Developer: 2K Marin
Release Date: 8/31/2010
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The Good: Excellent pacing and storytelling, new objects in the world are welcoming, new additions sit nicely
The Bad: It’s still really similar to what we’ve kind have grown tired of, a little on the short side, it could have used some more scripted moments
BioShock 2 was a great successor to the original but didn’t live up to the hype or the cinematic quality of its predecessor. It suffered from repetition (loot, go through the section, save Little Sister, gather ADAM, rinse and repeat), and it didn’t have the scripted events that made BioShock so epic. This, in turn, made you want the game to just end after awhile, and the developers played it very safe by making the entire game almost exactly the same. It did have an excellent story though and this is what made the game great.
Minerva’s Den has you playing as Sigma who is a Big Daddy sent by Milton Porter to destroy The Thinker. The Thinker is a computer that runs Rapture, but you are also being told by Reed Wahl to not destroy the computer. Along the way you are able to meet six Little Sisters, a couple of Big Sisters, loot to your heart’s content, and experience the excellent dialog, story, and pacing that should have been in the second game. There are two huge levels in Den with little things hidden everywhere as well as a new plasmid, Gravity Well, new splicers, and upgrades are found by finding them on dead bodies instead of Power to the People stations.
The story is really excellent with you being completely clueless and just following Porter and Tenenbaum’s voice to do as they bid. You discover most of the things going on down here through audio diaries, and some can be pretty haunting. There are a few scripted elements, but the level design is also well done, and there is enough to do here to keep you busy for a good 4-5 hours. You will really want to savor every moment by looking in every nook and cranny as well as completing all of the great achievements.
What BioShock 2 was lacking is made up somewhat in this little DLC that could. While the art style and objects are recycled there are a lot of new ones that haven’t been seen anywhere in the world of BioShock such as computer-related objects. It’s a good change and really helps mix up the visuals. With a surprise twist ending that makes you slap your forehead, but Minerva’s Den is well worth the money, and I hope isn’t the last BioShock 2 DLC.