The title of these games is a falsehood. While they might tote the name “Remastered” a more honest publisher would have branded them “Retextured” as that really is just about all that has been done here. What we have here is akin to a very extensive graphical upgrade mod, boosting the basic visuals but doing little to nothing to fix long standing bugs or improve a number of very basic features.
From that opening you can guess we’re going to be focusing upon the actual upgrades over the games themselves here, and that will be reflected in the final score. Bioshock and Bioshock 2 are classics, rightfully lauded for their gripping atmosphere and extensive storylines, but that is hard to accept when this upgrade fails to do them justice – Especially for PC owners. For example, one of the major complaints against the original Bioshock was the mouse smoothing and acceleration issues, both of which made aiming difficult at the best of times. Neither have been fixed at all, and if anything they have gotten substantially worse, to the point where precision shooting is next to impossible.
Even some of the upgrades have their own hindrances and alarmingly basic issues which hinders your basic enjoyment. Basic controller support was something widely welcomed, but in doing this the developers seem to have gone a step too far. Once they are plugged in, certain button prompts will only register for controllers rather than a mouse and keyboard, and in Bioshock 2’s case the menu can only be navigated via thumbstick.
Many basic graphical essentials are also completely absent in this release, with the games lacking any meaningful FOV options to expand the screen. Top that with framerate which barely reaches sixty FPS at the best of times, no graphical options save for basic resolution changes, vsync, and anti-aliasing, and this “Remastered” version reeks of being a rushed cash-job. The only real effort in development seems to have gone into nice bonuses such as the commentaries and galleries presenting lost ideas. While certainly welcome, and fascinating in terms of conceptual evolution, they just don’t make up for such a poor upgrade; and it hardly makes up for the fact Infinite has seen no changes whatsoever.
Many of the technological xenophobes unironically calling themselves the PC Master Race have blamed console owners for this failing, but in truth even on consoles this wouldn’t be worth it. There are so many glaring flaws that, short of a major overhaul, you would honestly do better just to grab the originals once they’re on a sale. It’s still Bioshock, and as such a fantastic trilogy, but for all the promises made this Collection simply fails to fix any old errors.
BIOSHOCK – THE COLLECTION / DEVELOPER: 2K MARIN, 2K BOSTON, 2K CHINA, DIGITAL EXTREMES, 2K AUSTRALIA, BLIND SQUIRREL / PUBLISHER: 2K / PLATFORM: PC / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW