When BioShock was first released for console, people rushed to the stores to check it out. The series quickly gained popularity, and a decent-sized fan base. That didn’t change any when it came to the Mac, and now that BioShock 2 has been released for Mac as well, I thought I’d give the game a whirl. I’m actually surprised by a number of things with this game. Some positive. Some negative. While this game is available for more than one platform, this review will focus on only the Mac version. Still, if you’re looking into getting the game, it may still help you in your decision. Let’s check it out.
[box_info]Note: If you’ve never played the first game, and you are big into playing things through the stories, this review may have a few spoilers you don’t want to know about, and you should skip the “Background Information” part of this review.[/box_info]
App Store Rating and Content Information:
Requires Mac OS X 10.7.2 or later
- Frequent/Intense Alcohol, Tobacco, or Drug Use or References
- Frequent/Intense Horror/Fear Themes
- Infrequent/Mild Mature/Suggestive Themes
- Frequent/Intense Realistic Violence
- Infrequent/Mild Profanity or Crude Humor
- Infrequent/Mild Sexual Content or Nudity
BioShock 2 is a survival horror, first-person shooter that takes place 8 years after the original BioShock. You take on the role of Subject Delta, a prototype for the “Big Daddies”, which are genetically modified, enforcers in diving suits. The game starts around 8 years after being forced to shoot yourself in the head, and with a new time, comes new problems. BioShock 2 is all about finding your little sister, a genetically augmented child which you once swore to protect, which has since grown into a teenager in your absence. Big Daddy is in charge of things big time now Much like the first BioShock, the second edition to this franchise has us exploring Rapture, an undersea metropolis, and fighting off a variety of psychotic humans (Splicers) with environmental weapons.
We also got the opportunity to experience using Plasmids and Tonics, which are are special liquids that grant you abilities throughout the game. Several of the weapons you’ll be using in BioShock 2 are the same as those that were previously wielded by Big Daddy, such as the giant drill and a rivet gun. You can use both weapons and Plasmid simultaneously now, and both weapons can be used in short-range melee attacks. You’ll have the opportunities to battle your foes with the help of a number of weaponized genetic modifications, all of which are customizable. You can wield many different weapons, and believe me, you’ll want all of them eventually.
The graphics in this game are intense and the super high-quality rendering will keep everyone with a powerful machine very happy. Unfortunately, the “powerful machine” element actually come very much into play, as those without top of the line equipment may find themselves not liking their visual experience quite so much. I’m running on a Macbook Pro i7 with 2.66GHz, 8GB of RAM and 512MB of dedicated VRAM… and so far it’s doing pretty well. With the settings maxed out, I notice minor glitching, but I do have a more enjoyable experience with the settings turned down just a bit, just to keep it smooth. If you’re also running a laptop, you won’t likely be able to play the game full speed with maximum settings, but anybody on newer quad-core machines (especially iMacs) will likely have no issues, based on my experience running it. If you have an older laptop or Mac that doesn’t at least have an i-series chip, and doesn’t at least have 512MB VRAM for the graphics, you will be playing this on low settings, and while I’ve rated it a 9.8 for it’s visuals, you won’t experience a 9.8 on your system.
Gameplay and Controls
Controls are very fluid and smooth on my machine (higher-end Macbook Pro), and anybody who’s played the first BioShock on Mac will know right away how to do pretty much everything. For those who haven’t, the learning curve isn’t very steep, and you’ll be well taken care of when the game begins, having plenty of time to adjust yourself. Switching between abilities and weapons is easy, and quick, and things can get out of control and crazy at times, although there are periods of time where small stutters occur during my time in this undersea adventure from hell, those problems were all related to graphic rendering of the game. Just be sure to close all applications when getting started on this title, and you’ll be fine with performance.
BioShock 2 also introduces an online multiplayer component, which actually allows you to keep the machine-hacking abilities as well as the special Plasmid attacks from the single player campaign mode.
Here’s the details from the Mac App Store:
Deep within the ruined undersea city of Rapture, your beloved Little Sister, Eleanor, awaits your return. As her Big Daddy, you protected her from a world of insanely selfish adults, now you must shield her again from those who demand that everything must be shared.
Ten years after the events of BioShock, Rapture has fallen under the control of a collectivist cult who plan to transform Eleanor into a genetically engineered messiah, who will put an end to individuality forever. To save her, you must deploy a unique combination of shooting, role-play and stealth as you rampage through Rapture’s leaking halls to confront her captors.
Whether you choose to forgive those who threaten Eleanor or wreak vengeance upon them, remember, she is always watching and will follow your example.
- Embark on an intense journey through one of the most disturbing fictional worlds ever created in this hauntingly imaginative sequel to BioShock.
- Become the Big Daddy and unleash the raw power of Rapture’s most feared inhabitant against deadly new enemies such as Brute Splicers and the vengeful Big Sisters.
- Dual wield your abilities: fire powerful weapons with your right hand while deploying gene-altering plasmids with your left.
- Choose whether to adopt Little Sisters and protect them from splicers, or harvest them for the genetic material they carry.
- Explore the sea bed as a Big Daddy and view Rapture’s breathtaking architecture from the outside.
- Engage in all-out civil war online! BioShock 2 contains a completely separate multiplayer game set during the Fall of Rapture.
• Minimum System Requirements: Processor: 2.0 GHz, RAM: 4GB, Graphics: 256MB, Free Space: 10GB.
• The following graphics cards are not supported: ATI X1xxx series, ATI HD2xxx series, NVIDIA 9400, NVIDIA 7xxx series and Intel GMA series.
Overall the game is a whole lot of fun, and I know it’ll keep you busy for a while. BioShock two has a very immersive storyline that you’ll find yourself getting into quite easily, especially if you’ve played through the first game. I recommend it if you have a powerful machine that can handle the graphical load that’s offered in full quality, but for those who will not get the graphical experience, it may be a bit too little bang for that buck.
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