Bioshock 2 is a game that I never thought I would play or even own. It's also a game that doesn't need to exist. It's a sequel to a not-RPG that summed everything up on it's own. I found the whole thing a little surreal, but mostly dissonant, and free of emotional sense.
I sort of recall that one of the big features in this game is that you played as a big daddy. But you aren't just any big daddy, you're an early prototype big daddy. I wasn't totally off that you sorta played one (or at least, disguised yourself as one) in the first. Now you go around killing other big daddies and adopting their little sisters for your own. "Um, hi. I just killed your daddy. I am your new daddy." The way they smile when you pick them up makes me emotionally confused. After patriciding for a while, a big sister comes out to mess you up a bit for stealing little sisters. They are apparently their guardians, but I thought that's what the big daddies are, and I'm one of them! Now I'm very confused.
The environment is the same, for the most part. Rapture, the underwater city, is still leaking. That surprises me, because it's been 10 years since the last game, and back then, the water was flowing in quickly. I'm surprised that there's still breathable air there, since the inhabitants are totally insane, and I don't think there's anyone around to fix things up. Since you're a big daddy, you wear a bulky diving suit, and that means you can walk around outside. Outside, as in, walk at the bottom of the ocean. It's actually not that impressive, since you can't use tonics or shoot anything. That said, near the end of the game, you switch to playing a little sister, and the world looks completely different through her eyes. The darkness is gone, and everything looks like a fancy wedding party at a rich Victorian mansion. There are angels everywhere.
I'm happy that the game doesn't force you to buy completely useless gene tonics to progress. I never got to engrossed in that part of the game, so I have no clue of which ones are new. I'm not buying the whole "let's use guns with disguised magic" style of gameplay much. The hacking minigame is dramatically changed from the first Bioshock.
I can't recommend Bioshock 2 to anyone, mostly because my lack of enthusiasm for the entire series.