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BioShock 2 Released 209

BioShock 2 launched today for the PS3, Xbox 360 and Windows, ending the wait for a sequel to the original 2007 blockbuster. The events in BioShock 2 take place 10 years after the story from the original game. This time around, players control a prototype Big Daddy in an attempt to overthrow the new leader of Rapture. Early reviews for the game are quite strong, though the developers were prepared for fan backlash over some of the changes they made. The Guardian's Nicky Woolf praises the new storyline, and adds that "there is a fundamentally excellent shooter here too, with some of the best combat dynamics in the business." Rock, Paper, Shotgun's Alec Meer also had good things to say about the combat: "I can't stress this enough – as a game about shooting people, it's very responsive and very rewarding." However, Meer expressed disappointment that some of the impressive new concept art didn't get used and that the story and environment couldn't match the novelty of the original game. "Part of Rapture's great wonder was that it was just believable enough, if you squinted your brain a bit (or a lot), but this lathers on so much wild sci-fi that it's much harder to connect to it. The Sisters are elevated from horrifying genetic/psychological experiment into all-powerful messiah figures capable of pulling any old deus ex machina out of the hat. Making them into so much reduces the power and the sadness of what they are. As a result, the concept feels too exhausted to ever be used again."
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BioShock 2 Released

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  • DRM? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by keithjr (1091829) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @02:03PM (#31076024)
    What's the story with DRM on this game?
  • Re:What's new? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @02:05PM (#31076062) Homepage

    I don't think the follow-up will hold up. Part of that is that too many gamers (like me) would keep comparing a sequel to an original game that was (in many ways) groundbreaking. And it's awfully hard to live up to that.

    This was exactly how I felt...until I realized that I was being foolish. I've never said this about a sequel before, but in the case of Bioshock 2, I don't care if it's more of the same...more of the same of Bioshock is a GREAT thing. Even if it doesn't improve on anything, it would still be worth playing based on the fact that we get more Rapture!

    Sorry if I sound like a drooling Bioshock cultist, but seriously, ask yourself...would more of the first game be a bad thing?

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @02:10PM (#31076156)

    Hands down, System Shock 2 was better in every way than Bioshock (well, OK, graphically Bioshock is far better but then you'd expect that given the progression of engine abilities).

    Most specifically, I like the background of Bioshock BUT the twist in the middle of the story really pissed me off, at least the way they handled it from user interaction. They were going somewhere subtle and then all of the sudden you have no choices (despite supposedly the game being about choice) and a Mu-Ha-Ha villain lacking only a twirly mustache.

    That's not to say at some point I will not play Bioshock 2, I just have trouble really putting my heart into it after Bioshock was such a weak game compared to the story and gameplay of System Shock...

  • by Reason58 (775044) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @02:13PM (#31076196)

    who thought the original was boring?

    System Shock was far from boring.

  • Re:Immersion (Score:2, Insightful)

    by shadowrat (1069614) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @02:15PM (#31076230)
    halflife? Prey and Doom are clearly not based on reality, but when i played Halflife that first time, i SWORE i was riding on a train.
  • Re:DRM? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wjousts (1529427) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @02:57PM (#31076840)
    Where did the OP suggest he was going to download it? He didn't say he download the first Bioshock either, he just said he skipped it, which is an entirely appropriate response if you don't like the DRM.
  • Re:DRM? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DeadDecoy (877617) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @02:59PM (#31076892)
    Ugh, I really hate windows live, especially when it's incorporated in steam games. It's like hey: we put DRM in your DRM so we can lock down your game while we lock down your game. The worst part are the involuntary patches that can get up to or greater than 100 mb. Just when you're ready to play, they slap you down a couple of pegs.
  • Re:DRM? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by zero_out (1705074) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @03:38PM (#31077470)
    Correct. I didn't download or buy it. I just skipped it.
  • Re:DRM? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DeadDecoy (877617) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @04:15PM (#31078006)
    True, it's not DRM per-say, but for some games, it's not optional and feels like a an unnecessary and cumbersome third-pary add-on. For instance, I had purchased DOW II, upon downloading the 4+ gig behemoth, I had to install and run windows live, even though I only wanted to play the single player campaign. The absurdity about this is that Steam + Live is that it's redundant. Steam already tracks achievements, friends, etc. So why must I be forced to install and run Live? While it's not technically DRM, it feels like DRM because it's tracking software that the user has little control over if they want to play their game. Therefore, I really don't care for Live's "features" if they're going to be forced down my throat.
  • by Tim C (15259) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @04:32PM (#31078314)

    they were two very different games

    Note: mild spoilers ahead.

    System Shock 2

    * you awake to find yourself in the middle of a catastrophe; disorientated you must fight to survive in an unfamiliar environment
    * you can specialise in combat, psi powers or a mixture
    * there are automated systems and vending machines that can be hacked
    * there are collectable upgrade modules that can be exchanged for upgraded stats, new psi powers, etc
    * there are hypos, first aid kits, food and drink that can be used to increase health and/or psi power; some things increase one while decreasing the other
    * you are guided by the voice of a remote actor who is later revealed to be something other than they claimed to be
    * you are fighting the mutated inhabitants of the ship, and a range of bio-engineered creatures and robots
    * you can modify weapons and research alien objects to gain advantages


    * you begin the game in the middle of a catastrophe; disorientated you must fight to survive in an unfamiliar environment
    * there is no specialisation, though you still have to choose which plasmids, tonics, etc to use
    * there are automated systems and vending machines that can be hacked
    * you can collect Adam, which can be exchanged for new plasmids, combat tonics, etc - but there is no stat development and no pre-req for using any weapon or plasmid, etc
    * there are hypos, first aid kits, food and drink that can be used to increase health and/or Eve; some things increase one while decreasing the other
    * you are guided by the voice of a remote actor who is later revealed to be something other than they claimed to be
    * you are fighting the mutated inhabitants of the city
    * you can modify weapons and create new items

    I'm sorry, there are differences between the two of course, but having played them both recently they really are extremely similar.

  • Re:DRM? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DeadDecoy (877617) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @05:03PM (#31078788)
    If I owned an xbox, I'd probably appreciate live with the same fervor you exhibit. But I don't, and I've found that using Live outside of the proper MS environment unpleasant. I still don't think I cheapen the word DRM by considering Live synonymous with it. While Live isn't the core DRM technology, they do enable game serials to be linked you your Live id. This can make Live a more integral part of a DRM system as a whole because it helps developers track and uniquely identify you (as best as possible). Granted, this is dependant on the game, but I still think Windows Live acts like a DRM system or at least part of one.

    Now, my complaint really wasn't targeted at Windows Live, though it came out like that, but at the excessive layers of protection being placed on games. As such, you might get a game that requires a Steam login, a Windows Live login, and SecureROM on top of it. This ultimately makes pirating, or at least cracking, a game more appealing because they are less of a hassle to play.

    I'm sorry if I was a bit hard on Live and I'm glad you're enjoying your experience with them. I only wish systems that acted as content providers+DRM, or the games provided by them, offered more options in terms of choosing what third-party software gets installed with it.
  • Re:DRM? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by CeramicNuts (265664) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @05:45PM (#31079364) Journal

    Wow. I still haven't picked up the first BioShock because of the DRM.

    2k released a Civ 4 bundle with NO DRM. Maybe they'll come around in a few years.

  • Re:DRM? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @01:59AM (#31082678)

    Whining about a 15 install limit is really pushing it. If you have installed anything more than 15 times I would be surprised.

    Over the course of the next decade or two? You bet I would use that up.

    But then again, I'm fairly sure that authentication server will not be available in a decade or two, so I guess you are right. It's not the install limit that will keep me from playing my game, it's the fact that they don't want me to play it anymore.

  • Re:DRM? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @02:02AM (#31082692)

    Strange that I buy a license when it fits into the plans of the company but I bought a medium when I want a replacement because it got scratched. After all, I have a license that is not time limited, thus should be allowed to another medium (which is required to play due to DRM), right?

    It must be like that dual nature of photons in physics, it's a license or a product, depending on what property we need to make the maker happy...

  • Re:DRM? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Grumbleduke (789126) on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @10:55AM (#31086478) Journal

    A few weeks ago both Bioshock 2 and Mass Effect 2 were available for pre-order through Steam and it seemed like fairly tough decision between them but Bioshock 2 won due to being cheaper and bundled with the original. Then I noticed the "Other Requirements".

    Back when Bioshock came out I put off buying it until the activation limits were removed (ironically, I bought Bioshock instead of Mass Effect or Spore because of the drm they had). However, it still had the base SecuRom system in and I ended up having to contact tech support several times just to get it to install. Since then I have been very careful about avoiding it (although the 1.1 patch for C&C3 tricked me). Now I own both Mass Effect and Spore having bought them through Steam which removed the DRM (although the online log-in part wasn't working for Spore for a couple of weeks).

    Bioshock 2, according to Steam, comes with the base SecuRom, GFWL with activation limits (required for saving games, earning achievements, receiving updates and playing online; so all the things that Steam would usually handle) and a one-time internet connection to install.

    Mass Effect 2 requires an account to access the online features.

    It seems that EA learnt from the Spore controversy (or possibly from the lawsuits) and gave up on excessive drm []. I can't speak for everyone, but 2k games lost at least one customer to EA because of their choice. Also, a quick search would suggest that drm doesn't work anyway [] (30,000ish downloads, about the same as for Mass Effect 2 []).

    People pirate games for various reasons. Yes, some because it is free, some to avoid the DRM, some just because they can. Even some because they don't want to spend $50/£40 on a game without making sure it will run on their computer first (what happened to major studios releasing PC demos?). DRM is particularly hated as it has no benefit to and negatively affects the legitimate customer. Removing DRM won't magically stop piracy; but giving the customer a better experience (and trying to return to the attitude of "the customer is always right" rather than "the customer is a potential criminal") might be a good start.

    [For the record, I will not, nor have pirated those games.]

"It takes all sorts of in & out-door schooling to get adapted to my kind of fooling" - R. Frost