When System Shock first released in 1994, it was something of a revelation for the first-person shooter genre. While many gamers and developers were still trying to wrap their heads around the innovations of Doom, developer Looking Glass delivered an atmospheric sci-fi masterpiece that was in many ways a precursor to titles like Half-Life and Deus Ex. What’s arguably most impressive about the game, however, is just how well it’s concept has aged all these years later.
The fact was not lost on Nightdive Studios, the developer in charge of remaking this sci-fi horror classic for a new generation. If you’ve never heard of Nightdive, don’t feel too bad. The developer’s first major move in the game industry was recovering the rights to the System Shock franchise and using them to put the series back into digital distribution stores. In fact, despite a wealth of veteran development talent on staff, they’ve primarily focused on reviving classic PC experiences since their formation in 2012.
You wouldn’t know that this is a relatively unproven development studio, however, by looking at how well this remake is coming together. Even the words on the Kickstarter page convey their deep love and understanding of what makes this game so special. This is clearly a company that understands why System Shock has remained so popular over the years and wish to upgrade the game just enough for a new generation of gamers to be able to easily enjoy it.
Fortunately, you don’t just have to take their word on the matter of restoring System Shock to glory as Nightdive has also seen fit to release a short demo of the upcoming remake available on Steam, GOG and the Humble Store. It is, in a word, incredible. Although System Shock has been the beneficiary of a great number of mods over the years designed to improve its mechanics and visuals, even a full suite of the best mods couldn’t possibly match what Nightdive has done in terms of modernizing this title without sacrificing the core gameplay.
Here’s everything else we know about the System Shock remake:
System Shock Remake Release Date
System Shock was originally set to come out in 2017, but a series of delays has pushed it back all the way to 2020. The game is coming to XBO, PS4, and PC.
Nightdive Studios is promising to return to its original vision for the System Shock remake following the massive delays the game recently suffered. CEO Stephen Kick said on Kickstarter that the team plans to focus on creating a pure remake of the original System Shock rather than the incredibly ambitious re-imagining it previously focusing on.
“The vast majority of you agree that we are doing the right thing and that what you want is a high-quality game that adheres closely to the vision of the original System Shock rather than the reinterpretation that we were previously working toward,” reads the update.
Unfortunately, these changes mean that the studio has had to release some of the staff that was working on the previous build of the game. Fortunately, Nightdive assures fans that the remaining team won’t have to start from scratch as much of the work it’s done so far is still applicable to its present vision for the game.
Furthermore, the studio believes that it will be able to deliver a mostly full version of the game to the highest backers by September. That version of the game will be missing some visual assets, but the studio says it will be playable from start to finish. Additionally, the developer has promised to remain more “transparent” regarding the development process via a series of Twitch streams and consistent updates.
System Shock Remake Trailer
This video goes over some of the areas in the game as well as the dismemberment mechanics in the remake. The game is still very much a work in progress, so none of the footage below is finalized:
Here’s a first look at the Pre-Alpha version of the game running on PS4:
Here’s the first promo for the game: