Bioshock 2 is the second game in the series that contrasts exciting first-person shooting sequences with philosophical and moral questions.
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Story & Themes
Bioshock 2 is a direct sequel to Bioshock. It takes place in the same city (the underwater city of Rapture) in 1968, but the player plays a Big Daddy—one of the lumbering genetic experiments created to protect the Little Sisters. As Subject Delta, you must try to find the little girl you were assigned to protect, while contending with the usual dangers of Rapture—and some new ones.
Bioshock 2 pits the player against the philosophy of Collectivism—the notion that community efforts and community wealth must be shared out equally. In Bioshock, Andrew Ryan touts Objectivism—the idea that whatever an individual does must be done for himself, with no others in mind. Both philosophies are seen as inherently destructive when followed without restraint. In both cases, the people who live in each society become the victims of people who have power.
In Bioshock 2, players can save any time as long as they are not engaged in battle.
The different difficulty settings affect the toughness of enemies and the number of times you will die. Depending on a gamer's experience level, easy mode may feel a bit tricky or far too easy; it's fairly subjective.
Violence Bioshock is bloody. Most of the violence is perpetrated with guns, and there is some blood spatter when enemies are hit. There is also some level of body horror, as many of the enemies have deformities due to their plasmid use. In Bioshock 2, creatures called "Big Daddies" use giant drills to take out foes, and you play as a Big Daddy in the game.
Scary Imagery Bioshock 2 deviates from the first game in its atmospheric feel; therefore, much of the horror present in the first game is absent in the sequel.
Sex & Nudity There are inferences to sex in Bioshock 2—but no graphic sexual content. In Bioshock 2 there are sequences that take place in a strip club called Eve's Garden that has long been out of use; advertisements for it are still on the walls, but like real-life advertisements for strip clubs, they are not explicit.
Strong Language There is adult language in each Bioshock game.
Substance Use The game takes place in a city where there can be alcohol and cigarettes lying around. The player is not encouraged to drink or smoke. Drinking alcohol raises your health and lowers your EVE (resources that determine your secondary attack power). Smoking cigarettes lowers your health and raises your EVE. The games take place in time periods when smoking was considered healthy, and tongue-in-cheek advertisements depict people (sometimes children) smoking cigarettes—the player is meant to understand that this is historical ignorance, but it is not explained.
Bioshock 2 has online multiplayer mode, which comes with all the usual hazards of online play, such as uncensored language from other players.
- How does Bioshock use historical time periods (the 1960s) to tell a story? Why are these settings important?
- Every Bioshock game is about a city that is isolated from other cultures. Do you think it is healthy for a society to be cut off from the rest of the world? Can this ever go well?
- Do you think Bioshock 2 expands on the Bioshock story in a worthwhile way?