There are very few games that pave the way and set new standards. Looking back on the previous generation, there were only a few games that could be said that will stand the test of time and will be remembered fondly for years to come. Easily, one of those games came in the form of the original Bioshock. Here were almost a decade later and Bioshock , Bioshock 2, and Bioshock Infinite have all been Remastered and put in one collection and every one of them deserve your attention and admiration.
In terms of the remastering itself, its a bit of a mixed bag. Obviously, the original Bioshock has had the most work done to it while Infinite hasn’t receive any kind of touch up. Instead, what you are getting in this collection is the PC version running at 1080p and 60 frames a second – the same as Bioshock and Bioshock 2.
The visual improvements are seen the most in the opening sequences in the bathosphere when Rapture is finally unveiled. Here you can see smart improvements. Things aren’t just improved in terms of textures but rather added assets to create an even better atmosphere. These include seaweed hanging from bridges and new glowing sea life that just add to the incredible ambience that was found in Bioshock. Most other things are what you expect but some areas have been touched up in similar ways. What makes you realise that this improvement to visuals is done just right simply because it looks like what you think it looked like back then. It’s improved in the right areas and isn’t just for flash and that “wow” factor.
The original Bioshock receives director commentary and offers and excellent insight into the ideas and implementation of everything that brought it all together. It’s definitely fascinating at times to understand how things came to be but its unfortunate that the other two games didn’t receive the same treatment.
Gameplay-wise the original Bioshock is only OK but the sequel greatly improves on every shortcoming of the original. I honestly feel like Bioshock 2 deserves more credit than it was ever given. It took the right aspects from the original and improved on its shortcomings. To strengthen the case for Bioshock 2 even more, Minerva’s Den, the DLC for Bioshock 2 is one of the bets pieces of downloadable content ever to be released.
Speaking of DLC, all of it is included in The Bioshock Collection. The only thing absent from this collection is the ill-fated multiplayer of Bioshock 2. It was fun for a short while but keeping it out of the collection as probably for the best as it was the weakest thing ever produced from the series.
Shortly behind that though is the Clash in The Clouds DLC for Bioshock Infinite which removes all the tones and atmosphere from Bioshock Infinite and forces you against waves and waves of enemies in a rather uninspired manner. Thankfully the Burial at Sea DLC rectifies this as it lets you see Rapture one last time.
Bioshock Infinite has had no visual updates to it yet it still looks magnificent today as it did when it release. It is still mesmerising and special as it ever was. It never quite reaches the heights of the original Bioshock but is still impressive and intelligent in every part of the story it tells. The gameplay is quite different from a speed perspective but it is smart in its design to stand out from other games in the genre.
Together, you have three incredible and different games. The horror atmosphere of the first, the sad story of the second, and the thrilling ride of the third. Every one of them deserves your time and attention and is easily one of the best packages available on the market today. Still some of the best stories ever told in video gaming.