An accomplished game, with solid mechanics, luscious locations and a new multiplayer mode, but it’s a conservative update
The various guns all have a purpose, plus they are upgradeable and have various ammo options. In addition, you get a massive drill that makes quick work of anything that comes too close. You’ll need to scavenge every box, body and trash bin for ammo and money to keep yourself supplied, which we found a little tedious after a while. The combat is improved, with the weapons having more punch. Despite some additions to the roster, like the huge Brutes, the Splicers remain uninteresting enemies with little intelligence.
A big new addition is the multiplayer mode. A refreshing change from the usual run-and-gun shooters, it has a variety of intriguing team-based modes including Little Sisters and a player-controlled Big Daddy. You unlock extra plasmid abilities as you play, and can set up different loadouts for offensive and defensive tactics.
Bioshock 2 looks and sounds sublime (both on console and PC) with gorgeous lighting effects, artistic panache and haunting music. In this respect though, like so many others, its impact is lessened by its close similarity to the original – and anyone who hasn’t experienced Rapture yet will be better served by the first game.
Fans of the original’s gameplay will find plenty to enjoy here, with its ambush-centric combat lending it a different feel; however, the new plot isn’t an essential addition to the canon. A return to Rapture was never going match the ecstatic feelings engendered by your first visit, but this is still a capable and beautifully executed game.