Gamers have been waiting for the Bioshock series to land on PS4 and Xbox One consoles. Finally, the wait is over and the game is out now on both systems. Bioshock is a series with some of the most unique, iconic and memorable moments. With three games to its name, Bioshock: The Collection is a set that any fan of the series should have.

Bioshock: The Collection is made up of the three games that have been released so far in the franchise (Bioshock, Bioshock 2 and Bioshock Infinite). While it’s unknown if a new game is in the makings, The Collection sure shows why these first three games were such a hit with millions of people.

As is the case with any remaster, looks are the most obvious change to a game. The biggest visual improvements can be found in the original Bioshock. This is probably obviously to those who think about why. The original Bioshock was released back in 2007, while the third installment, Infinite, was launched in 2013. No matter the game though, 2K and developer Blind Squirrel have delivered a visual feast.

The underwater city of Rapture is absolutely stunning from the second you plunge into the deep until the last bullet you fire. Textures have been remade in crisp, precise fashion and posseses magnificent resolution at 1080p. Journeying through Rapture once again in its smooth 60 fps glory is a treat regardless of which Bioshock you are enjoying.

The world of Columbia in all its glory (Courtesy of 2K Games).
The world of Columbia in all its glory (Courtesy of 2K Games).

Bioshock 2 looks quite better than the first time we saw the game back in 2010. While the improvements aren’t quite as drastic as the ones you’ll see in the original game, the sequel looks absolutely magnificent. You can certainly see the differences between the original Bioshock 2 and its remastered self.

Bioshock Infinite is its most beautiful both in the fast moments as well as the slower ones. The sky city of Columbia shines brightly throughout the experience. Infinite stars just like it did in 2013, particularly for its stark contrast in setting compared to the first two Bioshock games. Sprinting on the railways in the sky are just as thrilling as before, and the day-to-day interaction with the world feels just as alive.

Some gameplay tweaks have been made. Enabling players to use both plasmids and weapons felt like a serious change, particularly when you think about how central these elements are to the gameplay experience. As a side note, Bioshock 2‘s multiplayer hasn’t been included in The Collection. However, the experience’s absence doesn’t take away from the incredible package 2K has delivered. Indicating a bit of a trend, dropping multiplayer is something that Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection and others have done, but again, it’s not why you buy most collections.

Each of the three games’ DLC releases have been included in Bioshock: The Collection, adding further value to the excellent experiences. Both Burial at Sea expansions from Infinite are a treat to relive, particularly after having revisited the original Bioshock. These expansions were heralded when they originally debuted in 2013 and 2014, and they shine all the way through today.

In-game action from Bioshock: The Collection (Courtesy of 2K).
In-game action from Bioshock: The Collection (Courtesy of 2K).

Something that is unique to Bioshock: The Collection is its Director’s Commentary series. There are over half a dozen videos that you can come across, though they are hidden. From there, you can either play them at that time or later on via the menu. These videos provide unseen depth into the worlds that 2K and Irrational Games created years ago.

The series of videos features Ken Levine, who was the creative director on both Bioshock and Bioshock Infinite. It also stars Shawn Robertson, who was the animation lead/director on Bioshock and Bioshock Infinite. Each video adds a wonderful level of insight into how they created the world of Bioshock. For folks like myself, it is a fascinating thing to learn more about the thought process of creators like Levine and Robertson.

For the six videos, each of them highlights a different point of emphasis in Bioshock’s creation. In order, they cover “Making Rapture Real,” “Behind The Pitch,” “The Deeper Shooter,” “The Creative Process,” “Community Theatre” and “Reality Check” and more.

Having watched all of the videos, I must say the “Reality Check” video was my favorite. It is extremely interesting to find out “how the sausage is made,” a frequently used term in the industry. Learning how Irrational put in the airplane sequence that we see at the beginning of Bioshock is extremely revealing.

Understanding what the creators did to help bring the experience more together wasn’t significant, but it was essential. I’ll leave you to find out just what they did. It is a fascinating look into how game development can sometimes turn out.

Bioshock: The Collection is an outstanding set that any fan of the series must have. It is a steal for anyone who has yet to experience the franchise. The Collection is available now on PS4, Xbox One and PC. Stick around here at We Write Things for more on Bioshock2K provided We Write Things with a PS4 code of Bioshock: The Collection for the purposes of this review. 

About Steve Ruygrok

Gaming, Spirits, and Craft Beer enthusiast. If you say you don't like beer, then you just haven't had the right type yet. Great spirits keep away the bad ones. Video games are kind of amazing, just do it...or something like that.