It’s time once again for me to take a deep breath and dive into the City of Rapture, many things have changed since my last adventure into the land of the great, some 10 years ago now - mainly that the old girl isn’t looking too healthy these days what with almost all the inhabitants being too spliced up to get on top of the repairs.
As I just said this time it’s 1969 instead of 1960 and once again you play a faceless, voiceless hero - however unlike last time you don’t play as an ordinary human, oh no this time your first generation Big Daddy. This brings me to one of my biggest annoyances about the game; your pink and squishy predecessor could withstand enough bullets to bring down half the US Army, and this time you can just about withstand a strong breeze. Your supposed to be a huge armoured killing machine, but one stubbed toe and your fish food. So you’ll die, you’ll die a lot but thankfully those handy Vita-Chambers are still functioning after all these years and you’ll be alive again in a few seconds. I know that making the game harder makes it more of a challenge and it can be enjoyable, but when you compare it to Bioshock it just doesn’t make sense.
The story leaves you with the sense that this really is a sequel, with an almost a desperate attempt to crowbar characters into the Rapture story - characters that were never mentioned in the original but tried to overthrow Andrew Ryan (one of the main characters from Bioshock, and leader/founder of Rapture). Of course Bioshock 2, being developed by 2K which is half American and half Australian, the main antagonist hails from the shores of good old Blighty and sounds like that special sort of evil that only normally Hollywood can get out of British voice actors. Although I’ve just mock it, the story isn’t too stupid - well if you accept the story to Bioshock, wherein a specially grown child of a main character is brainwashed into hijacking a plane and kill his father, then it seems pretty normal. Although saying that Bioshock had a tight and deep storyline that didn’t need a sequel.
This time you play a Big Daddy who was physically linked to one Little Sister, Eleanor Lamb - daughter of the oh so British Sofia Lamb. One day Sofia finds you and makes you blow your brains against the nearest wall and takes back her daughter. 10 years on and your somehow not decomposed and your back for revenge, thanks to the help of new Little Sisters and rather powerful Eleanor. Turns out that old Sofia has gone a little bit mad and decided to try and create the first ‘Utopian’, this being a person with no sense of self but with huge intelligence - much like the main character from Bioshock. This has made Eleanor quite powerful and she wants nothing more than to break free and reunite with the ‘Daddy’ that she lost.
Without doubt the biggest disappointment with the story of Bioshock 2 has to be the fact that 2K saw how great the first game was then decided to make it more linear. Instead of being able to jump to and fro between sections of the city in the Bathyspheres, you have to use a big train called the Atlantic Express which connects only the oldest parts of Rapture. So if your going for achievements then this is a massive potential fuck up awaiting you, because you can’t go back and get tonics, Little Sisters or audio logs.
Throughout the game you get to decide the fates of a few people and of the Little Sisters and your decisions affect the way which Eleanor behaves once you free her. If you save those that deserve it and rescue the Little Sisters then she’ll probably be less madly aggressive and not feel the need to murder about 10 little girls. However, because I accidental harvested one of the Little Sisters she was quite mad. You really to have to be slightly evil do actually kill the people you can save, one is an elderly lady with a cane and the other is cowardly little shit - the latter being responsible the capture of both yourself and Eleanor, but I still let him survive.
Another disappointment that I had; was the lose of the trusty wrench from the first game, instead you get a Big Daddy drill and it can be strangely satisfying to plant the drill into the skull of a particularly annoying splicer but you constantly run out of drill oil meaning you can only hit folks with it. The best weapon of all though has to be the massively over compensating Spear Gun, which can pierce and pin splicers to the nearest solid surface at 50 paces. The other weapons are the general assortment of shotguns, machine guns and missile launchers - nothing new in that department.
Overall then, I’d give it 5/10 - a game a poor game that has a definite sequel feel to it. Maybe if it was a stand alone title it would score higher but as it stands it just takes away from the Bioshock experince. The worriying thing is that: "2K’s president Christoph Hartmann stated that BioShock could have five sequels", I guess he has a touch of the George Lucas about him - taking a great thing and ruining it with more and more crap.
Bioshock Infinite Debut Trailer
Oh wow another attempt to make money out of the this series, because the second installment was just that good eh? Wrong! I’ve known for a while that the Bioshock series was going to continue despite my negative feelings to the contry. I guess at least this time they won’t have to retcon the living the fuck out of the series in order to get more gameplay because this time you don’t even go to Rapture. Instead you explore the flying city of Columbia - no I’m not making that up. I assume this is still set in the 1960’s or 70’s, and somehow there’s a flying city now too - I think someone is a little too optimistic about mankind’s inventive abilities. Oh no, I’ve just read that it’s set in 1912 - these people are so far outside of reality that I think they’d even be turned away from Arkham!
The following is the synopise from the offical website:
BioShock Infinite is a first-person shooter currently in development at Irrational Games, the studio behind the original BioShock (which sold over 4 million units worldwide). Set in 1912, BioShock Infinite introduces an entirely new narrative and gameplay experience that lifts players out of the familiar confines of Rapture and rockets them to Columbia, an immense city in the sky.
Former Pinkerton agent Booker DeWitt has been sent to rescue Elizabeth, a young woman imprisoned in Columbia since childhood. Booker develops a relationship with Elizabeth, augmenting his abilities with hers so the pair may escape from a city that is literally falling from the sky. DeWitt must learn to fight foes in high-speed Sky-Line battles, engage in combat both indoors and amongst the clouds, and harness the power of dozens of new weapons and abilities.
Due for release some point during 2012 for all the systems that matter, I think I’ll probably give that one a miss to be honest
The first ever BioShock Infinite gameplay footage, as first shown to press at Gamescom last month.
Note: fire up your Xbox to view this footage in HD on Xbox Live.
Holy Fucking Ass Crackers! I know Bioshock 2 was crap but this looks so much better!
In the original BioShock you arrived after Rapture was torn apart. The major events of the world had already taken place, and you were left to pick up the pieces and unravel the mystery. BioShock Infinite, the next game in the franchise but not really the sequel, puts you directly in the middle of the action. You play as Booker DeWitt, an ex-Pinkerton agent tasked with finding a woman named Elizabeth in the floating city of Columbia. It turns out the task is even more difficult than the notion of infiltrating a floating city might initially seem, because Elizabeth is capable of wielding incredible powers that phase objects in and out of existence. She’s also protected by a monstrous creature called the Songbird, who doesn’t like the idea of letting her go.
2K Games announced today that BioShock Infinite from Irrational Games will feature a new form of play- the 1999 Mode, designed to challenge players in a variety of ways – each requiring substantial commitment and skill development.
So it’s finally here then, the third game in the Bioshock series; although it’s a new story (and set before Bioshock in a completely different place with no ADAM or splicers or Big Daddys), so they might as well have just called it “2K’s Cynical attempt at raking in more money from the Bioshock franchise-shock.” Anyway. I’m a well-documented lover of Bioshock and I tore Bioshock 2 a new arsehole, so will Bioshock Infinite continuing a sliding trend or be the new life that brings the series back.