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The Bioshock Collection makes the second game look even better

by: Sean Colleli -
More On: BioShock 2 BioShock Collection

Cahill already posted the early game walkthrough of the first game in the Bioshock Collection, but 2K is also showing off the first few minutes of my personal favorite game in the series, Bioshock 2. And boy, does it look good.

A lot of people criticize Bioshock 2 for not being as "fresh" as the first game, but I think they are missing the point. True, its early moments aren't as spectacle-driven as the first game, but under the hood Bioshock 2 is so much better in nearly every respect. The gameplay, from the plasmids to the Big Daddy/Big Sister fights (and particularly a vastly improved hacking minigame) got a huge overhaul in the sequel that made it much, much more fun to play than its predecessor.

Not only that, but the thematic elements and plot just felt more intelligent and nuanced. the first game's stark black and white morality with the little sisters always felt blunt and needlessly binary to me, but the sequel makes you a Big Daddy, turning that element intensely personal. The choices you make are heavier, leading to six different endings. What's more, Bioshock 2 offers a brilliant counterpoint to Andrew Ryan's "me first" philosophy with the maternally sadistic Sophia Lamb, who introduced a twisted form of collectivism to Rapture.

The first game's brute force "objectivism BAD!" moral always struck me as really heavy handed--yes, we get it Ken Levine, you really don't like Ayn Rand much. But Lamb shows that even the exact opposite--a form of cultish, totalitarian communism--is just as bad. Bioshock 2 is this brilliant counterpoint to the first game, demonstrating that any philosophy taken to an extreme just leads back to fascism in the end. It also demonstrates just how shaky an idea objectivism really is, making the first game's point for it more effectively and elegantly.

Bioshock 2 might not smack you over the head with its beauty or its message, but in every respect it improves on the first game, and even makes revisiting the original Bioshock more enjoyable. Oh, and the Minerva's Den DLC was pretty brilliant too. Definitely check that out when the Bioshock Collection lands on September 13th.

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