(Review archived from January 4, 2019)
Although it’s been a few years since I played Bioshock 2, I had never completed this DLC expansion pack. But to call Minerva’s Den a mere ‘expansion pack’ is a bit of a disservice actually. What we have here is a full-fledged single player campaign with a nicely written story taking place in previously unexplored areas of Rapture. In terms of content, I’d wager that Minerva’s Den rivals some full FPS campaigns for content, and it almost certainly dwarfs what passes as a single player campaign in some of the more recent CoD outings. Naturally there are several graphical assets in Minerva’s Den which are reused from Bioshock 2, but there are a handful of new weapons, plasmids, and enhancements to be found. There are also several new variations on familiar enemy types, and in point of fact you play as a previously unknown variation of Big Daddy, the Lancer. The gameplay itself remains essentially unchanged from the base game, but as far as I’m concerned this falls under the heading of, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. One of the great strengths of Bioshock has always been that the wide variety of weapons and power-ups accommodates nearly any play style, and Minerva’s Den is no different in this regard. The story is a nice expansion on the lore of Rapture, even if it doesn’t break new ground in terms of the types of stories that can be told in this setting. Once again we step into the shoes of a ‘mysterious’ protagonist whose history and motives are slowly revealed to us as the story progresses. Standing in opposition are the standard Bioshock rogues gallery of drug enhanced super freaks and megalomaniacs with delusions of grandeur. It’s not going to set the world on fire, but it’s well written and well voiced which all contributes to a highly satisfying end product. The bottom line here is that if you’ve enjoyed previous adventures in Rapture, you’ll have a great time with Minerva’s Den. Highly recommended.