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DO NOT WANT: Bioshock 2

Posted by nfinit on January 16, 2010

Take 2 Interactive is has been holding the threat of a new Bioshock game over the gaming community for the past year and a half, and despite please for reason and requests for a list of demands, the company seems intent on foisting Bioshock 2 upon us three weeks from now.

The parts everyone loved about the original Bioshock were the parts that had absolutely nothing to do with being a videogame.  We fell in love with the sharp writing, were enamored by the original concept, engrossed in the singular, unique world that Bioshock inhabited.  In fact, when Bioshock tried to be a game instead of a stark object lesson in Objectivity and Libertarianism run amok, it was distressingly bad.  The combat was awkward.  The upgrade system unbalanced.  The fights with Big Daddies ranging from nerve-wracking engagements in sheer frustration to loot hunts in the blink of an eye.  The simply unforgivably awful final boss battle.

Now don’t get me wrong, I loved Bioshock.  It was my game of the year for ’07 and I’d gladly stand by that even given the benifit of hindsight.  But it straddled that Metal Gear Solid-esque line between enduring a potienitally awful videogame in return for experiencing a fantastic gaming environment better than anything even Kojima himself has ever produced.

Furthermore, Bioshock was allowed to finish it’s story.  There were no loose ends, no obvious hooks for a sequel, no halfway finished storylines that were left there purely to build a franchise around.  Instead, Ken Levine was allowed to tell his story.  Done.  No need to go back to Rapture…. provided, y’know, the game wasn’t enormously successful and a sequel was all but ordained by the market forces that drive the games industry.

So those of us enthralled with Bioshock 1 greeted the news of Bioshock 2 with more than a bit of trepadation, especially following so quickly on the heels of it’s prececessor.  And indeed, our worries quickly snowballed into what we’ve all pretty much agreed has become the Worst Possible Scenario.  Gone is the superb writing.  Ken Levine is nowhere to be found near Bioshock 2.  Gone is the unique and interesting world– It’s a decade later, and you’re back in Rapture.  The concept?  More Ayn Rand.

Bioshock 2’s focus?  The game.  That awful, awful videogame that wrapped up Bioshock’s world and made it presentable.  Worse yet, 2k Marin– a studio created expressly to exploit the Bioshock franchise (which is apparently a franchise now, -and- exploitable) is focusing on multiplayer.  Deathmatch Libertarianism.  This is not what any of us wanted.  Bioshock 2 isn’t just going to be awful, it’s going to be so awful that the original game’s repuation will suffer irreperable damage.


3 Responses to “DO NOT WANT: Bioshock 2”

  1. Wes said

    I remember the day I read that there would be a sequel to Bioshock. I was LIVID. I mean, I don’t get angry often, but Jesus Christ, is nothing fucking sacred in this industry anymore?

    I’m glad there’s still bastions of singularity out there: Planescape: Torment and Arcanum: Of Magicks Obscura will still have their reputations, even though they’re extremely dated by today’s standards. Honestly, I’m one of the few that played through and enjoyed Deus Ex: Invisible War, and the prospect of Deus Ex 3 is an honest one (although it still makes me nervous).

    Bioshock 2 literally reeks of commercialism, though.


  2. nfinit said

    A planescape sequel would have probably still worked, Black Isle/Bioware had great respect for their own stuff. Also it only sold like five copies so it was never in danger of having a sequel.

  3. Patrick said

    “Planescape: Torment and Arcanum: Of Magicks Obscura will still have their reputations, even though they’re extremely dated by today’s standards.”

    Dated? Meh. They’re still far better RPGs than anything else released in recent memory.

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