Top critical review
great games but terrible ports
on June 18, 2013
Bioshock 1 and 2 are great games and the $5 I paid for them was worth it. However, there were technical annoyances with both games that made me knock off 2 stars.
Bioshock 1 will keep crashing or won't have any sound unless you make some changes to the default.ini file, etc. All of the changes you might need to make have been documented in the Steam forums. The fixes may require you to read through a rather giant wall of text and will require minimal knowledge of your sound card, etc. So if you do not have the patience for these fixes, you may consider skipping this purchase.
Bioshock 2 implements GFWL, which you will need to make an account for. While GFWL isn't that bad in itself, it happens to cause some trouble when initially loading a save file. The game will crash every time to try to load a save file/start the games. Depending on your situtation, you may have to delete your save file folder. So before investing too much time into this game, I would definitely urge you to look into this problem.
Bioshock 1 and 2 for consoles allows you to pause the action with a weapon/plasmid selection screen in order to quickly and easily equip the best weapon/ammo/plasmid for a given enemy and environment. While Bioshock 1 for PC implements this screen as well, Bioshock 2 for PC does not. And with 8 different weapons to choose from, 6 weapons having 3 different ammo types, along with a maximum of 6 different plasmids to choose from, it becomes a chore rather a pleasure to switch weapons/plasmids. To me, the lack of this feature just seems like laziness on the developer's part. Not having this screen really discourages experimentation with all of the different weapon/plasmid combinations.
If you can get past all of these annoyances, then you are in for a treat with both games. The story, atmosphere, and gameplay in Bioshock 1 are quite amazing. The story might not be as good in Bioshock 2, but the gameplay (apart from the selection screen) has been improved. I would definitely wait until the dual pack is $5 as it drops to that price quite often during sales. The low price makes the annoyances more bearable.