After eight years of build-up and several delays, the long-awaited remake of the PC classic, System Shock, has finally received a hard release date—but not after one more delay. Missing its March window, this new announcement boldly proclaims a May release.
SHODAN Is Eternal
For those unaware of the legendary series, System Shock was a highly innovative sci-fi/FPS/horror/RPG hybrid duology of videogames that pushed the envelope in more ways than one. Originally released to PCs in 1994, System Shock 1 impressed gamers with a deeply explorable, fully 3D environment that pulsed with life.
The game utilized a wonderful non-linear structure that effectively emphasized the space station’s sheer scale. Every turn was a secret or surprise or a neat little nod to the lives of passengers that once occupied the station, cementing environmental storytelling as a key element to the narrative. It was a thriving environment that blended narrative with navigation excellently, ensnaring the player in a thick atmosphere and letting them wander freely, exploring the place at their own pace.
System Shock would go on to influence modern classics such as Prey and Bioshock and became one of the founding fathers of the immersive sim. As such, System Shock is a series with an immense history, and the mere concept of a remake is astronomical. Thankfully, it shows itself to be an act of love. Judging by the demo, the remake is a wonderfully authentic, meticulous, and elegant attempt at reimagining one of gaming’s most prolific titles.
Bigger and Better
The remake boasts stunning HD visuals that keep in tune with the original’s punkish look, maintaining the vibrant use of color while fondly reminiscing on the charming chunkiness of environmental design. It also features a totally revamped control scheme that modernizes the old slow-paced and highly thoughtful gameplay, injecting a little more speed into the action. Changes continue to detail never-before-seen enemies and a brand-new hacking system that will dramatically shake up the gameplay.
The mission statement for the remake seems to be grand accessibility, as the developers voice confidence in its position as a suitable starting point for diehard fans and newcomers alike.. That being said, don’t feel dissuaded in checking out the original, which still holds up wonderfully, albeit with the help of a few mods.
The full release can be expected on Steam, GOG, and the Epic Game Store come May 30th, with console releases on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S in due course.
Pre-orders for the PC version of the game will ship with a free copy of the upcoming System Shock 2: Enhanced Edition, which acts as an improved version of the original game.