System Shock remake arrives this summer, download the free demo now

Polycount

Posts: 2,821   +574
Staff member
Highly anticipated: It's finally happening. After a whopping five years of occasionally-troubled development, System Shock's first-ever remake finally has a proper, set-in-stone release window. The moody immersive sim will finally be arriving this summer -- provided the Covid-19 pandemic doesn't delay development any further.

Since this is a remake and not a remaster, everything from the gameplay, graphics, and user interfaces to the levels and acquire-able gear have been revamped, updated, or outright replaced. While exploring the game, you'll find entirely new areas that never existed in the original System Shock, though your core goal is still the same: you need to take down Shodan, the rogue AI that has taken over the derelict Citadel Station.

Notably, Shodan's original voice actress -- Terri Brosius -- will be reprising her role in the remake and was even allowed to offer feedback on the design direction of the game.

At any rate, System Shock's remake will be an immersive sim through and through, as we mentioned before. The level design has been updated, but players will still be given multiple ways to solve the various challenges the game throws at them.

You can use your tools and weaponry to get past obstacles or find alternate paths. For example, crawling through a vent to bypass some particularly tough monsters (of which there will be many, thanks to Shodan's tendency to genetically mutate the station's inhabitants).

If you aren't sold on the idea of a System Shock remake, don't fret. The developers, Night Dive Studios, aren't expecting you to shell out any money on the project sight-unseen. They're offering a free demo of the game to anyone who wants to try it, across all major PC platforms: The Epic Games Store, Steam, and GOG.

If you like what you see (and play), you can optionally pre-order the game for $44.99 on the platforms mentioned above. Doing so will give you a free copy of System Shock 2: Enhanced Edition, whenever that launches.

We don't have a precise release date for the System Shock remake yet. GOG lists it as August 31, 2021, but that's likely a placeholder, since the studio itself only lists the game as a "summer" release on other storefronts.

Regardless, we're excited to see what Night Dive Studios has accomplished here, and we can't wait to see how it looks and runs on PC.

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Mr Majestyk

Posts: 629   +552
I started System Shock but only got about 1/3rd the way through, but I can't remember why I didn't finish it as I throughly enjoyed it. Really looking forward to revisiting this game.
 

neeyik

Posts: 1,788   +2,061
Staff member
Just been trying the demo now. It's...unusual, to say the least. It's been a long time since I played the original System Shock, so my memory is likely to have altered my perception of matters somewhat, but this is a fairly low-key remake. The gameplay is slow and clunky, the interface cumbersome, and the graphics wouldn't look out of place from 15 years ago. Does it feel like System Shock? Honestly can't tell. Will I buy it? No.
 

RedBlu

Posts: 28   +31
Just been trying the demo now. <snip> The gameplay is slow and clunky, the interface cumbersome, and the graphics wouldn't look out of place from 15 years ago. Does it feel like System Shock? Honestly can't tell. Will I buy it? No.

Sounds like a faithful remaster to me. Same clunky, unintuitive 90s control scheme without tutorial or clear objective. Just like the good ol' days.
 

neeyik

Posts: 1,788   +2,061
Staff member
Sounds like a faithful remaster to me. Same clunky, unintuitive 90s control scheme without tutorial or clear objective. Just like the good ol' days.
Ah, but that's the nub of the issue here. This new version is a remake, not a remaster - if it was the latter, I'd quite happily accept the flaws, though I still wouldn't get the game. But considering that this is supposed to be a remake, little things such as pressing TAB to open the UI but then using ESC to close it just disappoints me.

Tried it again this morning, and I can't get over how awful the animations of enemies are - it truly is a 90s game shoehorned into a modern engine.
 

Neatfeatguy

Posts: 219   +277
Just been trying the demo now. It's...unusual, to say the least. It's been a long time since I played the original System Shock, so my memory is likely to have altered my perception of matters somewhat, but this is a fairly low-key remake. The gameplay is slow and clunky, the interface cumbersome, and the graphics wouldn't look out of place from 15 years ago. Does it feel like System Shock? Honestly can't tell. Will I buy it? No.

My understanding is the demo is just an Alpha release, so we should hopefully expect to see things refined more before the game is officially released. The things that bugged me the most were mostly combat related:

* The melee combat is slow and clunky, it almost reminds me of 7 Days to Die. There's no feedback from hits and the range feels awkwardly short.
* The ranged combat is lacking as well, no recoil sensation that you get in a lot of other games with guns
* Too easy to back peddle and take swings with your lead pipe on the mutants (like 7DtD)
* AI is way too perceptive. As soon as you cross their line of sight, even if you're leaning out, they immediately spot you and shoot or walk towards you. Hopefully this can be toned down some to allow a bit more of a stealth/sneak like feeling into your movements.
* Animations were bit clunky, jumping felt like you are wearing cement boots and textures seemed low....but I figure that's simply because it's an Alpha release.

All in all, it kind of reminded me of Deus Ex, but with improved graphics. It could be good, I guess we just wait and see.
 

toooooot

Posts: 1,452   +726
I started System Shock but only got about 1/3rd the way through, but I can't remember why I didn't finish it as I throughly enjoyed it. Really looking forward to revisiting this game.
I started System Shock but only got about 1/3rd the way through, but I can't remember why I didn't finish it as I throughly enjoyed it. Really looking forward to revisiting this game.
Thats my story with Observer. I enjoy space games, idk why I didnt finish it.
 

trgz

Posts: 336   +108
What struck me odd was that this remake demo doesn't seem any better than the previous demo version from 2016 (or was it 2017?)
 

Aux101

Posts: 75   +16
Pre-ordering ($50CAD) rewards with the Enhanced Edition for free. Whut ?!?

Who wouldn't want the Enhanced Edition ?

So if we don't pre-order we'll have to pay again for the nicer edition.
Seriously ? 🤔😖
 

McMurdeR

Posts: 239   +232
Having completed the original I would say it's much more of a remaster than a remake with a lot more neon than I remember. Been a long time, but I vaguely remember it took a while before the game hit it's stride. In any case it's a lovely piece of nostalgia.

Worth the initial asking price? Not a chance, but when it inevitably ends up at a tenner I might bite. It's just that there are a few good action RPGs out there that might be more worth our time. Maybe Bioshock, Dishonoured 2, Prey or any of the new Deus Ex games. Let's see how the full game turns out...
 

Danny101

Posts: 1,550   +660
I started System Shock but only got about 1/3rd the way through, but I can't remember why I didn't finish it as I throughly enjoyed it. Really looking forward to revisiting this game.
Same, but with System Shock 2. I got stuck and couldn't move further.