The Bioshock video game series is a popular first-person shooter franchise set in a unique utopian/dystopian hybrid world and offers some of the most original gameplay experiences ever experienced in the genre. Because of the beautiful art style, exciting gameplay, and riveting story, gamers still discuss and cherish Bioshock. However, there is something not talked about a lot: Bioshock 2’s online multiplayer.
Out of the three Bioshock games, the second installment is the only one to feature any sort of multiplayer experience. The single player campaign in each game is incredible enough that multiplayer isn’t a necessity, but it certainly adds a fun bonus experience. Bioshock 2 offers an especially great multiplayer compared to other shooters. It uses familiar types of game modes like that of Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, and King of the Hill, but with a Bioshock twist. ADAM, Big Daddy suits and Little Sisters are creatively used as mechanics to create a never-before-seen multiplayer experience. Players are able to use plasmids in battle, along with their standard weapons, to set traps, attack opponents, leap onto higher platforms, and stun enemies, which shakes up the gameplay a lot.
One of the best and most well-known details from the Bioshock series is the setting. The first two games take place in the underwater city of Rapture, and the third takes place in a flying utopia known as Columbia. The Rapture environments translate extraordinarily well into PvP maps. The maps used include beloved locations from the original Bioshock, with some DLC maps featuring some from Bioshock 2. It’s exciting to see the environments loved by fans retooled for new gameplay modes.
The multiplayer also offers an interesting character advancement mechanic. During each match, players earn ADAM by getting kills, capturing Little Sisters, hacking turrets, or taking down Big Daddies. ADAM can be used to level up characters to unlock weapons and Plasmids, allowing the player to make their loadout whatever they desire.
Bioshock, of course, is rich with story, so the multiplayer mode plays off that nicely. Bioshock 2’s multiplayer takes place in the civil war era of Rapture that lead up to the events of the first game. The player can play as either a member of Andrew Ryan’s army or Frank Fontaine’s. This allows the fans to experience more lore and have a closer look into what caused the downfall of Rapture. After reaching Rank 40, players will receive a cutscene where the civil war is declared over, followed by seeing the plane crash at the start of the first Bioshock.
Bioshock 2’s online multiplayer was such a fun, original experience that I personally thought that it would have had a major impact on future online multiplayers. However, it did not. Not only that, but it seems as though it has been forgotten altogether. No one talks about it, and when it is actually brought up, people appear surprised and question if there was a Bioshock multiplayer. I remember playing through Bioshock Infinite and thinking to myself how perfect the beautiful environments found throughout Columbia would be for online PvP. It’s disappointing that it had no multiplayer whatsoever. Bioshock 2 had an especially great and unique online multiplayer that unfortunately went unnoticed and was forgotten.