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Why Iím Not Boycotting, Yet Also Not Buying Bioshock 2

If youíre like most people (myself included when perusing blogs), when you clicked on the link for this blog, the reason you did so was for one of two reasons: 1) to spew vitriol upon me for spiting your love of the week, or 2) to seek my reason for agreeing with your decision to not buy it as well. I may disappoint both parties.

Iím sorry 2K Marin, please donít be sad.

First, I shall disappoint those seeking agreement.
The reason I deny 2K Marin my money is not some misguided fan-boy rage at the sequelís very existence. Due to the success of the first game, its sequel was inevitable (especially when hits are so few and far between for struggling publisher 2K) and I do not begrudge its existence.

Also, I find the original Bioshock to be far from perfect (I felt it became repetitive and ran out of steam about two-thirds of the way though) and I do not consider it some sacred cow that a sequel can only defile and not enhance.

Furthermore, I care not that the sequel wasnít developed by Irrational Games. Iím glad they are free to explore other things. Iím not boycotting because of an unnecessary multiplayer, and Iím not making some (minor) statement about the irritating sequelization and annualizing tendencies of the game industry.

In fact, I quite sympathize with poor 2K Marin, as I feel they were given an impossible task; to create a quality sequel to one of the most beloved games of this generation and do so without the luxury of the primary components of the first gameís success: originality and the exploration of a wholly unique place. 2 things the sequel can not, by definition, provide.

Now I may disappoint those looking for me to spite the game.
By all accounts (see: metacritic reviews), they have succeeded in the aforementioned unenviable task by providing an entertaining, quality, video game worthy of purchase.

Yet still I deny them my greenbacks. Why?

Why hasnít Leviathan just got to the point yet?

Quite simply, the game does not provide a compelling enough value-proposition.

I quite enjoyed the first Bioshock. It provided me with everything I wanted from the game and left me in want of nothing. The new environment was a joy to behold and explore and I did so to my heartís content, fulfilling that desire. I shot and burned and buzzed and froze splicers throughout the halls of Rapture until I could shoot and burn and buzz and freeze no more, and I was satisfied. The story was good (not great) and the big ďWould You KindlyĒ twist caught me totally by surprise and answered the question I had been asking myself the whole time ďwhy the hell am I doing all this crap for this guy?Ē. It was singularly brilliant. Those are my reasons for enjoying the original Bioshock, so when I read the reviews of Bioshock 2, I wonder: what will this $60 provide that will move me in the same way?

According to the reviews: nothing. They say itís a good, maybe even great game. Yet their seemingly minor reasons for detraction are the very reasons I wonít be playing it anytime soon.

In short the detractions are: the game-play is largely the same, the environments lack the impact of the original, and the story is not as good and feels a bit forced.

The additions are: dual wielding, protecting little sisters (ick), the ability to walk the ocean floor, and multi-player.

Dual Wielding: Now that is pretty cool. $60 cool though? Iím not so sureÖ

Those things lacking were the entire reasons for playing the first game. Those last added are not reason enough for me to play this new one.

It is said the game is good, and warrants a purchase. But for me, a game being good is not reason enough to purchase it. It has to provide me with something I want. It doesnít have to be original or innovative, but it does have to give me a reason to muck about in its world. Despite how exciting Rapture is, Bioshock 2 fails in this. Therefore my relegating the game to ďbargin-binĒ status is not because I think an 8.something is a bad score. It is merely because an 8.something combined with 60 dollars and a lack of new interests does not motivate me to open my wallet. Now that you have slogged through this massive blog, dear reader, why are you purchasing or not purchasing Bioshock 2?
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About Leviathan902one of us since 1:21 PM on 05.23.2008

Leviathan902 is a technology/engineering/shipping consultant for the largest transportation company in the world and a life long gamer. From the time his father casually passed him the Intellivision controller in the early 80s, to the Xbox 360 controller in his hands nowadays and everything in-between, he has been playing games on systems by nearly every major console manufacturer since the '80s. Now married, he fits gaming time in where he can between work, marriage maintenance, home maintenance, and a social life. This usually amounts to 3-8 hours a week. He can be found perusing Destructiod and posting the rare comment/blog while at work in a tiny window in the corner of his screen so his bosses don't notice.
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