So, as you guys know, I am a big fan of the Bioshock series and I absolutely loved Bioshock infinite especially. So after completing infinite on the 1999 mode, which wasnt the hardest difficulty setting in the world I decided to go back and play the previous bioshock’s again, purely out of nostalgia. I was of course loving Bioshock 1, that is one of the early 360 games I remember, of course it used to be a 360 exclusive until sometime after the PS3 came out.
Anyway, the first Bioshock had/has a distinct claustrophobic horror feel to it, which is certainly different from Infinite and in some regards to Bioshock 2. Its darker and definitely tougher, but that’s not a bad thing necessarily as that gets balanced out by the ever-present Vita-Chambers which on death re-spawns you at that location every time with no penalties. Unless you play it on hard or so I’ve heard where you can disable them? Something like that. This game will always hold a special place in my heart and indeed in the hearts of the gaming consciousness because it was the first game to introduce us to the Bioshock world of plasmids, big daddies, little sisters and of course the stunning locations such as Rapture or from Infinite the flying city of Columbia which are both utterly, utterly breathtaking.
So after all that I hope you get some semblance of understanding of how highly I regard those games, so when a game like Bioshock 2 comes around, it hurts it really does. Now ill admit back in the day I enjoyed it for what it was, a brainless re-tread of Rapture because I didn’t really pay too much attention to the story, all I cared about was getting the chance to re visit rapture again. That was back in the day when the Xbox 360 version was released all those years ago, so foolishly out of nostalgia I bought Bioshock 2 again along with Bioshock 1 on steam (even though I have Bioshock 1 on the Xbox already). Bioshock 1 as ever was really good, of course it has aged somewhat but I can let that slide. Bioshock 2 however has really been shown up for what it was, a badly made cash grab on the Bioshock franchise.
I definitely wasnt this much against the game back in the day of its initial release, but after going through the brilliance of Infinite, the bar has definitely been raised now.
Now to be clear this was the PC version I played ( I expect id have the same grievances with the Xbox version as anyone who remembers the furore over the on-disc DLC they introduced and how badly they botched the response to that will back me up). This game is badly broken, to begin with the games for windows live system completely screws it up and slows it down to the levels of butt-fuckery not seen in decades. Now this was not my first experience with the games for windows live system, my first experience was with Dawn Of War 2, and I loved it, personally I thought it complemented it really well as it used it as a side rather than apart of the core of the game. Unfortunately with BioShock 2 it seems so heavily integrated where it will mess with the user experience to an utterly unacceptable level.
My main problem with this port thought, is that the game barely works. It just keeps crashing, far, far, far too many times its unreal. Perhaps its the OS that im using (windows 7) but I don’t believe it is as ive been scouring the web for solutions to the crashing problems and it seems that a hell of a lot of people have been having similar problems too. Which brings me to a question, where was the QA testing in all this? Granted i know that sometimes companies just don’t listen to their testers or choose to not fix problems they deem unimportant, but this is game breaking, guys! Having it crash every 10 or so minutes utterly ruins the experience and only lends more credence to the thought that this was a rushed hatchet job. Because surely if they cared about the project they would have made sure the damn thing worked right?
(No one really cared about playing as a big daddy, did they?)
Now I have heard there is a kind of fix to this where you have the game run in DX9? But how is that any sort of acceptable solution? Already handicapping yourself to an inferior product.
I blame myself too because I should have researched this and checked up on any possible problems with the game, but no, I trusted that it would work correctly and I got badly burned.
That is my fault but if anyone reads this who is thinking about buying Bioshock 2, to relive the nostalgia or possibly playing through the first 2 before playing Infinite? My advice is to skip 2 all together. As it was not made by Ken Levine and it really shows, the man really knows his stuff and how to make his vision come to life, so please by all means play Bioshock 1 again and buy Infinite for sure but skip Bioshock 2.
Thanks for reading guys/gals
Hope you enjoyed this little rant 🙂
P.s. Don’t get me started on the multiplayer, useless and tacked on. Bioshock didn’t need multiplayer, just look at Bioshock 1 and Bioshock Infinite as proof of that.