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"[GAME] Bioshock Collection"

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Fri 30/09/16 at 10:40
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Disclaimer: I love Bioshock and nothing has changed on that front so this is not going to be the most balanced review in the world.

Despite owning all 3 Bioshock games for the PS3 I simply couldnít resist getting the PS4 remasters. I will admit that I watched the comparison videos and didnít spot a great deal of difference but what the heck, it is Bioshock. I will admit that there are cheaper methods of getting my hands on the DLC that Iíve not played but what the heck, it is Bioshock.

The Bioshock games were fine looking games when they were released and they still look good in their original format today so if you are like me, then you might not really notice much difference in the move to 1080p. Perhaps if you played old and new side by side it would be more noticeable but an extra shine on top doesnít change the gameplay. There are times when I notice things like shadows more than I remember and I suspect they might have improved. The changes in any of the remasters I have played tend to be subtle and I donít think the Bioshock Collection is any different in that regard.

The Bioshock series has been kicking around for a good few years now and is available on Microsoft, Sony and PC platforms so Iím not going to bother covering the story, Iíll just presume those that are interested in the collection and those that have played the game before.

Bioshock
Bioshock always conjures up a memory of my stupidity. The move from the intro sequence into the game was seamless and it caught me out. There I was in the sea with the flames of the burning plane wreckage all around and we had a stand-off Ė the game was waiting for me to start and I thought I was waiting for the intro sequence to end.

Rapture is one of my all-time favourite video game locations and the appeal has not diminished with familiarity. I played through Bioshock earlier in the year but arriving back again on the PS4 still raised that Ďit is good to be homeí feeling. The setting and general atmosphere have not been bettered in my humble opinion.

First released in 2007, this game is in danger of having aged more than the others but in my completely biased view, it hasnít aged at all. I feel it still plays as good today as it ever did which does of course mean, if you didnít like Bioshcok to begin with then the Collection wonít change your mind.

Bioshock is the only game out of the 3 that comes with any additional content that hasnít been released before. This is in the form of a directorís commentary but unlike with DVD and blu-ray film releases, youíll have to find these. A bit like the audio logs, you will have to search each and every corner of Rapture in order to find them all. I admit I wonít actually watch them but it is nice to have something new to search for. The downside is that it seems a shame that the other 2 games donít have any additional content.

I have been surprised by the fact that Rapture is still creepy. Iíve been through Bioshock 4 times prior to this visit but it still leaves me on edge. The Big Daddy is one of my favourite boss type characters. I know I can beat him but I know he can just as easily beat me and regardless of my experience, the end result could go either way; I still take a deep breath of trepidation before starting the battle.

The other aspect which has surprised me is the challenge. Iíve never found Bioshock an easy game but Iíve never considered dropping the difficulty before. Either the remaster is tougher or Iím just losing my touch. There were several times when I repeatedly died and I was often running very low on health packs due to over use.

In terms of a port I felt I noticed a couple of blips that werenít there before. There were 2 occasions where a Big Daddy seemed to get caught in the scenery and was walking on the spot. This did work to my benefit of course, especially the 2nd time where I could just take a seat and let the splicers deal with him. The other blip was using my inferno plasmid. The fire still burned in the shape of a splicer long after the person had dropped. Not game breaking by any means, just a little disappointing to see.

Bioshock 2
The sequel to Bioshock sees a return to Rapture but lets us experience a different side to the undersea city. They could certainly make a long running soap opera out of the stories of Rapture. If Bioshock left you feeling like Rapture was an asylum under the sea then Bioshock 2 just confirms it.

This is often regarded as an under-rated sequel and Iíd completely go along with that. What has taken me completely by surprise is that after playing both games in a row, Iím tempted to edge this above the original.

It is the same old Rapture but the new locations are more varied and interesting, perhaps it was just simply more detail, I donít know. The switch to controlling a Big Daddy and looking after the little sisters is still a nice twist which helps keep things fresh, particularly if youíve just moved from one game to the other.

There are other touches I prefer such as the hacking mini-game. I like the puzzle version in Bioshock but it does become a little tedious by the end. In Bioshock 2, the timing game is over quicker so doesnít suffer the same fate. I did feel there seemed to be much more audio logs and starting to border on too much but a quick check of the internet suggests I simply didnít find as many in Bioshock.

The 2nd one perhaps loses a little atmosphere and isnít quite so creepy so perhaps that brings it back to level pegging with the original.

There are no extras in this game but the story expansion is included. I thought I had played this before but if I have then I certainly seem to have wiped it all from my memory. It is a substantial piece and rather challenging too.

I didnít come across any blips in this port but it did crash on my and I lost a decent bit of progress. The message about saving was received loud and clear.

Bioshock Infinite
For the 3rd installment we emerge from the sea and head into the clouds. Out of the 3 games, Infinite is the only one I have not replayed since release so my memories of this one are much more hazy.

I still prefer Rapture as a setting but stepping out into Columbia for the first time gave me that wow moment all over again. It is more bright and colourful than Rapture and this does help it become more of a visual delight. I certainly walked round gawping at everything like a first time visitor. It does at least fool you from the start into thinking it is a happy place, Rapture doesnít bother with the illusion.

The original developers took a break from Bioshock 2 but they return for this one. The theme and atmosphere is very different this time round with religion and racism being prevalent.

It is still very much Bioshock underneath a different coating and whilst they have tried to keep things a little different it is probably marginally the lesser of the 3 games for me. I love the Columbia look but I do miss Rapture and its atmosphere. Burial at Sea certainly does its part to remedy that though, why oh why did I miss this expansion first time round?

There seems to be more enemies when compared to the first in particular. Throwing more enemies into the mix doesnít always make for a better game and back tracking through an area to find it repopulated with enemies isnít something Iím a fan of. This only becomes more obvious with more enemies.

Saying that, this is the game that Iíve been most looking forward to replaying due to the story expansions. That pleasure isnít too far away now.

Happy to report that my time in Columbia seems to have been bug free so far.

Summary
Quite simply, just as good as they have always been. Visual improvements are hard to spot but it all comes in one handy pack now. Which consists of 2 discs so it could actually be handier. Ok, the pack has a nice cover. Of course, if you go digital that is irrelevant.

9 (in an attempt to pretend Iím not being totally biased. I really just want to say 10)




Post edited by dav2612 on 30/09/2016 at 10:40.

Post edited by dav2612 on 05/10/2016 at 10:06.
Mon 03/10/16 at 15:58
Staff Moderator
"Meh..."
Posts: 1,474
4K Bioshock!
And more...

Looks pretty don't it?
Mon 03/10/16 at 11:36
Regular
"And in last place.."
Posts: 2,054

chasfh wrote:
There's much fun to be had. Bucking Bronco then Charge or Undertow, for example. You're missing out!


I am very good at staying in my comfort zone. I did Charge a couple of enemies yesterday and though complete fluke caused some inferno action and got myself a nice silver trophy for me efforts. Not entirely sure what I did.

I shall attempt to experiment. I'm just as bad with the weapons.
Mon 03/10/16 at 11:15
Staff Moderator
"Meh..."
Posts: 1,474

dav2612 wrote:
I tend to start with Possession to give myself a moment and then electric and fire then come into play. It is my standard Bioshock approach. But from what you say, I could be playing this a lot better. I've not really made use of the traps.


There's much fun to be had. Bucking Bronco then Charge or Undertow, for example. You're missing out!
Mon 03/10/16 at 11:10
Regular
"And in last place.."
Posts: 2,054

chasfh wrote:
Try this;
Murder of Crows, followed by Shock Jockey or Devil's kiss (take your pick). Flaming Crows or Electric Crows, great fun...
Even better, get Murder upgraded so that any "victims" become Crow traps, then throw Shock jockey AND Devils Kiss at any unsuspecting enemy caught by your trap!


I tend to start with Possession to give myself a moment and then electric and fire then come into play. It is my standard Bioshock approach. But from what you say, I could be playing this a lot better. I've not really made use of the traps.
Mon 03/10/16 at 11:02
Staff Moderator
"Meh..."
Posts: 1,474

dav2612 wrote:
50% correct. Shock Jockey is a must. An electric zap has been a favourite across all 3 games. Devils' Kiss is the other one. I used the hypnotic equivalent in the first 2 and that carries over to 3. I like to sit back and let others do my dirty work for me - I could almost read the audiologs as I wait.

I do admit I need to experiment more in all 3 games and I shall do so when I go back through them.


Try this;
Murder of Crows, followed by Shock Jockey or Devil's kiss (take your pick). Flaming Crows or Electric Crows, great fun...
Even better, get Murder upgraded so that any "victims" become Crow traps, then throw Shock jockey AND Devils Kiss at any unsuspecting enemy caught by your trap!
Mon 03/10/16 at 10:50
Regular
"And in last place.."
Posts: 2,054

chasfh wrote:
Let me guess...
Two favourite Vigors: Murder of Crows and Shock Jockey by any chance? It's certainly the easiest combo to pull off in the game, and one of my favourites, although Devil's Kiss comes a close second to Shock Jockey.

Totally agree with the controls. Every game is different, which is a bit of a pain.

If you come across a "Hear All Vigor", would you kindly send a bottle my way?


50% correct. Shock Jockey is a must. An electric zap has been a favourite across all 3 games. Devils' Kiss is the other one. I used the hypnotic equivalent in the first 2 and that carries over to 3. I like to sit back and let others do my dirty work for me - I could almost read the audiologs as I wait.

I do admit I need to experiment more in all 3 games and I shall do so when I go back through them.
Mon 03/10/16 at 10:42
Staff Moderator
"Meh..."
Posts: 1,474

dav2612 wrote:
I have been changing gear but I'm not ready to branch out with weapons or vigors. I have tried all the vigors once but I keep going back to my 2 favourites. Elizabeth tells me I need to expand my horizons a little but if she stopped running off we could have a proper talk about it.

I might have to pull up Infinite for its subtitles though. The audiologs with a different name do not have subtitles this time. I have to pause the game and read the transcript which does somewhat break up the action. It wasn't an issue when I first played the game since I could hear in those days but now I clearly need a Hear All vigor.

And DO NOT change the controls between games. I get used to it after a session but at the start I'm still defaulting to Bioshock 1 and 2 controls.


Let me guess...
Two favourite Vigors: Murder of Crows and Shock Jockey by any chance? It's certainly the easiest combo to pull off in the game, and one of my favourites, although Devil's Kiss comes a close second to Shock Jockey.

Totally agree with the controls. Every game is different, which is a bit of a pain.

If you come across a "Hear All Vigor", would you kindly send a bottle my way?
Mon 03/10/16 at 10:23
Regular
"And in last place.."
Posts: 2,054

chasfh wrote:
The best addition to the game mechanics with 3 is the gear options (hats, shirts, boots etc.), changing those around can add a whole new slant on your gameplay and combat style. I rather favour the "Ammo Advantage" options, as these help later in the game, but Electric Punch and the likes are fun if you fancy a bit of melee madness.

Of course, these in conjunction with your Vigors can work wonders (Electric Punch and Undertow for example), and finding new and exciting combinations is all part of the fun.


I have been changing gear but I'm not ready to branch out with weapons or vigors. I have tried all the vigors once but I keep going back to my 2 favourites. Elizabeth tells me I need to expand my horizons a little but if she stopped running off we could have a proper talk about it.

I might have to pull up Infinite for its subtitles though. The audiologs with a different name do not have subtitles this time. I have to pause the game and read the transcript which does somewhat break up the action. It wasn't an issue when I first played the game since I could hear in those days but now I clearly need a Hear All vigor.

And DO NOT change the controls between games. I get used to it after a session but at the start I'm still defaulting to Bioshock 1 and 2 controls.
Sun 02/10/16 at 12:50
Staff Moderator
"Meh..."
Posts: 1,474

dav2612 wrote:
I realised early on in Bioshock 2's expansion that I mostly tend to stick to the same 2 or 3 plasmids. I didn't have access to one of them till later and I wasn't keen on that. I am not much more adventurous on the weapons. I can already see that habit carrying on in 3 so I do need to branch out more when I go back through them all again.


The best addition to the game mechanics with 3 is the gear options (hats, shirts, boots etc.), changing those around can add a whole new slant on your gameplay and combat style. I rather favour the "Ammo Advantage" options, as these help later in the game, but Electric Punch and the likes are fun if you fancy a bit of melee madness.

Of course, these in conjunction with your Vigors can work wonders (Electric Punch and Undertow for example), and finding new and exciting combinations is all part of the fun.
Sat 01/10/16 at 08:31
Regular
"And in last place.."
Posts: 2,054

chasfh wrote:
I am growing to love 4K as time goes on. Wasn't that bothered at first, but the more I see the more I want in "stupidly high res".

With regard to No.3, I've played that through dozens of times. Never gets tired for me, I just change the way I play and try something new; new combinations of vigors, new upgrades for weapons (still can't quite take to the crank gun or the rpg though) and just go for a blast through the skylines.

The ending still makes me sad though...


I realised early on in Bioshock 2's expansion that I mostly tend to stick to the same 2 or 3 plasmids. I didn't have access to one of them till later and I wasn't keen on that. I am not much more adventurous on the weapons. I can already see that habit carrying on in 3 so I do need to branch out more when I go back through them all again.

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