More Hints Regarding Bioshock Collection on PS4 and Xbox One

We all have those games which you just feel like picking up every now and again to see how you can play it differently, or just to immerse yourself in their world again. One of those games series if the Bioshock series for many. A few months we reported on the fact that a “Bioshock Collection” could be coming to Xbox One and Playstation 4, it would now seem that more information is coming forward with a Brazillian rating board listing a similar title.

With the title of “BIOSHOCK: THE COLLECTION”, the games are listed for release on PC, Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and the latest generation of consoles in the form of a Playstation 4 and Xbox One release. With re-releases being the rage these days, bundling together games, their DLC’s and more often than not a graphics update, we could soon see you playing the games in a whole new light.

With games like Gears of War getting HD remakes  amongst a slew of gameplay features, is it really that surprising that 2K games are looking at one of their more famous franchises to kick some life into their company following 2K Australia closure.

Would you buy (or even re-buy) the Bioshock games? If you did what platform would you choose? Personally, I love the games but unless it featured something that the previous games didn’t, I would just replay the originals for their amazing storylines.

BioShock Mod Removes FPS Cap – Allows up to 144FPS

Bioshock, one of the most iconic FPS games of all time, is still just as great to play as it was when it was released, or is it? The PC game modding scene never ceases to amaze me and this time, the talented modder “Turtle [CPU Cool]” has released a mod that really brings BioShock into the modern age of PC gaming, again.

The games physics engine has a cap of 30FPS, or it did, as the new mod unlocks those already beautiful physics and kicks them up to 60, 120 and 144FPS targets, and if you think they looked great before, you haven’t seen anything yet!

The mod is available to download from GitHub, and if you’re looking for an excuse to replay this classic, this is the best one we’ve had in a long while. BioshockPhysicsUnlocker.exe is easy enough to install, just copy the file to your games directory, run the program, pick the FPS target you desire and you’re ready to rock.

For those of you with high refresh displays, the 144FPS mode is going to blow your mind. Check out the trailer for Phyiscs Unlocker below and be sure to check out the mod when you get a chance.

We love this mod, but what’s your favorite game mod?

Night Dive Studios Developing System Shock Remake

Night Dive Studios, a company that has made a name for itself reviving old games – as it did with the Enhanced Edition of System Shock earlier this year and with System Shock 2 a couple of years ago, the two spiritual predecessors to the BioShock games –  has revealed that it has “acquired the full rights to the [System Shock] franchise” and is working with  Robert Waters, the original concept artist, to develop a from-scratch remake of the first game.

Stephen Kick, CEO of the Vancouver-based Night Dive, spoke to Fast Company, also hinted that a third game may even be a possibility, though Larry Kuperman, Night Dive’s Head of Business Development, admits outside help might be necessary since it would “take resources and time and commitment that we don’t have.”

Interviewer Jared Newman discovered that Night Dive’s acquisition of System Shock’s rights came by accident, and that he himself was a component in this story. “Four years ago, I wrote a feature for G4.com about System Shock 2 […] but due to confusion over who owned the series’ rights and trademarks,” Newman writes, “the only way to get System Shock 2 was to acquire an old physical copy or pirate the software, and any potential sequels were out of the question.”

“After some digging,” he continued, “I found that the game’s rights wound up at a Michigan-based insurance company. A lawyer for that company told me his clients were willing to sell. Kick now tells me that this story was the catalyst for his first business deal.”

It is not known whether a current Uinty fan remake of System Shock will be either incorporated of affected.

System Shock: Enhanced Edition Comes to GOG

First-person sci-fi horror classic System Shock is now available on GOG.com in the form of the Enhanced Edition. The influential game, the spiritual predecessor to the BioShock series, has been polished and refined by Night Dive Studios, which is well-practiced at updating classic games for modern PCs, having been responsible for the re-release of its sequel System Shock 2 two years ago, and is currently remastering Turok: Dinosaur Hunter and Turok 2: Seeds of Evil.

Stephen Kick, CEO of Night Drive Studios, said, “With System Shock: Enhanced Edition, we’re implementing game-changing improvements, including mouselook, widescreen, and a high resolution display mode. The classic game has never been more accessible to a modern audience.”

According to the official GOG forum post announcing the game:

“The re-release supports resolutions up to 1024×768 (compared to the original 640×480), and a native 854×480 widescreen mode. Gameplay was also streamlined with a toggleable mouselook mode, including more intuitive inventory and item management. Combined with assorted bug-fixes and remappable controls, System Shock is now truly enhanced.

“Some gaming experiences are truly worth preserving. Gamers can also return to the authentic 90’s gameplay with System Shock: Classic – ready for modern systems, completely unaltered in all other aspects. Both releases are available in a single package, with a 40% discount for all System Shock 2 owners on GOG.com – and 20% off for everyone. The discounted offer will last until Tuesday, September 29, 6:59 AM GMT.”

System Shock: Enhanced Edition is available now, DRM-free, from GOG, priced £5.29/$7.99.

Image courtesy of Multiplayer.it.

‘Bioshock Collection’ Could be Heading to PS4 And Xbox One

The South African retailer, Raru has listed ‘The Bioshock Collection’ for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One with a release date of November 27th 2015. As with any unannounced retailer listings, it’s important to air on the side of caution with the release date which could simply be a placeholder. This would also explain the price which converted equates to £122. Nevertheless, it seems plausible enough given the huge success of Bioshock, Bioshock 2 and Bioshock Infinite. The current console generation has suffered from a distinct lack of new titles and overly relied on HD remasters.

I expect the package to include all Bioshock games and the DLC but I’m not entirely convinced about Bioshock Infinite running at 1080p/60fps. It’s a possibility, but the current crop of consoles are quite mediocre in the horsepower department. Whatever the case, I’m a massive fan of the Bioshock franchise and love the atmospheric, single-player focus. While the gunplay could be better, there are very few games which can match each game’s enriching narrative. In an ideal world, I would love to see the first game remade from scratch, with high-resolution textures.

Raru has been a fairly reliable source of leaks before, and this latest piece of information is no different. It’s great to see more games on the current consoles but as a PC player it seems bizarre to re-purchase titles you have already paid for which actually look worse than the original PC version.

What is your favourite Bioshock game and why?

Thank you WCCFTech for providing us with this information.

Advent Sci-Fi Game Teased by 2K.

2K, the people behind Bioshock, have tweeted an obscure reveal of what looks to be a new game. Of course at this point it could be anything, but the safe money is on it being a game.

So what is this Advent? From the look of the images that have been released and the quite informative in-world website, it looks to be a futuristic city. One that you wouldn’t be shocked to see Rick Deckard running amok in.

On the website there is a pamphlet that details the Advent gene therapy that apparently has saved millions, boasting a world without illness or pain. So what else could it be other than a George Orwell inspired, too good to be true, futuristic dystopia.

The website, tweet and pamphlet all leave a lot to the imagination, but there are theories out there that this could be the new X-COM game. Or more probable, the universe that follows on from Rapture and Columbia in the Bioshock series. This could all be wrong, as internet theories usually are, and be a new IP for 2K. What look to be a screen shot of the in game world don’t look to me as sequels to either of the aforementioned games, it looks more like a Sim City style game. All this is conjecture, it’s only one little glimpse of an otherwise mysterious thing. I’m sure the internet will be rife with more theories about what this new game is, but the only true way is to wait and see what 2K has in store for us.

iBuyPower Noctis Intel Z97 Review

Introduction


Once again, it is review time at eTeknix HQ and iBuyPower gives us the chance to test their Noctis Intel Z97. The case is a brand new iBuyPower version of the equally new NZXT Noctus 450. Inside we have an Intel i7 4790K, an EVGA Superclocked GTX 980, 16GB of DDR3 1600, and a 240GB SSD. Cooling the 4790K is a 120mm AIO CPU liquid cooler with two fans in a push-pull configuration. The 4790K has a Turbo frequency up to 4.4GHz, and with the EVGA Superclocked GTX 980 running up to 1505MHz core and 3505MHz memory makes this system well suited for some great gaming performance.

The system was put together using the iBuyPower Z97 system configurator, and parts were chosen to make a system that would make a very capable gaming system while not going overboard and trying to stay budget conscious. I was trying to stay under the $2,000 and what I ended up with was a system that comes out to an affordable $1,530, so lets give it a go and see how it does. I will also look for ways I could improve on the build while still staying within that $2,000 budget that I was aiming for.

Specifications

  • Name: iBuyPower Noctis Intel Z97
  • Case: NZXT Noctis 450 iBuyPower Version – Blue
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z97-D3H (Socket 1150) DDR3 ATX Motherboard
  • Processor: Intel Core i7 4790K Quad Core Haswell Processor
  • Processor Cooler: 120mm CPU Water Cooler
  • System Memory: 16GB 1600MHz DDR3 Memory (2 x 8GB sticks)
  • Main Boot Drive: 240GB Kingston V300 SSD
  • Additional Storage Drive(s): None
  • Graphics card: EVGA GeForce GTX 980 4GB Superclocked
  • Power Supply: Thermaltake SMART SP-650 650W 80PLUS Bronze
  • Optical DriveNone
  • Wireless: Not included
  • Monitor: Not included
  • Peripherals: Not included
  • OS: Windows 8.1 64 Bit
  • Warranty: Three Year Standard Warranty
  • Price: $1549 as configured Delivered

The shipping box is immense and will likely need two people to move it unless you are capable of carrying large precarious objects safely.

Inside is the box for the iBuyPower NZXT Noctis 450, well padded with heavy foam that will be great for keeping the systems intact.

Inside the Notcis case box, the original case packaging is used, with closed cell foam keeping it very secure and stable.

The unboxed system is striking with the matte black finish and the blue mesh accents.  The matte finish can pick up fingerprints and dust so keep some cleaner and a microfiber cloth handy if you are picky about that kind of thing. There is a piece of printed paper on the side of the case illustrating how to remove the Instapak foam that keeps the internals of the system secure while shipping.

CPU-Z

GPU-Z

Job Posting Reveals Ken Levine Working on AI for New Mystery Game

07

BioShock creator Ken Levine is looking to hire a new senior programmer for Irrational Games with experience in developing artificial intelligence, giving us a little insight into what his new mystery game could include, which has previously been teased as an open-world sci-fi RPG with a “re-usable LEGO narrative”.

The job posting for the new role, which recently turned up on Gamasutra, shows that Irrational Games is seeking programmers with experience of Unreal Engine 3 and 4 – the former was used to build BioShock and BioShock Infinite – and three or more years “working on current generation AI.” Artificial intelligence seems to be a key component of the position, since it is mentioned numerous times in the listing: the programmer’s duties will include “design, schedule, document and develop AI behaviors and systems,” so the candidate should have “extensive experience crafting AI for different game types.”

Back in 2014, Levine stripped Irrational Studios down to a small company of just 15 employees, laying off 75 staff in the process. “I’ll be starting a smaller, more entrepreneurial endeavour at Take-Two,” he said at the time. It seems that, in the build-up to its new game, Levine is looking to grow his studio again.

Since finishing work on BioShock Infinite DLC Burial at Sea, Levine has been talking about his next game, which he describes as a “thought experiment”. “I’ve been working on a concept I call narrative Legos [sic] which is how do you take narrative and break it down,” Levine said. “What are the smallest part of narrative that you can then remix and build something out of? Mix and match.”

Thank you Polygon for providing us with this information.

2K Australia, Developer of BioShock and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!, Closes

Canberra-based 2K Australia, the studio responsible for developing the three BioShock games and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!, is closing, a source has told Kotaku Australia. The source told the gaming website that “All hands are gone,” referring to the termination of every position at the company.

2K Australia, founded in 2000 as Irrational Canberra but absorbed by 2K in 2007, was focused on developing new intellectual properties and co-develop games with its 2K sister studios. The studio’s closure is blamed on high operating costs within the Australian territory. 2K Australia was the country’s last remaining AAA developer.

Kotaku’s source added that a move to Melbourne was considered, in an effort to save the studio and attract new developers, but many high-level members of the 2K team rebelled against the idea, leading to the decision to close the studio entirely.

2K later confirmed the closure with the following statement:

“We can confirm we have taken steps to begin the studio closure process for 2K Australia in order to better manage ongoing development costs while improving the working proximity of our creative teams. We are very grateful for the team’s valuable contributions to numerous 2K projects, and are working with affected staff to explore reassignment opportunities where possible.”

Thank you Kotaku Australia for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia.

BioShock Recreated in CryEngine 3 Looks Stunning

A talented 3D artist known by the pseudonym Game time has recreated the opening to Irrational Games’ FPS classic BioShock in Crytek’s CryEngine 3.

BioShock, first released in 2007 for PC and Xbox 360, later appearing on PlayStation 3, OS X, and iOS, was built upon a modified version of the Unreal Engine 2.5. The CryEngine, used to develop games such as State of Decay, Crysis 2 and 3, and the forthcoming Star Citizen, offers Game time’s BioShock recreation a significant graphical upgrade.

On the project’s Art Station page, Game time said “I loved working on this project, because it forced me to push myself further, having to learn Zbrush for the sculptures and becoming more involved with CryEngine’s Trackview, Flowgraph and audio systems. I would like to further push this scene in the future by involving the player into the animations and extend the scene to Rapture itself.”

BioShock’s Ken Levine Teases New Open-World Sci-Fi RPG

Ken Levine has released some information on his new game, the first since he dissolved BioShock developers Irrational Games. Levine revealed the tidbits on Twitter, responding to fan questions.

He said that the “current thinking” points towards a first-person “sci-fi or sci-fi ish” RPG, based on an original idea.

In a series of tweets, Levine then divulged further details, including that the game is “heavily reliant on re-usable ‘Lego’ narrative and game systems [sic]” and will be a “small open worldish […] rpg”.

Levine invited Twitter questions on his new game after posting the following related video, filmed earlier this month:

Source: Eurogamer

Havok Technology To Power BioShock on iOS

BioShock, the iconic story-driven shooter from 2K Games is heading to the App Store later this summer for iOS devices. The game is now confirmed to be running on Havok technology to provide animation and physics processing for the game.

When the game was launched back in 2007, developer Irrational Games used the still popular Unreal Engine 3, combined with extensive use of Havok’s Animation tools, something that added (for the time) unprecedented levels of animation and fluid motion to the games inhabitants. The addition of Havok Physics really brought the games abilities to life too, with things like the Telekenesis Plasmid allowing to send environment decals and enemies flying around the level.

Now the 2K China team are working to bring the title to mobile devices using Havok’s cross-platform toolset, allowing them to achieve parity between console and mobile versions of the game, including the full dynamic range of gameplay elements that made the original so great, without having to make any sacrifices.

“It’s a true testament to the power and breadth of Havok Physics and Havok Animation Studio that these technologies have seamlessly transitioned from a AAA console title to an amazing mobile experience,” said Brian Waddle, Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Marketing at Havok. “Just as BioShock redefined the scope of what a game could and should be, the 2K Games team has proven that mobile devices can go beyond simple apps and offer a wholly mature and complete gaming experience akin to those seen on high end gaming platforms.”

Release date hasn’t been confirmed as of yet, but we suspect some time around Gamescom or just after would be a safe guess, no later than the end of September.

Thank you Gamasutra for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Havok.

New Humble Bundle Offering Eight 2K Games, More to Come Next Week

The Humble Bundle is back with even more PC games, having 2K in the spotlight this time around. The bundle in question is said to currently offer up to six 2K games, with more to be added next Tuesday.

People who pledge $1 are said to receive BioShock, The Bureau: XCOM Declassified and The Darkness II. Those who want even more ‘goodies’ can head on over to the Humble Bundle website and check the average pledge and if you decide to pledge above the stated amount , you will be automatically rewarded with BioShock 2, Mafia II and Spec Ops: The Line.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2P_GL927gkA[/youtube]

However, if you still are not satisfied and your wallet is big enough to contribute even more than just these small sums of money, it is said that pledging $20 or above will grant you access to everything the Bundle currently has, namely XCOM: Enemy Unknown and BioShock Infinite amongst the others previously mentioned, and even the content it is going to release next week, as soon as it gets released that is.

The bundle itself is stated to be worth up to $209, having the average bid going up every minute. So if you still want to get all these cheap, you best hurry up and start pledging here!

Image and video courtesy of the Humble Bundle

Irrational Games Release First Bioshok Infinite Burial at Sea: Episode Two Trailer

It seems that Irrational Games has released a new preview video of the upcoming Bioshock Infinite Burial at Sea: Episode Two DLC. It is said to be a direct continuity of the first Brutal at Sea DCL, which saw a return to the original Bioshock underwater world of Rapture and a cliff hanger ending.

Looking at the trailer, we see that the second episode will focus on the conclusion of this story and players will control Elizabeth. As the video warns at its start, it contains spoilers so don’t watch if you care about such things. There were some arguments about the first episode having just under two hours of gameplay despite the £11.99 price tag, however gamers are not likely to see a longer gameplay for this second episode as well.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUSy21Nk1gE[/youtube]

“In the second episode of Burial at Sea, you become Elizabeth as she seeks to bring closure to her story, and to BioShock Infinite’s. Like Episode 1, this DLC features Rapture as you’ve never seen it before and gameplay has been modified to give the player an original BioShock combat experience that merges the best parts of BioShock and BioShock Infinite.”

No official release date has been set for the upcoming second episode of Bioshock Infinite Burial at Sea, but the season pack states all game copies will be delivered by March 31st. That would be our best bet.

Thank you Bit-Tech and IGN for providing us with this information
Image and video courtesy of Bit-Tech

BioShock Infinite PC Review

One of this year’s biggest game releases is finally out in the wild, and while the game has been with us a few weeks now, it gives me great pleasure to be able to finally sit down and enjoy it, but with so much hype and anticipation prior to the games release, has it lived up to the expectations of the games hardcore fans, not to mention the desires of a new generation of gamers who may never have played the first two games in the series?

While this is the third title released in the BioShock series its set some time before the events of the first two games, a prequel if you will. Yet it’s not directly tied to the plot lines of either of the previous games either, although there are still some connecting themes as it is still set in the same universe and timeline. New comers to the series can easily pick up and play this new title without a worry about story lines and knowing what is going on.

BioShock, in its simplest explanation, is a first person shooter. The first two saw you tackling foes with an array of weapons just like any other FPS, but with a more dynamic, deep and downright passionate story to tell along the way, as well as some difficult and unique moral choices that set the games aside from typical FPS games, even going as far as re-inventing large sections of the gaming industry and setting gaming trends that can be seen in many other games since their release.

The original games were also quite controversial, with the presence of children in the game that could be harvested for their powers, or saved, that choice was yours and its one that raised some moral eyebrows both inside and outside of the gaming community. So how does the new entry to the Bioshock series fit in, is it still the engrossing, story rich, moral choice filled, dark and twisted FPS that it always way? Of course it is!

The story is easily the best in the series and while it took me a little time to get into the depth of it, the free-flowing pace and narrative does take a hold of you and leads you through the game with gentle pace. The NPC’s of the game world comment as you pass, while enemies taunt, your friendlier counterparts baffle and amaze with regular pace and it all helps build the story of the world around you as you work your way through the rather strange and dark plot.

Set in one of the most, if not THE most stunning looking gaming environment ever created, BioShock is a tour-de-force for both your eyes and your graphics card, with a floating world of sky ships, floating buildings, majestic clouds and fog, warm beams of sun shine, the twinkle of water and the lights of a carnival all seem to blend together to create a world that moves like it truly does have a life of its own, there really is nothing else quite like it. I personally couldn’t help but walk slowly through some of the early sections of the game just to admire what was going on around me.

After 12 hours of playing through the game on Hard, I was left wanting more of the majestic world of BioShock but I didn’t want any more of what the game had to offer in terms of gameplay mechanics. While I really enjoyed the story, truly and deeply, I got a little bored of the shooting sections at times and it’s something that has become true of many shooting games for me in recent years. I find it wears me down when you get enemy after enemy pouring into a courtyard as you fend them off, then when they die you go to the next hall, room, courtyard and do the same, its less skill and more repetition half the time. There are also far too many health packs and ammo pick ups that make the game much less of a challenge, even on hard more, so I would suggest looking in to upping the difficulty further to the games hardcore “1999 mode” if your a well versed FPS player looking for a challenge.

This isn’t the fault of the game of course, as I just think I enjoyed the games ambience and narrative more than I did the actual shooting, fortunately though the FPS mechanics are some of the finest in the industry. The guns feel snappy and fun, plus a full range of powers are unlocked through the game that allow you to throw fire, electricity and even crows from your fingertips, not to mention taking over enemy turrets, throw enemies into the air and many other crazy things that do keep things entertaining.

The biggest factor of this game however isn’t the guns, the magic, the game’s world or anything of that other stuff, it really boils down to Elizabeth, the side kick and escort mission that gamers have been wanting since games began! She never gets in your way, she never slows you down, she’s highly entertaining and she’s incredibly powerful.

Elizabeth has the ability to open up “tears” in the fabric of the game world, these act like portals to what are essentially other dimensions, you can even use these “tears” to grab cover while in combat, you can explore inside them, find ammo there and all sorts of other madness, it’s an interesting dynamic and one that really sets this game apart from…well…anything else.

As bright and colourful as the game is, no matter how many parades you see, carnivals, candy floss and balloons that adorn the gaming world, there is one thing that you can miss, the dark tones that quietly echo the streets that something is awfully wrong about this paradise. Torture, violence, sex and extreme racism are abounding in this city and it doesn’t take long to realise that there is plenty of evil behind the smiles of its inhabitants.

It’s a difficult mix to put in to words, but the game is like a big fun house and a house of horrors all at the same time. You’ll often find yourself enjoying the graphics and the view of the game world, before putting your melee weapon in someone’s scull and being attacked by a bunch of racist nut jobs, it’s certainly an eye opener.

This is easily on the best shooters of this generation and while yet, I did find the shooting to get a little tiresome at times, it’s because it’s the one bit of the game that isn’t new, FPS has been well covered in the games industry. Yet this game offers you so much more, it’s not just about guns and killing, it’s about escaping and surviving in a world gone mad and it’s a gaming experience that you simply don’t want to miss out on.

Pros:

  • Superb sound & graphics
  • Original and exciting game world
  • Well realised characters and story

Cons:

  • Gun scenes can drag a little at times
  • Too many health packs and items in the game world

Bioshock Infinite will have full PC support

Game developer Irrational Games is all set to release Bioshock Infinite on March 26th and have started releasing information about the game. One detail that caught viewers attention was the part of the interview with PC Gamer where technical director Christopher Kline did acknowledge that previous Bioshock titles had certain features lacking from the PC version of the game. He also stated that it was because the studio couldn’t spare the resources required and not because they were not catering to PC gamers in full swing.

Kline assured that this title will have proper support for PC gamers. He said that the studio has a special team that made sure the in-game features are implemented for PC and the resources required to do so.

 

The end result is that PC gamers will now be able to play and enjoy this game with higher resolution textures, DX11 with HD Ambient Occlusion and even diffusion depth of field.

Bioshock Infinite will also have a fully customisable benchmark tool which will fly-through multiple scenes from a particular level in the game and capture minimum, maximum and average frame rates over a 5000ms interval. The benchmark can also be set to run series of tests with a custom script and just like some PC game titles, the results will be generated as a .csv spreadsheet file.

Bioshock Infinite’s minimum system requirements are Intel 2.4GHz Core 2 duo/AMD 2.7GHz Athlon X2, Nvidia 8800GT/AMD Radeon 3870/HD 3000 onboard GPU with 512MB VRAM, 2GB RAM and 20GB of storage space. The recommended setup is a Quad Core CPU with either a GTX 560 or HD 6950 1GB, 4GB RAM and 30GB storage. The game also supports DX10/11.

Via: Techspot