Yesterday I picked up the Special Edition of Bioshock 2 (PC Version)
. Cost $89.99 + $4.50 tax. Is it worth it…???
The package comes in an approximately 13x13 heavy duty square sized cardboard case and weighs in at about 4-5 pounds!
Removing the slipcover reveals a black heavy duty outside cardboard case with an image of a butterfly and the logo Bioshock 2 Special Edition below the image. The outside case also has a rubber feel to it. The bottom inside case is gray and made of the same material minus the rubber coating feel.
Inside the case we have… 1
- A 180 gram Vinyl
LP labeled "I Am Rapture/Rapture Is Me". This is the official musical score from the first Bioshock game and contains 24 songs - 14 on side one, 10 on side two. Total length of album is approximately 35 minutes. I say approximately because there are no time listings on the LP.
To be honest I’m a little disappointed that the LP doesn’t contain the song "God Bless the Child" - the song you hear when the main character in Bioshock 1 wakes up in a room with the little sisters and finally meets Tananbaum. I really liked that song and version. I can only guess that the decision to not include it here had to do with rights and permissions. Still, if it was in the game, it could/should have been included here.
As for vocals, there’s only one on the entire album – Rise Rapture Rise, song #9 on side 2. 2
- We also have the 26 track CD "Sounds from the Lighthouse" which is the official Bioshock 2 musical score from the game. This CD has two vocal tracks – Track 20: Welcome To The Drop (Alt with Vocal) and track 21: Under The Tracks (Unused with Vocal) Total time of CD: 47 minutes and 37 seconds.
The musical score on both CD and Album is orchestrated and according to Garry Schyman (his music)… from the album’s liner notes...
The game’s audio director and sound designer, Emily Ridgway and I started discussing the approach and concluded that orchestral music related to the classical music of the early and mid 20th century could be a perfect complement to the game’s dark mood and the storyline of a world populated with artists of the early 20th century (gone mad of course)
There you have it, an apt description of the music for both Bioshock 1 & 2
Oh and the record label for both album and CD is Rapture Records. Hmmm…didn’t we see Rapture Records in Bioshock 1? 3
- Next we have an 8x11 hard bound 168 page art book labeled "Deco Devolution – The Art of Bioshock 2" containing the artwork (storyboards, ads, weapons) of Bioshock 2. Very nice. 4
- Underneath the art book is the Bioshock 2 game, in the exact plastic case as you would get if you purchased the normal game
. Nothing special here, and no additional material; even the artwork is the same! 5
- Lastly we have three 11 X14 vintage ads lithograph posters on heavy duty stock paper.
So…was it worth $89.99 + tax…???
There’s no doubt that the packaging here is well put together and something special to be had. The art book, Lithographs, CD, and Album make this an attractive offer, and I would argue, a good price. The artwork alone (lithographs & art book would run about $35 dollars, and let’s not forget the audiophile album (useless If you don’t have a turntable?), easily worth about $15, the CD, about another 10. So we’re easily looking at $60 dollars worth of goodies here, and let’s not forget about the very sturdy handsomely crafted cardboard case with its rubber texture and butterfly artwork. Hmmm…
In the end this really is a collector item, so if you collect such items, get it, if not skip it as there is absolutely no difference in the actual game itself. As for me, I bought it solely for the artistry, art and music as I think it’s a worthwhile investment at an affordable cost. As for the actual game(play)…
Well I just started, but the game looks absolutely beautiful, basically like the first game in terms of graphics and style. From what little I played thus far, no performance issues. FYI, the game set itself to max settings without me doing anything, even the resolution was correctly 1680 x 1050. You can have a look at my system specs for comparisons. I’m also using the 10.1 catalyst drivers for my video card.
FYI, the game is optimized for DX10, 64-Bit, and multi-core processors, so that should equate to good game play.
That’s it…for now.