The last time I personally played the BioShock series was with their original releases on the last generation of consoles. 2K have already revisited the series once, with the remastered collection coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but with their declaration of love for Nintendo’s hybrid console, they’ve now brought the whole trilogy to Nintendo Switch.
Simply put, Virtuos has done an outstanding job of getting BioShock, BioShock 2, and BioShock Infinite running on the Switch.
The first BioShock is a truly iconic title, from opening with a plane crash and descent into Rapture, to the introduction of the Big Daddies and Little Sisters and the decaying underwater world. The game runs smoothly on Switch and the sound design is very good, especially when wearing headphones. You’ll hear the splicers talking to themselves well before you see them, and the guns sound decent too. The voicework of the main characters has ported over well and sounds brilliant too.
The action feels slower, thanks to the not being able to dual-wield a gun and ability, something added later to BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite. Deaths also feel more frequent compared to the later games. The controls change throughout the trilogy, with the shoulder and trigger buttons remaining consistent for swapping between and using your various plasmids and guns, but the roles of the face buttons shift around from one game to the next. Going from one game to the next will take some getting used to, and it’s a shame that they didn’t come up with a more standardised control scheme or let you fully customise the layout for yourself.
All three games in the collection run very well on Switch, targeting 1080p when docked and 720p in handheld, though a dynamic resolution is needed to keep to a steady 30fps. That’s halved from the 60fps target on PS4 and Xbox One, but there’s no noticeable hiccups or slowdown, even in the most action-packed sections. One of the complaints would be the text in BioShock Infinite is a bit too small for handheld play, especially in comparison to BioShock and BioShock 2. Still, the trilogy look fantastic throughout, from the environments to the character models.
The Collection does not just contain the three base games, but all of the DLC that was released for the games as well. That includes the Challenge Rooms and Minerva’s Den for BioShock 2 as well as the Burial At Sea content for BioShock Infinite, so there is plenty of content to work your way through in both Rapture and Columbia.