The umpteenth trip to Rapture and Columbia, for the first time on a Nintendo console and a portable console, has been resolved with a flawless port.
Nintendo Switch increasingly resembles the theatre where every actor wants to act, that cinema where any producer wants to show his film. Be it retro games, independent titles or modern classics, it seems that the impossible is little by little. A year ago it seemed impossible to see The Witcher 3 in the hybrid, and there it is; We also found it difficult for Alien Isolation or Skyrim to go so well. In the end, it seems more a matter of will and resource training than limitations of the machine itself.
At 2K Games, there has been a will. To the surprise of many, including us, the North American publisher surprised us this past March with a triple story that is already a reality in stores: BioShock: The Collection, XCOM 2 Collection and the Borderlands Legendary Collection was heading towards Nintendo Switch based on its remasters of the current generation.
Virtous Games, responsible for an excellent adaptation
Today, it is time to discuss how the work of the trilogy of Irrational Games, one that will surely go down in history as one of the most transcendent intellectual properties of the last generation of consoles and that now, after its remastered collection on PS4, Xbox One and PC, breaks into Nintendo Switch maintaining the type at all levels: Virtuos Games has done one of the best adaptation work that we remember on this console.
Responsible for Spyro: Reignited Trilogy, Dark Souls Remastered, L.A. Noire or Final Fantasy XII on this same hardware, the Singapore-based studio was now tasked with bringing the stories of Rapture and Columbia into a system where limits are presented as achievable. The doubts, however, were there: will 480p be played on a laptop? Will you have FPS and texture loading issues? How much will you sacrifice on the way? Well, to everyone’s (pleasant) surprise, BioShock: The Collection is closer to the work we saw in 2016 by Blind Squirrel Games than to the original instalments.
Having said that, and knowing that the product is in good hands, We will go on to know how the port behaves and how is its technical performance both in original Nintendo Switch on television, in portable mode and in Nintendo Switch Lite, since we have been able to play the three titles in both models.
BioShock 1 & 2, pocket timelessness
We have talked about sacrifices and, indeed, there are. The price to pay, however, is very small considering that the news is doubly positive for the saga itself: it is the first time that we can enjoy the original works of the saga on a Nintendo console and it is the first time they can be played on a portable system.
Both BioShock 1 and BioShock 2 feel close to remastering a few years ago in the current generation and present interesting configuration options from the beginning. Apart from including the original location into Spanish, we liked that it is allowed to invert the axes of the camera and it has accessibility options such as auto-pointing. Although in our opinion the Vibration HD It is not as sensitive as in other games, having it activated favours immersion and brings you closer to playing it with a DualShock 4 or an Xbox One Controller. It goes without saying that, for the type of gender it is, we recommend using a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller. It is more comfortable, more realistic without the need to extend the sensitivity range of the right stick; it is more ergonomic. Not surprisingly, playing with the Joy-Con does not make the experience worse.
Bad news for lovers of motion control and we do not understand why the same has not been done here is that the option to use the gyroscope is not enabled, something we do find in the Borderlands Legendary Collection put on sale the same day. It is possible that it will be included in the future through an update and we hope it will be, but, for now, it is not possible. It is still a lesser evil, however, but we wanted to make it clear.
Performance, which is the most important thing in a port like this, is where BioShock and BioShock 2 stand out: it’s very fluid. Both in TV mode and in portable mode, we have 30 FPS at almost any time. Territories like Smuggler’s Den and Arcadia from part one, or Pauper’s Pop in Rapture from part two are extremely fluid. No input lag.
We must say that these first two parts do not run in native resolution but in dynamic resolution. We talk about a resolution 1920x1080p on television (with 1280p zones, approximately). In a laptop, it is normal to be among the 720p, although there are also times when the resolution is about 540p. Some textures are loaded with lower resolution than what we see in the rest of the environments (if we refer to interiors), but the more than remarkable lighting prevents these saw teeth from being seen very sharply unless we get too close.
This we discuss is especially pronounced in BioShock 2, which feels like the most difficult to adapt of the three; there are more artefacts than in the original delivery. We also feared that shadows would be a secondary element in the adaptation task, but in artistically as powerful games as these – in which some technical details made the difference in their day – fidelity is more than satisfactory. Sound in stereo It is above average. In adaptations like Ni No Kuni, Spyro Reignited Trilogy, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy or Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4, we perceived that nuances of sound were lost. Here, however, there is nothing to worry about: it is enveloping and clear. A sound to match. To finish, it should be said that the loading times are practically identical to those of the PlayStation 4 version.
- BioShock Original Analysis
- BioShock 2 Original Analysis
BioShock Infinite: the icing on the cake
Here is the jewel in the crown of the collection. We were surprised to see that BioShock Infinite weighed twice as much as the first two deliveries in its download, it is a very big difference; but when you start playing you realize that this port is excellent, almost impeccable. In part, the adventure in Columbia was much more open to colour, with more pronounced lighting that directly affected the artistic plane. Here, Virtuos has completed the effort with a result that is hard to believe, since it is in this version where the experience comes closest to what is seen on the consoles of Sony and Microsoft. In fact, we have put the PS4 on the same monitor on which we have played with our Nintendo Switch and, while there is some cut in textures, a greater presence of artefacts and the obvious 60 FPS drop to 30 FPS, the result is a total fluidity.
As we have already mentioned in the previous section dedicated to BioShock 1 & 2, we do not have the option to play with motion control activated, although we do not lose hope that an additional update will give us a little joy. However, the absence of downloadable content: is the complete edition. In addition to the main story of Booker DeWitt and Elizabeth, Ken Levine’s latest works are also included: Clashes in the Clouds and Marine Pantheon Episode I and Episode II. All equally essential.
The port’s production values are not only felt at the controls and seen on the screen but are also heard. Fortunately, 2K Games has included the dubbing into Spanish of the game – one of the best of the last generation – and some sound arrangements that have nothing to envy to those of PS4 and Xbox One. In fact, we do not believe that the set of sound files has been compressed at all because, honestly, we perceive differences.
Where they do exist is on the visual plane. And we explain ourselves. To alleviate the small graphical drop in BioShock Infinite on Nintendo Switch —which is based on the 2016 work—, we have opted for a slightly more saturated colour palette. There is a greater presence of blues; greens are seen more strongly and whites are lighter. The result? The lack of nuances on stage is better camouflaged. In addition, in some sections, certain textures take time to appear, but they are insignificant details that, if you do not concentrate on seeing them voluntarily, go unnoticed.
The result is a game that is enjoyed without havoc, both on television. (1080p / 30 FPS) as in portable mode (720p / 30FPS). We think it is great news that Infinite maintains this HD ratio in portable mode, something rare in many equivalent ports. The most surprising thing, we insist, is what vibrant and sharp looking image, with a colour that is obvious and the presence of twilight rays with the same definition as in the other consoles. Enter the Top-5 best adaptations we’ve ever seen on Nintendo Switch.
We end with a general flip: the subtitles. We do not know if this task presents added problems or it is simply that it is not contemplated that there are players who prefer to play in portable mode, but on Nintendo Switch Lite (5.5-inch screen) the readability of the texts is quite low, is uncomfortable. Older people or simply people with farsightedness will find it difficult to read some texts. It would not have been wrong, both in BioShock Infinite and in the other two episodes, to include a visual configuration intended for the game on a screen of just six inches.
- BioShock Infinite Original Review
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What you should know if you buy BioShock: The Collection in physical format
We cannot ignore this element, which we know has aroused antipathy in the community. Because it does not affect the gaming experience at all, but we do think it necessary to comment on it for those of you who are planning to buy the pack and find yourself in the dilemma of doing it in physical or digital format.
The product that is being marketed in stores of BioShock: The Collection It comes with a cartridge, it is not a download code, but it is an incomplete, small cartridge. It is not a 32 GB card like in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Complete Edition, where Saber Interactive managed to get the full title and DLC without downloading; here the physical version comes with a 16GB cartridge featuring the opening acts of BioShock Remastered, BioShock 2 Remastered, and BioShock Infinite: The Complete Edition. The remaining content, as well as plugins and DLCs require a 30GB download total.
Also, it is important to note that it is not a single download, but that the compilation purchase includes each game individually. We will also put ourselves on the stage that you buy it digitally and acquire each title separately. The weights are as follows, according to our Nintendo Switch, in digital format:
- BioShock Remastered: 12.5 GB
- BioShock 2 Remastered: 10.3 GB
- BioShock Infinite: The Complete Edition: 20.7 GB
We have made this analysis through a code supplied by 2K Games on an original model of Nintendo Switch and on Nintendo Switch Lite.
BioShock: The Collection arrives through the big door on the Nintendo Switch. We feared that the sacrifice would be severe, that the adaptation work would not be as faithful and careful as we wished, but Virtuos Games has complied with a technical note, with a performance that does not present problems beyond small graphic defects and the corresponding drop in 60 FPS to 30 FPS; fluid and constant. The price to pay to have the first three works of Irrational Games on a Nintendo console. (and on a portable device) it is really small for the reward that we find ourselves. Because the collection comes with everything: additional content; dubbing into Spanish and sound effects without loss of nuances; a control adapted to the Joy-Con and a colour contrast that intelligently camouflages the reduced load of textures. In short, an essential collection for those who do not yet know one of the most important IPs of the past generation and a treat for lovers of the works of Ken Levine who want to now enjoy the experience in the Nintendo ecosystem.
- Minimum sacrifice compared to PS4 and Xbox One
- Fluidity: always 30 FPS, no drops
- Sound quality and Spanish dubbing intact
- Precise control and comfort in portable mode
- Subtitle size in portable mode
- Lack of movement control
- Rough content management in the physical edition
Game with a remarkable finish that we will enjoy and remember. A good purchase, highly recommended for lovers of the genre. It is well cared for at all levels.