STAFF REVIEW of Bioshock: The Collection (Xbox One)

Saturday, October 15, 2016.
by Brent Roberts

Bioshock: The Collection Box art Years ago gamers were swept away to an underwater city called Rapture in a game called Bioshock. It was here that player started their campaign to find out more about this psychological thriller, and in fact, there was so much demand that a second and third game were made. When these games first launched they took the world by storm. They combined beautiful graphics with a story that, although not directly connected, strived to deliver the same mental twists that gamers came to crave from the Bioshock brand. Recently 2K Games released Bioshock: The Collection at a full retail price $59.99. Now we all know that sometimes it's better to not try to mess with what already is an icon, but do they get it right?

If you haven't played any of the Bioshock games, then let me just start out by saying I don't care where you've been, just go out and buy this game. The plot of all the three games combined starts out strong, but towards the end tends to lack the punch that we experienced in the first game, but I refuse to spoil any of the story and strongly encourage you to experience this game with fresh eyes. You'll thank me later, trust me. What seems to be the whole stand out aspect of this collection is that now these three games render at 1080p and 60FPS, though the occasional dip in the framerate felt disorienting.

It felt smooth as silk stepping back into Rapture, and heading back to the steampunk city called "Columbia", like coming home after being away for numerous years. I was also surprised at how well the controls held up as it still provided a solid control layout that played right into the plasmid power vs. ammunition battle. Quick selecting with your bumper buttons, firing weapons with your triggers and smooth targeting motion/acquisition are qualities found in top FPS games, and you will find all of that, and more, within each game in this collection.

I do have to note that there is a large missing component with the content actually contained within this collection. Bioshock was such a success that the public damn near cried out for multiplayer, and the squeaky gear got the oil. Bioshock 2 included multiplayer gameplay that, for the time, was revolutionary for the series. However, in this latest release, even though the graphics have been upgraded, and many aspects of the series is included in the collection, there is no multiplayer at all, so half of the game itself is gone without explanation. So instead of three complete games it's more like two and a half. There is one thing for all you achievement hunters to take note though, there are over 4000 achievement points to be had packed within this collection. Now, for more good news, and that's all thanks to the fact that all the single player DLC from all the games is available to go right from the beginning.

There are new collectibles to find as well while you spend your days in the depths of the sea or the clouds in the sky. You'll find golden movie reels, and when collected you will be able to view some behind the scenes footage that discusses the creation of the game and all the aspects and story within it. If it's your first time playing the series I strongly advise against watching these until you have played through the entire story of all three titles as there are tons of spoiler information throughout. This is not the case however for the Bioshock Museum. Here you can view how art and modeling changes between versions of a character were made before fans were delivered the final product. All these insights help shed some light on the evolution of what we know as Bioshock.

It goes without saying that Bioshock: The Collection brings back all the wonder and amazement we found all those years ago, and it does so in wonderfully rendered 1080p and 60FPS for a high majority of the time. While Bioshock 2 is missing it's multiplayer, the collection as a whole provides all the single player DLC and over 4000 Achievement Points to help take the sting away. Bioshock: The Collection takes what we remembered about our time in Rapture, and the city in the sky "Columbia", and tugs on the heartstrings of our emotional attachment that started with the Big Daddy and the Little Sisters, and plays our soul like a Stradivarius. After all these years Bioshock: The Collection still provides one fantastic gaming moment after another. Now would you kindly go out and buy this game?

Please include the multiplayer for Bioshock 2, and please update and patch the drop in framerate drops that players will come across now and then.

Overall: 8.5 / 10
Gameplay: 8.5 / 10
Visuals: 9.5 / 10
Sound: 8.5 / 10


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