The Top 7… ways BioShock 2 is better than BioShock 1

In the first BioShock…

You were given a single choice – multiplied. When you discovered an unprotected Little Sister alone in the dark, would you heal her illness, gently help her into a nearby vent and selflessly sacrifice the extra Adam? Or would you greedily snatch her from the ground, ruthlessly subdue her struggling and pull the Adam straight out of her body in a selfish act of murder? The decision was pretty black-and-white… either you were playing this game as “good” or as “evil.” And the consequences were minor… either one ending or another.

In the second BioShock…

You are given many different choices, in many different places, at many different times. And the most fascinating, morally murky decisions have nothing to do with Little Sisters. Will you kill a major character who wants you dead, but is otherwise innocent? Will you exact revenge on someone who is responsible for your monstrous condition, even as they grovel in fear and cowardice before you? Will you assist in suicide?

The Little Sister choice is further complicated, too. You can rescue or harvest them when you first encounter them, or use them to gather Adam and then pick their fate. And with so many more intriguing plasmids and tonics available at the Gatherer’s Garden, Adam is especially precious. You may not want to murder a Little Sister, but this time, you may not be able to resist.

In the first BioShock…

After a massive series of mind-blowing, game-changing, genre-subverting plot twists, the first BioShock petered out a bit. We finally knew our true enemy, and our true goal, but the rest of the experience just wasn’t as captivating. The levels were slightly less inspired and the final boss fight was disappointingly both generic and formulaic. Even those satisfied by the ending cutscenes had to admit they were anticlimactically short.

In the second BioShock…

Well, the ending cutscenes are still pretty short, but now there are more of them to strive for during replays. Your moral choices throughout the sequel have a real impact, too, one that can be seen and felt throughout the final act, not just the final minute.

What we like most about BioShock 2, though, is the pacing. This is the rare videogame that gets better and better as you go along… in which the last half is far superior to the first half… in which each level is more visually and thematically fascinating than the level before… in which built-up emotions and questions are answered rather than left hanging for the next sequel.

Plus, you get a really, really cool plasmid.

Feb 15, 2010

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Rule multiplayer, master the plasmids and defeat the Sisters

Charlie Barratt
I enjoy sunshine, the company of kittens and turning frowns upside down. I am also a fan of sarcasm. Let's be friends!