock 2: Minerva's Den Review
In Minerva's Den, BioShock 2’s final DLC offering, developer 2K Marin takes gamers deeper into the heart of Rapture to a place where newfangled robotics and electronic innovations outshine augmentations for the body and soul. In this dark corner of the sea, a feud between two of Rapture’s brightest citizens, Reed Wahl and Charles Milton Porter, has reached a bloody pitch, and you’ve been asked to bring closure…one way or another.
Holding true to BioShock 2’s framework, Minerva’s Den places the player in the role of another Big Daddy. This one goes by the name of Subject Sigma. Although this adventure starts out with Sigma wielding nothing but his trusty conical drill, the feeling of déjà vu never sinks in. This Big Daddy delivers punishment like a Big Daddy should. Unlike the Subject Alpha Big Daddy from BioShock 2, who often got his clock cleaned by lowly splicers, Subject Sigma’s might is unmatched in Rapture.
I only visited a revitalization chamber once, and that was during the wonderfully chaotic final boss battle. The gunplay is better balanced, and the enemy encounters showcase a higher level of variety than scenes in BioShock 1 or 2. Most of these encounters bring welcome twists, such as leadhead splicers using a variety of security bots. Since Minerva’s Den is Rapture’s technology corner, most opened doors reveal a pesky camera or a turret. You may run into a new Lancer Big Daddy too. But again, if you’re somewhat skilled at the sticks, you should be able to make it through any fight mostly unscathed.
The entire game is fluid in design, rolling from one entertaining encounter to the next. My reliance on med pack use was dramatically cut down, and I never once found myself hurting for funds to spend on ammo. Most splicers are in Minerva’s Den are rich, and they their carry savings with them.
In terms of length, Minerva’s Den offers two lengthy chapters and another mini-chapter for the finale. I managed to march from start to finish in four hours and 15 minutes. If you choose to save the six Little Sisters who roam the halls, you’re looking at a slightly longer run. And speaking of Little Sisters; you’ll see them in a new way in this DLC. Think robotics.
Minerva’s Den also offers a tightly wound narrative that is easy to digest and unlike any other tale told under the sea. The name “The Thinker” will forever be cemented in mind once this game concludes, and it does so on a shocking note.
For only 800 MS points ($10), 2K Marin has delivered another welcome addition to the BioShock lore.
Note: BioShock 2 is required to play Minerva's Den.