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Genre: Shooters
Min OS X: 10.6

BioShock 2
March 26, 2012 | Jon Carr

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Electric Jolt


Mac OS X: 10.7.2 | CPU: 2 GHz Intel | RAM: 4 GB | HD Space: 10 GB | Graphics: 256 MB | Not Supported: ATI X1xxx series, ATI HD2xxx series, NVIDIA 9400, NVIDIA 7xxx series and Intel GMA series | Other: The following cards require you to have 4GB of System RAM - NVIDIA 320M, Intel HD 3000


Once again we get more Bioshock goodness on the Mac thanks to Feral Interactive. Even with Bioshock 2 having been released a few years ago on other platforms, its age has no impact on this incredible title. Read on to find out why this game deserves your attention.

Bioshock 2 is set 10 years after the first game, and returns us to the wonderfully disturbing underwater utopia of Rapture, now even more ruined than before. While the first game was seen through eyes of Jack, this time around players take on the role of the mysterious subject Delta, one of the first Big Daddies. That's right, one of Bioshock's most iconic characters is now the main protagonist. If you were ever jealous of the powerful Big Daddies stomping around with their armor and drills, now's your chance to be one.

Story wise things are a touch less personal, as subject Delta is a somewhat difficult character to relate to, unsure if he is even human. Jack from the first game provided a much stronger protagonist to connect with, however Bioshock 2 does evoke a much stronger emotional connection through subject Delta and the Little Sisters - the strange yet adorable little girls who roam Rapture in search of ADAM, syringe in hand. How you treat and interact with the Little Sisters as a Big Daddy is ultimately the heart of the conflict, and the source of the majority of the game's moral conundrums. In the first game the choice to rescue or harvest the Little Sisters was rather marginalized by the fact you had no relationship with them. In Bioshock 2 you can adopt them, protect them and help them harvest ADAM. It's an effectively gut wrenching choice to make after the little ones shower you with affection, compliments and cries of "Daddy!" There's a plausible and visceral connection with the Little Sisters and how you deal with them greatly shapes the story. Do you protect them as they expect you to, or do you just use them to further your own survival? These choices extend beyond the character, and in the end affect people close to subject Delta. It makes for a powerful emotional impact as you learn of these relationships and see how they unfold based on your actions. The game also delves much more deeply into the Little Sisters' story and state, showing their twisted vision of reality, covered with innocence. This is reinforced in subtle ways, such as a Little Sister exclaiming "look Daddy, a marshmallow!" after I set a splicer on fire and subsequently pinned it to the wall with my speargun. Are the girls really monsters? Who is responsible for this horror? It's fascinating to learn more about them and Rapture as a whole.

Bioshock 2 doesn't strive to be specifically horror, but sometimes borderlines it and walks that line well. A combination of music, lighting and level design create some genuinely creepy and haunting moments, and you will certainly come across some gruesome and horrifying scenes in your journey. The game earns its M rating more through the intensity of theme and character than through its violence or language, which while present, are not dominant themes. The game delves into the concept of individuality versus the greater good, as well as the ever greater insanity the deeper you go into Rapture, viewing, fighting and experiencing its mad inhabitants.

As far as shooting and combat go, Bioshock 2 has a number of changes. Not only can you dual wield plasmids and weapons, as a Big Daddy you feature a significantly more fearsome arsenal than Jack ever did. Tommy gun? Try chain gun. Crossbow? Try Spear gun. Every weapon is excellently modeled and deliciously powerful. Like the original, every weapon has 3 different kinds of ammo, and also 3 different upgrades you can choose at the Power to the People stations. The camera has also seen an update, now being a video camera. The same research ideas apply with different levels of research granting you bonuses for your character, damage or even some special gene tonics. All the original plasmids and gene tonics return, as well as a few new ones like the nifty Scout plasmid which allows you to go invisible, or the hard to get Fountain of Youth tonic which regenerates health and EVE while standing in water.


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