Who remembers System Shock, then? If you do you’ll know just why an entire generation, myself included, has an abiding distrust of A.I. For the meat bags amongst you that haven’t played any of these games, you’re about to be in for a treat. If you think the idea of being stuck on a ship with a completely insane computer that wants to do really horrible things to you sounds like a good time you need to read on!
Nightdive Studios have done something that some of us have been waiting for, for a very long time. The clever souls over there have decided to take System Shock and give it a bit of an overhaul. So we can take something really creepy with poor graphics, (by today’s standards,) and turn it into something modern and truly creepy. If you played the original and are currently having an apoplexy from excitement I suggest you get yourself to Steam, GOG, or the Epic Games Store as soon as you finish reading this. The PC edition of this title is coming in at $39.99, (£34.99 for us UK folk,) and if you grab a copy early enough you’ll snag the upcoming System Shock 2: Enhanced Edition. This is a seriously good reason not to wait if you’ve got a few dollars burning a hole in your pockets right now. That’s an early bird offer that you aren’t going to want to miss. If you’re not having an apoplexy because you have no idea what I’m talking about you’ll want to keep reading. This information still stands though so bear it in mind.
The System Shock remake combines the gameplay of the iconic original game, (from 1994 no less!) with brand-new HD visuals, updated controls, an overhauled interface, and all-new sound and music. On top of all the lovely frilly bits, you’re also going to get a host of never before seen enemies, a revamped hacking system, and visceral new combat options. Said new ways of killing what needs to be killed include a brutal dismemberment system. What won’t be different is the fact that all the nasties are being controlled by the utterly psychotic rogue A.I. better known as SHODAN. Old hands will know this bloodthirsty bag of bolts really well. Newcomers will get to know her quickly enough. Believe me, I can tell you from personal experience that she’s an absolute delight.
As the player, you’re in a bit of a bind. You’re stuck on the Citadel with a computer that’s gone off the deep end and a legion of entirely hostile mutants that want to end your existence for you. You’ll need to navigate the rooms of the station while encountering puzzles, traps, and secrets in an attempt to defeat SHODAN once and for all. You’ll need a combination of stealth, brains, and brute force if you’re going to shut down the computer. You’ll also need to flex your hacking skills too if you’re going to open up new areas of the Citadel to explore and eventually make it to SHODAN herself.
Those of you looking for an authentic experience will be pleased to note that the folk at Nightdive worked closely with members of the team that made the original System Shock a success, including the iconic voice of SHODAN herself, Terri Brosius. This should help to make the whole experience a true revamp for those of us that truly loved the original. Newcomers to this franchise will have a treat in store as they’ve got all of the things that made us crave a remake in the first place to experience for the first time.
I think it’s important to note that console-owning fans of the System Shock games will still be able to enjoy this new look at the series; they’ll just have to wait a bit longer. System Shock will be coming to PS4 and 5 and Xbox Series S/X at some point in the future. We haven’t got a date yet but it’s still worth keeping your eyes peeled for more information as it comes. Personally, I’m thinking that I have a date with an old friend. Hopefully, she won’t succeed in killing me this time.