BioShock: The Collection (REVIEW)

RELEASE DATE: September 13, 2016 GENRE: First Person Shooter PUBLISHER: 2k Games DEVELOPER: Irrational Games/2k

RELEASE DATE: September 13, 2016
GENRE: First Person Shooter
PUBLISHER: 2k Games
DEVELOPER: Irrational Games/2k

written by Justin Prince (@prince_justin)

There’s always a man… there’s always a lighthouse… there’s always a city; also in this current gaming landscape, there’s always a chance to cash in. With the release of BioShock: The Collection, the highly rated series jumps into the current generation… now for those who didn’t originally play these titles on the PC, this is a definite upgrade… but is it worth it for the master race crowd?

If you would kindly join me, let’s start at the beginning. The first BioShock game was released in 2007 with the sequel (which wasn’t produced by Irrational Games) releasing in 2010. Much of the review of the remaster will focus on these two games, and that’s because both BioShock and BioShock 2 received the shiniest new coat of paint. Now running at a smooth 60 fps with improved visuals, it’s the same atmospheric experience we got nine years ago but considerably leveled up to current gen standards. Textures are dramatically improved with quality of life visuals showing off more realistic lighting effects.

For such an atmospheric game, a simple remaster of the visuals makes an already great game damn near perfection. The original PC releases of BioShock and BioShock 2 looked good, but these remastered visuals in the collection make even the original running in ultra pale in comparison to the console remaster.

looks better than it's ever been!

looks better than it's ever been!

Despite being nine and six years old respectively, the gameplay still holds up surprisingly. While combat doesn’t feel as fluid as it did in BioShock Infinite, it still works when held up to today’s standards.

As for BioShock Infinite, since the original release was a mere three years ago, it still looks good. Because of this, a full remaster wasn’t done on PC. The PS4 and Xbox One release is pretty much the PC version running on ultra. Because of this, the PC release of BioShock: The Collection has the first two games up as remastered editions while the original 2013 release is still up on the Steam marketplace. We reviewed BioShock Infinite back in 2013 so feel free to check out the original review in case you want a more in-depth account.

still gorgeous and damn near perfect!

still gorgeous and damn near perfect!

As for the extras, BioShock 2’s “Minerva’s Den” and BioShock Infinite’s “Burial at Sea” DLC (original review of episode 1 and episode 2) is included, along with the pre-order bonuses originally released with BioShock Infinite. What’s missing is the BioShock 2 multiplayer game mode. Personally, BioShock 2 was never really on my radar and I’ve never really seen it as canon with the original series… since it’s the sole title not developed by Irrational Games. The Museum of Orphaned concepts, previously released on an earlier collection, is a virtual museum you can experience with cut content that never made it to the final releases of the first two games. A director’s commentary is added across all three games, featuring the creator/director Ken Levine and lead artist Shawn Robertson.

The big question you should be asking yourself is… should I pick this up? If you played and loved the series during the PS3/Xbox 360 generation, you should absolutely pick this up. The improved visuals to all titles means you will get a more complete experience. While these games didn’t look shabby on their respective consoles, the fact that now you can play these titles in full 1080p at 60fps will dramatically improve your gameplay experience. The game is more atmospheric, plus all those “make ya jump” scenes from the original BioShock look incredible thanks to the remaster. As for our PC Master Race friends, definitely grab the remaster of either BioShock or BioShock 2… or both! The visual improvements give these old games new life, and even running them at the highest level on PC can’t hold a candle to what you get in this remaster.

VERDICT

This is a no-brainer folks. The BioShock series is one of the best gaming experiences released in the last decade. Throw in compelling extras and a beautiful remaster of the first two titles? It was a done deal for me, as it should for you. Damn near perfection ladies and gentlemen. Now would you kindly give it a shot?

PROS:

+ Looks better than ever!
+ Remaster (of 1&2) make it worth it
+ Elizabeth is still bae
+ A perfect collection!

CONS:

- uhm...
- uhhhhhh....
- errrrr....
- sorry... I got nothing