GC22: System Shock Remastered alluded to: performant cartoon travesty – News

GC22: System Shock Remastered alluded to: performant cartoon travesty - News

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system shockdeveloped by BluSky, later known as Looking Glass, and distributed by Origin Systems, was awesome: in 1994 it combined the still young 3D technology of a Ultimate Underworld with a shooter and RPG system and last but not least offered a successful story: instead of being sent to prison, a hacker is sent to the Citadel orbital station to save what can actually no longer be saved. Because the crew is dead, and the station AI SHODAN, which initially takes the trouble to appear helpful, turns out to be the real problem after about one or two hours of play.

Speaking of the problem: I don’t know if it’s not my fault that my impressions of the trade fair are becoming more and more ruthless towards the weekend, or if I’m at the Jagged Alliance 3-Preview in terms of advance praise – but after Homeworld I have to deliver the next quasi-slam. So: I played the beginning of again with the (really nice!) people at Nightdive Studios System Shock Remastered. Again because it was the same content as the several years old demo. But, and this is both an expectable and reassuring finding: Their severe performance problems are a thing of the past, the trade fair version ran absolutely smoothly and efficiently – and looked good, at least technically. You have to like a rather pop color scheme (despite all the gloom in the corresponding sections), but that’s quite respectable..

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But the sticking point for me is precisely the graphics: On the one hand, I can praise how Nightdive remakes (yes, remake) the Citadel space station, which is supposed to be used by the insane AI Shodan to destroy humanity. The look of that time has been skilfully preserved and transferred to modern times, with glowing instrument panels, volumetric fog, skilful light and shadow effects. I also liked the sound section, whether it’s the first Shodan utterances or the panting of the standard zombies. Aaaabut: I have enormous problems with the appearance of these zombies (technical term “the many”) as well as with all opponents that I saw, including the maintenance robots. These seem to me as if the – undeniably ugly, pixel-lumpy, but at least meant seriously and in my imagination at the time threatening – opponent sprites from 1994 had somehow been put on latex carnival masks. The enemies really don’t appeal to me visually.

The big question for me now is: will my brain, simply because System Shock is still a great game with a pulsating suspense curve, capitulate after an hour and will these mood killers (which also look a bit like plasticine miniatures) be the terrible ones again Perceive characters they are in the story, i.e. reanimated, often heavily cybernetically augmented dead crew members stumbling around as part of a swarm intelligence? Despite the little lyrical meanness here, I really hope so, because when I tried to play System Shock 1 again four or five years ago, I was really disappointed with the technology and especially the interface.

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The latter feels good in the remake. Sure, the complex 3D RPG with all sorts of inventory, equipment and software slots didn’t suddenly become a one-click adventure. But the Nightdive version is much smoother than I remember. It also helps that you can now see what kind of loot is waiting on shelves or in cupboards or in boxes instead of having to guess: grenades? software module? Medpack? The reset points using “biocapsules” are not absolutely necessary (saving/loading is also possible), but an innovation that suits the game world. And Nightdive didn’t cut anything in terms of “postures” and other details.

So I hope my brain can be tricked – and at the same time forget various plot details before playing. Because that’s my second concern: that certain aha moments that I still remember to this day – such as a certain ambush on one of the lower decks – simply can never be as nice as the first time. Oh, and the question about the release date: “When it’s done,” said the Business Development Director Larry Kuperman. But I got the feeling at Gamescom that they’ve come a long way with the game.