( This article appeared on my blogsite at ign.com.)
If you played BioShock 2 at launch in 2010, you might have found it to easy to disregard it as a weaker and lesser sequel to the almighty BioShock back in 2007, you might have found it to be a different BioShock then what came before. Three years earlier, BioShock stormed into the gaming scene and was a big hit with everybody and came so close to Game of the Year for 2007. BioShock questioned whether videogames were art and faced with choices and behaviors, had anything to say. BioShock introduced philosophical teachings and the philosophy of Ayn Rand.
So, the sequel was bound to face some heat. It wasn’t just a sequel to the videogame that didn’t need a sequel, it was the follow-up to one of the best videogames of the last ten years and probably the decade, BioShock 2 needed to outclass it’s predecessor with a new philosophical meaning and redefine gaming much like BioShock way back in 2007. And it didn’t.
Reviews were fair and many like I did saw for what BioShock 2 was, and I found room to praise it even if it wasn’t a worthy sequel and did much of the same for what BioShock did. But now, BioShock 2 is overlooked between BioShock, the videogame that was fine on it’s own and it was such a pleasant surprise, BioShock was an achievement and 2013’s BioShock Infinite, BioShock 2 is simply overlooked- a shame as it has one of the best gameplay and the most sophisticated BioShock title.
BioShock, and it’s acclaimed state of capitalism, interest in the self, and lastly Rand is brave and so good that nothing comes close to it unless you count BioShock 2, BioShock 2 comes as close as BioShock but not as close. BioShock 2 chooses altruism and collectivism and has one of the best gameplay in the trio. The villian, Dr. Lamb is not as close to Frank Fontaine or Andrew Ryan or even Sander Cohen but she’s a worthy villain that should be with Fontaine and Ryan. She aims for Rapture to be a true utopia beneath the waves.
BioShock 2 is the videogame for altruism and argues absolute selfishness, and it does a great job of doing it and the gameplay is superb, the gunplay is smooth, the dual plasmids, and the gameplay mechanics of BioShock 2 are superb and excellent. It’s self-aware.
Five years after, BioShock 2 is sidelined after the release of BioShock Infinite but all in all, it has one of the best gameplay mechanics of the entire BioShock saga. It’s very B-Movie excess, some of the loftier themes but it doesn’t come close to BioShock but truly, it’s one of the best videogames I’ve played in the last five years. It’s very intelligent.