BioShock: The Collection Adds Fresh Coat of Paint to Three Classics

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BioShock: The Collection Adds Fresh Coat of Paint to Three Classics

Andrew Ryan and his doomed vision of Rapture are arguably more relevant today than when BioShock first launched nine eight long years ago. 2K Games is celebrating the anniversary with BioShock: The Collection, launching September 13 on PS4 (September 16 internationally), which combines updated versions of BioShock, BioShock 2, and BioShock Infinite — complete with their single-player add-ons.

BioShock: The Collection Adds Fresh Coat of Paint to Three Classics

According to 2K, all three games share a set of enhancements over their PS3 predecessors, including increased texture quality, native 1080p resolution, and a higher framerate targeting 60 frames per second.

I enjoyed a bit of hands-on time with The Collection, and I liked what I saw. Read my notes below.


Of the three included games, BioShock benefits the most from a fresh coat of paint. Though still based in Unreal 2.0, the reworked textures, higher resolution, and framerate improvements all push this version way, way ahead of its PS3 predecessor.

What’s more, developer Blind Squirrel has lovingly retouched some key areas of the game, adding new visual details that flesh out the presentation without betraying the legendary art direction.

The results are subtle but additive. I noticed denser seaweed and starfish clinging to the exteriors of Andrew Ryan’s crumbling undersea empire during the iconic Rapture reveal sequence, for example. And an oversized full moon now looms over the opening plane crash sequence, lending a more dramatic look.

Otherwise, this is the BioShock you remember — but looking more polished than you’ve seen it.

Bonus content comes in the form of Challenge Rooms, a (fun) arena mode that first saw light way back in the PS3 version. You can also visit an interactive Museum of Orphaned Concepts, which shows off designs left on Rapture’s cutting-room floor.

In-game, you can collect golden film reels scattered throughout Rapture to unlock director’s commentary videos featuring Ken Levine and Shawn Robertson, the game’s creative director and lead animator.

BioShock 2

BioShock 2 offers similar benefits thanks to PS4’s muscular hardware, providing a smoother, cleaner presentation compared to its original PS3 version. This makes a good case for revisiting what was, all things considered, an enjoyable follow-up to Irrational’s 2006 classic. BioShock 2’s multiplayer mode, however, does not make the cut.

Of BioShock 2’s two included add-ons, the most notable is Minerva’s Den, a highly regarded story-driven campaign written by Steve Gaynor of Fullbright and Gone Home fame. I’ve heard it described as one of the best entries in the entire BioShock series, and I’m eager to see if the legends are true.

BioShock Infinite

BioShock Infinite is the most technically impressive of the three games, and it’s no surprise to see the PS4 version far surpass the 2013 PS3 release. The increased resolution, texture quality, and frame rate breathe new life into the blue skies of Columbia, and give the game a brisker feel.

As with BioShock 2, the wealth of post-release content is a major draw. The two Burial at Sea episodes are the highlight here, setting protagonists Booker DeWitt and Elizabeth in an all-new story set before the fall of Rapture.

BioShock: The Collection is a big package — so big, in fact, that it spans two Blu-ray Discs. And there’s plenty here to discover for series veterans and newcomers alike.

Would you kindly?

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10 Author Replies

  • Remember when Ken Levine announced a Bioshock game for Vita and it never came out?

    • I remember and I am still bitter about it. That game was one of the reasons that made me buy a Vita along with other titles such as Warrior’s Lair (which was also cancelled). Talk about supporting your product.

      Regarding the Bioshock collection, I might consider giving it a go if my backlog ever finishes. I owned the first two games but never had the chance to play them.

    • By all means, play them, Ersarger! The original Bioshock was the game that made me love the PS3!

    • Ken Levine made a stealthy comment on Twitter saying it was not up to him, but still wished he could have made it.

    • BIOSHOCK VITA is The main reason wich why i bought a Ps Vita… And i still believe one day i can play BIOSHOCK ON my VITA…

      “Hope is the last to die”

    • Please dont remember this, it still hurts to hear =*(

  • Wow! Can’t wait to see some footage from this one. Huge fan of the bioshock series and its storytelling.

  • “and a higher framerate targeting 60 frames per second.’

    Failure. “Targeting 60 frames per second” is industry speak for “runs between 40-60 frames per second”. And not being able to maintain 60 in a remaster collection like this is most definitely doing it wrong.

  • Wait so it will be 2 discs at least the PS4 version?

  • instabuy…… when it on sale for like 50%, generation of remaster and remake.

    • Ya that remaster of Deus Ex Mankind Divided is going to be rough. I can’t believe I spent all that time play that remaster of Uncharted 4 looks fantastic. All those remakes out there.

      There really haven’t been that many remasters, no more than ports from last gen in previous generations to the current. Though the lack of backward compatibility has something to do with all of this.

      As far as remakes. How many of those have we really gotten honestly? I’m just aware of FF7 so far.

      I think you’re exaggerating a bit.

    • Adding on to what Kaze said, it’s also not like this is anything new in games. There were remastersome of Mario games back in the 90s in Super Mario All-Stars. There was a Europe only Mega Man game that was remasters of Mega Man 1-3. When it comes to ports, you had Sonic Jam or Sonic Mega Collection, which were ports of Genesis Sonic games on a modern console. This is the same thing.

  • One of my faviorte series in gaming each one I beat 3 times and I loved every moment of it. Will like to replay this sometime down the road but at the time now I have too many games to play and no time to switch to another game.

  • I’ll probably end up getting this as I never completed the original (my PS3 died while I was midway and I didn’t feel like starting from start or playing any of the sequels before I completed 1st). Now that enough time has passed, starting out shouldn’t bring back any angst I felt about having to catch back up to where my PS3 died (along with save file).

  • Why did you guys remove the reference to communism in Andrew Ryan’s preamble?

    • In the game? Which part?

    • @Sid I think he’s referring to the announcement trailer (for the collection). They cut the line when he normally says ” Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow…No says the man in Moscow it belongs to everyone…” In the trailer it just mentions the Vatican and Washington.

      I wondered the same but I just thought that it was cut for the trailer.

    • Ah, from the trailer. That line is indeed in the game. I think they just used some artful editing to make the trailer punchy.

  • Played all three, but never any of the DLC. Great Collection. Might pick up (again) to replay the games and play the DLC. I understand that retail discs will contain all games. But will you be able to buy the games separately digitally?

  • I was hoping Bioshock 2’s multiplayer would be cut; tons of fun but I can’t afford to endure that grind again for that Platinum. Very glad it was cut and as such, locked in my pre-order just now.

    • Yeah, I liked it a lot as well. Can’t imagine going back to it now, but it was a cool, unique take that felt faithful to the universe.

  • Man this is cool and all but I already bought and beat bio 1 & infinite and never got to finish the 2nd. But I even bought the season pass for infinite so imo this won’t be worth it to me ubless it ever goes down to like $20. Other than that this is really great for people who have never played these games. They are masterpieces

  • Hopefully we can buy these individually digitally at the least.

    I would love to play Infinite on PS4, but I won’t be buying Bioshock 1 or 2 ever. 80 + tax just to get infinite would be way too much. (Canada)

  • Nice to see a remaster that has 60FPS. Kind of annoyed that a lot of these so-called “remastered” games can only hit 30FPS.

  • I’ve only played Infinite, and while it was ok I had an issue with it

    The insides of most buildings were almost pitch black

    Can anyone please tell me if thats fixed thanks

    P.S I look forward to playing the first 2 games, never got around to them even though i owned them (Curse you backlog!)

    • Yeah, I did not encounter that issue. The first two games, especially the first one, are very solid and memorable.

  • Super cool. If you haven’t played Bioshock before please give these a play, especially the first one. Amazing games.

  • Another remake….would much rather have the Mass Effect series remade.

    Bonus – this will be free if you already bought the games because everyone is so gracious for our support with buying their games they want to do something nice for everyone……too bad this isn’t April 1st LOL

  • Great another recicled piece of crap…how shameful the industry have become these days,targeting trophy who***.I’m sad for people who support this…there ain’t better showing of anti-consumer practice than this.

    • Man,you don’t know what ur talking about,you must be really young to say that about Bioshock,for me these are the only games that worth remastered on the new consoles.

  • I hope I can use my PS Move and Navi controllers

  • Excuse me. The dlcs will be in the two discs or they will be codes ? Thanks and sorry for my english Hahaha xD

  • Already preordered, can’t wait

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