Version Tested: PS4
Available On: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Developer: 2k, Irrational Games
Genre: First person shooter
Official Site: www.2k.com/games/bioshock-the-collection
Release Date: September 13, 2016
Where to buy: PSN, Xbox Live, Steam, Major retailers
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. 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 then discuss as a 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.
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 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.
2k really did a great job overall remastering these games with amazing stories. For some, the lack of multiplayer might be a deterrent and it is hard to imagine why they didn’t add it. It wouldn’t have been necessary, though. It already has roughly 40+ hours of content. In other words, this is one of the best remasters to hit the shelves in a long while. So would you kindly give the Bioshock The Collection a go?
- Gameplay: Gameplay seems more fluid and solid. It is easier to switch between weapons and plasmids. ALL single player content is in this collection. Definitely a lot of gameplay for your buck.
- Graphics: Bioshock and Bioshock Infinite had the graphics updated the most. They are the most beautiful in the collection. Some minor frame-rate issues but nothing that detracts from the experience.
- Sound: Sound has been revamped. It is recommended you play with headphones or surround sound to get the most out of the game.
- Presentation: Three games on two discs with all single-player DLC. One of the best looking remasters to hit the market.
- Bioshock still holds up as one of the best narratives to be told in a video game
- All single player content: Minerva's Den, Burial at Sea, and Trials on top of the 3 main games = content for your buck
- Gameplay is solid
- Director's commentary is a nice addition and definitely worth a watch
- Bioshock and Bioshock Infinite are the two most beautiful games in the collection
- Besides Director's commentary, not much else is new.
- Bioshock 2 is the weakest of the bunch in terms of upgrade
- Minor frame-rate issues
- Minor non-game breaking bug in Bioshock