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Saturday, 22 October 2016 16:11

Bioshock: The Collection – a remastered return to classic game-play


Unabashedly we are fans of games with the Bioshock brand, and now we get the opportunity to play through the nightmarish worlds unleashed by 2K and Irrational Games over the years. Bioshock: The Collection includes the original game, Bioshock 2, Bioshock Infinite as well as all the single player DLC in one package.

We are currently enjoying — for, at least the third time now — making our way through the underwater world of Rapture in Bioshock – the shooter-cum-RPG from 2007.

This remastered version looks a treat, we are playing on the Xbox One, and the water effects, dark horrific atmosphere and general ambiance stands up remarkable well for an over nine-year-old game.

This collection brings back the joy of a mature-themed game that is simply interesting. And as part of this package (at least for the original game and Bioshock Infinite), we get some added benefit of insight and director’s commentary from Ken Levine.  Welcome to the Circus of Value!

Levine joins Bioshock lead artist Shawn Robertson to help host Geoff Keighley dissect the way these beloved games came together in a series of vignettes under the moniker Imagining Bioshock.

Talking to Levine shows just how a piece of electronic art such as Bioshock made it to the sales shelves, there were compromises because of time and budget as there is with all projects, but largely, and in some cases by enjoyable accident, Levine and his team were able to realise the bulk of the vision originally planned.

These short discussions are scattered around the game and must be found through the course or replaying the games. The pause screen will now not only show you the number of little sisters on a map, but also if a small film can is hidden amongst the disintegrating ruins of Rapture where your player is.

There is also a small "museum" of art items, concepts and 3D Models that never made it into the original games.

Yes, there are some small issues with the re-mastering, some sound effects are not quite up to the standard of today’s releases, or slightly different to the original, and from time to time the earlier games suffer from poor texture load-in, but these are minor annoyances stacked up against the simple joy of experiencing the Bioshocks just one more time.

And Yes!, that moment in the dentist is still one of the heart-stopping jump-scares of all time.

One is drawn to the lighthouse once again, would you kindly play Bioshock again? Yes thanks.

It’s been nine years since Irrational Games and 2K pulled you to terrifying depths in the underwater city of Rapture with BioShock, five years since your return to Rapture in BioShock 2, and three years since you skyhooked across the floating city of Columbia inBioShock Infinite. For the first time, fans of the BioShock franchise can experience all three award-winning adventures remastered for current-gen consoles and digital PC. The moment you’ve been waiting for is here – BioShock: The Collection will launch on September 15 in Australia and New Zealand.

Working with Blind Squirrel Games, 2K remastered BioShock and BioShock 2 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC and BioShockInfinite for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, making them look better than ever. BioShock: The Collection brings the three titles together, complete with all single-player DLC as well as a never-before-seen video series, “Director’s Commentary: Imagining BioShock,” which includes insights from Ken Levine.

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Mike Bantick

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Having failed to grow up Bantick continues to pursue his childish passions for creative writing, interactive entertainment and showing-off through adulthood. In 1994 Bantick began doing radio at Melbourne’s 102.7 3RRRFM, in 1997 transferring to become a core member of the technology show Byte Into It. In 2003 he wrote briefly for the The Age newspaper’s Green Guide, providing video game reviews. In 2004 Bantick wrote the news section of PC GameZone magazine. Since 2006 Bantick has provided gaming and tech lifestyle stories for iTWire.com, including interviews and opinion in the RadioactivIT section.


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