Generally favorable reviews - based on 93 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 92 out of 93
  2. Negative: 0 out of 93
  1. 83
    If you were hoping for another chance to jump in and explore Rapture, BioShock 2 probably won't disappoint you, but you're not getting the same caliber of twisted, engaging story this time around. It's a standard, straightforward tale, with a few too many holes to be called truly "great," but it's still a fun ride.
  2. 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.
  3. 90
    Bioshock 2 lives up to the high expectations and manages to surpass them. The small improvements in gameplay give you a smoother ride. The audiovisual style brings you an interesting setting; moral choices have an impact on the storyline and the addition of multiplayer options create a higher replayability. Fans of the first game will be enticed for hours, and newcomers looking for a new shooter won’t be disappointed by Bioshock 2. Highly recommended.
  4. Bioshock 2 is another epic piece of story-telling laid over a set of core mechanics that, for now, still feels fresh and ahead of the curve.
  5. Although BioShock 2 isn't as much of an eye-opener for die-hard fans, there are still some well-implemented surprises throughout the single-player campaign.
  6. BioShock 2 is a stellar first-person shooter adventure with plenty of boogey men scares and thrills around every black corner.
  7. A thrilling story, inspired new characters and environments, refined gameplay and yes, even the multi-player, make diving back into the Atlantic an easy decision.
  8. Sure, the philosophy is more obvious this time and there'll never be a real equivalent to Sander 'effing' Cohen but BioShock 2 still manages to live up to the high standard set by the first game - even if it doesn't exceed it.
  9. For all that's been added, it was never going to recreate the dumbfounding awe of Rapture when experienced for the first time, which, unfortunately, played a pivotal role in the first game's appeal, and something required to allow the sequel's combat to flourish.
  10. 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.
  11. On its own, then, BioShock 2 is a brilliant, if not-particularly-brave shooter story. But as a complement to the exciting and iconic original, it's a predictable but technically excellent second chapter to an unmissable FPS pairing.
  12. The thrilling single player lives up to the standards originally set by the predecessor and the addition of a very strong multiplayer takes Bioshock 2 to another level. It may be too soon to call Game of the Year, but Bioshock 2 is certainly a contender and a very strong one at that.
  13. Who’s the Daddy? You are - if you choose to play this brilliant action game.
  14. Simply put, no game creates a better sense of atmosphere than Bioshock 2 with a really top notch story and some great visuals and sound too.
  15. The decaying splendour of Rapture loses some of its impact due it being your second visit there, but the gameplay is still rock solid. If you enjoyed the first game or like your first-person shooters to have a strong single player campaign then you can’t go wrong with BioShock 2.
  16. If you're playing BioShock 2 for its multiplayer and not its narrative, then you're doing it wrong. Think of it as nice-to-have bonus materials in the pocket of a DVD you've been waiting for. You will enjoy it and it does add some value, but I doubt you'll often come back to it.
  17. Most of all, BioShock 2 has one quality that makes us much more hopeful for the future of the series and its inevitable onward growth as one of gaming’s big franchises: it shows the capacity of Rapture to utterly change itself for the telling of a new tale, while somehow remaining the same.
  18. A less openly provocative game than its predecessor, and one that will capture less attention, but while it may be damned for subtlety it is every bit as deceptive, and perhaps that's the greater of the series' illusions regardless of what else a BioShock sequel might have become.
  19. Bioshock 2 is a very good game. The journey back to Rapture is a success due to the new gameplay balancing: the combination between new powers, new weapons and new tonics is perfect to give the player the chance to specialise himself. We expected a little bit more from the multiplayer, well done but without anything special that makes it emerge among the other titles. Most of all, anyway, Rapture is non so fresh anymore, and the deja-vu sense is too strong.
  20. It's more of the same, yes... but that's exactly what everyone who wanted to return to Rapture desired from the sequel.
  21. The second trip in the sick architectures of Rapture is still highly enjoyable, but this time you'll miss the fascination of discovery.
  22. Before heading into Bioshock 2, you had to wonder if a sequel was necessary. The original Bioshock was so perfect that fans couldn’t even imagine how '2K Games' would approach a sequel. Well, 2K and its collaborating studios have pulled off a brilliant sequel that holds up to the critical acclaim of the first game.
  23. In a world where sequels almost never do better than their originals, BioShock 2 does an impressive job of holding its own.
  24. If your interest lies solely with the single-player experience - and let's be frank, this is why we counted down the days until BioShock 2's release - I walked away from it pleased, but also unfulfilled. BioShock 2 eventually becomes the sequel I hoped for, but spends too much time getting there. [Issue#203, p.82]
  25. 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.
  26. Rich, philosophical story...that's not as clever as the original story.
  27. In the culmination of this story BioShock 2 outdoes the original and establishes its own worth, with a closing sequence that hits every note perfectly.
  28. Much of it looks and feels familiar, but 2K Games proved that there is a whole other side of Rapture worth exploring, as well as new and interesting stories to tell. Gripping, wondrous and at times horrifying, it's a superb effort that opens the door for perhaps another game, but don't worry about that. For now, put on that Big Daddy helmet and pay this phenomenal city a visit.
  29. By relying, and cashing in on, what made the Bioshock so great, 2K has made a worthy sequel. However, they did so without surpassing the original. Bioshock 2 isn’t exactly what its predecessor was in terms of novelty but remains a great game that every gamer should check out, whether you’ve played the first outing or not.
  30. 2K have one again proved that Rapture, through all it's wild, twisted and crazy moments, is an unforgettable place to be. You may think you've seen it all before, but that's no reason to deprive yourself of what is most certainly one of the best titles of the year.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 511 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 79 out of 91
  2. Negative: 1 out of 91
  1. GarrettC.
    Feb 28, 2010
    The story might not have as many twists and turns and the characters might not be as memorable BUT Bioshock 2 beats out the original in game The story might not have as many twists and turns and the characters might not be as memorable BUT Bioshock 2 beats out the original in game play in every way. Hacking is improved, duel wield weapons and plasmids, upgrades are more noticeable in plasmids and weapons and controls a lot smother. Sill has the creepy feel with new foes and a lot of decayed environments. Rapture is still awesome and the story of Bioshock 2 is the best you will find, well besides the original. Full Review »
  2. SiR
    Feb 21, 2010
    Bioshock 1 is in my top three games of all time. Bioshock 2 most definitely isn't. Ultimately this is a good game but very Bioshock 1 is in my top three games of all time. Bioshock 2 most definitely isn't. Ultimately this is a good game but very disappointing. I wasn't compelled to immediately play through this a second and then a third time through like I did for the first Bioshock. The combat plasmids are all the same as the first Bioshock (come on 2K - a little bit of imagination here). It's short.The end is just stupid (just shoot two pipes then thats it??WTF??!!). Also the new multiplayer def aint no Modern Warfare. I love Rapture and I love Bioshock 1- but this sequel left me cold. Full Review »
  3. Aug 21, 2010
    The 2 things wrong with this game is it's repetition and its re-playability. It was fun to shoot a splicer the first time but that seems to beThe 2 things wrong with this game is it's repetition and its re-playability. It was fun to shoot a splicer the first time but that seems to be all you do the entire story. The story is way to forward with one easily predictable twist,but i really don't care too much about the story. I might have a slightly biased review for this game since I'm good at the multi player but it does a good job of killing the camping element that dominates call of duty. the combination of plasmids and guns orchestrate a beautiful amount of variety while playing. Even the best of campers can't kill you more than once since they need a constant supply of eve.In short its story is a flunk and its multilayer did well. Full Review »