Metascore
88

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. 91
    It's a game in which story, setting, and gameplay are expertly blended to create an experience that's as thought-provoking as it is entertaining.
  2. Bioshock 2 is an atmospheric, immersive game that does more than just hold a candle to its beloved predecessor. The campaign is engaging, the multiplayer is great, and the new gameplay elements are excellent.
  3. BioShock 2 is a great game that I thoroughly enjoyed playing. Unfortunately, the experience wasn't as fresh as I'd have liked. It seems like the dev teams didn't take enough chances for fear of alienating the rabid fan base. Still, despite the overwhelming familiarity of the title, there's a load of quality gaming to be found here. It's definitely worth suiting up and heading back into Rapture.
  4. 80
    The first time was rapture, the second time's been solid, but a third visit to the depths would make me wonder if creativity's been lost to the abyss.
  5. BioShock 2 is still worth the price of admission to Rapture. Although it feels far more action-packed and is more of a linear submarine ride into the deep blue than the original title, what it does exceptionally well is bringing even more of Rapture's storied existence to the surface for some closure.
  6. Rich, philosophical story...that's not as clever as the original story.
  7. The weapons are better. The plasmids are better. The enemies are better. At some points, even the storytelling is better. What’s most amazing and surprising about BioShock 2, however, is that by diving deeper into Rapture’s tortured history and exploring more of Rapture’s haunted world, it actually manages to make the original BioShock better, too.
  8. A conservative return to Rapture, but full of quality.
  9. Was the return to Rapture worth it? Absolutely. Although the odds seemed stacked against the developers, having to do without both Ryan and Levine, they have delivered a rich, awesome trip through one the most fantastic video game environments ever built.
  10. 100
    If BioShock 1 is ultimately about what it is to be a slave, the sequel shows – with a sophistication rarely seen in gaming – what it is to be a parent, with the power to love or to harm.
  11. Bioshock 2 is a fun game. There’s nothing here that’s groundbreaking, and if you’ve played the original you’ll fit back into the sequel like a comfy pair of slippers.
  12. If 2K had managed to tell a story that equalled or bettered that found in the original, we'd have been left with an unquestionably better experience, rather than just a more exciting, smarter shooter.
  13. Maybe Bioshock 2 is not as emotionally engaging as its first iteration, but at same time retains the main virtues of its predecessor. A game that shows the maturity that the First Person Shooter has achieved in this generation.
  14. Similar and slightly improved mechanics make this a worthy sequel, despite a sadly less-memorable story. [Mar 2010, p.70]
  15. Overall, Bioshock 2 is a good game. Not stupendous like the first one, but then again, it doesn't have a lackluster ending like the first one did.
  16. The second trip in the sick architectures of Rapture is still highly enjoyable, but this time you'll miss the fascination of discovery. PC version suffers from some minor glitches that should be fixed soon.
  17. Return to Rapture is not that monumental as it was its first revelation three years ago. Forget the philosophy and welcome the fluent action and multiplayer. [Issue#189]
  18. As far as single player goes, I think nothing will capture the initial highs you got from taking in Rapture for the first time, and the enormous twist the original delivered. However, the sequel’s story is just as intense and has its own narrative highs and a mean twist of its own, and I think the end payoff is a bit more impactful and sinks in better than the ending of the first BioShock.
  19. It can't top the original, but BioShock 2 stands on its own as a great installment to a hopefully continuing series.
  20. BioShock was so ahead of its time when it first came out, that its sequel can be forgiven for simply following in the same path and hitting the same notes.
  21. They may seem like fairly minor tweaks, but what's changed in this sequel makes for so much more than the original. [Mar 2010, p.84]
  22. BioShock 2 feels like coming home after a long holiday. The game has a lot of elements which we saw in the first game, but also some nice improvements. Rapture is still a very nice place to explore and we love the fact that you can use guns and plasmids at the same time.
  23. Sure, it's all here, but we've seen it before. BioShock 2 manages to pull through with superior action, though, and despite its problems, it still makes for a damn great game.
  24. On the one hand it’s like the first game, on the other hand it isn’t. The philosophical background and the shocking moments are gone. But the new game still offers lots of weapons, interesting fights and great environments.
  25. Bloody amazing! The original game went beyond those clichéd first person shooters and in creating a sequel, the developers have fleshed out the city of Rapture even more but more importantly, have streamlined the gameplay, making it a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Of course, without the detailed characters and story of BioShock 2, it would not have reached these levels and of course, the luscious graphics.
  26. To my mind, this is a better, tighter and more emotionally engaging game. [Apr 2010, p.78]
  27. BioShock 2 is a sequel inspired not by the Muses, but by quarterly financial reports.
  28. Immersive, engaging, versatile, and packed to the brim with character and backstory. [Mar 2010, p.56]
  29. While it doesn't quite have the same penetrating, vivid experience as the original, BioShock 2 spins a thrilling tale of Sofia Lamb, "The Family," and their maniacal ideals of Utopian society. Multiplayer does have its' high points, but pales in comparison to the finely crafted single player.
  30. Who’s the Daddy? You are - if you choose to play this brilliant action game.
  31. Although I understand why BioShock 2 was made, I appreciate some ideas the designers had and acknowledge that it improves certain areas, I can’t help but feel that some of the magic was lost along the way.
  32. Whilst Bioshock 2 may feel very similar to the original game, it does expand on the characters and story that were introduced in the original game and once again allows you to create a very customisable playing experience through the use of Plasmids and Tonics.
  33. A wonderful shooter with a lot of well-crafted details which almost reaches the outstanding quality of its great predecessor.
  34. In some grand, twisted irony, the multiplayer integrates itself into the fiction in a much better way than the singleplayer does.
  35. This game is still very enjoyable. If you’ve played the first one (and you should, if you haven’t), there will be some severe déjà vu happening, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still better than a lot of games these days.
  36. Stunning and emotionally engaging with a sadistic tactical combat system. As much fun as the original. [Issue#30, p.45]
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 990 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 20 out of 159
  1. Nov 15, 2010
    4
    This game deserves no praise. Its completely recycled from the previous title, your just a different character. the storyline is pretty badThis game deserves no praise. Its completely recycled from the previous title, your just a different character. the storyline is pretty bad and the game play is poor at best. I wish i didn't buy this game. Full Review »
  2. Jan 1, 2012
    8
    This is the second part of an amazing game but i think is not in the same high level of the first Bioshock. The graphics is a little worst,This is the second part of an amazing game but i think is not in the same high level of the first Bioshock. The graphics is a little worst, the gameplay the same but it has one more time a very nice story and an amazing cinematic ending. Full Review »
  3. Sep 26, 2010
    10
    While it was similar to its predecessor Bioshock 2 still came through with a new and interesting experience. While gameplay was more or lessWhile it was similar to its predecessor Bioshock 2 still came through with a new and interesting experience. While gameplay was more or less the same, the story that they came up with was as interesting as it was engaging. I felt very satisfied with the amount of gameplay (about 8-10 hours), where I was content with the story ending when it did but also at a point where I was not sick of the game and just wanted it to end. I actually feel like playing through the game (taking different actions this time too). Now while the graphics where more like the first Bioshock that didnt bug me. I liked the look of rapture and this gave me more of the same. I didnt feel like I was playing a different game, I in fact liked the idea of being able to play Bioshock then start playing Bioshock 2 right away and feel like Im still in the same decaying city of Rapture. I dont see why a game series always has to up the graphics in each game to the point where there is a significant difference. Now I see it as a good thing if theres a significant difference between games but we see games from other companies (IE valve) where continiuing with the same graphics really give you sense of the environment. Now I also see it as a good idea to update when you change that environment such as with Bioshock Infinite. There was a few story elements that I didnt like but not to the point that it bothered me. But I really liked how you learn more about Rapture and they even tied in the main character from Bioshock. I went in expecting a game similar yet different from Bioshock, and I got that and more. Full Review »