A shock to the system?
The three Bioshock games would probably all appear in my top 25 games of the last generation. Does this remaster package make me want to play them all over again?
The best thing to me in this collection is that all the single player DLC is included (including the rubbish trial rooms that accompany all three titles), which allowed me to finally experience the whole story as one (it’s really interesting to see how the games are linked together) by playing Minerva’s Den and Burial at Sea. All of the games had me enraptured at the time, and still remained as intriguing as ever, from the first ‘would you kindly’ to the last.
The first Bioshock game holds up well, but does start to show its age around the edges. It’s amazing given how the plasmids and weapons need to combine together effectively that dual-wielding only arrived with the second game. The control scheme is also pretty weird to come back to, especially as almost all FPS games now exclusively use the Halo or CoD control schemes. It also makes me realise just how much hand-holding more modern games give you – there’s no bright path, giant arrows or ‘FOLLOW’ signs anywhere to be seen, which even in the relatively linear first game struck me as odd. The first game also gets a director’s commentary, but the kicker is you have to find the tapes in-game to unlock it, which is, on one hand a nice touch, whilst also being simultaneously frustrating.
The second game changes things up just enough through the addition of dual-wielding and the novelty of playing as a Big Daddy, along with a slightly more open set of levels to make a return to Rapture feel different and worthwhile, even if it’s the weakest of the three games in terms of the overall narrative (but damn, Minerva’s Den is good).
Infinite is, in some ways, the most controversial of the three games, with some boss design that already feels dated, and the skyline-based combat that’s certainly not to everyone’s tastes. However, the world of Columbia remains a really interesting one to spend time in, and with the more balanced combat (melee is finally worthwhile, gunplay is improved, whilst the AI is significantly more challenging), makes for quite a distinctive game coming from the other two, despite the clear heritage between the three games.
All of the trial room DLC is complete trash, but with three great games and two awesome pieces of DLC, even sprinting through all of that content would likely take 30 hours, making the collection good value.
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