I would have said yes, but my friend was a big time fan of the first and he feels that the story mode is lacking. This leads me to believe they spent more time on the multiplayer than they should have.
Considering two completely different studios worked on the different components, I'd have to disagree. Especially since the two play completely different from each other. Most of the plasmids and tonics behave differently, you don't dual-wield in the same manner, and even hacking is completely different. It is an experience that is clearly crafted by two completely different developers that happened to work well together in keeping that valuable aesthetic.
I would have been happier with the single player if it wasn't for the length and the fact that they screwed the pooch on where enemies respawn and at what rate they do. It completely ruined the pace of the game for me. I'd clear a room out of splicers and start exploring, and next thing I knew more of them were showing up. Days before I had started a new game in the first Bioshock in order to get caught up, and even the largest of environments didn't work this way. Once you cleared a room out it was empty until you returned, and even then foes didn't always come back. It allowed players to explore the environment at their own pace, taking in every detail. In Bioshock 2 that pace is completely ruined, making one feel rushed to get it done.
This is only made worse when trying to prepare to hold off splicers during ADAM gathering. Respawning foes may start to trigger some of your carefully laid traps before you are ready, putting them to waste. Then there's the simple fact that even some of the smaller rooms don't spawn splicers at the doorways. They'll spawn them within the room, which means the only spots that are worth dropping traps down on are in the immediate vicinity of the corpse. SOME rooms work logically, where you can cover each doorway and pretty much go a whole ADAM gathering event without seeing a single splicer. Those moments are awesome. However, when you're in a relatively small room and suddenly you are fending off tons of foes, only to find after that all
of your traps by the actual entrances to the room are untouched, it makes all that planning worthless.
And THEN causes trouble when the traps you CANNOT retrieve get stepped on or crossed by a Big Daddy, who then comes after you.
It's one small thing that becomes a huge oversight and hurts the entire experience.
As a result, I, someone that never
enjoys competitive multiplayer as much as a single-player campaign, and in fact never really plays competitively in preference to playing co-operatively, finds the multiplayer in Bioshock 2 to be the real
meat of the game. I have had more fun playing games like ADAM Grab and Last Splicer Standing than I have had in the entire single-player experience of Bioshock 2.
Which, for me, is saying a lot
So yes, the multiplayer was a good inclusion, because otherwise it just wouldn't be worth the money.