Bioshock 2 – Lazygamer Hands-On – Who's Yo' Daddy?

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Sneaky, sneaky!

While many of you have waited in anticipation for word on the new Bioshock, we have been hiding in the shadows, playing it so that we can bring you this first report on what to expect.

We headed back to the underwater city of Rapture to see what’s what in the sequel to one of this generations biggest titles.

Now would you kindly hit the jump for our full impressions.

Bioshock 2 takes place roughly 10 years after the events of the first game and brings gamers back to the eerie, leaky, rundown underwater city that we encountered in the first game.

You assume the role of a prototype Big Daddy who has been freed from his duties by a figure that you may remember from the first title, the little-sister-saving Tennenbaum. I’m not going to spoil any more of the story for you all. What I can tell you is that I honestly didn’t like the idea of Bioshock 2 having a Big Daddy as it’s protagonist and in all honesty I thought that the story was going to suffer for it.

This doesn’t seem to be the case so far however as the game has started to show some glimpses at where the story is headed and I can honestly say that I felt pleasantly surprised.

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Being a Big Daddy comes with the ability to wield some new and fun weapons, or in some cases, tools. The first weapon you will use when you play Bioshock obviously comes in the shape of the enormous drill that Big Daddy’s are known for having. Along with the drill I was also able to have some fun with a rivet gun that not only shoots out, well, rivets, but also has ammunition that allows you to set traps. Like in the first game, ammunition types alter the use of the weapons making them better suited to different scenarios such as anti-personnel rounds for a rather large mini-gun that can be mounted to your arm.

Plasmids are back too and pretty much do everything they did in the first game, although I can expect some differences and additions here and there later in the game.

All of this comes in pretty hand, because as you know, Big Daddy’s have a job to protect little ones, and that’s exactly what you will be doing at times. Don’t however think that being a Big Daddy means that you are mean Mr. BAMF. You will not only come across other and tussle with other Big Daddy’s but you now have to deal with a real meanie, a Big Sister as well.

The game also has a new hacking system which is a lot simpler and actually just speeds the game up, so that’s all good. You know also have a weapon/tool that allows you to shoot a little hack dart so that you can get things done without having to get up close and personal, as well as adding in some more fuel for a little puzzle action.

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The real magic and indeed, the real star of the first Bioshock was Rapture itself. The first game wowed us with it’s incredibly creepy yet mysteriously beautiful environments under the sea, as well as the art deco styles of design and architecture that graced our televisions for hours on end.

While the original novelty of Rapture may have somewhat worn off in Bioshock 2, we still get to see a whole lot of the city that was never explored in the first game. You will visit some wonderful but eerie new areas including an amusement park that tells the history of Rapture as well doubling as a propaganda tool that shoots down the earth’s stingy, controlling governments. You will also have to step outside, into the deep, dark ocean at some points and to put it plainly, it can get really creepy.

Bioshock 2 also adds multiplayer into the mix, but I must unfortunately report that with the game only being released at a later stage, and the preview version we have, we were unable to actually get into some online games to give you an idea of how well it plays. What I can tell you is that you will manage your multiplayer character from your own private quarters, with the ability to walk around and change things like your appearance and weapon/plasmid loadouts. Once you are ready, you head to your bathosphere and transport yourself into a game. A nice touch that breaks up the tedium of constant menus found in games these days.

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I will not lie, I really wasn’t very excited for Bioshock 2. Many people were/are, but I personally wasn’t feeling it. After spending some time with the game though, I am quite pleased with what I have seen and look forward to it. Sceptics of the sequel’s quality can know that the game is actually playing very well so far and for fans of the first game, this one should be a no-brainer.

Bioshock 2 looks set to impress from what we have seen so far. Let’s hope that when the full title releases, it does just that.

Last Updated: January 12, 2010

Nick De Bruyne

Video games writer, editor and critic since '08. Living and breathing video games, movies and cars since the 80s. Follow me on Twitter if you love tons of gaming talk, and @pennyworthrevs for fun stuff and links.

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