BioShock 2‘s multiplayer is a bit of a guilty pleasure. It isn’t like other shooters at all. It may have similarities, but it’s unique blend of plasmids and traditional shooter weaponry results in some of the most interesting multiplayer games I’ve ever played. If only the technical issues would kindly step aside and let me enjoy it consistently.
Is it video lag or network lag? BioShock 2‘s multiplayer has both. The netcode isn’t especially strong and the framerate isn’t all their either. These would be real deal breakers if it were any other shooter, but BioShock 2 multiplayer. For you see, it doesn’t matter if you’re a great shot or not. BioShock 2 allows the clever to reap more rewards than the twitch marksman.
It takes a fair amount of bullets to take out an individual. One hit kills are hard to come by — even certain weapons will not kill with one headshot. Instead, players need to rely on their plasmids for the advantage. I can use a fire plasmid to deal a surge of damage over time. Or I could use the freezing plasmid to slow down a player and lower their defense for a second or so. Many of the offensive plasmids found in the single player campaign made its transition to the multiplayer. The weapons, on the other hand were primarily taken from the original BioShock; like the Tommy gun and the crossbow. The only new addition to the arsenal is the nail gun which I’ve quickly discovered to be the most popular weapon.
Of course this is a modern multiplayer shooter so I had to unlock everything. I’m currently at level 25 out of 40 and the game has changed so drastically from the lowly level 1 until now. Unlike other shooters with unlock systems, once you unlock something in BioShock 2, it’s a game changer. I didn’t simply unlock variants to the same weapon or plasmid, I was unlocking entire classes of weapons. I did feel like I was at a slight disadvantage playing with Houdini (invisibility) plasmid users and grenade launcher users, but they did a good job with matchmaking so it wasn’t like I was constantly playing with level 30’s when I was only a level 12 denizen of Rapture.
Interacting with the environment played a major part in the multiplayer as well. I was able to ignite patches of oil and shock pools of water as if I was playing the single player campaign. I was even able to use the “Geyser” plasmid to get on to hard to reach places. I could hack vending machines — which gave out ammo and EVE to your team — and rig them to drop explosive surprises to the opposing team. The same could be done with turrets. This is probably the most amazing aspect of the multiplayer; they’ve incorporated so much of what makes BioShock the game that it is.
No other game mode epitomizes the BioShock formula like “Capture The Sister” though. It is what you think it is and it is an absolute blast. One of the five players on the defending team is given a Big Daddy suit to use and he can be a tough person to take out if you’re alone. Fortunately, he has limited health and thus requires the other team members to help defend him and the Little Sister as well. I found this mode to be the most entertaining as it allowed the hacking, trap laying and Big Daddy suit to come together in a very BioShock way.
The multiplayer serves as a prequel to the original BioShock and thus many of the locales from the first game make an appearance. Within the apartment in Rapture, I could customize my character’s load outs and listen to audio diaries as they’re unlocked. They’re not particularly engaging, but it’s a feature I appreciate.
I questioned the multiplayer mode and I was debating whether or not I should even bother with it. But, I’m glad I did since it is such a unique experience. The plasmids, the interactions with the environment and even the ability to fully customize your button layout only prove how unique this game’s multiplayer is. All it takes is a bit of tolerance to enjoy. If you could overlook the technical issues and the need for precision shooting, there’s a great deal of fun to be had.
Worth A Try
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