Little Sisters and Serial Killers

So, thanks to Mr. TheNiz… I have Bioshock 2!

Great present.

Really great present.

I’m thoroughly enjoying this game so far, so let me jump into the things I don’t like about it right off the bat. It’s veeeeery similar to the first one, maybe a little too much so.

That’s it.

No really, that’s it!

The story is just as engaging, the atmosphere is just as dark, moody and crazy as the first, the Splicers are back and unstable, with a few new ones thrown in here and there, and Big Daddies are just as bone crushing and stompy as before. Honestly, to sit there and say “Oh, I don’t like Bioshock 2 because it didn’t change the fantastic formula that it had in Bioshock ” is stupid. Very stupid.

But they DID add stuff to mix it up. First of all, you play as Delta, the original prototype Big Daddy. This makes for some great additions, such as being able to simultaneously use your Plasmids and your gun. It also allows you to use a drill similar to what the Bouncer uses. And this is an awesome drill.

Normally, I don’t like melee, I feel it’s very ineffective in most games, and is just a secondary thought. But this drill truly is amazing, and becomes even more so once you upgrade it a bit and use the electric Plasmid. Don’t even get me started with what happens when you get the Big Daddy rush.

I was also impressed on how they used controller vibrations, sound, and general ambiance to really put you in the Big Daddy’s shoes. I get the feeling I’m this big, hulking organic machine as I’m walking around, and it helps that when I take damage, I grunt like a Big Daddy. The metallic sound of bullets hitting my helmet is so realistic, and I really think this attention to detail is amazing.

As Delta, you can also adopt Little Sisters, basically by taking them away from their Big Daddy. But when you disturb the natural process of harvesting ADAM, you get a nasty surprise. It doesn’t make Big Sister very happy when you mess with her Little Sisters.

And you don’t want her mad, Big Sister is a BEAST!

She flips around, runs along the wall, uses Plasmids, and Big Daddy rushes you all while attempting to stomp you to death. Basically, she is a tough cookie to crack. The first time I fought her I was caught unaware, and almost lost, pretty hard.

Her glowing red eyes are very unnerving. Her shriek really shakes you up, and it makes her feel like she is stronger than a Big Daddy, which is saying a lot, because Big Daddy is scary.

All this, along with another power struggle story of Sophia Lamb and Adam Ryan, which has somehow spilled over into the new Rapture, and has something to do with you and your “daughter,” Eleanor.

Is Eleanor your real daughter? Was she the “first” Little Sister? What does all that have to do with Sophia?

Not to spoil it for you, but the opening of the game leaves a lot of questions unanswered, and really makes you want to know more. Because of this, I’ve found myself doing exactly what I did with the first Bioshock. I start playing, and I can’t stop.

There are a few other things that 2K added that really makes this a peak of the series.

Hacking is much easier now. Instead of the long puzzle mini-game of Bioshock, you now have a needle that slides back and fourth in a color coded window. You have to stop the needle over a green area, or blue area if you want the bonus, to proceed to the next hack. If you hit a white area, you take damage, and if you hit an orange area, you set off attack drones. Depending on the difficulty of the thing being hacked, you might have to do this four or five times.

This all happens in real time, which adds a layer to the strategy (as it is unwise to hack while being attacked, as I found out in the hardest way possible).

They also improved researching! Instead of just taking a picture of something as it attacks you, you now set a camera rolling on a subject, and then begin fighting it as you normally would. As you fight the enemy, you gain research knowledge of the target, and either unlock new abilities, or increase the damage against this enemy.

Researching wasn’t my favorite part of the first Bioshock, but this way of doing it is a nice compromise. Although I feel like I have to keep the camera out all the time, it’s not as intrusive as it was in the first one.

So my take on Bioshock 2? A must if you bought and loved the first one. Even if that’s not the case, if Bioshock looks interesting to you, then I advise getting started now. Bioshock was a fairly long game, and I’m sure Bioshock 2 is as well.

Once I finish the single player, I will be trying out the infamous multiplayer. I’m a bit excited about this, as what’s more fun than setting other players on fire.

Nothing, that’s what.

In other news, Heavy Rain!

After downloading the demo last night, I sat down not knowing what to expect.

I’d heard a lot about Heavy Rain, and the idea seemed supremely interesting, but I was worried about it keeping my interest.

So I started the demo, and was already impressed by the level of detail. This is movie quality graphics. The storyline has something to do with you trying to find a serial killer called “The Origami Killer,” which in the trailer is shown as being a very intricate storyline.

It was the little things that really sold me in this game. You use the left stick to look around and point your character in the right direction, while using R2 to walk. As you turn, your character turns his or her head… and this in itself is amazing! It looks so realistic when you turn to look one way, and as you continue to press your character in a certain direction, he or she will move in that direction! It’s genius, it looks so natural, that it really does look like you are controlling a movie.

Most of the game is context sensitive, so you’re basically pressing buttons to make your character execute an action. Normally, you get choices. You can also see what your character is thinking, which is a great way to get hints on what to do next.

My favorite section was with the detective and the prostitute with a dead son (killed by the Origami killer I assume). Everything is pretty straight forward, until you go to leave. As you leave, you are hit with an asthma attack, which makes you stop. You see a guy walk into the prostitutes room, a guy that doesn’t really look like he’s up to much good. She seems to know him, but also seems agitated that he’s there.

The most impressive part is when you get into a fight with this guy. Again, the fight is context sensitive, so you have to press buttons, fairly quickly, whenever you are prompted too. The part I LOVED about this is that the instructions come up very quickly as the two men struggle. There is a FIGHT going on as you’re pressing these buttons, and your correct input, or incorrect input, or late inputs, are affecting the outcome of the fight.

It was really, really cool. The whole time, I felt the tension of a life and death fight, because if I screwed up too much, I would be dead.

I eventually won, and let out a sigh of relief… and this was just one small section of the game.

It made me feel as if it didn’t matter if I messed up, but I would have to deal with the consequences, say, of getting the crap beat out of me, and possibly killed. It felt tangible, and it felt as if I wouldn’t want to go back and try again no matter the outcome. The replay value on that is astronomical!

The icing on the cake? In the full game, if you get a character killed, it’s not game over! It affects the storyline, but death is possible. This is some real heavy gaming going on.

The demo was a bit glitchy, but hopefully the full version will be set.

I’m looking forward to Heavy Rain. As I said in this post, this year is shaping up to be amazing in gaming.

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~ by machombie on 02/13/2010.

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