This is not a review about the Bioshock Collection games in the sense that I will tread the now familiar narrative ground. Bioshock 1 and 2 and Infinite have graced numerous platforms since the first game appeared in 2007. So gamers don’t need to be schooled on what they’re about and what’s going on.
No, this review is purely to take in the technical spectacle that is The Bioshock Collection on Nintendo’s Switch handheld. Make no mistake: This is a port worth having on the Nintendo’s portable. Especially Bioshock Infinite, perhaps my favourite game in the series.
For me, the original Bioshock and Infinite were always more superior than two, which just didn’t seem to gel with me. It just didn’t seem as good as the other two games. I don’t think I’m alone in that assessment.
Sure, Infinite has some frustrations (including an end-of-game fight on an airship that annoys every time I’ve played it) but its strength is in its storytelling and character development. The tale of private eye Booker Dewitt, Elizabeth, the prophet Comstock, and the world building is second to none. Bioshock 2? Nah, it just didn’t do it for me.
So, technically, how does The Bioshock Collection fare on a handheld that is essentially running a tablet chipset?
Remarkably well, in fact.
Let’s start with Infinite, which we have already established is my favourite in the series, mostly, I think, because of its vibrancy and less depressing environments than the underwater settings for One and Two. There’s something to be said for dealing with maniacs and strangeness in brightly lit and colourful environs.
From the moment you ascend from the lighthouse in the opening sequence, there’s always a lighthouse. To gaze upon the colourful world of Columbia as you descend, passing blimps and towering statues. You know you’re in a different place from the previous games (Bioshock 1 and 2 were set in the underwater city Rapture designed by madman Andrew Ryan). Set in 1912, Infinite has some confronting themes about ideology and is thematically a lot darker than I remember, but ties nicely into the Bioshock universe.
It looks good on Switch, too.
Obviously, it has taken a graphical hit in some places but to my eye, Infinite on Switch looks just as majestic and colourful as it does on the other platforms. It runs smoothly, too maintaining a fairly consistent 30 frames per second.
Developer Virtuous have done a superb job here. Infinite also comes with all previously released DLC for the games is included. Bioshock 2’s Minerva’s Den and the rather great Burial at Sea parts one and two for Infinite.
There’s not much to say about the other two, really: Bioshock 1 and 2 are also great ports for the Nintendo console. Capturing the essence that is Bioshock and running at stable frame rates. Ports like this that make me realise that good, older games really do shine on the Switch more than modern AAA titles do.
Look, if you’re going to want to play The Bioshock Collection in docked mode most of the time. I suggest you stick with the remastered collection that came out a while back on other platforms . As you’re going to get a graphically superior version. If you’re planning for on-the-go play then I recommended The Bioshock Collection on Nintendo Switch wholeheartedly. This is the real Bioshock deal, perfect for portable play. It’ll set you back $89.95 (Au) and $99.95 (NZ).
Some advice, though: You can buy the games separately or as a collection. If you’re rocking a fairly small capacity microSD card and plan on getting these. Then this is the time to drop some coin on a bigger storage option. I had to spring for a 128Gb card so I could put all three games on the same storage.