It’s hard to imagine that 9 years ago I got to experience Rapture for the first time. I had no idea what lay ahead, but the Bioshock series would become one of my all time favourites. The Bioshock Collection would let me experience the magic all over again.
Bioshock, Bioshock 2 and Bioshock Infinite have had the remaster treatment, giving fans of the series a chance to start all over, while giving a new generation of gamers a chance to find out what all the fuss was about. For the purpose of this review we’ll assume Bioshock is new to you, if you’ve played them before, you’ll enjoy it all over again.
In Bioshock you play as Jack who gets involved in a unfortunate plane crash, thankfully he survives and manages to swim to safety – the lighthouse he swims to leads him to Rapture, an underwater city built by businessman Andrew Ryan. Something isn’t right though, as it’s population has discovered ADAM, a genetic material which can be used to grant superhuman powers. To survive Jack has to fight his way through ADAM obsessed enemies, including the iconic Big Daddies.
You’ll get to make use of the plasmids that can stun enemies with electricity, set people alight with fire and even alter minds to get help. There are also physical weapons to help you through too. Bioshock gives you the chance to be stealthy, offering an alternative route through some scenarios, it always feels tense and still makes me jump all these years later. The combat is tough at times, but once you learn to manage your plasmids effectively you can become quite the menace.
Being the oldest title of the three, Bioshock has received the most attention, and it looks fabulous. Rapture is an Art Deco utopia, a and if it wasn’t for the screwed up population would have been an amazing place to reside. It’s still a pleasure to explore the city, even more so now the frame rate has been improved.
Bioshock comes with some great additional content, first up are the challenge rooms. These challenges have nothing to do with the main game but involve puzzle solving to fulfil the requirements of the challenge. The Museum is a fascinating insight into the minds of the development team, showing ideas that were created, but never made it into the game in their original form. Finally as you play through the game you’ll discover reels that unlock Director’s commentary.
Bioshock 2 makes plenty of improvements to Bioshock’s gunplay, giving you the ability to dual wield plasmids being the main draw. Despite being built by a different studio under a new creative leader the story is excellent and experiencing a different side to Rapture is well worth your time.
The game is set 8 years after Bioshock and despite a slow start is another excellent title. For the first time you actually get to play as a big daddy, adding an new element to the gameplay. The extra content that comes with a Bioshock 2 includes the Minerva’s Den DLC and the protector trials, a game mode that has you protecting Little Sisters. The multiplayer component of the game didn’t make it over, which was a shame because it was actually pretty good fun to play.
Bioshock Infinite got given a really hard time by the press when it was released. It was the first of the three that felt most like a shooter and was also the only game with its head in the clouds, literally. Although the ending felt like a bit of a cop out, the world of Columbia was a delight to explore. Infinite adds a whole new element to its gunplay. ThecSky Rails that form a transfer network around the city gives Booker the chance to attack enemies from the Sky, with Elizabeth’s support you get to take on some amazing enemies. Infinite has to be the goriest of the collection too.
With Infinite being the youngest of the three it gets the least, if any amount of work on it in terms of the graphics. Again, Infinite comes with all the DLC, including the brilliant ‘Burial at Sea’ add-on.
If you haven’t played any of the games before, then the collection is well worth spending time with. Coming in at around £40, you are getting three games with a massive amount of add-on content. All of the games look fantastic and despite some performance dips, most noticeably in Bioshock 2 this really is a package worth picking up.