reviewbioshock the collection

Review: BioShock: The Collection

Would you kindly read my review? 2K is adamant about getting some of their biggest games on the Nintendo Switch and as far as ports go, Borderlands Legendary Collection and BioShock: The Collection, are excellent additions. Will the Circle be Unbroken? I think so. In fact, this is an excellent port of the 2007 game, its sequel, and my personal favourite, BioShock Infinite.

What comes in BioShock: The Collection? In addition to the base games, all their DLC is part of the package, and I’m keen on revisiting Minera’s Den and Burial at Sea all over again. And if you’re only invested in one particular game; don’t worry, each title is available separately on the eShop. Each game is set within one over-arching universe and the narrative is to this day, one of the better stories in games.

Would you Kindly?

I’m starting to accept that the Nintendo Switch is the perfect system for ports of older video games. It’s got the perfect hardware to allow some of the last gen’s finest games to find a bit a new generation of players. Whenever a new port gets announced, all I hope is that it runs well and holds value.

Both BioShock and BioShock 2 take place in the underwater city of Rapture, a once idealistic look at the American dream. BioShock Infinite takes us to the skies and floating city of Columbia and while things seem pleasant, it doesn’t take long for the revolution to take hold. In every game, there are themes and ideas that work across each game. The first BioShock centres on a dystopian society that slowly unhinges its values, leading to corruption and devastation. Through environmental storytelling and exploration, we learn the who, the why, and the how of both Rapture’s downfall and of how the city of Columbia came to be.bioshock the collection switch screenshot01

Will the Circle be Unbroken?

BioShock’s strength was never its gameplay. And while none of the games were downright terrible when having to deal with enemies, they mostly served the narrative to get to the next plot revelation. Yes, the series is a first-person shooter but that’s not what made encounters fun. The weapons felt clumsy but manageable but it’s when the Plasmids and Vigor were unlock did the gameplay improve.

These are two different tonics built into the narrative of the series. BioShock and its sequel BioShock 2, use Plasmids, a serum that modifies the body, mutating the genes. This mutation gives the user the ability to manipulate the elements, the environment and even people. Vigor is found in BioShock Infinite and act similar but do different things like throwing a flaming projectile or possession of an enemy.

BioShock: The Collection

All three BioShock games come with all the DLC each game had made for them. You get the excellent Minerva’s Den from BioShock 2, and also my favourite expansion of the franchise, Burial at Sea made for BioShock Infinite. They don’t overstay their welcome and expand the lore in exciting ways that shake up the mythology in ways you wouldn’t expect. It’s a shame we haven’t had any follow-up games since then.

BioShock: The Collection is a bundle of value

How do all three games perform? I’m really happy to say that they work well on the Nintendo Switch. Playing docked to television they are all running at 1080p and at 30 frames per second. If you decide to move to handheld mode, all three games run at 720p ad a steady 30 frames per second as well. With ports, it can be either an exciting and worthy game like this collection or something along the lines of the less than stellar XCOM 2 Collection we reviewed this week. Abysmal load times and lack of optimization shouldn’t be present when porting an older game but it’s still an issue.

BioShock: The Collection

The only game I noticed some framerate drops in was BioShock Infinite. When going up against a wave of enemies, the framerate would jitter and take you out of the game momentarily. It’s a small performance hit that I only noticed in battle, though.

Verdict

BioShock: The Collection keeps the momentum going for excellent ports on the Nintendo Switch. Granted, you can always pick these up on a home console but if you care about portability then this is perfect for you. By now, anyone who’s been played these games has done so on their respective consoles but if you’re a Nintendo die-hard or only now coming into the scene then check these out.

[A copy of the game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.]