System Shock Remake Arrives with Reviews Calling It a Delightful Surprise That Has Brought the Classic Back to Life

Image: Nightdive Studios

As Nightdive Studios System Shock Remake arrives on PC it is receiving overall positive reviews for its faithfulness to the original and fresh coat of paint. It has become so commonplace these days with news of remakes, remasters, reimagined, and “enhanced” editions of older games that many fans are as likely to roll their eyes at an announcement, or worse, watch in sadness a beloved classic is dismantled beyond recognition. However, according to numerous reviews, the System Shock Remake does not fall into one of those former categories, and fans of the classic may want to check it out.

Praise has been given to an updated combat system that has turned tedious battles with bosses and other enemies into fights that must be thought out. Other praise goes toward the updates to the visual stylings of the original game while staying true to its design. One downside note is its inventory system, which can inspire cluttering, but then a recycling system which can allow players to destroy items they may actually need or want. The aged 1994 game, while looking fresh, is somewhat of a niche in the current gaming landscape but its concepts can be found in many that have since followed it.

From IGN:

“Where many modern games invite you to sit back and enjoy the ride, System Shock wants you to sit up and experience the SHODAN. Tweaking the technical workings of Citadel station to come out on top and foil SHODAN’s machinations is just as compelling as it ever was, making the original System Shock one of gaming’s classics for a very good reason. Nightdive’s remake masterfully brings most of the aspects that haven’t aged as well into the present day, with excellent new graphics and nearly all the modern gameplay conveniences you could want. Get out there and give her hell, hacker.”

From Polygon:

“The System Shock remake is beautiful. It’s not a fully reimagined game like the Final Fantasy 7 remake, nor does it wholly abandon the aesthetics and art style of the original like the remake of Shadow of the Colossus. But it looks like the way games from 1994 appear in my memory. Smoke spouts from vents and dissipates into pixels. The lighting is often dramatic, your screen saturated in deep red with bright blue sparks emitting from the light fixtures. In your hands, your lead pipe hangs heavy in front of your face, swinging directly in front of your field of vision, sometimes slightly pixelated in the light. You walk slowly — oh so slowly — down narrow hallways with flickering lighting, trapped in metal maintenance corridors as you try to make your way through the map. It’s a dungeon crawler wearing a shooter’s skin.”

From The Verge:

“Where January’s Dead Space was an elegant update to a relatively recent horror game, the new System Shock feels neither affectedly retro nor entirely modern, neither lo-fi indie nor blockbuster-big. It’s one of the most subtly odd labors of love I’ve seen in the past few years. And like SHODAN, if you embrace its unconventional values, it will amply reward you — on its own somewhat painful terms.”

From PC Gamer:

“This is, I feel confident saying, the definitive way to play System Shock in 2023 and beyond, but I can’t help but wonder what that other world looks like. The one where Nightdive had the budget and the goodwill to take a few more risks, make a few more changes, and dramatically reduce the number of times it asked me to make a U-turn.”

From SteamDB:

The older game has still managed to fare well among Steam users and although its numbers do not remotely compare to that of the recently released Street Fighter 6, which still has over 60K concurrent players, it is currently sitting at just under 2,000 from its debut of slightly more than 7,000 on May 30, and at the number 3 spots on hot/popular releases. Presently it holds a Very Positive review ranking from nearly 2,000 reviews. We have screenshots and a link to a playable demo which can be found here. The System Shock Remake is available for $39.99 on Steam. Nightdive Studios has said it plans to release console versions at a later date.

Image: Valve

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Peter Brosdahl
As a child of the 70’s I was part of the many who became enthralled by the video arcade invasion of the 1980’s. Saving money from various odd jobs I purchased my first computer from a friend of my dad, a used Atari 400, around 1982. Eventually it would end up being a lifelong passion of upgrading and modifying equipment that, of course, led into a career in IT support.

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