Current gen remasters of games can be hit or miss. In my experience the misses are usually due to the original game not being so good and the opposite way round for the hits. So imagine my excitement when I heard the Bioshock trilogy and all of its DLC would be remastered for current gen consoles. The critically acclaimed, fan favourite would be playable with better graphics and at a higher FPS. I was certainly looking forward to this edition of the games, it was surely going to be one of the hits, and indeed it is, (at least on consoles it is).
At the heart of most remasters is the question of improved graphics and frame rate. The original games looked good but today’s technology would make them look even better. All the games are playable in 1080p and at 60 FPS and it’s a much welcome addition to the world of Rapture and Columbia. With these improvements it makes the location feel more alive than they did previously. However, I have noticed minor issues with the graphics. When first loading into a level or reloading a save there are some texture pop ins, it takes a few moments to fix itself but once it does it doesn’t happen again until the next load you make. On the other hand, the fame rate has been completely stable and I’ve had no problems with it.
Bioshock: The Collection is not only great because of its visual enhancements, but also due to the extra features added. Personally, I feel like a remastered game should always include one or two new things, like something to do with the development of the game or some sort of physical item you get in the box. Although, this remaster doesn’t have any knick-knack, it has two features on the development of the first game. There is a virtual gallery that can be explored showing off some of the concepts and ideas that didn’t make it into the game as well as a six part video documentary where the games director, Ken Levine, and lead artist, Shawn Robertson, are interviewed on Bioshock’s development. I found both very enjoyable but especially the latter; if you are at all interested in how video games are made it’s a fantastic watch.
However, you do need to keep an eye out for these videos as are they are a collectable scattered throughout Rapture. If you are not a fan of collectables, sorry there is no other way to watch them, unless you look it up on YouTube of course. The only downside to these features is that they are only present in the first game, we don’t see the same treatment of the other two games in the series. This is a real shame since I think a lot of people would love to hear Levine’s thought process on Bioshocks Infinite’s complex narrative and the gameplay differences from the first to second game.
In terms of gameplay there honestly isn’t much to say, there has not been any changes made to the gameplay, but why would there be? Irrational nailed the gameplay from the first game and the following games improved and expanded on it. You walk around a fully realised world with an array of guns used in your right hand and a variety of interesting powers in your left. You scavenge around looking for money and different types of ammo and defend yourself from enemy attackers. There is that same perfect blend of RPG and FPS where the role playing aspects are not bogged down in skill trees and how the shooting doesn’t become repetitive due to the many ways of attacking at your disposal. To be frank, the gameplay is just the same as the original but that doesn’t mean it’s bad as it still holds up very well.
If you are a fan of the Bioshock series and it’s been a while since you’ve played it, I would definitely recommend getting back into it with Bioshock: The Collection. It has all of the elements in the original trilogy but with updated graphics for our modern consoles as well as interesting special features on the development of the first game. It also comes with all of the DLC, so if you never got round to playing them, now is a good excuse to do so. And if you have never played the Bioshock games before, now is the perfect opportunity to dip in to one of gaming’s triumphs.