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Bioshock 2: The Protector Trials (PlayStation 3) artwork

Bioshock 2: The Protector Trials (PlayStation 3) review


"Protector Trials is a horrible, throw-away DLC pack with nothing original about it. It's not remotely worth playing. It feels like a demo for the main game, not a follow-up that inspires fond memories and gives interesting new content like a good DLC pack does. At least Bioshock 2 has the amazing Minerva's Den. Play that instead of this."


If you've never played a Bioshock game before, Bioshock 2: Protector Trials might give you quite a different impression than what I am about to describe. However it is assumed for the purpose of this review that you have already played Bioshock 2. I think the target audience is people who have already played the main game, so it's fair to look at this DLC in that light.

The Bioshock 2: Protector Trials is a DLC pack that gives you a specific character loadout in each of its challenges and drops you into the ADAM collection process that you go through in the main game where you pick up a little sister and then fight the flood of enemies that swarm her as she gathers ADAM from a dead body. The problem with this DLC is that you have already done this many times in the main game, and there is nothing different about it here. You'd think the different loadouts they give you in each of the different trials would make a difference, but if you're anything like me, you are real familiar with how to excel at Bioshock games using any of the weapons or powers. And since you always get a decent mix of a few usable powers or weapons, most of the challenges are child's play, especially since the difficulty is locked at medium. In fact there was only one challenge out of the 18 or so that has a loadout that tickles the imagination. It has you take on the challenge using just a few plasmids and some powerful tonics, no weapons. Beyond that the different loadouts forced upon you by each level are very ho-hum.

The levels are also boring. They might be re-used straight out of the main game, or they may be slightly tweaked versions of areas from the main game. These areas worked in the context of the giant world of Rapture when you could explore it freely, but as one shot levels they are dumb, especially since all you can really do is stay near the little sister and guard her. You can't use any of the terrain to your advantage because if you leave her she will be attacked. Guarding your little sister works in the main game because it is just one small part of what you do; you usually have already explored the area and had a few battles there using the terrain to your advantage.

After the really great experience I had with the first Bioshock's DLC, Challenge Rooms, I was hoping for something similar from this Bioshock 2 DLC. But Protector Trials has none of the originality of scenario design that the Challenge Rooms had. No original designs or scenarios, no chills and thrills and interesting situations. Just more of the same thing you've already done many times in the main game. Challenge Rooms says, “Want to play a big level that is just as well designed as the main game levels with a few twists, plus a few weird puzzly-rooms?” Bioshock 2's other truly excellent story-based DLC Minerva's Den asks, “Want to play a short Bioshock story with amazing writing and a new weapon, plasmid, and Big Daddy?” Protector Trials just asks, “Hey, you know that thing you did in the main game a lot that was fun and cool? Want to do it 20 more times in a boring, pointless way that ruins the whole idea?”

Of course the mechanics and gameplay remain fun. And the graphics have held up surprisingly well. A newcomer to Bioshock might really like what they find here. They just don't know what they are missing from a proper Bioshock experience. It's just all pointless and repetitive here.

Protector Trials is a horrible, throw-away DLC pack with nothing original about it. It's not remotely worth playing. It feels like a demo for the main game, not a follow-up that inspires fond memories and gives interesting new content like a good DLC pack does. At least Bioshock 2 has the amazing Minerva's Den. Play that instead of this. It's a 1 out of 5.

1/5

Robotic_Attack's avatar
Community review by Robotic_Attack (June 06, 2015)

Robotic Attack reviews every game he plays... almost.

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