With the number of remasters these days I have come to feel like any series that has not been remastered yet, will certainly be at some point. Finally, the extraordinarily received Bioshock trilogy has come to new consoles via The Bioshock Collection, which is all three games, tidied up and with all the DLC as well. The question is if it is worth revisiting for people who missed it or returning for people who have.
For those who were too young or have lived in cave for the last nine years, Bioshock is the story of a man who survives a severe plane crash. Swimming from the plane he enters a lighthouse with an elevator that takes him down to Rapture. Rapture is an underwater dystopian city which was created and populated on the promise of true freedom but has become a terrifying and creepy place. This is heavily influenced by the lack of restrictions on science which has among other things, developed gene mutations and made formulas to give powers such as the ability to blast electricity, fire or bees from your hands; taking the ideas of what science can complete when it is not limited by conscience to its extremes.
You power yourself up using Adam, which is carried inside little sisters who are young girls protected by Big Daddies.Big Daddies are large submarine inspired mechanical men who will protect the little sisters with their lives. The story unfolds as you try to track down the founder of the city as the story twists around as the nature of this city and your existence there comes into question.
This, the delude of creepy enemies, the old music, the wrecked city, the creepy messages coming over the speakers and being spoken by the residents as well as the darkness result in a very suspenseful game which most importantly of all holds up so well now. The tidying to the first game is significant enough that I could easily have believed the game could have had its first release this year. It is not cutting edge but it is still gorgeous.
Bioshock 2 also takes place in Rapture and tells another story, but from the position of a Big Daddy. This story adds a lot to the narrative of the first game and as such it is tough to discuss without spoiling the campaign of the first game. This game is also fantastic with a fantastic story and graphically it has been tidied up fantastically as well.
Bioshock Infinite is by far my least favourite of the series, which I struggled to get through upon release as it tells its own story, in the above the sea world. For the most part while it played like Bioshock, taken from Rapture and its aesthetics really was disjointing from the story, though the DLC is especially good which is included inthis package. Having said that when I played the game the second time around, straight after the other games I did find it more enjoyable. As to whether that is due to having just played the first two or if enough time has passed and I changed my mind. Graphically there was not really any noticeable change but that is a very recent game and it looked really good on launch so that is no surprise.
Even with the average Bioshock Infinite the three games and their great story DLC make Bioshock Collection a fantastic package, especially for the price and anyone who likes first person shooters who has not played these games would be crazy not to pick this up. But for returning players there really is not much more too it especially if you have already played the DLC. But if you have there is concept art and a commentary from the director, neither of which were especially great.
But if you thought of revisiting these games this is definitely the best way to replay them with the new tidied up, shiny, gorgeous graphics. For two fantastic, tense, creepy and dark games, one OK game set in the same universe and great DLC from the three games, at its price point it is a bargain.
Released: October 2016
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre: Action, FPS
Developer: 2K Games
Publisher: 2K Games