BioShock 2

BioShock 2 Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360PS3PC

The sequel to the multi-million selling FPS.

Review Verdict Read Review
9Out of 10
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There's no doubt that revisiting Rapture isn't quite as special as seeing the dilapidated underwater city for the first time. While BioShock 2 doesn't make you trawl through the same locations, there's a familiarity here, but with 10 years having passed since the end of the original game, new enemies are on the prowl, there's a new dictator in town and the big daddies are no longer alone as the top dogs. A new threat, in the shape of big sisters - agile, plasmid wielding, screaming death merchants - will have you on your toes, fearing for your life every time you hear one of their terrifying, wall-shaking shrieks. Thankfully, when it comes to holding your own in a fight, you're no slouch either. This time, you are a big daddy.

"But I've already played as a Big Daddy," you cry. Yes, while the end of the 2007 game let you put on a big daddy suit, it didn't make you feel like one of Rapture's little sister protectors. This time you awake as the very first, the prototype big daddy, and you're far more agile than you'd imagine. Not wanting to spoil the plot, you're without your little sister and you'll do anything to get her back. With a cast of characters, including new ruler of Rapture Sophia Lamb, all trying to stop you, the fight through the run-down corridors deep under the sea won't be easy.

Straight away you'll notice an important change over the original. Instead of having to swap between a weapon and a plasmid attack (the game's genetic enhancing super powers), you can dual wield. Your daddy's left hand can shoot out electric, fire, ice, and more mutant-like attacks, with one corresponding shoulder button used to cycle through those in your inventory (hold down to bring up a radial menu) and the other to fire. Your right hand holds a weapon, which defaults to a devastating drill. Providing you're carrying some fuel, this drill can be spun and used to rip apart roaming splicers - Rapture's Adam-addicted crazies.

Use of plasmid powers is very similar to how it was in the original game. Obtaining new plasmids requires Adam, a substance found in sea slugs, and grown inside the stomachs of young girls. Throughout BioShock 2 you'll be able to exchange Adam for new plasmids, but to use them you'll have to be stocked up with Eve, found in needles scattered around the city. Adam can also be used to upgrade your plasmids, giving them extra abilities (such as chain attacking enemies and shooting out icicles), while gene tonics grant you bonuses like increased speed and an electrical discharge when attacked.

Big daddies are still a big threat

Big daddies are still a big threat

Your drill isn't the only weapon available to you, with shotguns, machine guns, rivet guns, rocket launchers, dart guns and more all options once you find them. As with plasmids, all of these are upgradeable, not through a currency, but at upgrade stations located at special locations in the city. Each station can only be used once, and with each weapon having three upgrades, what you choose will shape how you tackle combat in the game. For example, your shotgun will gain the ability to shock enemies once fully upgraded, but you might prefer to use a station to improve the power of one of your other weapons. BioShock 2, far more than its predecessor, encourages you to use all your available tools.

Key to how 2K has managed to do this is the way in which enemy encounters occur. While moving about you'll run into splicers, including some new types such as the tank-like Brute splicer, and have to contend with security cameras and turrets, but at certain points you'll set up siege-like scenarios. When you come across little sisters you're able to harvest them or adopt them. Harvesting will instantly give you some Adam, but adopt and they can be used to get you a lot more - and more Adam means better plasmid abilities. Certain splicers can be drained by the little girls, but doing so will draw all splicers to that location, forcing you to defend her while she works away with her needle.

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User Comments

EISPower's Avatar


Posted 10:10 on 13 March 2011
bigalmkal's Avatar


av only played the game for a couple of hours but my god do I luv it!!!!
Posted 02:56 on 10 February 2010
RecoN's Avatar


It arrived at lunch. :) it's absolutely a real gem, the presentation of the box etc is beautiful!
Posted 16:33 on 09 February 2010
SexyJams's Avatar


Oooo, Tom loves a bit of Bioshock.
I think it sounds awesome, just not my sort of thing.
Posted 10:27 on 09 February 2010
Stegosaurus-Guy-II's Avatar

Stegosaurus-Guy-II@ chelskiboy247

Yeah same.
Posted 20:34 on 08 February 2010
Rickitis's Avatar

Rickitis@ Wido

Its set a decade after the events of BioShock - you are a big daddy one of the first of its kind which is reactivated with no recollection of the past decade's events. - Wasnt sure if thats what you meant? Anyway thats how I understand it with a little help from Wiki :)
Posted 20:14 on 08 February 2010
Wido's Avatar


An enjoyable read Tom and a superb review. have dispatched my copy of the game for £29.95. Quite happy with the price front to be honest.

Hmmm. I'm quite interested in the plot to be honest. Because your a 'prototype' big daddy? 10 years before there was Big Daddy's roaming around rapture, so from that point of view will be interesting and the Big Sisters.
Posted 19:22 on 08 February 2010
chelskiboy247's Avatar


Awesome, can't wait for this. I'll hopefully get it as my MOTM prize.
Posted 19:18 on 08 February 2010
Karlius's Avatar


Great Review thoroughly enjoyed the read. I can't wait to get this.
Posted 19:05 on 08 February 2010
RecoN's Avatar


LOL somebody is jealous XD
Posted 17:55 on 08 February 2010
Rickitis's Avatar


Under the first pic 'New enemies makes BioShock 2 a more exciting FPS than its predecessor' shouldnt it be make?

Nice review Tom, I cant wait to play this :)
Posted 17:25 on 08 February 2010
RecoN's Avatar


OMG! what i get a thumbs down for? :O 39.99 is a bargain! Compared to the console version priced around 60.00
Posted 17:24 on 08 February 2010
GeNeCyDe1993's Avatar


Wow thanks Tom, definetely getting this :D
Posted 17:17 on 08 February 2010
RecoN's Avatar


Wicked Review! cant wait until tomoz! I got the Collectors PC version for a bargain 39.99!
Posted 17:05 on 08 February 2010

Game Stats

Technical Specs
BioShock 2
Out of 10
BioShock 2
  • Battles are larger in scale
  • Combat is deeper
  • Multiplayer is surprisingly good
  • Plot isn't as clever as that in the first game
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 09/02/2010
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PS3 , PC
Developer: 2K Marin
Publisher: Take-Two
Genre: First Person Shooter
No. Players: 1 + Online
Rating: PEGI 18+
Site Rank: 591 16
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