NEED TO KNOW
PUBLISHER 2K Games
DEVELOPER 2K Marin
When BioShock 2 was released back in 2010, it had only been three years since we last got our feet wet in briny depths of Rapture. I remember feeling like the undersea dystopia was still relatively fresh in my mind, and had little desire to return. However, this sequel that nobody really wanted turned out to be confident, intelligent, and imaginative, matching the quality of the original, and in some ways bettering it. It’s the story of a Big Daddy, Subject Delta, searching the decaying, leaky corridors of Rapture for his Little Sister, and butting heads with Sofia Lamb, the psychiatrist turned cult leader who betrayed him.
Rapture was in a bad way in BioShock, but a decade later it’s in an even worse state of disrepair. Entire districts of Andrew Ryan’s monument to hubris are now completely submerged in ice-cold Atlantic sea water. The once lavish ballrooms, bars, and department stores are damp and rotten, crusted with barnacles. It’s a vivid depiction of a place losing a battle with nature, and a highly effective setting. Still identifiably Rapture, but grimmer, dingier, and more hopeless.
It’s also more dangerous, thanks to the presence of brute splicers— grotesque ADAM-powered giants— and the Big Sisters, an agile, powerful, and terrifying new kind of protector you have to contend with. When the ocean swallows this place up, it’ll be doing it a favor…
Stepping into the clunky boots of a Big Daddy gives you a uniquely interesting and more intimate perspective on the city. You aren’t an outsider (or someone who believes they’re an outsider) like Jack in the original game, but a key part of Rapture’s bizarre ecosystem. Subject Delta, a prototype model, is different from the lumbering, groaning Big Daddies who stomp around the city protecting the Little Sisters. He has rather more free will, and a special, lifelong bond with one Little Sister in particular, Eleanor. If she dies, he dies, which gives him extra motivation to track her down, beyond just gene-induced fatherly love. From a story perspective, playing as a Big Daddy is actually an inspired idea. But in terms of actually moving around Rapture, you don’t really feel like one.
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