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Bioshock2

BioShock 2

Video Game Cat Review

Date of Review:  July 22, 2012
Format Reviewed: Xbox 360
Language / Country of Origin:  English / USA
Online Capability:  There is downloadable content (DLC) available for this title.  
Prequels: BioShock
Sequels: BioShock: Infinite
Equipment Needed: None needed.
Maintenance Required:  None required.

Review:

Plot:  
Eight years after the events of BioShock, the underwater city of Rapture has a new story to tell. Sofia Lamb is the city’s Chief Psychologist, and she has been busy administering a mind-controlling plasmid to its citizens in order to create The Rapture Family.  She strives to develop an altruistic society, eliminating the need for “self”.  She goes so far that she even administers the plasmid into her own daughter, Eleanor.  To meet her goals, Lamb needs ADAM, a plasmid or genetic alteration, that stores the minds and memories of its host.  ADAM permits everyone in Rapture to become a part of Eleanor.  ADAM was harvested from a recently discovered sea slug which produces a stem cell that causes super-human alterations in people when coupled with its DNA.  Not surprisingly, ADAM had been the largest commodity to date within the underwater metropolis of Rapture and may also be blamed for the social un-doings and financial unrests that led to the city’s insanity.  To make the necessary quantity of ADAM to achieve her goals, Lamb has resorted to kidnapping young girls from orphanages everywhere in the world to survive as hosts for the sea slugs in order to produce and harvest the ADAM stem cells.  Doctor Brigid Tenenbaum, the original developer of ADAM, is horrified to discover that it is being manufactured and distributed in Rapture.  It is up to Eleanor to rescue the young girls being kidnapped, put a stop to Sofia Lamb and save the people of Rapture from Lamb’s twisted altruistic vision. Players play as a Big Daddy, a human being grafted into a Jules Verne-like aquatic suit.

Cultural / Historical Value: 
BioShock 2 is the second installment in the BioShock series.  Despite its intensely violent content and horrific imagery, BioShock has been praised for its morality-based, complex storyline.  BioShock 2 has been cited as an example of a game that does not sacrifice plot for gameplay.  As with its predecessor, BioShock 2 is built from philosopher Ayn Rand’s objectivist vision.

Teaching / Learning Characteristics: 
Like its prequel, BioShock 2 can instruct players about the consequences of an objectivist philosophy.  Overall, the game is designed for entertainment, but offers the player some intriguing moral decisions to make because of its fantastically innovative story telling.

Replay Value:  
Depending on one’s choices throughout the game, BioShock 2 offers several different outcomes or endings.  This gives this game relatively high replabability.  There are also expansion packs that can be purchased to give the game additional depth.

Likely Audiences:
Obviously, fans of BioShock will enjoy this title as will those who are fans of survival horror titles and first-person shooters.  Those who are faint of heart should stay away as this is truly frightening and gory.  It remains to be seen if fans of Ayn Rand have been offended by the series.

Overall Score:
90/100

Other Reviews:
1up.com

Gamerankings

Gamespot

Metacritic

MobyGames

 

About the Author:
Ben Bigalke is an avid traveler, bicycle enthusiast, lover of animals and video gamer extraordinaire.  He grew up taking the stories and virtues told by the Nintendo of his childhood to heart.  As an adult, he continues to appreciate the entertainment and learning experiences that videogames offer and studies the technological and artistic advancements they have made throughout his lifetime.  As a videogame reviewer, he enjoys both observing and experiencing the cultural impact that these games have on his generation.

Awards

Award Giver Category Verdict
Golden Joystick Awards 2009One to Watch Award Nominee
Spike Video Game Awards 2009Most Anticipated Game Nominee
Spike Video Game Awards 2010Best DLC
(BioShock 2: Minerva's Den)
Nominee
Spike Video Game Awards 2010Best Shooter Nominee
GAME British Academy Video Game Awards 2011Story Nominee
GAME British Academy Video Game Awards 2011Action Nominee

Additional Info

ESRB Description:
Blood, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong Language

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