The game even runs on the same engine – I had to do the same exact procedures to get it working properly. Actually even more as the combat sounds were really quiet and I had to download a fix someone had made. BS2 was also quite a bit more unstable, crashing every now and then. At some point I got tired of it and went to look for a solution. Someone on Steam's forums suggested it was related to the texture setting.
Turning it down from high in fact fixed the crashing for me, although it then introduced a rather jarring texture popping to the game. Especially Big Daddies stood out of place for being first a shapeless blob and then sharpening after a short observation. Pretty weird, that, though not unheard of in an Unreal Engine game.
Few changes to the gameplay
In BioShock 2, Jack the protagonist has been replaced by a Big Daddy, Subject Delta, whose goal is to save the Little Sister he was bound to originally. Playing a Bid Daddy changes the gameplay a bit – luckily not to worse. You now wield weapons in one hand and plasmids in the other, saving you the bother of switching between them constantly. Also, instead of a wrench, Delta uses a drill as his melee weapon. I did not like it as much.
When I learned I would be playing a Bid Daddy, I was worried I would have the helmet limiting my vision through the whole game like it did at the end of BioShock. Luckily, you can turn the HUD off. I do wonder how Delta eats or drinks anything with it on, though. You just have to suspend your disbelief I guess.
One very welcome change was the hacking minigame. The old one had been replaced with a reflex-based one. The new one is less tedious and requires more skill, which is nice. It also does not pause the game, meaning that it is no longer safe to hack stuff in the middle of combat.
Old and new faces
You again kill other Big Daddies to rescue or harvest the Little Sisters but this time you have a questionable joy of having the girl extract ADAM from corpses while you protect her. Similarly to the escort section of the first game, which I did not like. It is not as bad but I think I would have rather been without it.
The Little Sisters again affect which ending you will get, though in BS2 there are other choices to make as well. I went again for the happy one, which was a bit bittersweet this time.
The harvest or rescue choice still did not seem to really affect the gameplay, though. First I thought the Big Sisters were summoned to make it more challenging to rescue the girls but apparently they appear even when harvesting. I liked the design of the Big Sisters; they make a cool enemy.
BS2 takes place eight years after the first game. Not much has changed in Rapture. It is still the same, maybe slightly claustrophic environment as in the first game. Thanks to the suit, you do get to visit the outside but it is not much different than seeing it from inside. Although I did quite like the part where you are walking on the ocean floor and the city comes into view while the familiar music plays as if welcoming you back to the city.
I also bought the Minerva's Den DLC that I noticed being on sale. It turned out to be the standard singleplayer FPS DLC – more of the same stuff with a different Bid Daddy. It was quite enjoyable and even had its own plot twist and all. The DLC also did the BioShock thing of revealing the big twist before the villain got to talk about it.