Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Bioshock 2 (2010) 2K Games - First Impressions

Waaaaaay back in 07 I did a first impressions of Bioshock and then in I tore through the game (along with several others) in May '09.  I never wrote a final review of Bioshock, not sure why - probably because of the massive amount of disappointment I felt with the last chapter.  It was a complete disappointment for me and marred an otherwise excellent gaming experience.  Three years later I'm still very annoyed by the finale.  That's probably why I didn't give Bioshock 2 much thought or attention.  I borrowed a copy of the game this past weekend and got around to giving it a go last night.

After about three hours of single player (I haven't looked at multiplayer yet and I'm not sure if I will) I'm left with a kind of blase feeling about the game.  Which is odd because there's nothing wrong with the game.  It's good to be back in Rapture where things are not better where it is wetter.  It's still a visually brilliant game with a decent amount of tension, oodles of atmosphere (the best part of the game), an engaging story line, startlingly good voice work (a welcome change from the eventual Bethesda repetition weariness), and some pretty gnarly visceral combat.

As I write this I have to wonder why I'm not straining at the leash to play it.  This is due to several factors:

  1. It's not Borderlands 2.  A trite reason but at least I'm honest.
  2. I hope the level size expands because right now exploration is awfully straight forward and since I'm a fanatical explorer I'm picking up all kinds of loot and mods and I'm only at the third area.
  3. The third section can be farmed to certain extent.  I need to unlock another area on the map during my next game session to continue farming.  However, without doing that I spent an hour last night just running and gunning through the open section of the map.  I'm filled to the gills on ammo, cash, and sundries.
  4. Some of the tension in combat is due to the poor handling of the character.  Granted, this is part of the design and makes for some fun tactical engagements (which are awesome) but at one or two points I found myself stuck on terrain or flailing at incoming enemies slap-fight style.
  5. This seems like a pretty linear experience and one that could be knocked out in a marathon weekend (>20 hours).
These are all nit-picky points, I'm fully ready to admit that.  Bioshock 2 is a really well executed game especially in regards to story and presentation.  I'm just not "feeling" the game.  That's doesn't mean I'm not going to stop playing and I look forward to what later gameplay might bring.  Right now though, I might just go read a book.

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