Also On: Xbox One, PC
Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: Blind Squirrel Games
Bioshock has finally come to the PS4 and Xbox One… but it's unfortunately not a brand new title in the series. Like so many other games before it, Bioshock The Collection brings together last-gen games and throws them on current-gen systems. I, your resident remaster reviewer (Triple R), will guide you through Rapture and Columbia and tell you if it’s a worth while journey. The Bioshock franchise is one of my favorites of any console generation, so I was extremely eager to see how they played years later.
For those that haven’t stumbled across any lighthouses, this collection includes; Bioshock, Bioshock 2 and Bioshock Infinite. Also included are the great DLC packs; Minerva’s Den (from Bioshock 2) and Burial at Sea (from Bioshock Infinite). Brand new director’s commentary from Ken Levine are also added into the original Bioshock via hidden film reel items placed throughout the game. So as far as content, there’s plenty, it just doesn’t happen to feature much of anything new.
Like all remastered game rereleases or collections, Bioshock The Collection boasts better graphics and frame rates. While that is true, each game included in the collection doesn’t receive the same treatment. Bioshock Infinite, the most recently released game, is the least changed and mostly resembles the high-res PC version of the game. Bioshock 2 shows some improvements in lighting and textures but nothing too drastic. The original Bioshock gets the most love and it shows. So not only does it get the new director’s commentary, it also has the most visual upgrades. Playing through the original Bioshock again didn’t feel like playing a game that was over 9 years old. It doesn’t look as incredible as something like Rise of the Tomb Raider or Uncharted 4 but it still looks damn good for a remaster of a nearly decade old game. Dare I say, it looks as good (if not a bit better) than some brand new releases.
Meanwhile, the gameplay and controls of the collection are left almost entirely unchanged for better or worse. While I would have liked some changes to at least be offered, like dual wielding plasmids and guns in the original Bioshock, I understand why no changes were made. Like a majority of remasters and collections that have been released lately, this is a set that’s kind of take it or leave it and you know exactly what you're getting when you buy it. I think it’s fair to say that I’m a fanboy of the Bioshock franchise and this review might come off biased, but this collection should be in every serious gamers’ library.
The story telling, unique environments, gameplay and amount of content included makes Bioshock The Collection a must buy. If you’ve never played any of the games in the franchise before (what are you waiting for?), Andrew Ryan would be extremely disappointed, and you should run out to your nearest Circus of Values and snatch it up. For players that have played some or all of the games before, it probably depends on how much you liked the games when you originally played them. There’s nothing new here to change your opinion on the titles if it wasn’t favorable prior. Personally I love all 3 games. While Bioshock 2 retreads on a lot of what made the original so good, I liked the gimmick of playing as a Big Daddy, and I feel each game still provides a unique experience. Head back to Rapture…hopefully this won’t be the last time.