I love the Bioshock series; they are the culmination of both great shooting sections, and strong storytelling. And whether you’re playing as Jack (The original Bioshock), Johnny Topside (Project Delta, Bioshock 2), or Booker Dewitt (Bioshock Infinite), Irrational games delivers on truly immersing you into your role, and the city around you. The cover art on the box is fantastic, and is a great way to show you both the underwater city, Rapture, and the city in the clouds, Columbia.
This collection is fantastic, and I’d be hard pressed to find a better bundle of games for 60$/£45 as the Bioshock Collection features the original BioShock, BioShock 2, BioShock Infinite, all single player DLC, full 1080p remastering and the Director’s Commentary: Imagining BioShock, featuring Ken Levine and Shawn Robertson.
So they’ve remastered all three games and thrown in the DLC for each game as well, all for just 60$. It’s an amazing deal, and if you’re looking for something to play, look no further. If you’ve never played any of the BioShock series, I implore you to go out and pick this up as these games are a must have experience for your gaming repertoire!
The modified graphics are gorgeous, especially in Rapture, where the underwater city is extremely vibrant, with the bright glow of the neon signs around you, the vending machines in which you buy ammo and health packs, and even the enemies look much better. This is especially apparent with the Big Daddies, who are just as tough as I remember them being back when they were first introduced years ago.
So what is new? Well, the only true addition to the games besides the large graphics overhauls, are the developer commentary tapes which they’ve hidden within the games themselves. Despite being just some various clips where members of Irrational games are interviewed about their games, these clips are actually pretty well made, and give good insight into the developer’s choices and ideas, especially from the tapes found in Rapture.
The original Bioshock, being the oldest of the three, looks brilliant. Rapture is vibrant, and despite the crazy splicers and the Big Daddies that always seem to be trying to kill me, I was taken aback at some of the sights within Rapture. I found myself gazing out the windows of Rapture from time to time, or staring in awe at the larger rooms, albeit that was probably due to nostalgia more than anything. The story of the first game is still well done, and if you don’t know about the tale it tells, I recommend you go experience it. The gameplay still holds up, but the action sequences pale in comparison to that of BioShock Infinite.
BioShock 2 is still set in Rapture, but it just feels different. The city is run by a new tyrant you need to conquer. Along the way you’ll meet interesting characters with backstories that are very well done and you’ll have to face newer threats, like the big sisters (which are terrifying), brutes, and new improved Big Daddies as well. And this time around, you’ll also be donning a Big Daddy suit, with all the cool weapons that come with it. Bioshock 2 also brings a new combat system improvement – the ability to dual wield a plasmid and weapon at the same time. Overall, it’s a slightly weaker story, but the action is much more polished and balanced than the original.
Last but certainly not least, the third instalment in the series is BioShock Infinite. One of last generation’s crowning jewels, this game is beautiful, and it tackles many issues while still giving you a beautiful story with a really great ending. One of my favorite games of all time, it just does so much right, bringing so many confusing moments, until that one moment at the end of the game, where it just leaves you stunned. The entire experience is everything a game should strive to be, and it really did leave a lasting impact on me. The action sequences in Infinite are excellently done, however, they are a tad easy, so I’d recommend bumping your difficulty up one from where you usually stay at.
The series, and this collection as a whole, does so many good things, and the ideas and concepts of the characters really make the two cities feel alive. They make your decisions matter, without having any type of dialogue wheel. The political backstories you uncover, the motivations of Andrew Ryan, and the truth of Commstock, all of it is just so well done, and the stories told are superb. BioShock: The Collection is a masterpiece and if you haven’t played all of these titles before, I strongly implore you to pick this collection up. It’s brimming to the teeth with content, the games each hold their own value, and the graphics have been improved enormously, at least for the original two.
So what if you’ve experienced these games before? Is this package enough to get you to delve back into the city in the sea? I think that depends on how much you enjoyed your original trip and if you don’t remember being blown away in your first playthroughs, there probably isn’t much here that’ll catch your fancy. Ultimately though, I’d recommend this to anyone who is even remotely interested.