Bioshock: The Collection

Rapture and Columbia are now portable? Count me in. Read our review of Bioshock: The Collection on the Nintendo Switch.

Let’s be honest, most gamers know about Bioshock. It’s now a cult classic set of games that I have heard near-universal praise for. I will be honest with you though, I am actually quite late to the Bioshock party and only fairly recently played all three titles on my PlayStation 4. For some reason, I missed them when they released initially but have since made up for that small oversight.

In this review, I will briefly mention story and game details but the bulk of the review will be how the Nintendo’s portable, home console hybrid handles this set of three first-person action titles. I loved these games and as I stated earlier, they are still fresh in my mind So I am in a good place to compare these ports.

A classic Bioshock scene and an imposing start to the first game.

The collection includes Bioshock Remastered, Bioshock 2 Remastered and Bioshock Infinite, along with all the DLC for each game. For players who have no idea about these games, they are first-person action games set all set in the same universe. They are not ‘true’ sequels and don’t follow directly on from each other. The first and second take place in Rapture, an underwater city and Bioshock Infinite is set in Columbia, a technological city in the sky.

The gameplay is story-driven, with a nice mix of shooting, special abilities and exploration. There are collectables scattered through each game of various varieties and a lot of things to discover. The games are not open world but more like a collection of large open interconnected areas. The story in each game is brilliant, especially the first Bioshock and each title is subtly different and has a distinctive tale to tell.

Plasmids provide much needed special abilities in the first Bioshock game.

I am just going to come straight out and say it, these ports are superb. They may even be the amongst the best ports of triple-A titles I have seen on the Nintendo Switch. I have played a lot of ports too, from the low-resolution Wolfenstein to the impressive but visually impaired Witcher 3 and this collection, in my opinion, trumps both. They look amazing, play amazing and run very well.

These games look very impressive on the Nintendo Switch’s small screen. Very little detail has been lost and some of the water effects, lighting effects and environments are superb. It is amazing what has been achieved with these ports. Most of the time I would not even believe I was playing these titles on a portable device.

These ports really do look nice, even on the smaller, portable screen.

The game’s control really well too, I had to notch the camera sensitivity up in all the games to stop it feeling sluggish but apart from that, they feel great. They have very little input lag and feel very snappy. First-person games on portable devices normally feel weird. They don’t control well, have small UI’s and feel gimped in some way or another. This collection does not suffer from any of these quirks and really play like the original titles.

I mean you can see a tiny bit of resolution sacrifice here and there but it’s hardly noticeable and I would say that some scenes in this collection are amongst the best looking I have seen on the system so far. The frame rate stays amazingly stable too, apart from a few drops in frame rate in a few intricate scenes all 3 games run very smoothly. I am very impressed.

Oh god, it’s all kicking off!

It seems the Switch is being pushed to the max but I am flabbergasted at how well these games run on a portable device. I was ready for a disappointment but I am really surprised how well these games actually run on this hardware. After a lot of disappointing and cut-down Nintendo Switch ports it’s nice to play something that runs, feels and looks like their big brother console counterparts.

You get a great collection of games, that look great and run great for a decent price. What is not to like? If you have a Nintendo Switch and have never played the Bioshock games then put whatever device you are using to read this down and go and grab a copy. Otherwise, if you want to venture into Rapture or Columbia on the go, you will not regret it. I can quite happily sit and play Bioshock, anywhere, anytime and it is glorious.

Seb Hawden

Updated: Jun 05, 2020

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