You played the original Bioshock, so all the mystery surrounding the city is pretty much gone. That said, Bioshock 2 is still a solid game with an okay story (albeit good ending(s)) and the best combat of any Bioshock. That's not saying much. In terms of combat I'd rank it as such: B2 > Infinite > B1.
BioShock 2 is still a great game, and in fact it's better than the first in some respects. While the mystery of Rapture may have dissipated, it's still an incredibly enticing environment to immerse yourself in, so getting the opportunity explore even more of it was A-OK with me. The story is also still pretty interesting and the morality choices are actually a little more complex than they were in the original; not so aggressively black & white at least. Though the character of Sophia Lamb does feel very shoe-horned in, given that she's apparently some major figurehead of Rapture yet there was like no mention of her in the original.
Still, great game and it was one of my top ten for 2010 even.
Bioshock 2 is only worth playing if you really enjoy the combat of 1 or just want more Rapture. I really enjoyed Bioshock 2, maybe more than it deserves, but it is in no way a bad game or the worthless black sheep people make it out to be. It isn't required playing if you just want the story, but it does do a very good job of fleshing out the world of rapture even if it isn't critical.
Bioshock 1 is vital, and I think that Bioshock 2 is a good experience. Its a well playing game and it is set in Rapture so it still has an amazing setting. Play both. And apparently play Minerva's Den, the DLC for Bioshock 2. I haven't played it myself, but its supposed to be real good.
You should definitely play Bioshock 2, it's severely underrated. To this day I still find it silly that Brad thought Minerva's Den was this amazing piece of Bioshock content while Bioshock 2 was no good, Minerva's Den is more Bioshock 2 in a bite-sized story.
Bioshock 2 plays better than the original game, I'd also say it has a better overall story - the benefit of lessons learnt from Bioshock's failures in its third act. Plasmids are far more useful and the moments where you can choose to protect a Little Sister as she gathers make for an excellent opportunity to really put them to use. The biggest problems I have with the game are that the Big Sister is a letdown of an enemy when you consider what she could have been and that at times Bioshock 2 feels like it tries a little too hard to emulate some of the moments seen in its predecessor.
Though the character of Sophia Lamb does feel very shoe-horned in, given that she's apparently some major figurehead of Rapture yet there was like no mention of her in the original.
For sure, it's weird seeing Sophia Lamb portrayed as this prominent figure alongside Ryan, engaging in debate with him and such when there wasn't any sort of hint of her existence in the first game. That said, she was a great character and will probably go down as one of my favourite villains for quite some time.
I really enjoyed Bioshock 2 and I think it's very underrated game because no one really wanted it. It's a great game that was greatly shadowed by it's predicesor. Now ther is more than enough distance from that so you can enjoy it free of that burden. Although you maybe shouldn't play them back to back. That's a lot of Bioshock.
I just wanted to say that I'm planning on writing a review of every Bioshock game as I play them and I'ill keep this thread updated with every new review.
Here's my review of the first Bioshock: http://www.giantbomb.com/bioshock/3030-17280/user-reviews/2200-25740
I would love to hear your thoughts on my review and the game in the comments section.
Play both, the second game gets a lot if unwarranted flack for not being Bioshock 1. If anything it highlights the fact that outside the story the actual gameplay of these games is not all that great since the second one has a serviceable story but that apparently wasn't enough for some.
The combat is pretty decent although from what I remember it's laid on a lot thicker with more enemies and the big sister encounters while initially genuinely nerve wracking, tend to become simply cumbersome by the endgame.
All in all a pretty good game with a nice ending.
Having completed Bioshock 1 and enjoyed it, I watched a friend play Bioshock 2 and wasn't remotely impressed by the story. It came across just like Rapture fanfic, worthlessly extending the canon of the first game simply to create new combat arenas to bounce around in.
In Bioshock 1, Rapture had the convincing atmosphere of a fallen, post-cataclysm city, but even that was stretched thin eventually by the sheer numbers of splicers thrown at you. By 2, it's stretched to the point it becomes ludicrous. For a place where everything's gone wrong and so many have been massacred, it's remarkable how well populated it is with psychos and how it's been ticking over fairly nicely beyond the Ryan/Fontaine saga. Rather than a dystopic vision, Rapture now seems to be a more or less happily functioning slum, until a Player Character wanders through and triggers all the spawns and aggro.
The choice of main character felt like gimmickry. The new antagonist is crowbarred in as if she had always been a major player in Rapture's fortunes, despite having been nowhere in sight in the first game. The big new enemy addition is merely an eye-rollingly unimaginative twist on the old iconic one. New gameplay mechanics, like protecting Little Sisters in little horde sequences, jarred with the way we saw the girls harvest Adam largely unmolested in the first game. In general it just felt like it was desperately ticking so many little fan service boxes that they should have added the constant ambient noise of a barrel being scraped. Yahtzee happened to be on the money with this one.
In gameplay terms, some parts of the combat looked like they were improved over the first game but not enough to make me want to drudge through another 10-12 hours. Get Bioshock 2 if you loved the combat of BS1 and love the thought of playing an improved version, otherwise I'd say skip.
Bioshock 2 was great! So great, that I decided to replay it last week and it still held up. I think it suffered from a very linear story and a weak antagonist though. As a whole though, I really enjoyed the story and relationship between Delta and Eleanore. Plus, the soundtrack was awesome!
Having just powered through Bioshock 1 and 2:
The gameplay in bioshock 2 is vastly improved. A huge step up to the point where it's legitimately enjoyable.
I hated the antagonist, Sofia Lamb.
The rapture setting started to get real boring about 10 hours in.
The story feels very tacked on in a annoying manner. About 10 hours in, I just wanted Bioshock 2 to end already.
So.. verdict ? If you have a lot of free time and tolerance to bullshit: Play it, otherwise don't. I actually felt like it diluted the rapture experience, rather than enhance it, because of aforementioned tacked-on ness.
If you want more details, I'll gladly explain more.
I could never get past the idea that Bioshock 2 was just capitalizing on the original's success. It's an interesting story, sure, and the combat is great, but it didn't have the sense of wonder and utter surprise that both the original and Infinite featured. When your setting is so detailed as to be a character in itself, failing to redefine or otherwise change that quality is egregious.
Here's my short review of Bioshock 2: http://www.giantbomb.com/bioshock-2/3030-20827/user-reviews/2200-25924
I will also play Minerva's Den when I get the time and write a review of that.