Is Bioshock 2 really as bad as we remember? (Spoilers)

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So I played Bioshock 2 first oddly enough. And I loved the combat, I loved the setting, the story was interesting and the ending to me was fairly decent. Oh and the moral choice system was straight up stupid. Maybe it's because I didn't have any knowledge of the first Bioshock so the story didn't seem odd, there was no Retcon for me. I just knew Rapture was an underwater city, there were Big Daddies and Little Sisters. The rest was introduced to me through the game so any knowledge of Rapture came to me through Bioshock 2. I found the game to be incredible and it's still one of my favorite games to this day.

I then went and tried to play through Bioshock and... well I'm still trying to get through it. I find Bioshock's combat to be fairly dull. I mostly just Wrench everything in the face til it's dead and it sort of becomes a chore. I just got passed the Fort Frolic, and when Sander sends the huge waves of Splicers at you I sort of just walked around bashing them in the face one by one moving from one to another. Became kinda boring. I find combat in Bioshock to be either incredibly unforgiving or incredibly easy with no real middle ground. In Bioshock 2 I actually felt the need to plan ahead, to be strategic, and to sometimes just go insane with power as I drill through as many guys as I can as fast as I can. Oh and the Big Sisters are terrifying.

In Bioshock 2 I felt like I had a real goal, something that I was working towards and I felt like the antagonist had a real reason to fight against me. In Bioshock I like that I'm exploring a dead city and all that, but I don't feel anything is of real importance. I just do what the guys on the talky box tell me to because.... they tell me to and if I don't then I don't get to go forward in the game. And the antagonist just comes off as an annoying cad who just wants to spite me for no real reason.

It was good game, yes.

Problem is it wasn't the least bit ground breaking. It was just more Bioshock. Nothing wrong with more Bioshock. It just wasn't a step forward.

ALthough I knocked it down a few pegs by being all "PLAY AS A BIG DADDY" and really you're prototype so you're just Jack with a drill arm. Unless you play on Easy, then your sort of Big-Daddy like.

Bioshock 2 is better than Bioshock 1. You guys should replay both and compare... I did so when I bought the desert to sea bundle at christmas time and wow, there's so many improvements over 1. Combat, research, plasmids, hacking, gosh.

And the story wasn't that bad either... I just didn't like that vita chambers were integral. It's such a stupid concept.

I didn't like the actual moral choices you could make, but I was amazed with the effect they had at the end.

I never thought Bioshock 2 was all that bad in the first place. It explored themes of fatherhood instead of bioshocks usual political, religious, and social norms. We've had games explore motherhood before but I struggle to think of one besides bioshock 2 that explored fatherhood. That single theme made the game more endearing for me but I also understand that not everyone goes into a game looking for deeper meanings and to understand the art behind the game.

Bioshock 2's ending also at least made me feel like there was some closer, unlike the original games end.

To be fair it did a worse job with the atmosphere and the combat but Ive never gone into a bioshock game expecting those to be the driving points behind it. For me, Bioshock has always been about story and the exploration of themes and ideals. Bioshock 2 had that so I was satisfied with it

Easton Dark:

Actually, that whole sequence was a pretty big "wow" moment for me. To see through the little sister's eyes left me in a daze and I couldn't explore enough, especially when you started to see statues of yourself making the decisions you made. It didn't occur to me, before then, that the girls saw Rapture so differently. And then there was a pretty big twist during that scene revealing that the reason you've been able to adopt little sisters is because of Eleanor's connection to you.

Pebkio:
It didn't occur to me, before then, that the girls saw Rapture so differently.

Oh dude yeah, totally, me neither. I just assumed they saw it how it was and were numbed to the sights or something, but they actually see it in an idealized way. I wish I could have seen how they viewed big daddies, I imagine they're like teddy bears or something.

That was a great level.

Smeggs:
I never thought it was bad in the first place. Gameplay was far improved, I don't think many people would argue with that, and despite what others might say I liked B2's story better, as I actually felt like there was some LIFE in Rapture other than me and the few crazies.

My favorite part of gameplay was probably the reworked Insect Swarm Plasmid. In the first game I never really used it because, well, it was kind of shit, but in the second game, at Insect Swarm 2, it's not only fun but powerful as well. That, and the Drill charge I spammed like nobody's business, as it made me feel like an angry freight train.

This. So much this.

I don't think I ever bothered to ever use any other weapons once I unlocked the charge. Get all the drill damage upgrades with the camera, all 5 Drill gene tonics (especially Drill Specialist), and proper use of plasmids and you become an invincible juggernaut of absolute destruction. It's bloody amazing, as long as you don't run out of gas for the drill.

Bioshock 2 is not a bad game. Nor is it an ok game, it is a brilliant game. People hold up bioshock to attack bioshock 2 but in reality playing bioshock 2 highlights massive flaws with bio1.

Bioshock 2 is simply the better game. For starters, it is a better TOLD story. The quality of the story is a subjective thing, and the "Would You Kindly" moment is brilliant conceived, but the games narrative has god awful pacing and a disappointing end. It's quite hard to justify that the pacing after Ryan's big moment is good. The story becomes stodgy and loses most of its punch and ultimately the ending is a cliched boss fight which jarrs heavily with the games cliche subverting narrative. Contrast with Bioshock 2 which has much better pacing and an ending which merges perfectly with the story. Yes Bioshock's story is cleverly written, but its nowhere near as consistent as Bioshock 2.

I don't think many people could also argue that the moral choices were better in Bioshock 1 than 2. Bioshock 1 has a simple moral choice system with a black and white ending, and has no subtlety. Bioshock 2 on the other hand has a genuinely well made moral choice system with clever outcomes. This leads to four narratively consistent endings, which correspond correctly to your choices.

Also Bioshock 2 has a much more believable cast characters, and attempts to give you a stronger emotional connection to the universe. Grace Holloway is a fantastic character. She is not a lunatic, a murderer or omnipresent voice booming ideological diatribes at us. She is human being caught up in the fall of rapture. She doesn't turn into a demon when you meet her, or a bullet tank. She simply stares you down, even though she is a defenseless old women. Also Stanley Poole, a conniving sleazebag who is responsible for your condition when faced doesn't turn cliche boss fight on your arse. He whimpers and begs for his life. These characters are much more believable and developed than any of the Bioshock 1 characters other than Ryan. Is Fontaine a believable character, up until his transformation maybe.

The gameplay is better,but thats not the only thing. It is ultimately a better told story which people like to ignore because it was "unnecessary", the most cop out criticism there is.

This website sums it up better than me to be honest

http://www.gamesradar.com/the-top-7-ways-bioshock-2-is-better-than-bioshock-1/

Rant Over

I never played it.
I think of it is a money grabbing sequel that was just made because everything nowadays has to be a franchise by law and not producing a sequel to game that was well received is a offence deserving of capital punishment.
Might have been good... I will never now and I don't want to know.

On a similar note Dead Space is also one game. I don't know what people mean when they talk about Dead Space 2 or 3... there is no Dead Space 2 or 3 in my time and space.

Where did all these people praising Bioshock 2 coming from? Finally dared to speak their opinion without the fear of getting flamed?

Personally, I found it to be a massive downgrade. The massive moodshift bothered me a lot, since there's almost no creepiness left and it kinda feels like a fairy palace underwater. It's beautiful, of course, but I prefered the old look. Besides, how can anything even try to creep you out if you are a goddamn Big Daddy in Terminator mode?

Ryan was a more interesting villain, the levels were darker and honestly, it just kinda bored me. In Bioshock it was hard to stop playing, whereas Bioshock 2 always made me wanyt to quit straight away.

Karoshi:
Where did all these people praising Bioshock 2 coming from? Finally dared to speak their opinion without the fear of getting flamed?

Personally, I found it to be a massive downgrade. The massive moodshift bothered me a lot, since there's almost no creepiness left and it kinda feels like a fairy palace underwater. It's beautiful, of course, but I prefered the old look. Besides, how can anything even try to creep you out if you are a goddamn Big Daddy in Terminator mode?

Ryan was a more interesting villain, the levels were darker and honestly, it just kinda bored me. In Bioshock it was hard to stop playing, whereas Bioshock 2 always made me wanyt to quit straight away.

There see, you're one of the people I was ranting against. You're only talking about story and aesthetic in reference to a game. It's like you're trying to shove games into the same slot movies occupy.

The funny part is that I agree with you. Bioshock's story was better, Ryan was the better main villain, the setting was fresh at the time, and the mood was consistent. But all of those things could be said about movies. When talking about the merits of a game, it's actually pretty poor taste to just compare them as you would a different medium. This is not a book we're talking about, this not a movie we're talking about; we're talking about a game here.

You can be disappointed by the story once, but the gameplay can still be fun. My argument is that, due to more focus on tactical gameplay and gene tonic choices, Bioshock was more of an RPG than a shoot-them-in-face game... and that made it more fun to play.

it was never bad it was just less scary apart from that all else was well

I played Bioshock 1 and 2 for the first time last year. If felt like DLC more than a second game. It wasn't awful, but it certainly felt... off as a Bioshock sequel, despite taking place in the same city.

FYI, Bioshock 1 is still VERY playable despite its age. My favorite of the two.

Bioshock 2 was a very fun game that much improved the combat of the first, that was all that I cared about and why I liked it.

Pebkio:

redmoretrout:
Of course it can! If a sequel adds nothing to the story or characters and actually to worsens the original story through pointless retcons and changes then it is doing a bad job. (See the Star Wars prequels) Bioshock was famous for its story, it was what elevated the game from a mediocre shooter (Personally I found the gameplay kinda lacking) to one of the best games of this generation. A hastily written sequel tacked on for no other purpose than to squeeze a few dollars out a franchise is bad, end of story.

But a game, as was my point, should be judged by more than just what you can also find in a book or a movie. Another point I made in my first "list" paragraph, was that 2K marin made the game feel less like a shooter and more like a fist person RPG. So while the story had to save the mediocre shooter "Bioshock", it didn't have to save the fun RPG "Bioshock 2".

I mean, really, if you're only in gaming for the stories, you might have better luck just reading books. I'm sure there's a novelization of Bioshock out there...

If a game's story is excellent, than fun gameplay is simply non-essential. Many of my favorite games do not have fun gameplay, but that doesn't matter because the story alone is enough to keep me interested. (Planescape:Torment and Walking Dead are examples of this.)

I consider the 1st Bioshock to be one of those games, the story was the single most enjoyable and defining thing of Bioshock. It's story set it apart from other games and made it great. Bioshock 2's story completely failed to live up to the first game. When a sequel fails to deliver the aspects of its predecessor which made its namesake great, it has failed.

redmoretrout:
I disagree entirely, if a game's story is excellent, than fun gameplay is simply not essential. Many of my favorite games do not have fun gameplay, but that doesn't matter because the story alone is enough to keep me interested. (Planescape:Torment and Walking Dead are examples of this.) I consider the 1st Bioshock to be one of those games, I it enjoyed because of the story. Bioshock 2's story completely failed to live up to the first game. And when a sequel fails to deliver the most enjoyable and defining aspect of its predecessor it has failed.

I'm going to still ask, then, why you're suffering through bad gameplay just to get at a story when books still exist? The good ones have got fleshed out, descriptive, settings with well-defined characters... because that's all they've got going for them. You can even get an audio recording of more popular ones if you don't feel like reading. They're also cheaper and usually last longer than any game that isn't an RPG.

Books - More Than Just for College (the more you know). :P

Sorry, gotta be serious. And I am being serious when I ask why you haven't just gone to books.

Pebkio:

redmoretrout:
I disagree entirely, if a game's story is excellent, than fun gameplay is simply not essential. Many of my favorite games do not have fun gameplay, but that doesn't matter because the story alone is enough to keep me interested. (Planescape:Torment and Walking Dead are examples of this.) I consider the 1st Bioshock to be one of those games, I it enjoyed because of the story. Bioshock 2's story completely failed to live up to the first game. And when a sequel fails to deliver the most enjoyable and defining aspect of its predecessor it has failed.

I'm going to still ask, then, why you're suffering through bad gameplay just to get at a story when books still exist? The good ones have got fleshed out, descriptive, settings with well-defined characters... because that's all they've got going for them. You can even get an audio recording of more popular ones if you don't feel like reading. They're also cheaper and usually last longer than any game that isn't an RPG.

Books - More Than Just for College (the more you know). :P

Sorry, gotta be serious. And I am being serious when I ask why you haven't just gone to books.

Possibly because books are not necessarily as interactive as a game? I love books as much as anyone, but not everyone plays games solely because of how they play; it is not a sin to prefer storytelling over gameplay.

Personally, I enjoy having a reason to play a specific game, otherwise, it feels as if I am simply killing time (of which I don't have a lot of to do so in the first place). I play and go back to games like Mass Effect, Paper Mario, Skies of Arcadia, Star Wars KotOR, and Bioshock because of their enthralling characters, stories, and worlds. I get the chance to play out an adventure for myself and interact with personalities that I cannot get from a book, nor a movie.

To me, Bioshock 2 felt forced, I couldn't get into it. The world and its characters bored me; I had zero reason to play the game, so I moved on to something else. Does that mean I think its a bad game? Not at all, but for me, story is just as important as how a game plays. If one or the other is severely lacking, I'm less likely to enjoy a game. An uninteresting or bad story, or a glitchy mess of a game: neither is very enjoyable. Good story and good gameplay don't have to be mutually exclusive things, after all.

It wasn't that bad but it wasn't good enough to stand out of the shadow of the original. Apart from the even worse mouse support I didn't have any big issues with it as a game, my main criticism would be the blatant milking of the original content.

Pebkio:

Karoshi:
Where did all these people praising Bioshock 2 coming from? Finally dared to speak their opinion without the fear of getting flamed?

Personally, I found it to be a massive downgrade. The massive moodshift bothered me a lot, since there's almost no creepiness left and it kinda feels like a fairy palace underwater. It's beautiful, of course, but I prefered the old look. Besides, how can anything even try to creep you out if you are a goddamn Big Daddy in Terminator mode?

Ryan was a more interesting villain, the levels were darker and honestly, it just kinda bored me. In Bioshock it was hard to stop playing, whereas Bioshock 2 always made me wanyt to quit straight away.

There see, you're one of the people I was ranting against. You're only talking about story and aesthetic in reference to a game. It's like you're trying to shove games into the same slot movies occupy.

The funny part is that I agree with you. Bioshock's story was better, Ryan was the better main villain, the setting was fresh at the time, and the mood was consistent. But all of those things could be said about movies. When talking about the merits of a game, it's actually pretty poor taste to just compare them as you would a different medium. This is not a book we're talking about, this not a movie we're talking about; we're talking about a game here.

You can be disappointed by the story once, but the gameplay can still be fun. My argument is that, due to more focus on tactical gameplay and gene tonic choices, Bioshock was more of an RPG than a shoot-them-in-face game... and that made it more fun to play.

Games are not a monolithic experience, they offer many different things to enjoy and as such, opinions wary what aspects of a game are the most important ones. I grow wary of people telling me "Gameplay is the most vital one, cause it's a GAME, duh."

A game is a sum of many parts, but foremost it's an experience. For me, combat is the most forgettable one, whereas the story and setting grabs me by my heart and doesn't let me go. Do I have an obligation to enjoy gamplay? Do I have a duty to enjoy fighting and shooting? Because in most cases I don't.

You say that books and movies are perfectly fine for telling stories and they are, but games offer an unique take. They make the story personal, offer you choice and give you (however limited) freedom. You feel that games are nevertheless a weak storytelling medium and that's alright. Still, I love it.

I have and always will value atmosphere, setting and story above gameplay. There is a great variety of gaming genres and a big number of completely different games. There is place for people who love gameplay and for those who don't. I do not see why we have to argue about what makes a game and what aspect should be the most important one.

Bioshock 1 > 2 anyday for me.

That's not to say I hated it because I love Rapture, it was just a sub par sequel to Bioshock 1 with a lazy half ass'd multiplayer slapped on. However I would much rather play Bioshock 2 than say Dragon Age 2, so it wasn't all bad.

Bioshock 2 was not bad, it was just unnecessary.

The first game closed the story pretty tightly, and had the extra appeal of exploring a weird, mysterious and unfamiliar place. Because of that, the second game was meant to feel less interesting by default. The part that makes you play as a Big Daddy, but still keep all the features of the original makes it be less well-thought (after all, how many times did we see a Big Daddy in Bioshock 1 scavenging for food and money, using plasmids and vita-chambers, and killing little sisters) didn't help.

It also suffered from a lot more repetition than Bioshock 2. The big sister was only introduced to have something over you in the food chain, but it was never explained, it was extremely predictable, the encounters lacked tension and the cycle became tedious soon. At first, I thought she was going to be a unique encounter that would harass me throughout the game and her presence would be explained into the story (like Nemesis in RE3), but it turns out she is never really explained, she only appears when and where I chose to, and there are dozens of those things.

However, the combat is better than the first one and the story gets interesting near the end (not as good as Bioshock 1, but good on its own right), and a mediocre Bioshock is still a lot better than 90% of the FPS games out there. Also, they had the superb Minerva's Den DLC, which is an unconnected, well written story in a compressed Bioshock experience.

I never got a chance to play Bioshock 2, I was kind of disappointed by Bioshock 1 and thus was not motivated to try it. But every impression I've gotten from reading about it just makes me more disinterested.

But Infinite is looking very intriguing (and sporting a protagonist who looks like he is actually involved in the story rather than a half-assed faceless dude who is supposed to be a character)

I liked both BS1 and 2 but I will say I much preferred playing as Subject Delta than I did Jack Ryan; Delta developed more as a character whilst Jack was simply a puppet. Also I loved the relationship between Delta and Eleanor.

I think BS1 is possibly more highly regarded as it broke new ground at the time (Seeing Rapture for the first time in BS1 was always going to be more amazing than seeing it a second time in BS2) and had a sharper concept, playing off from the Randian concepts as it did. But 2 was a much warmer game in terms of character and storyline.

I never played the first one(BURN THE HERETIC!).
But I thought BioShock 2 was incredible and completely sucked me into the universe.
It was the free and tense combat that really did it for me.

I think gamers give story too much emphasis when it comes to games. If gameplay isn't your first concern, then I'd argue that you're doing it wrong. Mario, Donkey Kong, Pac Man, and Limbo didn't need stories to be fun.

If the Bioshock games had no story, would they still be fun to play? Yes, which is why Bioshock 2 is a good game.

Nope, I thought it was crap the first time I played it, but I've played it four times now and I think it's decent. No where near as good as the first, but Minerva's Den helped it out a lot too. And it's still got the same Bioshock charm, and I still feel it's fun.

Never played 2 so I can't really comment on how much it's "hated" but I've always thought it seemed like an unnecessary sequel, made for the sake of being made. Then again I didn't even like the first one so I may not have liked the second one either.

Wait....isn't OP the same person who said something in another thread about how people who like Bioshock Infinite are wrong?

Yep

Guess he's moved on from "Stop liking what I don't like" to "Stop not liking what I like".

I liked Bioshock 2 what they did with the plasmids was fun but the story was a bit weaker and I missed my crossbow * sheds tear*

I think it wasn't bad at all. I liked returning to Rapture for a different point of view at a different time. Also, being able to use plasmids and weapons at the same time was pretty cool and thus the combat system felt a bit more fluid and smooth than in the first game. And it had some interesting, though pretty limited, ideas with the moral choices. But people seem to jump on Yahtzee's dick and claim it was bad because he may think so(he didn't say so explicitly, after all). I disagree. In my opinion, the case here is just that it's only a little worse than the first one. It's a sequel, after all.

EDIT: Oh, and I forgot. The drill. It was fucking awesome.

daveman247:

Pebkio:
snip

Meltzer's story was pretty big. He was the main character of the "theres something under the sea" bioshock 2 marketing campaign. Following how he worked out where rapture was and where all the little girls were disappearing too. The logs you find carry on from that. Really well done.

True about some of the secondary characters in infinite. Fink wasn't gone into too much, neither was the leader of the vox populi or that war guy in the museum either to be honest. I get that the stories meant to focus on booker and elizabeth, but at what cost?

I loved the Bioshock 2 ARG, I still have the record & pawn card from it framed in my garage. I would have loved to gotten one of the masks they gave out. Plus the way the masks were delivered was pretty awesome.

It lacked the soul of the first game. It was a cheap cash grab. The game played okay and was moderately interesting but only just so. At the end of the day it was just bland and forgettable.

its no where near as good as the first.... but saying its not as good as the earthly manifestation of chirst isnt saying its bad. infact i though bioshock 2 was a very good game, just not as good as the first but i can say the same about most games ive played

it was never bad, it was just a dumb idea to make a direct sequel to bioshock. yes it was mechnically better but that is not what you play bioshock for, you do it for the atmosphere and the environment and shit. or you do it to watch a 19 year old women throw a rocket launcher in your face.

and personally i disliked playing as a big daddy, being just a guy with a gun and bees coming out of his hand made you kinda vulnerable and cutting through hordes of splicers felt like i did something. when i did the same thing in 2 it just felt like tuesday since i was a walking tank.
oh and HOW THE FUCK IS RAPTURE STILL AROUND AFTER TEN YEARS? and why did wrist tattoo guy not blow it up?

I always found that a bit odd that it was deemed so much worse, nice to know I'm not crazy. I mean sure, the story and characters were less interesting (Absolutely loved Cohen) so I did find it making less of an impact, but basically everything else it seemed to do better in, combat being the best example.
Still hated the multiplayer decision and the "moral choice" idea. I killed most of the people in Rapture and still seemed to get the good ending. And I didn't buy the idea that Lamb was such a special part of Rapture society when I'd never heard of her before.

I'm one of the few people who liked it more than the original. Being able to TK an enemy, then suck their health out while the squirmed in my grip, then tossing their corpse aside...mua ha ha!

Also, I cared about the characters more in the second one than I did in the first. Andrew Ryan annoyed me, but Sofia Lamb...grr. I did not like that woman, which made her a great villain to me. And the (good) ending made me tear up a bit.

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