The original Bioshock came out of nowhere for me. It was a game that was a getting a lot of buzz from the journalists, but from the little I had heard or read about it, I didn’t care at all for the game. In my eyes, it was just another first-person shooter. Then the demo came along and rocked my face into another planet. Everything about that game to the spooky atmosphere to the combat and the impressive plot progression of that demo had me sold. It was the first game to ever sell me based on a demo. I rushed out on the morning of release and bought it.
I beat that game in a week and was extremely satisfied with that experience. It had its faults, and I’m not so sure the game deserves the hyperbole it has received since its release, but it was an excellent game that deserved to be as successful as it was.
This is where corporate steps in and makes me feel really weird. It was shortly after the success of the first game that 2K announces a sequel to Bioshock. On there end, of course you make a sequel. The first one made a lot of money, so here’s your chance to make even more money. 2K even mentioned possibly making five more Bioshock games on top of the original. I loved the first experience, but never did I feel like that game warranted a sequel. I still don’t feel like there needs to be a Bioshock 2.
Everything up to this point for Bioshock 2 feels like a corporate cash-in. They put the sequel in motion the moment the money made sense, removed the original team from producing it, and did a bunch of focus tests “to see what people wanted”. They keep hyping this up as the sequel to Bioshock. They brag about how the game is a return to Rapture, but who wants to go back there? They say that now you get to play as a Big Daddy. Spoiler Alert: You sort of play as a Big Daddy in the first game. It sucked. I know they’re the cool characters on the box, but no, I don’t want to play as them. Also, they’ve decided to put multiplayer into Bioshock 2.
That last point is extremely alarming as it is a clear sign of cashing-in. It actually disgusts me to see all of these games that aren’t built with multiplayer in mind have multiplayer jammed into it because the corporate big-wigs saw how many hours gamers were putting into Halo and Call of Duty and figure they can do the same. Games like The Darkness, Condemned and Metroid Prime 2 had shoe-horned in multiplayer modes that didn’t fit the game, aren’t fun and nobody played. Even Assassin’s Creed is getting online multiplayer. Ugh.
Before I go off on a tangent, let me get back to Bioshock 2. The original game was amazing. I will be the first person to eat my words and buy a copy of Bioshock 2 if the game is mind-blowing and respectful of the original. However, I can’t help but feel that Bioshock 2 completely ignores the creative vision of the original and only exists to fatten the wallets of executives who couldn’t give a damn about video games. It’s that principle that makes me reluctant to dive back into the world of Rapture, even if it’s good.