You Never Quite Feel Like a Big Daddy
The best and worst thing that Bioshock 2 has going for it is that it is more of the same from the first one. On the one hand the mechanics are still solid and even improved upon in this game because you can now "dual wield" your plasmids and your weapon. Atmosphere is pretty good, but it is pretty much the exact same thing as the first game. How many times can I run through a dilapidated city though? The first time was awe inspiring, and this time it just feels a bit tired.
The biggest hype factor that the game has going for it is the fact that you get to play as a Big Daddy. It is something that everyone wanted to do from the first game, but the effect is lost when the mechanics of the game get in the way. It is frustrating to run around and have common splicers seem to take you down with a couple of bullets. The frustration is doubled even more so when there are other Big Daddies in the game that are just as hard as the first one to take down, so what gives? The whole point of playing as a Big Daddy is to feel like a bad ass and you never really do. There are also some odd design choices that I felt should have been cleaned up. Firstly the whole instantly appearing splicer phenomenon is back. I often found myself walking into an empty room, activating a switch and then turning around to flinch splicers just standing there. Really guys?
The Big Daddies from the first game were also very believable because their weapons and costumes made sense in the context of world. The drill and the rivet gun work as tools in this setting. But when you have a rocket launching and machine gun wielding Big Daddy I just had to roll my eyes a bit. It was just so uninspired.
I also had some trouble really following the motivation of the story in this one as well. I got the aspect where I was trying to save my "daughter", but the constant rambling and eulogizing of the main character Elena Lamb left me completely wondering what the heck she was actually trying to accomplish.
Overall there is a solid game here, but it treads the exact same ground as the first one without the story or wow factor impact. It ould have done more to perhaps explain the storied past of Rapture itself, but it failed to do so beyond the immediate storyline of Lamb.