BioShock: The Collection

BioShock: The Collection
 
 

You can never go back. That’s what they say, right?

I’ve played a few remastered games, most recently the Nathan Drake collection. With these re-releases there’s three things to look at:

 
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  1. Do the new graphics work?
  2. Is the gameplay still good?
  3. Does the story stand up?

Basically, are these games as good as new ones released this year.

So let me say that right now, if you picked up the Bioshock collection today, with the new graphics update, you’d think they were modern games. This is especially true of Bioshock Infinite, but even the first game feels new.

Going back to Rapture was interesting. I had forgotten how scary the introductory scene was. The scenes are dark with haunting shadows and whispering voices. The new depth of detail in the HD images heighten the tension.

Sadly, the gameplay feels a bit too much like it’s running on rails. A big city like Rapture needs to be explored, but you never can. You’re always thwarted by locked doors, or collapsed structures. While this adds to the claustrophobic feeling it also dates the game.

Bioshock Infinite on the other hand feels like a game that could have been released today.

The graphics are up to par with a lot of recent first person shooters and even though the open areas are interspersed with “on rails” sections, it still feels like a large open world environment. Infinite isn’t afraid to show more of Columbia because a lot of it can be garnished with clouds. It feels big and light and airy, especially when zipping about on the skylines.

The story of Bioshock Infinite feels incredibly relevant today. Fighting against a despotic, racist madman who is trying to make America great again? Where have I heard that before?

All three games do have a few tropes, but they are excusable because they weren’t made yesterday, they were made years ago. Times were different. I don’t even remember if I had a flat screen TV when I first played Bioshock.

There’s also some nice extras that come with re-released games. Bioshock 1 has an in-game museum where you can peruse concept art and rendered models that never made the final game. It’s not quite as cool as the director’s commentary, which is also available as part of the play-through, but it is interesting to see what Bioshock could have been. I loved learning that the Little Sisters were originally gonna be slug-like creatures, but the developers thought they wouldn’t be endearing enough.

Bioshock 2 comes with the Minerva’s Den DLC, a standalone adventure that you play as a Big Daddy. The bright underwater scenes really showed off the new HD images. Bioshock Infinite comes with a few pieces of DLC (and it’s own disc) so Booker DeWitt is fully tooled up.

I hadn’t played Infinite before and was instantly taken by it. I loved how well the floating city idea was done and those moments when Booker could stop and look out over an amazing vista of buildings bobbing in the clouds.

It was also nice to see how the third instalment was thematically connected to the first two. I’m not sure if this is emphasised by playing them all back to back, but it does make it feel like more of a coherent set of ideas, than “what’s the opposite of a city underwater? A city in the sky?”

I love the continued use of theme park amusements to tell parts of the story, though I did wonder exactly how many of the residents of Rapture and Columbia would go to these or why.

The games are probably a bit too young to be considered retro or nostalgic, (Infinite is only three years old), but they do bring with them a lot of fond memories. If you’ve never played them before, the series feels fresh and new. As a set the games compliment each other and, while not a trilogy, the stories are intertwined – even if only by a common idea. This collection may become a must have for new console owners.


BioShock: The Collection
"A wonder to relive or experience fresh."
- BioShock: The Collection
8.0
Great
 
Follow Own it? Rating: R16   Difficulty: Medium   Learning Curve: 15 Min


 

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Comments Comments (10)

 
Posted by captain X nz
On Friday 23 Sep 2016 3:11 PM
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Finding the gameplay of Bioshock hasn't aged that well, controls are just clunky by today's standards. Where Uncharted won the remaster was by introducing new tweaks like improved grenade lobbing etc. Also, it may be shiny HD, but in my mind its pretty much as shiny and pretty as it was back in the heady days of my 360.

I'll probably pass on Bioshock 2 because I really couldn't get on with it back then and well, Infinite seems just too soon to go back...
 
 
 
Posted by ThatUndeadLegacy
On Friday 23 Sep 2016 3:22 PM
-15
Do you really need to re review a game that's been out for ages?
 
This comment has been down-voted by the community.  
 
Posted by Coddfish
On Friday 23 Sep 2016 3:39 PM
4
23 September 2016, 03:22 PM Reply to ThatUndeadLegacy
Do you really need to re review a game that's been out for ages?
It's been out for a week, dude.
 
 
 
Posted by SpawnSeekSlay
On Friday 23 Sep 2016 3:55 PM
7
23 September 2016, 03:22 PM Reply to ThatUndeadLegacy
Do you really need to re review a game that's been out for ages?
If you bothered to read it and not just comment your usual trolling blurb you'd see the point of the review near the top. Its reviewing the collection and things adjusted or added to the games, and how it holds up to current standard of games..
Do the new graphics work?
Is the gameplay still good?
Does the story stand up?
 
 
 
Posted by Bank
On Friday 23 Sep 2016 4:15 PM
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23 September 2016, 03:22 PM Reply to ThatUndeadLegacy
Do you really need to re review a game that's been out for ages?
idk how you trigger so many rustled jimmies. But it triggers me.
 
 
 
Posted by Chris Redfield
On Friday 23 Sep 2016 8:05 PM
1
23 September 2016, 03:22 PM Reply to ThatUndeadLegacy
Do you really need to re review a game that's been out for ages?
Haha you got downvoted
 
 
 
Posted by ThatUndeadLegacy
On Friday 23 Sep 2016 8:24 PM
-6
23 September 2016, 04:15 PM Reply to Bank
idk how you trigger so many rustled jimmies. But it triggers me.
It's a skill my friend,
 
This comment has been down-voted by the community.  
 
Posted by Rocky1986
On Friday 23 Sep 2016 8:47 PM
2
Cheers for the review.
 
 
 
Posted by Cyco24
On Monday 26 Sep 2016 10:59 AM
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Never played the games last gen so looking forward to trying this once I get a copy. Good price for 3 games and dlc for someone who hasn't played it.
 
 
 
Posted by CoffeeAddict
On Monday 26 Sep 2016 11:58 AM
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Loved playing them all the first time round. Alas too much of a backlog to reinvest.