If you're a newcomer to the Bioshock franchise or simply want to replay them on a more convenient platform, this collection is an excellent proposition. All three games look and run stupendously well on Nintendo's console, and the sheer amount of content on offer here makes the asking price much easier to swallow.
- Performance and visuals are all solid throughout
- All three games have aged beautifully
- Rapture and Columbia remain iconic locales to explore
- A little expensive compared to other platforms
- Some graphical aspects are showing their age
- Review Price: £39.99
- Platform: Nintendo Switch
- Genre: Shooter
- Developer: Irrational Games
- Release Date: Out Now
While they’ve offered reduced visuals, performance and features in most cases, they’ve normally been a perfectly adequate way to experience these games, and in case of Nintendo purists, oftentimes the only way.
Bioshock: The Collection now joins these ranks, managing to stand out by offering a trio of titles which all put on an impressive display when compared to neighbouring platforms. Whether in docked or handheld mode, all three games look and play incredibly well, with only a handful of compromises holding them back from greatness.
Given the age of these games I shouldn’t really be surprised, but seeing such huge, ambitious titles in the palm of my hands never gets old, especially on a Nintendo console. For those wishing to revisit the dystopian worlds of Rapture and Columbia, this collection is an ideal method of doing so if you aren’t in possession of other modern platforms.
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This collection includes Bioshock 1, Bioshock 2 and Bioshock Infinite – all of which exist as independent installs on Nintendo Switch. You can choose to purchase them individually or as a single bundle, the latter of which will save you a few pennies in the long run. You’ll need ample storage space to install all three, so those without an SD card will likely find themselves at an impasse.
Released across an entire generation of consoles, the visual quality and mechanical ambition of the Bioshock trilogy varies wildly. The original is far darker and more claustrophobic, while Infinite revels in bright, open spaces where the player can explore an abundance of locales with immense verticality. Bioshock 2 lands in the middle, offering more varied environments than its predecessor, hoping to showcase the working class underbelly of Rapture in a way its progenitor simply didn’t.
All three games are vastly different in so many ways, but their philosophical depiction of dystopia remains constant, challenging the player with fascinating themes, characters and topics we’ve rarely seen mainstream shooters tackle since. But how does each game fare on Switch, and will returning players and newcomers feel equally satisfied?
The short answer is a resounding yes. Of all the ports and adaptations I’ve tested on Nintendo Switch, the Bioshock Collection sits amongst the higher echelons of quality. In terms of resolution, each game targets 1080p while docked, and with the exception of Infinite, they all maintain high image quality throughout.
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Obviously, you won’t be matching the likes of PS4 and Xbox One, and a few glaring faults make themselves known on a large 4K display, but it’s far from a dealbreaker. Certain visual effects such as lightning, fire and other explosions are noticeably downgraded and look somewhat unpleasant when interacting with the environment; clear evidence of each game’s last generation origins.
Qualms such as this are less noticeable in portable mode, as are other similar shortcomings. Thankfully, each title draws from the upgraded next-gen efforts far more than the PS3 and Xbox 360 originals. You’ll find increased foliage, environmental details and other touches which ensure Switch manages to compete alongside far more powerful consoles. It’s in last place by a considerable margin, but the effort being expressed here is genuinely impressive.
As I mentioned before, performance fluctuates across each title, but they’re all remarkably solid when it comes to maintaining a frame-rate that allows for smooth, satisfying action. I found the first duo of titles to be especially consistent, rarely showcasing notable drops in performance even during more intense combat sequences. It’s smooth to play, even if the camera controls can display a small amount of latency that takes some getting used to.
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This collection doesn’t just feature the base games either. Every piece of downloadable content ever released is included here, with the obvious exception of Bioshock 2’s ill-fated online multiplayer. This includes the fantastic Minerva’s Den and Burial at Sea, the latter of which is a stunning campaign which features both Rapture and Columbia across a narrative awash with twists and turns. It’s well worth experiencing, and does an excellent job of redefining some of the series’ biggest moments.
If you’re a newcomer to the Bioshock franchise or simply want to replay them on a more convenient platform, this collection is an excellent proposition. All three games look and run stupendously well on Nintendo’s console, and the sheer amount of content on offer here makes the asking price much easier to swallow.
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