It's Not You, BioShock 2, It's Me

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Tiamat666:
I hate clowns and I hate circusses, and something about Rapture and the villains there reminds me alot of both.

I guess you didnt get great savings from the Circus of Value then? :p

I have the feeling that BioShock 2 will be a more consistent game, maintaining the same high quality throughout, as opposed to BioShock, which had some genius levels, and then some real duds. But the highs of BioShock 2 won't be as high as those of BioShock.

That's my guess, anyway. Have to play more to know for certain.

I'm experiencing the same thing, but with the original. I bought it yonks ago, installed it and never got farther than the second level. I subsequently lost the CD-Key and bought the game again on Steam. I still haven't played it. Ugh...

carpenteria:

Tiamat666:
I hate clowns and I hate circusses, and something about Rapture and the villains there reminds me alot of both.

I guess you didnt get great savings from the Circus of Value then? :p

:D

That's actually a perfect example for what I mean. The storyline is serious, the events tragic, yet everything is made to appear silly and ridiculous.
Why on earth do machines that sell items have to be called "Circus of Value" with a clown poster and that silly voice greeting you every time you activate it?

This conflict of what the game tries to be runs through the whole thing and to me, ruins what could have been a much better game.

Pocotron:
Maybe it's just me, and I'm not trying to start anything, but I didn't feel anything so fantastic with Bioshock.

I never found it too amazing to blow my socks off (nice phrase, eh?) although it was good.
Maybe it's just my lack of perception, but Bioshock almost felt cliche outside of the story.

My feelings exactly.

I'm going to say it, and probably regret it, but hey it's just the internet. If you didn't like the original Bioshock, I'm prepared to say you just weren't smart enough to appreciate it. There are things in the darkness of Rapture, as subtle as they are potent, and they will haunt you, but only if are aware enough to understand their meaning.

As for the sequel, I won't judge it till I'm finished, and Mass Effect 2 has been monopolizing my time. (ME2 is the best game I've ever played. Ever.)

I can see what you mean though. Some of Rapture's mysteries have had light shed on them, searching out the remaining corners is fun and everything, but the allure is fragmented. Here's hoping the atmosphere can be rekindled by way of its characters, or better yet, a new dimension of the story.

Tiamat666:
Why on earth do machines that sell items have to be called "Circus of Value" with a clown poster and that silly voice greeting you every time you activate it?

Indeed. Yet another improvement that Bioshock 2 makes, the removal of the Circus/Bandito audio and somewhat shushing the gatherers garden. It's not somthing I missed that's for sure.

This is exactly how I feel about Mass Effect 2. Just, you know, replace Rapture with Space, and add the appropriate sci-fi terms.

Let me put this into perspective, since there are few people that aren't mincing words about this. Heck, half the time I think a lot of the critics can't put their finger on their own problem so I am going to spell it out:

You don't like the politics involved, even if you don't consider yourself political.

Let me be honest, as a community gamers tend to be "left wing" extremists, even if some hold pretensions of being "right wing" to be differant. You can tell this by looking at the comments made on most issues, in forums like the politics and religion board. As you can from the reaction I've gotten when I've expressed very strong right wing/militant sentiments.

While I wasn't on The Escapist at the time, when "Bioshock" came out it was largely popular because of the Ayn Rand referances, and very anti-right wing tone. Or at least that is how some people took it (my opinions are somewhat differant, but we won't go into that here). The bottom line is that this wasn't just a game, or work of fiction, but viewed as something of a subversive rallying point for people who hated then president Bush.

The sequel features a left wing extremist, with less redeeming features than you learn about Ryan, who is totally off her rocker. Right now your in a position where for most gamers (at least vocal ones) the current president is pretty popular, and people are trying to avoid acknowleging the fact that the nation is STILL split 50-50 between both sides. Having a game like this that busts on "their" side doesn't go over too well.

The problem for many critics and reviewers is that they tried to avoid the kind of political gloating (some of it misguided) you saw on certain message boards, by talking about the storyline and how "awesome it was" (despite many conceptual problems), the gameplay, and other elements. Looking at a game that improved on just about everything they can't pretty much go full reverse because the political message (such as it is) is now aimed back in the other direction.

So yeah, I see a lot of people talking about how Bioshock isn't as "special" as the first, but in the end it's a lot of beating around the bush.

Such are my thoughts and observations.

Strange, with the first one I never bothered replaying. In fact replaying it would bore the hell out of me. And I replay lots of games all the time.

I think its because of Bioshock's heavy emphasis on discovery, story, and the secrets within. Once thats all revealed, it doesn't really interest me anymore. The story was fantastic, but after experiencing it, it just didn't have the same amount of mystery and replaying it seemed pointless to me.

I haven't even gotten Bioshock 2 yet, and probably never will. I may rent it, but thats about it.

In my opinion Bioshock never needed a sequel.

I kind of get the same feeling from Bioshock 2. I played Bioshock a few months ago for the first time and I was so impressed I played it through twice. Bioshock 2 was one of the games that I was realy looking forward to this year and it's more of the same. To me that's fantastic. It's just, you played the first one and so you can tell what it is lacking when you compare the two. One of them would be the fear/suspence factor. Your a Big Daddy. You don't have to be scared and if you played the first on there isn't much different when it comes to scares. Secondly I miss many of the characters from the first game. They are almost non existant in Bioshock 2 and they leave a very large void which in my opinion the new characters, which aren't bad but just don't fill it.

The games is great and I was just playing it about 1 hour ago. However I started playing it about a week ago then I didn't play the game for about 5 days. When I started to play it (tonight) I got into it and it sucked me in but unlike Bioshock it doesn't make me want to play it more and more.

i bet everyone one here is just really sore because they were looking forward to you being the massive big guy we all love as daddy but then disapointed to find you had the same pitiful health and wasnt even that much stronger unless you had the complete rtard drill which had the fuel capcity of a malnourished squirrel. i am.

istill find it fun. just dissapointing. but hey play the multiplayer. maybe thats y.

yeah...i feel like i'm playing Bioshocks Identical twin.exept this one has pissy female big daddy's(big sisters) which atttack you if you so mush as fart in the general direction of a little sister.i hope the ending is different by a long shot to the first one.
also why was the big sister so hyped up like it was?they made it seem like there was only one all powerful one but there are multiple ones that are overpowered.

oh and the constant thudding of splicers wasnt the most clever use of four hours of my life.

Susan Arendt:
It's Not You, BioShock 2, It's Me

BioShock 2 is almost identical to its predecessor...with one very notable exception.

Read Full Article

Trust me there is a certain set of audio dairies that will tug at your heart strings, and sadly i do have to agree with you that Bioshock 2 for me could not replace the orginal for me as my favorite game. I had such high expectations but they just couldn't recapture the greatness of the first game

I think the strongest proof of this for me is wanting to show my gf bioshock when I got excited about having Bioshock 2 and started talking about it. She wanted to know what it was about so I showed her the opening to Bioshock 1 and reminded myself how good it was.... Now she's playing it at her house. I'd say the only differnce between the 2 is that Bioshock 2 doesn't have that sense of being overwhelmed and lost and not knowing what was going on. As everyone says, "it's the mystery of it all". Bioshock 2 is still excellent but i'm starting to think people were right. Maybe it didn't need a sequel afterall.

We need to see rapture in decline. I'd love to be there when everything started going wrong. That would not only recreate the feeling of the 1st but im pretty sure it could possibly beat it.... Imagine being present when diane is recording her diary in the corner of the bar when everything goes off etc etc etc. You could do it all throughout rapture. Surely people were trying to escape when the riots started etc. The whole "ryan doesn't own us" protest signs etc at the start of the 1st one also.... If they make that game I will have an all time favourite.

I just had an AMAZING IDEA. READ THIS.

Bioshock 2 should have been a prequel! Think about it. The main problem for me with Bioshock 2 is that the locations look exactly like they did in the original. Now think how awesome it would be if Bioshock 2 took place at the beginning of the good times during rapture and the game consisted of the horrific decline into the world that it was in the original one. There could be corruption, genetic horrors set in a city full of ordinary people that slowly turn into murders. And most of all there could be Andrew Ryan and his slow descent into madness or genius. Now that would be a game that I would have paid to play. I want a happy world that slowly becomes a frightening nightmare. What do you think?

Susan Arendt:
It's Not You, BioShock 2, It's Me

BioShock 2 is almost identical to its predecessor...with one very notable exception.

Read Full Article

While I agree that the gameplay and story in BioShock 2 aren't as compelling as in 1, I think two does something that 1 never managed, at least for me: it struck me as emotionally poignant.

Like I said, the story in 1 is very compelling, but to me, that's not because I got caught up as an actor in it. The use of objectivist philosophy - not simply as window-dressing, but as the actual engine that drove the story - was very well done, which is rarely the case when it comes to objectivism. While I thought objectivism was bulls*@t before I played BioShock and was only more convinced of that after playing BioShock, during the game I couldn't help but say, "Well, okay, what if it isn't? What if there's something good here?" For the first time ever I actually understood, perhaps, why it became an international fad at a certain point in history.

BioShock 2 didn't add anything to this, and didn't do anything similar. Yes, it pointed out that anti-objectivism can be just as dangerous, but that's no secret, and nothing profound. But what got me in 2 is that I found the characters sympathetic. In 1 I could see where the characters were coming from, but I never really felt what they supposedly felt. With 2, it was almost the opposite - their arguments defending what they were doing were irrelevant, because I could FEEL why they were doing what they were doing, and many times this directly contradicted what they believed.

I give credit to the writers of 2 for this nuance, though I freely admit that maybe it's all my doing. Maybe I pulled something from the voice acting that wasn't supposed to be there. But either way, BioShock 2 was more emotionally engaging to me than the first, even if the gameplay was less interesting.

Maybe the fact that the major players in 2 were women and seemed to offer a semi-realistic feminine perspective on Rapture was what captivated me, since I didn't expect it and it felt refreshingly novel. All I know for sure is, while I had no trouble killing the Little Sisters for adam in the first game, I simply couldn't do it in the second, even feeling terrible on my second play-through when I gave it a try. In 1, the characters were just NPCs inhabiting the same world as my avatar. In 2, they were expressive, sympathetic little digital people, and I actually started caring about them, even if only in the sense that they were my little digital pets programmed to expect the best from me.

If that sounds really weird, I agree. And I love it. We need more games that make us feel weird, or at any rate just different. That's the power of gaming, and I'm glad BioShock 2 somehow went there, even if the gameplay and story themselves aren't as good as in 1.

Monshroud:

Regiment:
In regard to the "terribly depressing audio log", there is one that's almost as sad as "Saw Masha Today". I don't remember his name, but there are a few logs left by a man trying to find his missing daughter, who happens to have been (SHOCKING!) turned into a Little Sister. Anyway, eventually you

Would this be the Mark Meltzer logs? This was actually a great tie in to what 2k did for the lead-in to the game. If you visited www.somethinginthesea.com in the months before Bioshock 2's release you were following the story of Mark and played various puzzle games to uncover story about Bioshock 2, and even about the creation of Rapture. The site is still up and you can see everything that is there.

I guess Mark Meitzer wasn't even supposed to be in the game at first. But people responded so well to "Something in the Sea" that they added him.

Oh and I think the Mark Meitzer tapes are much more depressing than "Saw Masha Today" purely because of the build up and the conclusion. I mean you know what happens to Masha and Cindy as well as Masha's parents but you never really know what happens to Mark until... well... you'd know if you played to the end of the game and got every Little Sister in Bioshock 2. And you find yourself rooting for Mark SO DAMN MUCH that the conclusion crushed me on the inside.

I've felt this way about a number of good games I allow to rot on the sidelines for quite some time.

BioShock 2 didn't wait though. Probably because I took the time to view a trailer to get me in the mood.

I picked up BioShock probably 6 months to a year after it was released. My friends had been annoying me to get it - and at $17.99, why not?

I know I'm going to upset a lot of people with my next remark.

Three days later, I completed the game - unfazed, unamused, and un-heartbroken. I really never saw anything spectacular about it - the story was hokey at best, the weapons were atrocious, and the plasmids were just guns in disguise (that and biologically impossible). The scary bits were abhorrently predictable and the fights with Big Daddys were... mini bosses? The only tactic was shoot at them or throw bees at them until they die.

If I took anything from the experience, it was to not listen to what my friends call good games. I'll just wait 'till BioShock 2 goes down to $17.99.

Though I will admit, the "Would You Kindly" meme is pretty awesome.

(Note: I didn't much like Modern Warfare 2, either.)

Very nice. Bioshock 2 is about as good as any sequel to that kind of original brilliance can hope to be. The novelty of that first experience, where everything was new and hair-raising, just stays with you...and doesn't compare to any future journeys.

i liked bioshock's story well enough but couldn't bring myself to play it more than once. same thing happened with mass effect 2.

bioshock 2 strikes me as a cash in, the story was told.

they could easily have created a new world and a new problem and treated the name to a series such as the elder scrolls. this way as long as someone had the idea's, bioshock could keep reinventing itself. now they have no choice but to keep it in rapture. and they finished that story in the first game.

BS2 was made by a different team to the first so the only way forward for the "series" is retired, the only fresh idea in it has been mentioned twice but the decline would be entertaining. but it would break the mechanics and play more like a mass effect 2 mod, in which the bulk of gameplay is conversations. until the finale.

I played Bioshock on the console, but recently bought it again for the PC with the $5 steam special, and went through it to experience a different ending. I'm really digging the pace with Bioshock 2 so far. Some things that have been implemented help so that the flow seems less interrupted than before. Researching is better, hacking is better (thank god, I hated the old hacking mini game). It is very similar yes, and while it won't eclipse my original experience, I am enjoying this second romp.

I think Susan Arendt might be my favorite writer at the Escapist.

Anyway, Bioshock was, without doubt, my favorite game of this generation and is in my top 5 of all time. I agree with the article almost entirely.

I kinda feel like all the thoughts/points in this article could have been made in half the paragraphs it is now

but still, I should go through Bioshock sometime (ehh don't think I'll be trying out new games anytime soon, saving up some cash)

Susan Arendt:
Susan Arendt wonders if there's an audio diary as heartbreaking as "Saw Masha Today" in BioShock 2.

Well, in my mind, at least, the story of Mark Meltzer comes close. When I heard the final ending to that in Dionysus Park, I was hugely moved by how unfair it was. Maybe that's just me, though.

I'm the sentimental type as a whole, I guess, being literally incapable of harvesting even a single little sister. Not out of some desire to see the ending, it's just that being a bad person in video games makes my physically sick.

It's OK. This was my reaction to System Shock 2. Still was a great game, and so is BioShock 2. Just wasn't a true leap beyond the predecessor.

Meh take the story and dailog away from BS you have a random sandbox lulz fest, the story and art direction makes for a a rather shallow level of immersion because the gameplay dose not follow through on all the work that was put into the art and story....

SaintWaldo:
It's OK. This was my reaction to System Shock 2. Still was a great game, and so is BioShock 2. Just wasn't a true leap beyond the predecessor.

IMO BS is not a true leap beyond SS2 its just to disconjointed and simplified.
Its still a ok game...but I was excepting a 9-11 and got a 6-7..............

I loved Bioshock and if they ever do something like The Film Archive for games, Bioshock should be in there. Sadley, Bioshock 2 really didn't do much for me for various reasons with most of them being story-based.

1) Your enemies - I always liked Ryan as a character. He was a mis-guided genius whos dreams failed due to the introduction of an un-controllable random element (Adam). Everything he did was to try and stop his dream from collapsing. You then switched to Fontaine who, by Ryans rules, should have ended up controlling Rapture and so he was out for revenge and absolute power which, while cliched, is fairly understandable. Lamb on the other hand struck me as a power-crazy bitch who was determined to undermine Rapture and Ryan partly due to her beliefs but more because she didn't like Ryan.

Also, the minor bosses wern't as interesting this time around and were set up badly. In one level I didn't even realise I was in a boss battle until I had killed the guy. Compared to the great one like Sander Cohen and the Surgeon in the 1st, it definitely felt like a bit of a let down.

2) Your allies - In the 1st game you had Atlas and Tenenbaum and while we all know what happened with Atlas he at least was trying to help you in a supposed attempt to save Rapture. Also, Tenenbaum was a fantastic character who was desperately trying to make up for the previous wrongs she had done and because of this, I genuinely cared about her. In 2, you first had someone who was just after money which didn't make him sympathetic (or even likeable) in the slightest. You then switched to Evelyn Lamb who I will admit I did start to feel some affection for by the end.

3) Gameplay - In both games the gameplay is more to shift you from set-piece to set piece. In the 1st game this was fine because even when the setpieces were fairly bad (Never liked the Garden level) they were still better then a lot of games and when they were good, they were excellent. In 2 I kept wanting the level to be over with the only standout being

It's so funny how quickly the hype train can become derailed after a game's release. Just before the *next big game* is released we hear again and again how awesome it is, and in the first week or two after it's release we hear much of the same. But THEN, the inevitable articles and comments saying well it's not THAT great after all. It's like the collective consciousness of gamers goes always goes through these troughs and peaks for the hyped games and then publishers wonder why there are so many second-hand sales!

To the article's author: If you didn't enjoy the game because it didn't feel new or special, that is a valid complaint. It's called a lack of new content. Bioshock delivered a amazing new world to explore and that was a large part of its appeal for you apparently. Bioshock 2 didn't deliver this, thus to you it is not nearly as good. No need to qualify or defend those comments by constantly lavishing it with praise even though you just said you didn't think it was very good. It's incoherent.

The gameplay fixed a lot of issues I had with the first one.

No big twist, plot didn't really call or need one.

If anything it shined more light into the thoughts and relationship of big daddies and little sisters.
Which is kinda messed up since in both games you separate them.
The Alpha series daddies are particularly depressing.

I can't find myself to complain about the game.
Sure the color faded a bit.
it was still intriguing to see how rapture changed, which wasn't at all.
Ryan's views of borderline anarchy and lamb's views that skip on the lines of hardcore communism had the same reaction to the people.
If anything Lamb's rule was more horrible.

I loved Bioshock 2, it got me just as enthralled with it as the first one. I could not put it down, just like the first one, and like the first one my only major complaint is that I wanted more, which as we know is not really much of a complaint.
It did awaken alot of maternal instincts I did not even realise I had, which really put me in the shoes of the big daddy. I was very skeptical about a second trip to rapture, but I loved every minute of it, it is just different to the first, which is why some do not like it as much, but it still a magnificent game.

Tiamat666:
Considering how "serious" the story is, they should have tried harder not to make The NPCs look like ridiculous cartoon characters.

I think you're missing part of the point of it all though. It was a living space that was meant to be cheerful. If everytime you wanted a snack you were greeted by a chipper voice it might help you forget that you havent seen the sun in 280 days, even if for a moment. Rapture was meant to be upbeat and part of the horror there is just how badly its falling apart into decay as the last remnants of a positive existence there slowly die out. It's actually kind of depressing.

Just imagine yourself, personally, in a world so desolate of life that the only thing talking to you, other than the voices on the radio, are crazed people out for your blood... or diddies coming from a machine.

And they look like people who have used masks to cover their deformities. It makes as much sense as anything else to cover up what splicing has done to your once pretty face.

Therumancer:
/SNIP

Seriously, why do people who obsess over what "wing" you are always have to find these things in other media when they're not invited. Of course Episode III had Padme referring to American politics at the time. Every comic book where the government does evil things is clearly some left-leaning liberal trying to smear the Reds... er, Republican led houses at the time.

Or maybe, just maybe, the idea of an Ayn Rand objectivist, a mentality that an incredibly small amount of people would know or even understand, is more alien and thus more interesting. We went from a guy who was obsessed with building a cult of man, a great society where man would worship himself through working for his wage. Then we learn of the city falling apart from within due to that same free enterprise going out of his control.

Bioshock 2 may as well be set in any cultist heavy environment because that's what we've moved on to. We've gone away from the strange and the unknown into a Rapture that's been taken over by a cult led by a psychologist. I just don't even see how people can expect the early impact of the game to not be entirely lessened. It has nothing to do with left or right wing anything, we've gone from being totally unfamiliar with the place (Rapture) and the minds of the people in there to revisiting Rapture alongside some cultists waiting on a comet.

Ahh why did you bring up those audio logs, they were the worst at tugging at your heart strings. To slowly piece together the genesis of the little sisters was as hard to hear as it was genius.

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