There’s always a lighthouse. There’s always a man. There’s always a city.
If there’s a few games I know i’ll always have a blast playing, one of them is definitely BioShock Infinite, and while for whatever reason I can’t say the same for the first two games, doesn’t mean they aren’t gaming gems. If i’m being perfectly honest BioShock, and BioShock Infinite are some of my all time favourite games, and naturally enough I was consumed by hype and excitement when I learned about the first few leaks of an alleged BioShock collection. A trio of fantastic games, two of which visually overhauled to look the part in today’s day and age, packaged with all the downloadable content released for them? I was down right from the very beginning, but does that mean you should be too? If you haven’t played any of these incredible games, yes, you most definitely should be interested in BioShock: The Collection, I can’t say the same if you have played all three, but if you’re looking for a reason to revisit them, trust me, this is reason enough.
BioShock – Would you kindly?
It’s hard to believe that the original BioShock was released more than 9 years ago now, when it stunned the gaming industry with it’s strong mechanics, excellent story, and intriguing setting. I didn’t become familiar with the world of BioShock until BioShock Infinite was originally announced, and once it was, I went back and played the first two games so I could fully enjoy what I believed would snatch up game of the year for 2013. You play as Jack, the sole survivor of a mysterious plane crash that occurred in the Atlantic Ocean, with the only land nearby being a lighthouse. You travel inside and enter a bathysphere, which takes you down to the 1960 under water city of Rapture. A dystopia created by Andrew Ryan and Frank Fontaine, and it’s your job to figure out how to get back to the surface. BioShock’s story is still extremely entertaining, and if you’re unaware of what happens, you will be genuinely gobsmacked at what occurs throughout the 10-15 hour story line. BioShock’s gameplay is definitely the game’s weakest link compared to what we have today, but for it’s time, BioShock was revolutionary, and it moved the FPS genre right along, popularising it in the process. It’s still fun to play, and it’s still got some interesting mechanics, with various guns and plasmids at your disposal, but it definitely feels aged and old. Scattered around the game now are Golden Reels, which players can find and pickup to later watch director commentaries focused on specific parts of the game. They’re well worth finding, and provide some real insight into what Irrational were going for when making BioShock. One thing i’m extremely pleased about is that BioShock looks amazing on the current gen consoles, and the texture overhauls work a treat in the environments of Rapture. Textures look sharp, character models are detailed, and there were moments were I stopped just to take it all in. This is 1080p in all it’s glory and honour, while the game consistently runs at a smooth 60 frames-per-second. If you haven’t experienced BioShock before, now is the time to do it.
BioShock 2 – Love is just a chemical. We give it meaning by choice.
Set 2 years before the events of BioShock, you play as Subject Delta, the 4th Big Daddy ever created. The opening cutscene shows Subject Delta in Rapture with his little sister, Eleanor, when they are suddenly separated by Eleanor’s mother. Using the mind control plasmid, Eleanor’s mother makes Subject Delta commit suicide, 10 years later, Delta awakens, and seeks to find Eleanor, driven by their previous connection to each other. Without spoiling too much, BioShock 2 does a great job at plot twists and presenting the unexpected to us. Just when we think one thing is going to happen, another takes it’s place, it’s truly entertaining, although I find the first game to be more riveting. Unfortunately BioShock 2 doesn’t come with the multiplayer function of the original game. BioShock 2 also comes with the story DLC, Minerva’s Den which is just as good as the main game, and has a really enjoyable story line too. BioShock 2’s gameplay, much like BioShock is its weakest link. Playing as a Big Daddy is really interesting and the new plasmids and weapons are fun to play around with, but that doesn’t stop it from feeling aged. BioShock 2 definitely does not fail on the technical front, it looks just as good, if not better than BioShock and always runs at 60 frames-per-second much like it’s predecessor. I much prefer how the settings and environments look in BioShock 2, and the new updated graphics show them in a whole new light of beautiful HD quality.
BioShock Infinite – Bring us the girl and wipe away the debt.
BioShock Infinite to me is the strongest of the trio, and I just can’t get enough of it, it’s a truly incredible game. You play as Booker DeWitt, and without much context, you’re rowed to a lighthouse in the middle of no where with one goal; find a girl named Elizabeth and bring her back to New York. After progressing past a dead body, a scene of torture, you reach the top of the lighthouse, and enter a rocket powered room which shoot up into the sky taking you to the floating city in the sky of Columbia. The story has so many twists and turns and it has some legitimately tear jerking moments throughout it’s 12 hour campaign, with an ending that will shock you, confuse you, and leave you dazed for hours. It’s a very deep, meaningful ending, and I urge you to find further explanation on it if you haven’t already. BioShock Infinite easily has the strongest gameplay out of the three, it’s fast paced, challenging, and fairly open in terms of letting you do things how you want to do them. The new vigors are awesome and fun to use, and the new weapons feel extremely powerful and have a lot of punch behind them. New to BioShock in Infinite is the Sky-Hook which allows Booker to travel on Sky-Lines, attach to Sky-Hooks and brutally execute any enemy who’s unfortunate enough to survive anything that should’ve killed them. It’s a great addition to the game, and one I never got bored using. Infinite comes packaged with Clash in the Clouds which acts as a challenge mode, but the main DLC is Burial At Sea Episodes 1 and 2. These are fantastic DLC stories and although they’re on the short side, I get a serious kick out of playing through them. Both episodes are set in Rapture and they follow and alternate Booker and Elizabeth after the ending of the main storyline. I won’t go any further to avoid spoilers, but Episode 2 is hands down one of my favourite parts of BioShock Infinite. It provides a really new, unique type of gameplay that we’ve never seen in BioShock before and I absolutely adore it. Infinite on current gen consoles isn’t as impressive as it sounds, having played Infinite on PC, the updated visuals and frame-rate doesn’t impress me as much as the other two games, but if you played Infinite on last-gen consoles, you’ll definitely see the difference. Don’t get me wrong, it still looks beautiful and runs amazingly, but the PC version was already doing that.
If you’ve never played BioShock before, I cannot urge you enough to go out and buy this collection. These games are amazing, and they deserve all the attention and recognition they get. If you’ve played them before, the visual update and DLC makes the package worth a second visit, just keep in mind that if you own BioShock and/or BioShock 2 on PC, you get the remastered versions for free.Fantastic stories, beautiful visuals, solid frame-rates, and enjoyable game play albeit aged. This is the definitive way to experience BioShock if you’ve never treated yourself before. PLAY THESE GAMES!
-Engaging story lines across all three games
-Beautiful visuals and consistent frame-rates
-Infinite has awesome game play
-All the excellent downloadable content
-No BioShock 2 multiplayer
-BioShock and BioShock 2 feel aged
Thanks for reading guys, up next is ReCore, hopefully that’ll be up tomorrow or the day after.