How To Return To Rapture Remastered

Bioshock: The Collection [official site] is out next week, and as such you’ll be able to play the first two Bioshock games and all of the single-player DLC in renewed detail. Bioshock Infinite is thrown in there for good measure, but it already looks so pretty on PC they’re leaving it as is. 2K Games also plan to give the updated versions free to people who own the originals. How? What’s the catch? I checked, and it turns out it is surprisingly painless. Read on!

All right, there are a few ways this can go. If you already own the games on Steam, you’re all clear. The remastered copies of the games will appear in your library once the Collection goes live on Thursday. You can then choose to install either the original or the remastered version. If you don’t want both cluttering up the place, remember that Steam lets you hide games from your Library.

If you own physical copies, or Games for Windows Live versions, there’s still hope for you. For Bioshock the First, you’ll need to send a ticket in to 2K Support and submit your Steam profile details and proof that you purchased the original game.

Those with non-Steam copies of Bioshock 2 have it a bit easier. Just activate the Games for Windows Live key that came with the physical or digital edition within Steam.

And in case you were worried how these updated versions would run on your PC, 2K also posted the system requirements:

Minimum Specs:
OS: Windows 7 Service Pack 1 64-bit. Platform Update for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
Processor: Intel E6750 Core 2 Duo 2.66 GHz / AMD Athlon X2 2.7 GHZ
Memory: 4 GB
Hard Drive: BioShock 25GB; BioShock 2 25GB; BioShock Infinite 20GB; Total for all three games 70GB
Video Card: DirectX11 Compatible, AMD Radeon HD 7770 / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560
Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Device
Other Requirements: Software installations required including DirectX and Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 & 2012 Redistributable Package.

Recommended Specs:

OS: Windows 7 Service Pack 1 64-bit. Platform Update for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
Processor: 3GHz Quad-Core
Memory: 8 GB
Hard Drive: BioShock 25GB; BioShock 2 25GB; BioShock Infinite 30GB; Total for all three games 80GB
Video Card: 2GB ATI Radeon HD 7970, 2GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 or better
Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Device

And so, with that, we are all prepared for updated dystopian misadventures. Except for me. Bioshock is a bit too scary for my wimpy disposition, what will all of the drills and people climbing all over the walls. But I know you all are going to have a ton of fun all the same. Bioshock: The Collection is out on September 15 on Steam.


  1. fearandloathing says:

    Still, no other games like Bioshock for me.

    • SBLux says:

      Have you read the Bioshock novel ‘Rapture’ by John Shirley? As far as book based on games go it is very good and if you are a real Bioshock fans you should love it.

  2. Dudeist says:

    I hope they can fix fov on pc :P

  3. Jalan says:

    Should be interesting to see who actually kept receipts for the physical purchases this long. Back when I still bought boxed copies I tended to keep the receipts for up to 4 years before eventually sending them off to the great bin in the sky.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      If they have some system that will keep track of redeemed cd keys you probably don’t need anything other than that. They’d just input your cd key and if someone else tried to redeem it afterwards they would be denied. No idea how they are handling it, but asking for receipts for such an old game would be pretty unreasonable. Maybe just send a picture of your physical copy with the cd key? Don’t know.

    • misfit says:

      Fortunately the receipts won’t be needed. 2K will ask for a photo of the case, the DVD(s) and the serial key along with some other proof and then they’ll issue a Steam key.

      I did this for my original copy of Bioshock several weeks ago without any issues. Worth mentioning also that 2K’s support staff were courteous and very quick to respond, quite a rarity these days!

    • Retorrent says:

      All I did about two weeks ago was contact support on the 2k website and asked about getting a Steam key because I owned the boxed retail of the first Bioshock. They asked me to take a pic of the retail box and the DVD, they then emailed me back and told me to take the pic again and on a piece of paper write down my support ticket number (which they gave me) and the email address I had tied to my Steam account. Took about two days and then they sent me an email with a Steam key.
      I would say that anyone who has the box copy it they would be wise to contact support now for a Steam key instead of waiting till the launch of the remaster because I am sure they will be slammed and end up waiting longer for a key.

      • Jalan says:

        This seems strange, given that BioShock was on the list of games whose physical copies could be redeemed through Steam.

  4. Gurrah says:

    Is there a template for the support request regarding Bioshock physical copies? There’re so many options to choose from under which to file the ticket I’m certain I’ll pick the wrong one … but Bioshock 1 really is the one I’d love to play as a remaster. Got my original email-orders and key/handbook handy, shouldn’t be a problem if it actually worked for others.

    • maphisto2000 says:

      I’ve just completed this. Just submit a basic ticket under the Bioshock Collection category saying that you would like to upgrade physical to Steam key. Don’t bother attaching any proof of purchase at this stage, because you will receive an immediate email back telling you to take a photo which includes:
      -The game box
      -The game DVD
      -The support ticket number, plus your email address written on a piece of paper

      Hope that helps!

  5. Suits says:

    Time to finally play Minerva’s Den

    • DelrueOfDetroit says:

      Ditto. I just played through Bioshock 2 but saved Minerva’s Den for the remake so I could get a better idea of what’s changed.

  6. Monggerel says:

    I wish I still had feelings for this game.
    I could say that the disappointment of Bioshock: Infinite was enough to taint the original, but truthfully I just never again managed to find the magic that seemed so obvious first time around.

  7. Zenicetus says:

    It might be fun to play Bioshock again, just for the environment design. It was the star of the show, enough to keep me playing through a game that wasn’t all that well-written and had a stupid boss fight at the end.

    And yeah, it might depend on whether there’s a FOV slider or mod for it. IIRC, there was a way to hack the FOV in Bioshock 2, wasn’t there?

    • epeternally says:

      There is, but the FOV will reset every time you use zoom / iron sights. You can work around this by binding w to also set the correct FOV, but it’s a little awkward. And the game uses crosshairs which makes it harder to aim with a more zoomed out view because you can’t target particularly precisely. So you can do it, but there’s no real perfect solution for playing with a higher FOV.

  8. PsychoX says:

    With those requirements, looks like I won’t be playing. Everything is up to par except the video card and that’s impossible to upgrade.

    • poliovaccine says:

      I was a little surprised at those min specs actually. It must be a pretty considerable facelift. I can run the original games (including Infinite) quite smoothly, during combat, on high gfx settings, all on my “just-decent” laptop… won’t be the case with these specs, tho. That’s okay, I’ll still be curious to see screens/vids of the remaster in action.

      Willing to bet some new water effects are gonna factor heavily into the updated look… could be cool. Frankly I always felt like Rapture was kind of wasted on its story, or on being a shooter in general. Would have been just as happy if it were part of a game more like SOMA.

    • serotoninzero says:

      The 7970 is a mid tier graphics card from over four years ago. Are you running a laptop or something from before then?

      • alms says:

        Considering you’re talking about a card which launched for $500, was faster than nVidia’s fastest single GPU model that immediately preceded it, the GTX 580, and roughly comparable to the GTX 670, which followed it, I’m calling bullshit on mid-tier.

        Calls nVidia x70 cards “mid-range” would be particularly rich, these days, given the prices that the 1070 has been selling – but, really, any $500 card isn’t mid-range unless you’re posturing.

        And yes, people playing on whatever they happen to have is a thing: laptops, maybe with integrated graphics, or discrete cards from whatever year and market segment – that’s kind of the diversity we have on PC, and it’s a great thing if you ask me.

  9. The Velour Fog says:

    Had B2 through GFWL but couldnt for the life of me figure out how to find it now so just bought it again from the Humble site

    Grumble grumble

  10. Legion1183 says:

    This might finally force me to play Bioshock 2 I’ve been putting off for so long. Not that I think the game will be bad or anything, I’ve just got so many other newer games to play all the time and I think the graphics are starting to look a little dated.

  11. invitro says:

    I’ve not played Bioshock, is it any good?

    • Skaraok says:

      Yes. Buy it.

      The story is still fantastic, even though the gameplay and graphics haven’t aged very well. Hopefully that will be remedied in the collection. The atmosphere is also amazing.

      Bioshock 2 is basically more of the same with updated enemies and gameplay. Personally, I love it, but many people were disappointed with it. Depends on what you like in a game I suppose.

      As for Infinite, well…I think the reviews speak for themselves.

      • Aitrus says:

        The graphics didn’t age well? I played the first Bioshock a few months ago and didn’t think it needed a remaster at all. Game is flippin’ gorgeous.

        • Skaraok says:

          I would say that the graphics are “pretty good”. Not 1998 textures or anything but certainly not next-gen. The playermodels could definitely use some cleaning up though.

          Either way, doesn’t make it a bad game.

        • jl_theprofessor says:

          The aging graphics are glossed over by excellent art direction.

      • DelrueOfDetroit says:

        Bioshock 2 definitely has better combat than the first.

    • alms says:

      Not really. We theorized is one of those games that would have been better as a CYOA.

    • Chaoslord AJ says:

      It’s like a System Shock 3 but under water and I like it less than those games but still played it through two times so it’s pretty good.
      Features iconic visuals, major plot twist and steampunk.

  12. Jason Moyer says:

    I never really understand the point of hiding games in your Steam library; surely everyone defaults to filtering by “installed” right?

    • Aitrus says:

      ‘Installed’ includes the software and tools folders which some people (me) might not like having there all the time. I default to ‘games’ but I have a separate folder for uninstalled things.

      • serotoninzero says:

        You can still click the minus button and hide all of the software. It just says + Software on a single line.

    • Tyrric says:

      One night I got bored and now I have everything in categories. I have a “current” and “current replay” category for games installed, a “finished” one for, well, finished games. I even have a category called “on deck” for games that I plan to play next but haven’t installed yet. Games I found I had wasted my money on go in the “uninteresting” category, and everything else is psuedo-sorted into different categories roughly based on different genres.

      • Creeping Death says:

        I did this once. Had every single one of my 800+ games seperated into different genre categories.

        It was not a good experience when I logged in once over a year later and found that Steam had removed all my categories for some reason…. Now the only category I have is “new” for games I buy but dont install right away.

        • Jason Moyer says:

          I tried that awhile ago, but for the past several years I just sort everything into categories with Backloggery. I keep Steam set to ‘installed’, but I generally only use the client for accessing discussions and guides and such. I shop through my web browser (yay for QOL plugins) and launch everything through shortcuts in a “Games” folder in my ClassicShell start menu.

      • Chaoslord AJ says:

        I use “new”, “play again”, “wait for update”, “early access” and hidden for games I don’t wanna remember anymore.

    • alms says:

      surely everyone defaults to filtering by “installed” right?


    • aerozol says:

      A ‘PLAY’ category and a ‘FINISHED’ category is what I have at the moment, takes a minimal amount of effort to stay on top of.

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      I use “Recent”, which covers what I’m playing now (currently the Witcher 3) and the few games which aren’t going away any time soon (Kerbal Space Program, FTL).
      Everything else is somewhere in that list I suppose.

  13. Lars Westergren says:

    I am surprised at how excited I am to replay these with updated graphics and framerates.

    I think for me B1 and B2 are the apogees of AAA games the last couple of years, even though they are “just” shooters.

  14. PanFaceSpoonFeet says:

    Touch of the emperor’s new clothes about the before and after screenshots if you ask me.. very subtle..? Aanyhooz, as ‘appens I returned to give B1 a proper go this year and despite its age there were numerous times I thought to myself ‘this is fuckin ace’ yes, that’s how I talk to myself.
    Will deffo give this a bash and no, infinite didn’t need touching up. It’s absolutely jaw dropping.

  15. popej says:

    I’m almost positive I bought Bioshock 2 but I cannot for the life of me remember where from.

    I can see that I own the Minerva’s Den add-on in the Games For Windows Marketplace program, but the actual parent game isn’t there.

    Also it won’t show my Minerva’s Den CD key, presumably because GFWL is basically a shell now.


  16. bill says:

    I think I bought Bioshock on Direct2Drive(?). then they got taken over by some US retail store who butchered the service and now I think there is no record of my game.

    I wonder if I could find the cd key…?
    If I find it, do you think I’d get the original AND remastered version on steam, or just the remastered one?
    Because my PC won’t run the new one….

    • popej says:

      Nice one matey, I had completely forgotten about that site.

      Turns out that’s where I bought both titles. I was able to login easy enough and in the ‘My account’ section, there was both Bioshock 1 and 2 with cd keys that went straight in to steam.


  17. Rolento says:

    I know its against the grain, but Bioshock 2 and Minervas den are the highlight of the series for me. I loathed the contrived DLC with Elisabeth in Bioshock Infinite.

  18. waltC says:

    Recommended OS specs are strange–both 1 & 2 run very well on Win10x64–at least as well as they ever did on Win7, IIRC.

  19. Jason Moyer says:

    I fully expect I’ll fire up BioShock 1 like I have dozens of times since my first playthrough, and then immediately uninstall it after having to play Pipe Dream for the 10th time.

    I’m definitely due replays of BS2 and BSI though.

  20. Kittim says:

    I’ll gladly give it a go.
    Though I do remember when playing Bioshock, my neighbours gave me strange looks.

    Might have been something to with rescuing the little sisters with the audio of a little girl screaming “NO! NO! NO! NO!”

    Headphones may be required.

  21. Premium User Badge

    Ingix says:

    Any info about people who have the DRM-free version of Bioshock 1 from the Humble 2K Bundle? I assume that I could get the steam key from that bundle and be set, but maybe they plan to update that download as well.