‘BioShock: The Collection’ successfully remasters trilogy

by RILEY GOLDEN//Entertainment Editor

Rapture is a city under the ocean, and Columbia is a city floating in the sky. Once potential utopias have been destroyed by civil and political unrest. This is the world of “BioShock.”

“BioShock: The Collection,” available on Playstation 4, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows, is made up of three previously-released First Person Shooter/Adventure games, “BioShock” (2007), “BioShock 2” (2010), and “BioShock Infinite” (2013).

“BioShock” takes place in 1960 and begins with the protagonist’s plane going down in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean —right next to a large black tower.

Jack, the protagonist, swims to the tower and enters… It’s dark and smokey. There’s an eerie vibe. The pathway leads to a bathysphere that takes the player down to Rapture.

The ride down to the city is narrated by Andrew Ryan, the creator of Rapture. Ryan left land essentially to create a libertarian-esque utopia, free of taxation and laws that restrict lifestyle choices.

This eventually leads to different factions forming and riots breaking out in the year before Jack’s arrival. Now most of the inhabitants range from Splicers to Big Daddies and Little Sisters. Splicers are people who have overused Plasmids to the point of rotting their brains. Most of them run around with creepy bunny masks on, but some are different.

Big Daddies are conscious-less men that have had their bodies grafted to large, armored atmospheric diving suits. Big Daddies have three different moods, indicated by a bioluminescent chemical in their helmets. Yellow is the standard color, which basically means the Big Daddy is in a neutral state. Once agitated, the chemical turns red, and the Big Daddy will start to attack whatever made him angry. If the chemical is green, it means that the Big Daddy is hypnotized by Jack. The most prominent Big Daddy is the Elite Bouncer, but there are a couple different models. Elite Bouncers wield a massive drill for a hand, whereas the other Big Daddy models carry Rivet Guns and grenade launchers. Though Big Daddies were initially created for underwater maintenance on Rapture, they now serve a different purpose.

In “BioShock,” the primary purpose of the Big Daddies is to protect the Little Sisters. Little Sisters are young, syringe-toting girls that have been genetically infused with a Sea Slug and trained to produce Adam. Throughout the game, the player will encounter Big Daddies escorting Little Sisters through Rapture, going from corpse to corpse, collecting Adam. The player will be given the choice to either Rescue or Harvest the Little Sisters for their Adam.

Adam is a substance produced by Sea Slugs and is used to purchase Plasmids and gene upgrades at the Gatherer’s Garden vending machines.

Sometime before Jack’s arrival, Plasmids were invented. Plasmids introduce modified stem cells into the body that allow for genetic mutation. Injecting a Plasmid essentially gives Jack a range of different “powers” that he shoots from his left hand. Eve is a blue goup that powers your Plasmids. My favorite Plasmids are Electro Bolt, Incinerate!, Telekinesis, Winter Blast, and Hypnotize Big Daddy, although there are a handful of others.

There is also a myriad of weapons in “BioShock.” The first weapon picked up is a large red wrench, followed by a revolver. There’s also a “machine gun,” which is a Thompson submachine gun, as well as a shotgun and a crossbow. As for more heavy duty weapons, there’s a grenade launcher and a chemical thrower. Also in the weapon wheel is a camera that can give the player a new advantage over the enemy that is photographed.

All of the weapons in the game have two upgrades available, which can be installed at the one-time use Power to the People stations throughout the game.

“BioShock” came out in 2007, and while playing through it again, I could not get the idea out of my head that this game was truly ahead of its time when it came out.

In 2010, “BioShock 2” came out, and the majority of the public was not – and still are not – impressed with the game. I’ve always wondered why, because it replicates the feel of the first one very well – and you ARE a Big Daddy!

Big Daddies are not supposed to have a conscience, but Subject Delta does. And as Delta, the player is on the hunt for his not-so-Little Sister, Eleanor Lamb, who was ripped away from him by her mother, Dr. Sophia Lamb.

Lamb is the main antagonist of “BioShock 2,” and currently has the ear of many of Rapture’s citizens when it comes to trying to stop Alpha from reaching Eleanor.

As the Big Daddy, Delta, the player encounters Splicers, similar to those from the first game, as well as other Big Daddies, and a new adversary – the Big Sister.

Big Sisters are Little Sisters that have grown up, and they don’t walk around Rapture waiting to be attacked like Big Daddies. Once the player either harvests or heals all of the Little Sisters on a level, the Big Sisters start screeching at you from wherever they are, and you have just a little bit of time to prepare for their attack. They move fast, jump all over the place, and love to use Plasmids.

The Plasmids in “BioShock 2” are mostly the same as the ones from the first game, with the addition of Scout, a Plasmid that essentially lets the user leave the body and ‘scout’ ahead. You can hack turrets and cameras, or attack an enemy with a Plasmid, but you can’t use weapons until you get teleported back to your body.

The player begins the game wielding the Big Daddy Drill. This is a huge step up from the previous game’s wrench, and it’s something I thought would be cool to wield when I played “BioShock.” So I was really excited to use it the first time I played “BioShock 2.”

The smaller weapons in the game are a double-barrel shotgun and a rivet gun, and the heavy duty weapons are the [50-caliber] machine gun, the spear gun, and the [grenade] launcher. There’s also a hack tool, which makes long-range hacking possible, and a camera that films battles instead of taking pictures of enemies. I really appreciate the addition of the hack tool. But I don’t like the film camera more than the picture camera.

That being said, I don’t use the camera that much in either of the games.

While I thoroughly enjoy “BioShock 2,” it was largely ill received. While the third and final instalment of the franchise, “BioShock Infinite” was largely well received, I didn’t enjoy it all that much.

“BioShock Infinite” begins with Booker DeWitt being rowed out to a lighthouse in the middle of the ocean. But instead of it taking Booker down, it takes him up, into the sky, into Columbia, a floating city not that dissimilar to Rapture… but maybe not similar enough.

Columbia is cool, but it’s almost always daytime. There’s almost no room for simulated fear in the daytime, which means there’s almost no room for simulated fear in the game.

I’ve never been a huge fan of the horror game genre, and I wouldn’t classify the first two as horror games. But there is still an element of fear there that sadly seems to be have been left in Rapture.

Along with a lot of the fear element, the beautiful Art-Deco design that surrounded Rapture is barely present in Columbia.

Instead of Plasmids and Eve, there’s Vigors and Salt, which don’t work as well in the world of “BioShock.”

That being said, some of the Vigors are pretty cool. Devil’s Kiss replaces Incinerate! With the ability to throw a ball of fire. Shock Jockey replaces Electro Bolt, but it’s essentially the same power. Murder of Crows is similar to Insect Swarm but unleashes crows on your foes instead of bees. Possession replaces Hypnotize, and Return to Sender is kind of like Telekinesis. There are also a couple of Vigors that are a completely new concept and are cool.

One of my biggest complaints about “BioShock Infinite” is the removal of the Weapon Wheel. There are so many guns in the game but you can only carry two at a time. Although you can carry all the ammo for all the guns. I feel like carrying all of the guns at once is a core piece of “BioShock” gameplay, and I was hoping it was something that would’ve been added to the remastered edition.   

Though “BioShock Infinite” has a good story and wraps up the story of the trilogy very well, the gameplay is boring. I feel that the creators removed every successful element of the franchise from the game.

“BioShock: The Collection” does justice in restoring the games and bringing the story to life for a new generation of gamers and consoles. And it hit me right in the nostalgia. I love “BioShock” and “BioShock 2,” but I don’t think I will ever enjoy “BioShock Infinite” all that much. So I give “BioShock: The Collection” 4 out of 5 stars.

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