If you’re familiar with the origins of classics like Bioshock or Deus Ex, you’ve probably heard the name of the series that popularized this special, atmospheric and complex type of first-person shooter: System Shock, of course , the pioneer of modern immersive sims. And even if you’re from system shock If you’ve never heard of anything, you should have the green visage of the stuttering AI SHODAN recognize who is your biggest opponent in the game. The venerable series currently has two games in the pipeline: Systemshock 3 has completely disappeared, but the elaborate remake of the first part is still being worked on by the retro experts at Nightdive Studios developed. On the Gamescom we played the project in its current state.
Then as now, System Shock puts you in the shoes of one hackersthe AI of the space station Citadel manipulated for a sleazy corporate boss, triggering a catastrophe. After a long cold sleep you wake up on the station whose inhabitants have been turned into mutants. As you journey through the different decks of the Citadel, you’ll be followed at every turn by the stuttering killer AI SHODAN, who will unleash their security robots on you.
Also interesting: All important news, trailers and previews from Gamescom on the overview page
While the setting and the antagonist then as now cult status enjoy, the game itself – at least in its original DOS version – is considered hopelessly outdated, which is mainly due to the complicated user interface and the notchy operation. This is exactly where Nightdive brings the most changes into play: The UI is massively streamlinedthe operation was simplified and modern first-person shooter standards customized.
upgrades for our cyborg body we install in passing, the weapons feel massive. When it comes to repairing circuits and hacking, for which we are transported directly to cyberspace as an armed, hovering avatar, the game is beautifully old-fashioned and hardly explains what actually needs to be done.
Just like the technology, which already works very well and runs cleanly in the current version, but is (deliberately) strongly based on the look of the original. In addition to pixelated textures, there are of course computer interfaces and menus charming ancient look, and SHODAN doesn’t seem to speak much more stably than before either. The fidelity to the original extends to the level design as well, as the Citadel is a veritable maze to explore with key cards and passwords open up slowly and without much hand-holding explore.
We didn’t see much of the station in our half-hour trial session, but the idiosyncratic charm of the game is clearly noticeable – even for newcomers to this piece PC gaming history hopefully be able to experience it in a more accessible format soon.
For old and new fans, however, it is still necessary to wait and see, because the developers still cannot say when System Shock will actually appear. No, not even a rough year. System Shock is coming “when it’s done”. The game should, when it is “done”, for PC, Playstation, Xbox, MacOS and Linux appear.