Bioshock 2: A Multiplayer Review
The first Bioshock is one of my favorite games of all time. So you can imagine how excited I was on Tuesday coming home after picking up the special edition of its sequel, Bioshock 2. Its only been 3 days since I began playing the game, so I have no finished the single player campaign. I’ve had the bad habit of reviewing games before finishing them in the past, and that is a mistake I most certainly don’t want to make with Bioshock. So seeing as how the game also comes with online multiplayer, I figured I would write up a small review on that as im sure a lot of people might be questioning just how good Bioshock multi-player could be.
After completing the first Bioshock I never once said to myself “hey i wish they would have included a multiplayer option” as the appeal to Bioshock was never about the combat, but instead on the story, the setting, and the characters within that setting. So I was a bit surprised, and slightly nervous when they announced the sequel to the game would include multi-player.
After the first several matches of the Bioshock multi-player I was left with a feeling reminisent of the first time I played Team Fortress 2. Its not often that you get to experience something that feels new and fresh in a multi-player shooter game, but Bioshock 2 is nothing but. While it doesn’t really have the “competitiveness” of a game like TF2, it most certainly is fun, really fun.
When you first jump in to the multi-player you have the option of going through an introduction of sorts. You are able to choose from several different characters to act as your avatar in the game, an engineer, a prissy actress, a stay at home mom, and a magician, among others. Once you choose your avatar you learn that the multi-player portion of the game takes place in Rapture’s past, before the civil war has broken out. You are among a group of people who have been chosen to test weapons and plasmids developed by “Sinclair Solutions” (run by a character who plays a big part in the single player campaign). After viewing the brief introduction video you are allowed to control your character and walk around your apartment customizing things like your appearance, your weapon loadouts (similar to Call of Duty you can carry two weapons, and two plasmids at a time), and viewing the online leader boards. Once you are happy with your character, and his / her arsenal its time to set out and find a match.
Right off the bat you have access to a good variety of game types, there is civil war, a team slayer game type, capture the sister, a capture the flag game type, turf war, a territory capture game type (think domination from CoD) as well as several others. While there is nothing absolutely new about any of the game types, they are all each sprinkled with “Bioshock essence” making them feel slightly new.
I haven’t played on all of the maps yet but from what I have seen the Bioshock 2 multi-player offers a pretty wide variety f different maps, all of which make you feel like you’re in Rapture as its beginning to fall into the state that we know it.
Character progression is similar to Call of Duty in that you earn point for completing various tasks and as these points accumulate you gain levels and unlock more weapons, plasmids, tonics, and weapon upgrades. Some of these things seemed a little imbalanced to a player who does not yet have access to them, but that comes with pretty much ever game that uses this type of character progression. Something I feel I should mention as im not 100% sure how I feel about it is the whole research aspect of the multi-player. When you kill someone you have the option to research them (take a picture), if you choose to do so your character channels for a couple of seconds and then completes the research process. Researching a fallen foe gives you a damage bonus against them. This throws a whole level of imbalance into the game, especially considering if someone has a better upgraded weapon and more advanced plasmids / tonics than you they are very difficult to begin with, having less damage than them is just icing on the cake.
But, overall I was pleasantly surprised by the multi-player. It may be a bit imbalanced at times but I think it achieves what it set out to achieve, extending the Bioshock experience and storyline, while having loads of fun.