BioShock 2: GamesRadar reader response

You might remember that late last week I ran an opinion piece covering my current fear and loathing regarding BioShock 2. It prompted plenty of debate and, frankly, I was blown away by the scale, passion and depth of your response. It seems a hell of a lot of you care about BioShock just as much as I do, and that makes me a very happy man indeed.

It would have been too messy to respond to you all in the article comments, so I decided to turn a feature over to your best, funniest and most thoughtful responses and throw in a few more of my own in reply to yours. Some comments have been edited for reasons of space and clarity, and sorry to everyone I couldn't fit in.

Wave360 says: I played BioShock a year later than everyone and it is one of the best games ive ever played! I wish BioShock would end and the creators would go on and make something similarily enticing, mature, gruesome, touching, twisted, etc. as BioShock but not make it BioShock!

I will still get this but i wish they would leave BioShock as it was and make a new IP. If something is perfect, don't ruin it!

skaface says: I respect the opinion of the editor, but this thinking implies that sequels of great games HAVE to be inferior. Thinking of Fallout, Killzone, God of War, Resident Evil, Street Fighter, etc. it occurs to me that even the most unique (ok, leave Killzone out of it) game can be topped (but not replaced) by its sequel.

I say: A fair point skaface, a fair point indeed. As a big Street Fighter II/IV player, I categorically agree that some games’ mechanics can be improved through iteration. But my issue is that although BioShock 2 could bring certain functionality improvements, that’s about all it could bring with its currently-known scenario. To me, BioShock was about much more than the mechanics, and a predictable rehash just can’t bring about that same experience.

Montag says: For me only Half-Life had the gonads to make a better sequel, but in that case the story needed more to be complete.

I say: Perfect case in point. H-L 2 (one of my favourite games of all time, by the way) worked because the first game ended on a massively open “Anything can happen now” note, which Valve then extrapolated on a truly global scale in a later time period. That’s exactly the sort of reconceptualised “jumping off point” approach I wanted for BioShock 2, but sadly it’s not to be. Let’s face it, the approach B2 is taking is the same that Half-Life used for its expansion packs, not its sequel.

NipplesTheSuperHippo says: You said: "It will be something we’ve already seen before with a few more cracks and leaks. The magic of Rapture came from its newness. It was the sheer originality of its design that made it such an immersive world to explore."

Exactly, the newness, but the newness of what was seen. Would not the unknown parts of a mysterious city be new? There are new environments and or parts of the city that were unexplored, new weapons, probably new plasmids, new gameplay, new main enemy, and even the cookie cutter splicers have evolved into something different and new.

scbyfn4evr says: Come to think of it, BioShock 2 would be kinda like having a Shadow of the Colossus 2, or Okami 2, and that would be laaaaaaaem.

garnsr says: The sequels to star Wars were not absolutely necessary, but Empire was the best of the lot. Then they went for the prequels, and ruined a lot of the magic of the originals. I fear BioShock 2 will fall into the latter category, but we'll see. Sometimes you need to have a whole trilogy or so for all of the parts to add up to a magnificent whole. Sometimes you just need the one.

I say: I’ll definitely concede the Star Wars point to a degree. The A New Hope stands alone pretty well, but it does indeed work a lot better when taken in the context of the whole trilogy. The thing is though, if you go back and watch Episode IV objectively, hardly anything actually happens. The plot is basically the first few hours of any JRPG, leading up to the first boss fight (the Death Star trench fight), so to that end it was ripe for expanding. To me, BioShock’s story just felt complete by the end.

raidensnake says: I can see your doubts about BioShock 2, however I feel the endings of the 1st weren't enough, they didn't sew anything together and left me asking more questions than they answered. I want to know what really made Ryan create Rapture and the early constructions of it. (BioShock in construction would be awesome - the optimism to complement and off set the horror we saw at its decay)

Also how free and autonomous people made the decisions they made, to firstly join him in Rapture, then the chaotic choices afterwards. The whole ideological and philosophical roots of this need to be explained more deeply, which means returning to Rapture.

I understand the concept of the 1st Big Daddy, almost like the Biblical Adam making choices, he is in a world he does not know, but it came about because of his own indirect choosing. In addition, the how and why the Big Daddy chooses to 'be' this creature and his interaction with the little sisters needs exploring.

Perhaps it will take a BioShock 3 to really tackle these issues.

I say: What you’ve just described would make a bloody brilliant BioShock prequel. It actually sounds pretty similar to Ken Levine’s original idea for BioShock, which spanned decades and took in an entire civil war.

Following the entire rise and fall of Rapture through the first Big Daddy’s transformation from ordinary man to metal-cased monster could be an electrifying and truly epic experience. It would have to be a very different game from the first BioShock, and probably an even more story-led one, but if the franchise is going to be expanded then “very different” is exactly what I want.

oryandymackie says: Yeah, being a Big Daddy will detract from the original; the protagonist Jack timidly opening the doors to the lighthouse and skulking quietly down to the bathysphere. If you're a Big Daddy with a huge drill strapped to your arm you're pretty much fearless. And fear played a huge part in the game.

theschwartzb says:
I think the only truly disheartening flaw is the fact that you will be playing as a Big Daddy. Honestly, in BioShock, you were just a regular guy (kinda) who was in a plane crash and found "refuge" in a giant, mysterious lighthouse. You started off the game not knowing what would happen to you, and that was one of the biggest elements of the game. Being a Big Daddy in BioShock 2 will take that mystery, the fear, and the unknown out of the game quite a bit.

ZiegZeon says: I agree that the game is a bad idea, though I do like the idea of playing as a Big Daddy, something that should have been DLC and a pure experience, i.e. no plasmids, slow, and it should have been just you having to protect the Little sister. But now that you are THE FIRST BIG DADDY EVAR, you're suddenly better then the others. I think that the CONCEPT is sound (maybe START in rapture, or a revisit) but not the whole game.

I say: I totally agree with you on that one. I was actually a bit disappointed not to get full-on Big Daddy powers near the end of Bioshock (Let’s face it, who doesn’t want to recreate that first Big Daddy/Splicer/drill through the chest encounter from behind the visor?), but it’s something that I can only see being satisfying in a short bursts. That in mind, it would have made a brilliant Bioshock equivalent of Resi 4’s Assignment Ada.

solsunforge says: The whole reason why so many liked BioShock was the experience of going through it and being in constant peril. Being a Big Daddy rids you of that feeling it in my opinion gives a god mode type of feeling. To me a watered down sequel is not better then nothing at all.


  • MechGyver - May 21, 2009 9:14 p.m.

    Come on, people. Everybody nows Bioshock 2 is going to be just like FEAR 2 was, a diluted clone of the first with one or two new tricks. The story of Bioshock was so good writen and well structured for its own good that it left no space for a sequel and little for a prequel. !!!What more can 2K tell us about Rapture that Bioshock did already told us......very little!!!
  • DEC4D3 - May 21, 2009 1:42 p.m.

    oops grammar mistake! I meant "Wow IF your compiled all comments". ReCAPTCHA was and
  • throughironsights - May 20, 2009 11:27 p.m.

    just let bioshock 2 it come out first before you blast it with insults. Oh and David Houghton, you brits love alot of things, such as football and complaining.
  • RaIdEn - May 19, 2009 12:58 a.m.

    im really annoyed about everything going online for no damn reason. its completely unessicary
  • RTM - May 17, 2009 3:23 a.m.

    Looks Freakin AWESOME! Can't wait for Bioshock 2 to come out. -RTM
  • NotBraze - May 16, 2009 6:31 a.m.

    Sorry Astro but Andrew Ryan is dead for good. After you kill him if you find the vita-chamber in his office you can see that it has been deactivated. That's Andrew Ryan for you, if he's losing he won't just quit he'll burn the game and everyone involved, including himself. "When Congress moved to nationalize my forest, I burnt it to the ground."
  • solsunforge - May 15, 2009 6:12 p.m.

    No I love writing about what im passionate about. I even wrote a lot in the sierra vs lucas arts thread and the other bioshock 2 exclusive that spawned from this one. recaptcha: more steak. lol these are classic
  • sklorbit - May 14, 2009 10:57 p.m.

    everyone must trust 2k! bioshock 2 will probably be great, if not so what. a bad sequel doesnt ruin the integrity of the original. look at rocky...
  • deercroft - May 14, 2009 9:20 p.m.

    I agree with what your saying... i loved the original Bioshock, it is one of my favorite games of all time but i was super excited for a sequel and when i first heard of it i was really happy and excited but now that i think of it... the sequel could have been so much better! now I'm just disappointed. Don't get me wrong I'm still going to play it and you never know it might even blow us out of the water!
  • Whattehfock - May 14, 2009 8:50 p.m.

    I think they should have made a prequel. It would provide more backstory, remind players how awesome Bioshock's world and characters were, and ANDREW MOTHERGRABBIN' RYAN would still be alive!(He was my favorite Bioshock character)
  • solsunforge - May 14, 2009 8:13 p.m.

    It wouldnt make sense to have multiplayer in rapture. The way I would do it is to have differnt splicers all with different abilities and the players can battle it out as splicers. But im sure it wont be nearly as awesome as I could make it to be and it will feel tacked on and completly detract from the game overall.
  • DEC4D3 - May 14, 2009 6:15 a.m.

    let us rant on forever! xD
  • SkinnyJr - May 14, 2009 3:38 a.m.

    I just recently picked up a copy of bioshock. I had to see what the hubub was about. The story had been ruined for me multiple times (thanks GamesRadar!). I toss it in the 360 set it on 'easy' and fly through in about 6 hours. Those 6 hours, even knowing the outcome of the story, were pure genius. The story was beyond incredible and was the only reason I kept playing. As I watched the truth unfold through Jack's eyes, my mouth was open in amazement. This game, this world, this masterpiece of story telling cannot be recreated with the same awe inspiring vision. If Bioshock 2 can pull a story that spectacular out of its ass, then I'll eat my copy of Bioshock
  • MooseKnuckle753 - May 14, 2009 12:39 a.m.

    I just started playing Bioshock, so far its as good as everyone has told me. I think Bioshock 2 will either be amazing or will epically fail and be hated by the hardcore fans
  • CandiedJester - May 14, 2009 12:12 a.m.

    "If something is perfect, don't ruin it!" or in other words- If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Okay, I see it like this. Are they making the sequel for the right reasons? I know that there is a business behind these games, and sometimes what determines if there will be a sequel is how well the first game sells. So all the passion, creativity, and energy goes into the first game, and all, or most, of the story is, essentially, "Used up". So, if the creator's of Bioshock did not PLAN on making a sequel, but only see it now as a good opportunity to make some easy money-than the game will (most likely) suck. Horribly. BUT, if they planned on a sequel, and designed the first game to flow into, or mesh, with a continuing storyline, and they have fresh ideas and new suprises, and still have passion, and vigor, and love for the game's world and characters-than I think it will do well. Possibly very well. I remember being hesitant when they announced Gears of War 2. I don't remember exactly why. Maybe it was because I did see the first game as essentially perfect. I didn't want my memories to be ruined by a crappy sequel. But when it finally came out and I finally did get to play it, I was more then impressed. The storyline was phenomenal. Absolutely phenomenal. Emotional, gripping, deep. And the gameplay improved greatly as well. All of the original elements remained unchanged, but now we could ride things we could before, explore places we'd never thought we'd have to explore..not to mention the new guns and other added tactics. It more than topped the first game. If there has to be a sequel to Bioshock, I hope they take a few lessons on how to make a sequel from the guys at Epic.
  • JohnnyMaverik - May 14, 2009 12:06 a.m.

    bit worse excuse me*
  • thor231 - May 13, 2009 11:01 p.m.

    The first BioShock was incredible. In fact, I can't wait for this sequel. Yet, I see a lot of you think that being a Big Daddy is a bad because you get a huge drill and a rivet gun. Well here's what I think should happen to make the game more fun and keep you scared of the things around the corner. You go through the first level or so with your weapons at full damage and capacity until the first encounter with the Big Sister. Towards the end of the fight, she damages your drill and gun to almost the point of uselessness. Your drill is now like the wrench in the first game, and your gun is now the pistol. Throughout the game you find important parts to rebuilt your tools, or somehow incorporate new plasmids to power them up. Plus, if they make another BioShock after this one, then they should make a prequel, or perhaps Rapture wasn't the only "utopian" city...
  • GoldenMe - May 13, 2009 10:58 p.m.

    Huh. You noted me in this article. You're a good sport David. And I honestly forgot to add that it was a great article in the first place. My apoligies, and well done.
  • Picnic1 - May 13, 2009 9:21 p.m.

    Further to my previous post on the original article, I agree with nearly all of it except perhaps that going in to the sea is necessarily a bad thing. I never thought of the sea as being the ultimate villain, right from the start when I realised that, if I didn't swim to the entrance to Rapture, I wouldn't freeze to death in Atlantic waters or be attacked by a shark (at least, no-one has said that happens if you stay there for a long time). On the other hand, once in Rapture, there is the appealing metaphor of Rapture being just a couple of cracks away from disaster. But going in to the sea in a protective suit doesn't harm that relationship, just as when someone got in a cage and looked at Jaws didn't harm that film. They won't necessarily concentrate on immediate danger underwater- it can instead allow a moment of quiet contemplation away from the horrors in Rapture, just as the diary rooms did in Resident Evil, with the added extra of having more things to explore- they could keep it very realistic or they could have a wrecked ship and other random debris. Bioshock apparently takes place 10 years later in 1970- on the one hand it seems a shame that the game shows no significant stylistic changes as happened in the real world in that time- the creation of brutalist architecture for instance seems to mean nothing to a world trapped in an art deco period with 40s/50s music. But on the other hand, this could be looked upon as having deep meaning- despite all of Rapture’s chaos, it is in reality arguably changing much less than the real world was during that time- it is a hermetically sealed bubble. It is an irony, of course, that the comforting sound of such an innocuous songs as ‘Beyond the sea’ are the soundtrack to such brutality. To try to be near as affecting as the first game, they probably would have had to leave it for a few years, maybe call it something else and try a different setting- I considered the idea of a quasi-Victorian ‘steam punk’ setting. But striking gold is hard enough but they had to laboriously craft it until it was the brilliant game that was Bioshock so I can’t blame them too much for not wanting to abandon that particular mine.
  • Z-man427 - May 13, 2009 6:48 p.m.

    throughironsights says: Is it just me or do all game critics from the UK love to be pessimist assholes? I say: It’s just you. We don’t love anything couldn't have said it better

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