Bioshock: The Collection consists of three games that were released on the previous-gen console: Bioshock 1 (2007), Bioshock 2 (2010) and Bioshock Infinite (2013). All three are primarily first-person shooters; however, you shouldn’t expect a high-action shooter like Call of Duty, but more, a psychological one. All three titles achieved critical success upon release, with the first being publically received as a ‘game changer’. So, why the re-release I hear you say? Well, who still wants to switch on their PS3 or Xbox 360, these days? Not me. I would much prefer to play said games on the PS4 or the Xbox One (especially when I’d have to change power sockets round – DVDfever Dom). And come to think of it, I hear they may have actually enhanced these games (not like Dead Rising) – well I suppose that is something that I am going to really decide here.
As I switched on the game, within moments I felt like I was really there in Rapture (the underwater city), back in 2007, when I first played this game. Nostalgia was heavy in the air and, yes, maybe nostalgia will heavily influence this review.
It’s worth mentioning that when I first played all three originals, I really liked the graphics. I loved the textures and the dark and dreary colours. I loved the way the game would make me feel scared to explore certain surroundings trembling about the prospect of an unknown enemy sneakily hiding around the corner. I was interested to see what they were going to do to be able to improve the graphics – I mean obviously I know that current consoles are much more capable now, however Bioshock Infinite was only released 3 years ago and that was around the end of the Xbox 360’s life, so surely shows off the best the previous gen had to offer. Here are the notable facts about Bioshock: The Collection: the games will now run at 1080p and at a constant 60 frame rates per second. Does this make a difference to the game? Well, damn, yeh it does! I would say Bioshock 1 has received the biggest changes and this would make sense, as it was the first game to come out. But, even replaying Bioshock Infinite, I could notice a difference and that, I found, was brilliant. It looked great great from the off.
Sound-wise, I have to admit, I was tentative about this at the start. I loved the audio first time playing these games, and had read some really mixed reviews with some saying that the sound is worse off on the Ultimate Collection, although that appears to be only on the PC version and I understand a fix has been released. On consoles, it’s is exactly the same, although in a way it’s better as these days I have better TV and sound system.
If you have played Fallout 4, it often reminds me of that. This ’60s feel running, vibing through your speakers gives a perfect sense of nostalgia which reminds you of what it was like to live in that era, even if you never did, and I didn’t. Then you have the in-game sounds where random noises come from around each dark and dreary corner. And the little girl, that damn little girl and the tinny sounds… Damn I loved all of them. I was scared when I was meant to be, I was excited when I was meant to be and I was frustrated when I was meant to be. The signs of a good game are when you can often forget that the sounds are coming out of your TV and are not a part of your daily life. Bioshock achieves that as well as many other modern games with such high production values.
I often find gameplay tricky to talk about in first-person shooters: The controller is sound, there are no glaring faults, like in the original Resident Evil and it is a comfortable play. This game will have you sitting on the edge of your seat at times, and this is because of how engrossed you will become in the game and not any negative reason. Then, there is the length of the game. You’re getting three games for the price of one (hence, why it’s taken me a little longer to get this online than I’d have liked). What I really liked about the Bioshock games is that they don’t take you too long to complete. I have suggested my annoyance at games that take upwards of 100 hours to complete nowadays, I know there’s an argument that you are getting the bang for your buck, but I am a man for variation and I like playing a number of different games and not just playing one game and forgetting what the damn buttons are. So, each of these games will take you around 20 hours to complete, plus a little bit extra if you include all the additional add-ons you get (a reason to play all of them again – or this is what I decided). I also quite liked the different gear you can pick up, and the weapon upgrades, although as a whole, I feel this is one area which could have been improved if this wasn’t a remaster and was a remake.
Enjoyment: If you haven’t realised so far… I bloody love this game, and I loved the original games as well. I love the way it makes you feel and the way you become so engrossed with it that you forget to feed the cat, make dinner or any other thing that the wife can moan about. I love tearing through Rapture and shooting at every idiot who wants to come to blows with my fierce weaponry. I’ve probably spent around 120 hours playing these games and I predict that I will replay them again even after working through it all. Bioshock is a story that keeps on giving, and a game that is a must-play for any serious gamer. Just like any game, it will frustrate you it, it will scare you and it will induce you into a Bioshock coma – a coma that I have found myself in far too many times. It is worth mentioning the big gripe I have with this collection: they have taken away the Bioshock 2 multiplayer. Yes, that aspect wasn’t great, but it was an online mode which was always worth a go. Not sure why this has happened, but I am sure it is something to do with having to create new servers for something that they probably thought wouldn’t be a game-changer and they were right – it doesn’t really effect the game.
Overall, this is an absolute must-play if you haven’t already, and a worthy buy if you have. Even without the online this is still an enjoyable masterpiece, although a little more customisation in the gameplay area would have made it perfect.
Bioshock: The Collection is out now on Xbox One and PS4, and click on the packshot for the full-size version.
- Publisher: 2K Games
- Players: single player
- HDTV options: up to 1080p
- Sound: DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
I have been a video game player since 1993 and a music fan since I can remember. I studied Film and Journalism at university and ended up becoming a Primary School teacher. Video games changed my life and sent me on the right track and have stayed with me ever since.