System Shock Remake on PC / Steam – The DVDfever Review

System Shock Remake System Shock Remake is out now, and the original was an absolute instant classic when it released 1994. Looking Glass Studios – also known for Thief: The Dark Project and Thief II: The Metal Age (two of my favourite games of all time! – DVDfever Ed) were behind the original release, but they shut down in 2000.

Looking Glass assets, which included rights to System Shock, were acquired by an insurance group at the time. In 2012, Nightdive Studios bought the rights for System Shock 2, which finally after many years and was re-released on GoG and Steam. This, for many myself included, was something thought would never happen (much like Grim Fandango), and dived right in when it hit store fronts. Nightdive then, later, also obtained the rights for the original game. So, pretty much, this takes us to where we are today, and with a Kickstarter to fully remake System Shock.

The original game is still available – with a remastered version with modern controls and upscaled visuals – and is still worth playing regardless. However, why play the original when Nightdive have literally knocked it out the park with this remake?!

The premise is that you are a hacker which gets caught while breaking into a corporate system. Taken from your apartment, you are then forced to hack Shodan the AI on Citadel Station, and disable various systems. Of course, upon doing this, Shodan goes rogue and it is up to you to sort out the mess, waking up in the med-bay, there.

The gameplay transfers over nicely to the modern visuals, and is old-school as in far as no hand-holding at all. You wake up, and then off you go, exploring with little to no information on where to go or just what to do. You will find various audio logs scattered around the station, some of which will give clues as to what to be doing in that specific area, or you will find others that will kind of give you guidance. As an example, an early one says a survivor is on another deck, so get to the lift. The lift, itself, doesn’t get marked on your map, so exploring each level is a must. You will pick up a whole host of items, most of which are scrap and can be broken down and exchanged for tokens at a recycle machine, which you can then use at a vending machine. Once you find said machines, they thankfully do get marked on your map.

System Shock Remake – Full Game Walkthrough | No Commentary – The Game Archivist

Now Shodan is always watching you, and occasionally talks and taunts you. You will notice security cameras on each level, and if you destroy them, this lowers Shodan’s threat on the level slightly, and stops monsters and enemies from finding you as quickly. It makes the survival element and stealth, where possible, have you on the edge of your seat. Survival side of things is again old-school, as there are no checkpoints as such and you have to remember to manually save your progress. Health does not regenerate automatically, so eating food bars or drinks will replenish health, or there is a machine back in the med-bay which fully restores your health and auto-saves.

There are plenty of weapons about, and energy stations for recharging, and you can also modify weapons as you get further into the game, as well as finding implants to buff up your character.

The station has superb atmosphere, and each deck and area has its own theme. There are plenty of dark spaces where mutants and other enemies can hide, and you will often hear them before you see them. Now, Cyberspace is interesting and fun, and plays different to the main station. You fly around, shooting down numerous enemies and moving blocks etc to reactivate things, like doors in the real world. These sections very much remind me of the classic Stephen King book and movie, The Lawnmower Man, with the way they play, and the way Cyberspace is depicted.

The controls take a little getting used to, since when you bring up your inventory, you have to tap a button to get a cursor for inventory management, or accessing logs etc on the different screens. I have been playing with a controller which works great, but it is just getting used to how things work! Once you do, you will find the going a bit easier and more intuitive.

System Shock Remake vs Original | Direct Comparison – Nick930

Nightdive Studios have done a phenomenal job or remaking System Shock, and they are currently working on System Shock 2 remaster, to which I am REALLY looking forward. The new video cutscenes look great: lighting throughout the environments is put to perfect use, casting shadows and creating dark spaces which make you wonder what is around the next corner. Textures look good, and as a bit of a throwback to the original, some have rough edges up close.

I cannot recommend the System Shock Remake enough. Initially, the pre-release build settings weren’t saving, but after a Day One patch, the retail build saw that issue go away. They have already issued a further patch for a few minor bugs, but overall I have had little-to-no issues whatsoever, which is awesome, given that Jedi Survivor hasn’t received a patch in three weeks, and the performance I mentioned in that review still isn’t fixed. I am running the System Shock Remake in 1440p with everything maxed out settings-wise, and it is running buttery smooth.

Good on Nightdive for releasing a game with no major issues at launch! A few other developers out there should take a few leaves out of their book.

Thanks to our friends at Nightdive Studios for the review code.

System Shock Remake is out now on the digital stores for PC/Steam, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Linux and Mac.

System Shock 2: Enhanced Edition First Look Trailer – Nightdive Studios

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