February 26, 2010

Omnibus - BioShock 2

BioShock 2 has come and, thankfully, not gone.  I'm in the middle of my second playthrough (on Hard, and man, is it ever!) and I have to admit that I'm enjoying the ride much more this go 'round.  I've been doing a lot of thinking about this second coming and my criticisms with the story are less now, though my quibbles with the tech (bad texture pop-in, terrible lip-synching, etc.) are still true.  I have a couple of articles to thank (present after the jump) from people who are much savvier with words and philosophy than I am, so, thank you Leigh Alexander and Charles Onyett, for giving me better reasons to enjoy BioShock 2's narrative.

*I should thank IGN as a whole because most of the links on the next page come from there.*

Along with a few well-written takes on comparing our beloved BioShocks' narrative nature is the announcement of DLC!  Not only will it be the commonplace multiplayer related content, but also extensions to the single player campaign!

Click below for those bits and bobs and a couple of extra goodies!  But beware ... spoilers are around if you follow the links (not in the post itself!), so be extremely cautious if you haven't finished the game yet!


Leigh Alexander hits JASON 3:60 two days in a row with an analysis on the framework of the Rapturian realm.  Most critics (myself, unfortunately, included), didn't feel the same shock and awe in the sequel as we did when we first glimpsed the city through the bathysphere.  Trudging through the soggy halls and past really big handwriting wasn't as memorable.  And while it probably still isn't, that's not such a bad thing.
BioShock is not just a stand-alone narrative. It's a framework. Rapture isn't the story, it's the story's housing. The lamp-eyed Little Sisters and lumbering Big Daddies aren't characters, they're elements of the visual language. Thinking about a sequel for a game with such a strong signature, it becomes clear that its key elements are signposts for the experience, and not the entirety of the experience itself.
Touche, Alexander!

In agreement is Charles Onyett of IGN.  In "Building a Better Story in BioShock 2," he discusses exactly what you'd think, why 2 is better than 1 in certain ways.
The fact that the developers have managed to unshackle the franchise from expectation has to mean good things for the future of BioShock, especially if the inevitable third installment can maintain the same kind of thematic cohesion of story, gameplay, and setting.

A very good read, but there are spoilers (and even one for The Sixth Sense).

Thirdly, from GamesRadar, Charlie Barratt runs down seven reasons why the sequel is superior.  Not too many spoilers are present, and the overall arguments of the article are very persuasive.
BioShock 2 is another deep, dark and disturbing masterpiece that not only lives up to the experience of the original, but in some very important ways, actually manages to surpass it.
Good read, number three.

Not everyone has written something positive.  Mike Thomsen of IGN writes up in "Contrarian Corner - BioShock 2" about the aspects that basically don't seem right, real, or even good.
The game gives me a completely optional opportunity to enrich myself but forces me to adopt the selfish aggression of those people I'd just been thinking were so purely evil a moment ago.

Want a second opinion about BioShock 2?  Watch below:

The first information about BioShock 2 DLC has been announced!  Most DLC I notice nowadays is usually some multiplayer map pack, but 2K is going to be giving us different additions to purchase concerning ranks, trials, and new characters and character apparel.  Plus, they've promised single player material!  I'm very curious as to what that means, so when that stuff leaks out you'll find it here!

In the meantime, enjoy a few pictures of the new characters, Louie McGraff and Oscar Calraca (if you follow the link, they're the ones dated February 23rd).

And lastly, if you're needing some help with BioShock 2's research, audio logs and such, and you want it in text format, IGN and GamesRadar have you covered!

Audio Logs
Gene Tonics
Power to the People Stations

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