Gamer dad who loves the classics, indies, racers and the occasional shooter. Have been in the industry for well over a decade and am as enthusiastic as ever! #4theplayers
If you have never experienced the Bioshock franchise, you are certainly missing out. The franchise as a whole is one that I feel all gamers should experience. Since they have been brought to the current generation, despite having very little improvement, this is the perfect opportunity for you to dive in. The world of BioShock is one of the most fascinating and engaging worlds that has ever been witnessed in video games. To say that they hold up is an understatement, all three remain just as memorable on modern consoles are they were on the PS3 and Xbox 360 in the new Bioshock the Collection.
Bioshock is one of those games that succeeded on every level. The gameplay was solid and fun. Level design was beautifully animated and didn’t seem repetitive. The voice-acting and sound design was top notch. Then there was the story. It was one of the best narratives to be in a video game. You can say Bioshock has transcended the gaming industry and how people perceive how a single-player game should work.
Fast forward almost 10 years since the release of the first game and it is still widely talked about. So it came as no surprise that the three games and its single-player content (sorry, no multiplayer) were re-released for newer consoles. It just wasn’t a port, it was a remaster including the dlc Minerva’s Den, Burial at Sea, and Trials. Fully upgraded graphics reworked sound, and a director’s commentary was added. For €60,- it is definitely a bang for your buck. But is it worth picking up, even for those who have played the games on the older consoles?
For the sake of doing a fair review, I am going to talk about each game individually, and afterwards discuss it as the whole package:
The game that had the most work done on it, was the first title. The game that started it all. It comes with the trials that debuted on the PS3 release and the director’s commentary. Not much was added other than little tweaks and fixes to bugs. One of the little things to be added, if you are playing on the PS4, is that the audio logs play on the DualShock 4 controller’s internal speaker.
Shooting and switching between plasmids feel more quick and easy, though you can only use one or the other at a time. You might encounter a moment or two of the in-game loading. For example, I was walking around scavenging in the Olympus Heights level when my screen froze for a good 10-15 seconds while the sound kept playing. On the plus side, these moments are few and don’t happen during any major fights where strategy is key.
Graphically, Bioshock’s underwater dystopia Rapture hasn’t looked as gorgeous (unless you played on PC). Frame rate issues are non-existent and lighting has been slightly reworked. In areas that were too dark on the older versions is more lighter in color tone to fit in with everything else. The sound has also been slightly tweaked. If you play in surround sound (or wear headphones), Bioshock sounds just as gorgeous as it looks. Every time you use ignite or electro bolt, the sounds are breathtaking.
While the director’s commentary is the only new feature to the game, besides the graphic and sound upgrade, the only downside is that you must find them in the form of film reels. I highly recommend though you actually find it and give it a watch. It puts the game in a different light. We get glimpses of what could have been and changes to the story.
Though a decent sequel in its own right, Bioshock 2 doesn’t come with much of an upgrade. Updated graphics, sound, and fixes to minor bugs are apparent. There are some minor frame-rate issues if you read the audio log scripts though the drops aren’t during any gameplay.
Of all three games in the collection, it comes with the most DLC. Just don’t go expecting the fun multiplayer (I’m also sorry to see it go). Bioshock 2 is also the weakest in terms of upgrade in the collection, but the best in the amount of content. If you weren’t a fan of Bioshock 2, like I was, the Minerva’s Den DLC could be worth a play. I say this lightly because even Minerva’s Den, though I know is widely popular, is not much of an improvement.
Of all three games in the collection, Bioshock Infinite is the most beautiful to look at. It is what one should expect when the game only came out 3 years ago and is the most recent in the franchise. Minor bugs and glitches have been fixed.
There are moments though that frame rate does drop. The frame-rate drop mostly occurs when opening and closing the menu from pausing the game. When playing the Burial At Sea DLC episodes, the frame rate does drop occasionally when there are more than 5 splicers are on screen.
The sound is on par with the first Bioshock game in the collection.
As a whole package, Bioshock The Collection is a great upgrade. If you are a fan of the games back on the older consoles and were on the fence, this might not be for you. For those who haven’t played the game before, you should definitely pick this up.