After all these years, Rapture is still a dark and gritty labyrinth, playing as a big daddy is still empowering, and, from more recent memory, Columbia is still a marvel to see. The gameplay in all three games feels familiar and is bolstered by the graphical and frame rate improvements. Those that are new to the series will love the rich storytelling and immersive gameplay, and those who are returning to the series will find a plethora of additional content from Ken Levine and his team at Irrational Games.
The Return to Rapture
The real achievement of this collection is revitalizing a ten year old shooter. BioShock created an atmosphere and narrative that changed the way first person shooters were made. Thankfully time has been good to the series, and the atmosphere and narrative still shine through. The horror elements of this game are very much alive and well in this remaster. The atmosphere of the decaying underwater city creates a real sense of dread and suspense in the player. Even in the easiest difficulty setting, there is still the possibility of a jump scare from one of Rapture’s deranged citizens or a hulking Big Daddy. BioShock’s story brags one of the biggest twists in video game history, and still pays off after all these years. The sequel to the game, while not as impactful atmospherically, is underrated as a game. Taking on the role of a Big Daddy still feels empowering, and Big Sisters are still as creepy as ever. The inclusion of Minerva’s Den DLC is another benefit of this collection, but more on that later. These two games are the highlight of the collection, and its graphical and gameplay updates truly enhance the experience.
Updating the Experience
The goal of moving these games to 1080p resolution and a 60 fps frame rate was no small feat, and these games would have shown their age if they failed to meet this goal. The most work was clearly done to the first game, with clear graphical enhancements that seemed to open up the game from a navigational perspective. It is more clear where to go and what to do in game because of the graphical enhancements. The same can be said for BioShock 2, though to a lesser extent. The one pitfall with this collection is that BioShock Infinite goes untouched, except for some upscaling to 1080p 60 fps. The good news is that it still looks great, but it could have used a graphical refresh like the other two games.
Completing the Collection
There is no doubt that this collection is complete, including all three BioShock titles, their respective DLC, and bonus content. In total, there is roughly 40 hours worth of gameplay here, and that isn’t including repeat value. Among all this content, some real gems stood out. The first BioShock game is without a doubt in the best quality in this bundle, and is worth the purchase alone. In addition, the hidden reels of Directors’ Commentary are enlightening and entertaining for fans who want every last morsel of information. Minerva’s Den, the major DLC for BioShock 2, is the without a doubt the best stand alone DLC story in this collection. It totals about 3 hours long and tells a complete story from start to finish. It has been acclaimed as the best DLC to be added to a game, and really ups the value of this collection. The Burial at Sea DLC for BioShock Infinite, while not revolutionary, allows players to step back into Rapture to experience the ill-fated city was before the events of the first game; the Clash in the Clouds expansion, however, is little more than combat trials, so that tends to get old relatively quickly.
Is BioShock: The Collection worth the purchase? The short answer is yes, absolutely. If you have never played the series, get it. If you have played some of the series, but never got around to the DLC, or missed an entire game, get it. If you’re on the fence about it, get it. Now, would you kindly go out and buy this wonderful collection?
BioShock: The Collection is a must have for fans of the series and those who have never played before. The remasters of the first two games bring new life into the dated games. The inclusion of all the DLC additions for each game will give you plenty to do tells some of the best stories that gaming has to offer.
+ Inclusion of all three games, DLC, and bonus content.
+ The graphical improvements in BioShock and BioShock 2 are very welcome.
+ Minerva’s Den. Play it.
+ If you own BioShock or BioShock 2 on Steam, you get the HD updates for FREE!
– Lackluster additions to BioShock Infinite.
Jeff “Beta” Dugan is The Geekiverse’s nostalgia junky. From old Lucas Arts Point-and-Click adventures to remakes of games that originally came out months before, there is no appeasing his need to play games of yesteryear Look him up on Xbox Live as TheDuganDew.
Bioshock : The Collection was reviewed on the Xbox One. It is also available for PS4 and PC.