There are some great points here and even though BS 2 is a top game, it certainly didn't compare with 1. My pros and cons list:
- As it's been mentioned a million times, the side characters in BS 2 is nowhere as strong as BS1. One of the reasons why the BS1 characters shined is because they dance between the line of being driven and insane. Creepy audio diaries like The Wild Bunnies and Steinman's one where he kept cutting created an atmosphere of how wrong things have gone due to Adam overload. I also miss the insane splicer dialogues.
- Sophia Lamb is not Andrew Ryan but they could have done better in making the collectivist theory more sympathetic. I think one of the problems is that very few characters challenged her on it (as oppose to Ryan, where almost everyone fought him over it) and without adversity, the analogy seems kinda blend. As it is, I can't understand how she managed to get so many followers and how does her master plan benefit any of them in the long run?
- This is a minor gripe but the lack of a WYK level twist is certainly disappointing. Before the game was released, they made a huge deal about the main character's identiy but the whole thing could have been explained in 3 lines. Excuse the pun but BS2 is Bioshock without the shock.
- Not sure if this is a gripe but what ever happend to Tenanbaum, Grace and others at the end of the game? It seems like there is no closure.
- The game play of BS2 is significantly better, which is good considering how often you get ganged up on by splicers. In order to beat the new heavies (which are great) I also had to use the environment a lot more and things like a security camera need to an angel is a god send. I also love the new plasmids.
- The sequence where you get to see Rapture through a Little Sister's eyes, awsome. As I mentioned before Bioshock shines by contrasting the extremes and being able to see Rapture in it's splendor certainly made the creepy parts creepier.
- Elenor Lamb, the fact that you can fight with her against enemies is the highlight of the game for me. In one of the splicer rushes she managed to take them all out by herself, amazing.
- Other small pros like how you find some splicers dancing with each other, little sister comments like "Marshmellows!" (when you light an enemy on fire), "Look daddy, he's dancing, dancing!" (after electric bolt), Gil Alexandar, Meltzer, Sinclair and the flash light sequences are all pretty cool.
Overall BS2 is a good game. Hopefully the 3rd is even better.