System Shock had a determining role in this subgenre called Shock Games. Initially, this franchise was released on PC more than thirty years ago and also had several sequels. Though over time, like many other first-person experiences, this series evolved to be primarily enjoyed by console gamers.
System Shock, however, now in this year, 2023, is presented to us in the form of a remake, a complete reinvention of the classic title designed especially for PC. In addition, there are plans that include its adaptation to consoles, as well as other actions that will take place after launch.
At first, it becomes apparent that the visual changes in System Shock Remake are extremely drastic. The completely engaging graphics and visuals managed to capture the multi-layered atmosphere of this fascinating space novel. Additionally, the use of lighting, real-time ray tracing in-game further enriches this experience as you immerse yourself in the title. So graphically, the game is pretty good, although I have to admit, it’s not impressive at all.
When it comes to combat, it has a significant impact on how much resistance we can take. In hand-to-hand combat, as you delve into Shodan’s twisted cyber playground. However, versatility is key when facing enemies and also keeps the player constantly on edge.
The performance of the game is quite good, so my experience has been most pleasant, very few frame drops and load times quite manageable, although I repeat, nothing impressive.
The latent core of System Shock has always been player-driven gameplay. The combination of complex and interconnected systems, subtle storytelling metrics and moldable artificial intelligence give it an almost alien look, as if a malevolent force is restructuring a maze just a step away in real time.
Nearly 20 years later, System Shock’s influence on the first-person shooter and role-playing genres has expanded so much that it’s almost imperceptible without careful consideration. This puts the new version of System Shock in a strange kind of (cyber) space. It’s clearly a carefully crafted recreation, a fantastic experience to play, and more accessible than ever thanks to a wonderful new inventory system.
However, it doesn’t necessarily recreate the innovative nature of the original, and I wonder if new players in this hellish landscape will truly understand System Shock’s legacy by playing this remake. I also wonder if this game will feel current enough to grab players’ attention, as it often feels a bit dated.
On the other hand, it may be an impossible task. Something Nightdive could have dealt with by drastically rethinking the AI of the enemies, updating the animation trees, and improving the flexibility of the combat systems to be more in line with modern standards, before scrapping all their progress for take a more basic approach, a return to basics. That sounds a bit derogatory, doesn’t it? Perhaps it would be more appropriate to say “faithful.” Realistically, I can’t tell you if you’ll like the new version of System Shock, but I can say that I did enjoy embarking on a haunting and lonely journey into the depths of the Citadel Station.
System Shock feels a bit dated, I’m not sure modern gamers will be comfortable with it, but it’s a fairly well-done remake of a game that many haven’t played, but those of us who have, appreciate it a lot. Its performance and graphics are quite good, its gameplay is quite original and it is definitely an adventure that many of us should immerse ourselves in.
This review was made thanks to a copy for PC provided by Prime Matter.