Why BioShock 2 is a TERRIBLE IDEA

One Rapture-loving Radar editor hates the sequel already

Let%26rsquo;s just get one thing straight from the start. I adore BioShock. Seriously. To the degree that I could quite happily get into a knife fight to defend its honour. It%26rsquo;s a rare indulgence of the universe for a game to come along which seems to have been so perfectly designed for you and you alone, but 2K Boston%26rsquo;s magnum opus was exactly one of those occasions for me.

Above: Yay!

The decaying art deco opulence. The mournful, haunting tone. The multiple levels of philosophical discourse and media deconstruction. The dense, cloying atmosphere. The utterly genius use of classic %26lsquo;40s music%26hellip; It was perfect. It was unique. It was a game and an experience all of its own, and it did and said things in a way that showed up just how safe and unambitious so many devs%26rsquo; treatment of the medium currently is. Yes, it lifted a fair few mechanics from 2K Boston's previous System Shock 2, but it remixed them into a shockingly affecting new whole.

And now we%26rsquo;re getting more. And I don%26rsquo;t want a thing to do with it.

Ignoring the obvious monetary justification (in fact the only justification), there is no need for a sequel to BioShock. The original game was complete by its end, as a product, as an experience, as a story and as a statement. It wasn%26rsquo;t a vague, open-ended scenario, ripe for the franchise photocopier as most games we play are. It was an intelligent and deliberately-designed whole, with a very definite story, manifesto and agenda which went beyond the basic visceral thrills of videogame shooters.

Above: Boo!

It had points to make regarding the scope of videogames, their conventions as a medium, philosophy and the human sense of self. Some it made by example. Others it made through narrative discourse, and some it even made through post-modern deconstruction. But it made them in completeness and then it ended. What BioShock set out to do is done.

There%26rsquo;s a reason no-one makes a big deal out of space missions any more, or the climbing of Everest. There%26rsquo;s a reason no-one gets excited about CGI in these post-Jurassic Park and Terminator 2 days. There%26rsquo;s a reason the Matrix sequels were directionless, unexciting bloats, and there%26rsquo;s a reason no-one%26rsquo;s ever made a sequel to Blade Runner (actually BioShock%26rsquo;s nearest spiritual equivalent, movie-wise).

For that very same reason, BioShock 2 will be a hollow experience in comparison to its predecessor.

So that's my standpoint outlined. Click on for the specifics of how BioShock 2 is Doing It Wrong.


Long-time GR+ writer Dave has been gaming with immense dedication ever since he failed dismally at some '80s arcade racer on a childhood day at the seaside (due to being too small to reach the controls without help). These days he's an enigmatic blend of beard-stroking narrative discussion and hard-hitting Psycho Crushers.
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