Edited 1 year, 24 days ago

Should I play both Bioshock games or just the first one? (98 votes)

Just the original 37%
Both (Bioshock 1 + 2) 63%

So I just finished Bioshock Infinite and it was hands down one of the best gaming experiences I've ever had. So now I want to play more Bioshock, but is it worth playing the second game? I guess what I'm really asking is, does Bioshock 2 flesh out the world of Rapture in a meaningful way?

Also I'm skeptical about Bioshock 2 because it wasn't really developed by Irrational Games or Ken Levine, so does it feel like a proper Bioshock game or more like Bioshock light?

This next segment contains spoilers for Bioshock Infinite, so do not read it if you haven't finished the game:

I also have to make it clear that I have played through the first Bioshock when it first came out. The problem is, that while I enjoyed the world of Rapture I found the gameplay unsatisfying and frustrating back in the day, so that kind of colored the whole experience in a bad way. I didn't enjoy the story that much simply because I was frustrated by the act of actually playing the game.

Now just to be absolutely clear, you should not read the following statement if you haven't finished Bioshock Infinite yet. Now don't come and say I didn't warn you.

When I saw Rapture at the end of Infinite my jaw literally dropped. It was fucking amazing and I was reminded how amazing the world of Rapture really is. So I am determined to give the game another chance, seing how much I enjoyed Infinite after all, so this is not a question of if I should do it, but should I also play "the sequel"?

Now I put word sequel in quotation marks cause I can't help but feel that Infinite is the real sequel to Bioshock, even though it is more af spiritual successor than a dircet sequel, but still I get the feeling that Ken Levine said what he wanted to say about Rapture in the first game.

#1 Edited by TheArchitect (5 posts) -

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.

#2 Edited by Yummylee (20622 posts) -

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.

#3 Edited by LordXavierBritish (6320 posts) -

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.

#4 Posted by Redbullet685 (5981 posts) -

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.

#5 Posted by MEATBALL (2803 posts) -

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.

@yummylee said:

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.

#6 Edited by Castiel (2421 posts) -

Well after reading your comments, and seeing the result of the poll, I have decided to play both. It's pretty cheap to get both bioshocks and all the dlc anyway thanks to the rapture edition or what ever it's called.

#7 Posted by Zaccheus (1770 posts) -

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.

#8 Posted by believer258 (11063 posts) -

As long as you don't expect the second game to be as good as the first, then yes it is absolutely worth your time.

#9 Edited by Castiel (2421 posts) -

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.

#10 Posted by Ghostiet (5153 posts) -

BioShock 2 is cool. It also plays a somewhat important role in the "multiverse" angle of Infinite.

#11 Edited by ThomasG666 (154 posts) -

I'd say play Bioshock 2. It's shadowed by it's predecessor, but it's still a great game!

#12 Posted by Humanity (8005 posts) -

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.

#13 Edited by gamefreak9 (2327 posts) -

I think Bioshocks Andrew Ryan is the best written from all the Bioshock games. I haven't played B2 DLC but I heard they are worth it and B2 is okay too.

#14 Posted by SoldierG654342 (1687 posts) -

Bioshock 2 isn't the crime against humanity that some people make it out to be. You would be hard pressed to get me to remember and specific details about the story though.

#15 Posted by Laiv162560asse (487 posts) -

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.

#16 Posted by MideonNViscera (2257 posts) -

I beat Bioshock 2 on a rental, years after I did the same with Bioshock 1. I don't remember Bioshock 2 in the slightest. Take that for what you will haha

#17 Posted by natetodamax (19141 posts) -

Both are great. I play through the first game specifically at least once a year.

#18 Posted by Mrsignerman44 (1100 posts) -

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!

#19 Posted by Sidewalkchalk (122 posts) -

Honestly, good luck trying to play either. I tried playing Minerva's Den after Infinite and there are so many things that I miss sorely (sprint, anyone?) It's a nice experience to have, though - makes you realize how much improved Infinite really is.

#20 Edited by SaturdayNightSpecials (2237 posts) -

Just the second one, if you like fun video games.

#21 Posted by Bio2hazard (144 posts) -

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.

#22 Posted by bybeach (4615 posts) -

Bioshock 1 is signature, it is in my book the real story. Bioshock 2 is improved gameplay, and if you ignore a few things, a decent story. DLC was excellent for 2, though. so I don't know..play 1, then I would play 2, then that dlc which is almost Bioshock 2.5

#23 Posted by bgdiner (251 posts) -

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.

#24 Posted by Castiel (2421 posts) -