Back in 2007, the original BioShock took the gaming industry by storm. Developed by 2K Boston (now known as Irrational Games), the game was a successor to the classic System Shock.
It’s a combination of a first-person shooter with an RPG. The sunken city of Rapture provides an engaging, story-driven campaign and a unique blend of melee and ranged combat.
The BioShock franchise joined the roster of timeless, classic games; there’s no doubt about it. That’s why the release of remastered versions of the original trilogy was simply a matter of time. BioShock: The Collection had a fair amount of work done to it.
The package contains the remastered versions of the first two games and its third installment with DLC. This article will cover the improvements made to the original games and if BioShock remasters are worth buying.
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What’s New In BioShock: The Collection?
The first two installments of BioShock run on a modified version of Unreal Engine 2.5. Irrational Games are pretty familiar with the engine since they used it for making SWAT 4. That’s why they decided to use it for BioShock too.
The remaster focuses on visually overhauling the first two chapters of BioShock. Here’s the list of most notable changes:
- Textures got entirely replaced with higher resolution ones.
- The character models got refined with higher polygon counts to look less angular.
- The physics system got improved and is no longer locked to 30 fps.
- Most items have appropriately realistic physics reactions based on their weight.
- Every piece of cloth in the game now flaps around and hangs realistically.
- Added new foliage and a properly detailed environment.
The third installment remains unchanged since it runs on a newer engine and holds up pretty well. It includes Season Pass and Columbia’s Finest DLC instead.
The remastered version of the first Bioshock offers enhanced graphics and is optimized for modern consoles - PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
At the time of writing, there are no PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X/S versions, but they are working just fine due to the backward compatibility. Console versions maintain a rock-solid 60fps at 1080p for the past generation and 1440p for current ones.
The PC version of the game offers the best visuals due to higher resolutions support and even higher frame rate. Most of the improvements can be seen in the textures and lighting, as well as the increased field of vision.
Now you can fully witness Rapture’s ruined state from afar. The developers also didn’t stray from artistic changes since some textures are entirely different from the original game. New players won’t bother, but some hardcore fans may not like the changes made to new versions.
BioShock Remastered has fewer options to tweak than its progenitor, but for a good reason. Original options are mostly obsolete and refer to things turned on by default or no longer serve a purpose.
Now you’re given only the most necessary options: antialiasing, anisotropic filtering, and expanded FOV. The last one is the most important because it improves your field of vision. Most users nowadays use widescreen monitors, so it’s always a good addition.
The lack of flexibility in graphics settings is a disappointment, though. Taking away the ability to tweak shadows and lighting is an odd decision. You could argue it’s an old game and not very demanding, but it was a standard even in games from the early 2000s.
Apart from graphic changes, developers added special collectible items, explaining the process of creating the game. They are in the form of episodic commentary tracks.
Another feature is a separate game mode called the Museum of Orphaned Concepts. Here you can explore the gallery filled with concept arts and abandoned ideas. It’s an excellent option for the fans of in-game lore, but nothing more than that.
The gameplay aspect of the remastered Bioshock didn’t receive much attention, if any at all. That’s kind of a bummer because some bugs are carried over from the original game, like mouse acceleration and sensitivity problems.
Some users also reported disappearing textures or lack of any settings regarding them. Fortunately, this was resolved by patches released shortly after The Collection's debut.
Bioshock 2 Remastered
When the original Bioshock 2 was released in 2010, it looked excellent. Compared to its predecessor, the visual upgrade was evident to the naked eye. The game holds up well even today, which is incredible.
Unfortunately, developers must have thought the same because you won’t notice much of a difference during gameplay. There are some minimal changes, but you're going to see them only when comparing screenshots.
In the original Bioshock 2, you had plenty of graphical options to choose from, as you would expect from a PC game.
Some of these options could be relevant even today, but most of them are gone in the Remaster. You can change resolution, anisotropic filtering, and turn antialiasing on or off. For unknown reasons, the FOV slider is also absent.
BioShock 2 Remastered doesn’t provide any extras. Additional commentaries are missing; there’s no museum and no challenges. Even the multiplayer is gone, but this change can be justified by its decreasing popularity. To sum it all up, there’s minimal effort involved in this “remaster” of BioShock 2, sadly.
If you’ve never played the Bioshock series before, I strongly advise you to try out Bioshock: The Collection. It’s a no-brainer. However, if you already have the originals, things get complicated. The remaster won’t offer anything new to veterans besides improved graphics, concept art gallery, and director’s commentary.
It’s also worth mentioning the game got optimized for modern systems and runs much better than the original in this regard. It might be a strong selling point for some. Your choice is entirely up to you, depending on your needs and expectations.
We hope this article helped you understand the changes made to BioShock Remaster and how it compares to the originals. At RoyalCDKeys, we offer BioShock: The Collection at very affordable prices, so if you’re willing to delve into the sinking city of Rapture, we’ve got you covered!