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Thread: First Impressions of BS2

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Location: Massachusetts

    First Impressions of BS2

    I went ahead and grabbed my copy, since my Gamestop was open for a Midnight release. That was a pretty sleepy affair - it's a cold (but dry) Monday night/Tuesday morning in New England, and I reckon about 10-12 people showed up. Lots of 20-something guys, a few older, some with their spouses/GFs. Quite a few of them were picking up Limited Edition stuff. I just grabbed the plain jane PC version.

    Installation/activation wasn't too much fuss, really. Activation took place without any input from me. GFWL popped up after I launched the game, but all I had to do in order to get going was set up an offline profile. It didn't ask me for the code on the back of my manual, which I assume is for the Live part. The gamesaves aren't sitting anywhere strange; they're in a "BioShock 2" subfolder in my Documents file.

    Then you set up your graphics/etc. options and controls, natch. Almost identical to the first game. However, NO walk/run, Again.

    Game starts out with a cutscene which serves to place you where you start out, like the first game did. It's longer and more involved. I won't divulge details, but it's somewhat intriguing.

    Overall - granted, I probably only made it 2/3 through the second zone before I croaked (played on Hard with Vitas disabled, no quicksaves), I found myself in a Rapture that was more richly detailed than the first one. As you might well imagine, it's more decrepit - but also looks/feels more "lived in" and less sterile than the first one. I saw a lot of things such as mattresses tucked into corners with a few provisions/miscelllaneous odds and ends scattered about the immediate vicinity, as if someone had claimed squatter's rights. Equipment rooms contain equipment. Toolboxes, cans of spraypaint. Stuff you can't use, but stuff that belongs in a setting where people once lived and worked.

    The game doesn't lollygag much before getting you into the plot. You start out with a pretty decent idea of who you are, and why you're there, and at least one solid long term goal. Not as much vagary as in the first episode.

    Unfortunately, my brief sojourn felt rather heavily scripted. Perhaps I died at a point that was still intended as a "tutorial" phase of the game? Nonetheless I'm a bit concerned, because all of the "major" enemy encounters I ran into felt a bit too deliberate. I could kinda sense when something was about to go down, and sure enough, it did. It might be a large space that you have to traverse. And/or, it might be heralded by the presence of a security camera. In any case, things tended to happen right on cue.

    Combat feels a bit more visceral, because it tends to come in bursts with enemy incoming from multiple vectors. The drill is satisfactory for gut-punching fools that come in close. The rivet gun is quite good if you can keep your aim trained upon a splicer's head - headshots are quite damaging, and visual feedback is present. Their faces turn into a bloody mess after you give them a well-aimed nostril piercing. Being able to zap-and-whack in a fluid fashion is an improvement, and something that I need to remember that I can do in this game with less futz. I probably took a lot more damage than I should have, simply by failing to walk and chew gum at the same time.

    However, I'm still concerned by the feeling I got that I was progressing through a series of test chambers. I hope that the rest of the game is able to develop more fluidity than what I've seen, because I already know that certain combat interludes (depending upon player choices) are exactly this sort of thing. I don't want ALL of the combat to be this sort of thing.

    Anyway, this is just from an hour or so of impromptu play. I've still got a long way to go (and I'm gonna start all over again, in any case). 'Tis simply my first impression.

    Oh, and WSGF (and myself) have confirmed that BS2 Widescreen is high on Crack.
    Last edited by Painman; 9th Feb 2010 at 09:02.

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    I just got home with box too, but I gotta play in a window mode(dont ask) and I can't move it from top left corner to middle!!!
    At least the STALKER guys added -center_screen shortcut no luck this time

    edit; man just got to the park, what an awesome sequel, they pretty much nailed everything that was missing from first. Even sharks are in
    Last edited by justmea; 11th Feb 2010 at 02:08.

  3. #3
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: Sulphur, whatever
    Quote Originally Posted by Painman View Post
    However, NO walk/run, Again.
    Maybe it's an upgrade or something. You know how the Big D's liked to hunch up and then rush you in BS? Mebbe you get to do that later on here. Who knows! I found Big Daddies running to be a pretty comical sight in BS, anyway.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    My impression of it is that gameplay's slightly better than the original cus you don't hafta switch between gun and plasmid anymore.

    But the rest is exactly the same affair. It takes place in a city that should've rightfully been reclaimed by the sea by now. The villains are as egotistical and deliberately self-righteous as the first game's. It's still largely linear with tons of scripted events.

    I'll have to play more but it's BioShock by the number so far.

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Location: Massachusetts
    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphur View Post
    Maybe it's an upgrade or something. You know how the Big D's liked to hunch up and then rush you in BS? Mebbe you get to do that later on here. Who knows! I found Big Daddies running to be a pretty comical sight in BS, anyway.
    Actually there is some sort of drill dash attack, but you can't do it right from the start. You pick it up later on somehow. I think it uses up your drill fuel, though.

    I guess BDs just aren't meant to be subtle, even if they wish to try.
    Last edited by Painman; 9th Feb 2010 at 19:55. Reason: Added quote

  6. #6
    TTLG Server Goddess
    Registered: Jun 2000
    Location: Out of my mind...
    Anyone having any technical difficulties with the game? I am http://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=130960 and would appreciate any input/suggestions/advice

    Update: Fixed my problems... off to play! \o/

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2004
    Location: Does it matter?
    The first hour or so was slightly underwhelming. Very similar to the first game's first hour and perhaps even more tutorial-esque.

    Now that I've actually started upgrading weapons and interacting with Little Sisters, the game is really starting to come into its own though. Combat is MUCH better, and the world still looks and sounds great. I'm still not that far into it, but the more I play the better it seems to become.

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Location: Massachusetts
    Quote Originally Posted by MsLedd View Post
    Anyone having any technical difficulties with the game? I am http://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=130960 and would appreciate any input/suggestions/advice

    Update: Fixed my problems... off to play! \o/
    Glad you got that sorted out.

    Quote Originally Posted by T-Smith View Post
    The first hour or so was slightly underwhelming. Very similar to the first game's first hour and perhaps even more tutorial-esque.

    Now that I've actually started upgrading weapons and interacting with Little Sisters, the game is really starting to come into its own though. Combat is MUCH better, and the world still looks and sounds great. I'm still not that far into it, but the more I play the better it seems to become.
    Yeah, I'm in Ryan Amusements now and it's starting to improve for me too.

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2005
    Location: Prague
    I'm interested - did they fix sound propagation? Are the scripted events at least randomly delayed now? Are invisible walls still everywhere? Is stealth a viable tactic now? I may consider picking this up if most of these issues are resolved

  10. #10
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: Sulphur, whatever
    Uh, playing as a stealthy big daddy? Isn't that going to be a little difficult?

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2005
    Location: Prague
    This is what I'd think as well, but still you could at least hide in the shadow... They are schizophrenic about the big daddy anyway - it seems like a bad idea which they were not able to get rid of (considering they shaped it into a shooter, a more agile character would be a more preferable base, in my opinion).

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Location: Massachusetts
    Not entirely impossible to be sneaky, I'm discovering. I was in Ryan Amusements, on the upper mezzanine of the main hall, and ambushed a splicer there. I hid behind a big placard.

    Also, headshots from an upgraded rivet gun are 1 shot kills vs. the thugs and leadheads I'm running into at the moment.

    I'm a bit further along now, and I've discovered that there is a "Drill Lurker" tonic for sale, as well as a headshot bonus tonic.

    On an unrelated note, I fought my first Big Sister. She was tough, and I mean style tough. I was a bit unprepared, as I hadn't used any weapon upgrades yet, and I got my ass handed to me several times. It was a VERY intense battle.

    ^ Not a huge spoiler, but just in case some folks don't know about these things yet. Holy shit, are they in for a surprise if they don't.

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    It sounds like the designers embraced the fact that the game is a shooter (and not a spiritual descendant of the System Shock games) more openly this time, and to the game's advantage. I didn't particularly enjoy the first game as a shooter but will probably get this once it's out on budget.

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2007
    Location: Omicron Persei 8
    Okay, I completed the game in about 6 hours on Normal difficulty even doing a good deal of exploring. Too short.

    Now for a few brief points (potential spoilers?):

    Apart from the forced (scripted) fights with the Big Sisters, the ones that arrive when you rescue 3 little sisters can be easily avoided. Having "Prepare to fight" on the screen was a joke. Just don't rescue the last little sister till you are back at the train, and you've got plenty of time to wave goodbye.

    They haven't done anything with the vita-chambers, same setup as in BioShock 1. The game suggests just turning them off if you don't want to use them.

    Hacking is far to easy. Especially when you get tonics to shorten the time it takes.

    You still trip over supplies here, there and everywhere. What's even worse, you get freebies for sucessful hacking.

    Far to much adam, I rescued every little sister and finished with 650 still in tact, despite having Electro-bolt 3, Winter Blast 3, Incenerate 3 and goodness knows how many other tonics and plasmids, plus full slots and health and eve increase.

    The ending is a complete disaster - It is just fending off a few waves of attacks while Elenor does something (it was around this point I stopped paying to much attention to the story). Wouldn't have been so bad if there wasn't a vita-chamber near by, I didn't have full ammo for almost all my weapons or the fact the even the brute splicers and alpha daddies are absolutly no challenge at all. Seriously, just blast with the machine gun and they're down. Big Sisters are just as weak, although they use agility to their advantage and to be fair you do get a good spar going on, but Machine Gun them with armor piercing bullets and they're gone just as easily.

    Actually, even though I was playing on normal I still found the enemies to be underpowered right till the end, especially when you get the drill dash. I'm going to play again on hard to see if this continues to be the case.

    And a note about level design - seemed to be like this: Crap - train can't continue, get out of train, find somebody, solve problem, kill or leave somebody, return to train, next level, repeat.

    Mark Meltzer originally wasn't even in the game and it shows - his whole Rapture story has been hacked in so badly the little sister he was with wasn't Cindy (blonde hair)!

    tl;dr - Wait till it hits the bargain bin for a purchase. As it is, it doesn't warrent a full price purchase (based on single-player play only).
    Last edited by EZ-52; 10th Feb 2010 at 05:21.

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2005
    There is one aspect of the game that I really dislike. I'll put this in spoil tags just in case.

    Remember in first game when you were turned into a Big Daddy and you had to protect the Little Sister while she was gathering Adam from dead bodies? To me it was the worst part of the game. And now it seems you'll be doing this a lot in this game. Everytime you kill a Big Daddy you have to lead Little sister to a corpse and then defend her from waves of Splicers. I've done that twice till now and I already hate it.

    Game is really nothing new compared to first one, there are some things that are done better (and some that are worse), but overalll it's a lot like Bioshock.

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2007
    Location: Omicron Persei 8
    Quote Originally Posted by mrle01 View Post
    Remember in first game when you were turned into a Big Daddy and you had to protect the Little Sister while she was gathering Adam from dead bodies? To me it was the worst part of the game. And now it seems you'll be doing this a lot in this game. Everytime you kill a Big Daddy you have to lead Little sister to a corpse and then defend her from waves of Splicers. I've done that twice till now and I already hate it.
    You can rescue them right away, or after one gather, if you go to a vent.

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: Vienna, Austria
    my impressions sofar: it's like bioshock ? NO WAY ? U DON'T SAY ? WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT ?
    improvements in hacking, combat is appreciated. the game has less setpieces (sofar) instead tries to get you to learn the layout, surroundings and possible traps so later you can orchestrate some nice defense sequences. that's actually a lot more "tactical" freedom than the first part gave you. Audiologs and NPCs are still DickTracey believable. Another thing: like in the first part it always feels like they withheld the most crazy ideas they had in favor of more of the same with little improvements. the artbook shows things I would have wanted to fight, I hope they turn up later.

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by mothra View Post
    my impressions sofar: it's like bioshock ? NO WAY ? U DON'T SAY ? WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT ?
    improvements in hacking, combat is appreciated. the game has less setpieces (sofar) instead tries to get you to learn the layout, surroundings and possible traps so later you can orchestrate some nice defense sequences. that's actually a lot more "tactical" freedom than the first part gave you. Audiologs and NPCs are still DickTracey believable. Another thing: like in the first part it always feels like they withheld the most crazy ideas they had in favor of more of the same with little improvements. the artbook shows things I would have wanted to fight, I hope they turn up later.
    Apparently they do not turn up later according to the "wot I think" on Rock Paper Shotgun.
    Also weapons seem like carbon copies of BS1 weapons.

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2010
    Location: Montreal, Canada
    Quote Originally Posted by EZ-52 View Post
    Okay, I completed the game in about 6 hours on Normal difficulty even doing a good deal of exploring. Too short.
    Quote Originally Posted by EZ-52 View Post
    Wait till it hits the bargain bin for a purchase. As it is, it doesn't warrent a full price purchase (based on single-player play only).
    Holy crap, that's disappointing. Is the multiplayer any good? Like the first Bioshock I was gonna get this one solely for its single-player experience but now it seems that it alone is not even worth a bargain purchase. I'll rent instead. And maybe normal mode here is like easy in other games (as it is basically a game made for the consoles)?

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: Vienna, Austria
    how can a tacked on MP for a SP-centric shooter with light RPG elements turn out ? unnecessary. they should have put all resources into the SP-part, I can't comment about the 6hours, I played only 1-2h sofar but after the AvP MP demo and now BS2 I don't want another matchmaking experience. I stay with LAN/dedicated server MP games made for MP only, mostly mods since devs and publishers seem to have no understanding of MP at all (or just don't wanna do it properly).

  21. #21
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    I've just finished the 2nd level, ryan amusement. The level's a big improvement over bioshock's. The layout reminds me of the big thief 2 levels. It has the ornately decorative aspect of BioShock with the tightly-packed hodgepodge of rooms and corridors, like Thief 2.

    I'm having fun so far.
    Last edited by Jashin; 10th Feb 2010 at 11:06.

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2007

    Bioshock 2, My (Spoiler-Free) Impressions...

    Disclaimer: These are my spoiler-free thoughts after spending 3-4 hours with the game.

    For me, initially the idea of heading back to Rapture 10 years after the events that took place in the original Bioshock were facsinating, though I was have to admit that I was also leary of the experience. And not because of the sometimes talked of "quick corporate cash-grab" from 2KGames that gamers talk of--I try to not concern myself with that stuff--but because Bioshock seems to be a complete story unto itself. Afterall, wouldnt making a sequel to Bioshock be similar to making a sequel to Pulp Fiction--not necissary?

    It turns out my suspicions were probably illconceived.

    By now everyone knows you take control of the very first prototyped Big Daddy in Bioshock 2, and from the initial moment that happens the game makes it incredibily apparent how massive and powerful you are. With the heavy pounding of your feet as you lumber through about, the loud "Swoop" of your massive melee attack thudding someone across the head, or even the chest-deep grunts you let loose when you're attacked--it sinks in that you're truely massive. But that doesnt mean you're not susceptible to damage or that you perform things and slower than any other protagonist in a game.

    Actually, to me it just highlights the greatness of his design. The collosal heaviness is translated to you completely by sound and not the controls. Infact there is almost a certain melancholy to the implication of how cumbersome your life is in Rapture now.

    I have to admit, for me, the very first hour of the game was slightly awkward. Walking around was a confusing expereince as I tried to take in everything Rapture was designed to show me. The environments, though the same in essence, had changed a bit due to the lapse of 10 years, the writting scrawled across the walls didnt make much sense to me and the suit I was wearing felt cumbersome making me feel claustrophobic--I just totally felt out of place! But after putting some thought into it after playing last night I realize that perhaps what I was experiencing was a natural. Perhaps these elicited feelings were intentionally by design? I doubt it, but it did manage to augment my experience by connecting me to the protagonist, as I imagine he was most likely experiencing the same emotions.

    By the time I hit the second area in the game
    spoiler:
    Andrew Ryan's Amusment Park
    I was full on, 100% drawn into the game. I knew what plasmids I wanted to use in certain situations and what weapons were most effective against certain foes. But what was really interesting was playing through this particular area because the day before I was listening to the lastest Game Informer Podcast where they visited Irrational Games and talking to Ken Levine. Most of the conversation centered around inspirations for video game ideas and one of the things he brought up after movies was Walt Disney and it's theme park rides. He stated that theme part rides like Pirates of the Caribean is an experience where you never know where the audience is going to look and video games sometimes face the same dilema when trying to tell a story in the game. The issue is resolved, in both places, by the use of strong lighting and in dark rooms. While playing through this particular level you can see these techniques used--it was fascinating!

    But there are some other minor annoyances in the game. One of them includes the odd default placement of the quick save and quick load keys--F12 and F11 respectively. Why on Earth would you flip the--mostly industry standard-locations around? They put the quick save on the right and the quick load immediately to its left. Often in PC games you will find the quick save key to be either F5 or F6, and the quick load key will usually reside on F9 or F10. Keeping the all important and sometimes frantically hit keys seperated by a few other keys adds a bit of insurance from gamers fumbling a wrong key press. I learned the hard way, in game, that they traditional setup was now configured by default. In one particular area in the game I died and was immediately resurrected in a Vita Chamber. I wanted to restart the game where I had saved it--which was right before I died so I wouldnt have to run back--but unfortunately my instinct forced me to hit the right-most key to laod it, but all it did was save my game where I was standing--in the Vita Chamber. It took me a few seconds to realize what had just happened--I overwrote my quicksave slot! It was frustrating losing the 15 minutes of game time, and I still dont understand the logic behind this design. Also, shouldnt a quick save be done...quickly? If you are taken out of the game for the process to happen (dialog:"Quicksaving, please do not turn your computer off!") then it kind of defeats the process doesnt it?

    Also, having seperate keys to hack AND open things seems a bit cheap and a blatant offer at "choice". I can't see into everyones Bioshock game but I would be willing to guess that 99% of the people playing Bioshock 2 are hacking just about everything that can be hacked since it offers benefits (free items, lower prices on items, by pass alarms)--so why do we need seperate keys to hack and open things? Does anyone not want to hack something and bypass cheaper prices on items?

    After the quicksave debacle I modified the default keyboard configuration to my liking only to find out a little later in the game that the text in the game didnt reflect my changes. For instance, I changed the binding of the F key and the Spacebar and in one particular instance, where you get to make a moral decision, the options were essentially "Press F to be a good guy and Press B to be a monster!" Well, I knew that I changed my F key bindings so I hit the Spacebar instead to be a goody-two-shoes and nothing happened. Y'okay, so it just didnt register my change, I thought. I then hit the F key and--not only did it not work--it choose the morally evil decision--what?! Fortunatley I had saved the game 5 mintues before this event took place so it wasnt a problem, but it does make me wonder how something like that slipped through testing.

    Graphically speaking the game is very very much like the first one, but with slightly more detailed textures. I'm playing on the PC with all settings maxed out (DirectX 10) and it's never even hickuped. It's a really goregous game that's very aesthetically pleasing. I will say that I think, so far, that the level design is a step up from the already well done's first game.

    Now back to Rapture...I've got some little sisters that need me!

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2007
    Location: Finger paintings of the insane
    Quote Originally Posted by warcrow View Post
    heading back to Rapture 10 years after the events that took place in the original Bioshock
    you take control of the very first prototyped Big Daddy in Bioshock 2
    Ummm, how the hell is that supposed to work?


    Oh, GOD, don't tell me he has been in fucking 'stasis' or sleep mode for over 10 years... /revelation

  24. #24
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by EZ-52 View Post
    You can rescue them right away, or after one gather, if you go to a vent.
    Yes, I see that now, I was basing my opinion on the first Little Sister where you don't have that option (or maybe I just missed it).

    The game does get a bit better after the first part.

    Anyway I just found the research camera which I hoped they wouldn't put in this game, not really sure how it works, should I just start the camera and then kill the enemy, that how I understood it works. Guess I'll go play the game some more and find out.

  25. #25
    Member
    Registered: May 2009
    Quote Originally Posted by gunsmoke View Post
    Ummm, how the hell is that supposed to work?


    Oh, GOD, don't tell me he has been in fucking 'stasis' or sleep mode for over 10 years... /revelation
    Pretty much yes. In the opening, you're killed by the new antagonist. You wake up after the events of BS1 in front of a Vita Chamber. Curiously, you can also use the Vita Chambers again, leading me to believe that there's a very obvious plot twist here.

    It's a solid FPS game so far with some annoyances like excessive hand holding and putting Fire Gun on Left Mouse and Fire Plasmid on Right Mouse, when visually your plasmid hand is on the left and your gun is on the right.

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