System Shock (2023): Will the remake live up to expectations?

Janice_Lin
edited June 5 in Gaming

Video games can be incredibly exciting, especially when it comes to remakes or remastered versions of influential games that have shaped the industry and continue to impact modern gaming. A remake of a video game is a complete redesign of the plot and game while still retaining their core characters and story elements, while a remaster is simply a visual improvement of the video game without changing anything else. A few remastered video games that came out in the past few years include Final Fantasy VIII and Diablo II: Resurrected, and the best video game remakes include Demon’s Souls and Resident Evil 2. You can find more games online with Game Pass, with access to over 100 high-quality games with your Acer, Predator, and ConceptD Windows 11 PC and one month of Xbox Game Pass.

What is System Shock 1994? 

System Shock is a 1994 first-person action-adventure video game developed by Looking Glass Technologies and published by Origin Systems. The game was considered a masterpiece and was praised for being far ahead of its time, being one of the first video games to implement first-person shooters in a three-dimensional (3D) environment. It also became a highly influential game that impacted the production and development of other video games, such as Bioshock, Dead Space, and Singularity. Within the Bioshock series, Bioshock Infinite also received critical acclaim for its story setting, visual designs, and art direction. As technology advances, horror video games also progress and opt for a more immersive and realistic gaming experience.

Introduction to the game 

This System Shock remake is based on the original 1994 version, which inspired the hugely popular Bioshock series. It was developed by NightDive Studios and published by Prime Matter. Nightdive Studios first obtained the rights to System Shock 2 and later on acquired the franchise as a whole. The developers also wanted to make a System Shock 3, but the project never came to fruition. NightDive Studios originally planned to fund the remake through a Kickstarter campaign that set the goal of $900,000 USD. The goal was met soon after, and the campaign ended on July 28th, 2016 with $1.35 million USD in funding. While the development was put on hold a couple of times in 2018 and 2020 due to internal matters and the pandemic, the game is set to be released on May 30th, 2023.

Storyline  

System Shock 2023 is expected to follow the same story and plotline as the 1994 classic. Set in a cyberpunk vision of the year 2072, a nameless hacker finds himself in trouble after getting caught trying to hack into files concerning Citadel Station, a space station owned by the powerful TriOptimum Corporation. In a turn of events, a TriOptimum executive, Edward Diego, offers a deal with the hacker: for him to hack into Citadel Station’s Artificial Intelligence (AI), S.H.O.D.A.N., to allow Diego to modify the AI to fulfill his own wishes. However, the plan backfires and the hacker finds himself waking up from a six-month long coma. The hacker realizes that the modification of the AI allowed it to take full control of the crew and the station. S.H.O.D.A.N. has been reprogrammed for hostility, and all the crew has either been killed, mutated, or transformed into cyborgs. The game starts with the hacker waking up and trying to figure out how to escape the space station and combat this new AI and cyborgs without getting himself killed.

While the storyline is similar to the 1994 original, Director Jason Fader stressed that it will not be a complete recreation. The team will apply “modern design principles” to make it more playable and up to standard with today’s video games.

Gameplay 

System Shock 2023 will also be set in a first-person perspective in a 3D environment. It is set in the multi-layered Citadel space station, where players explore and combat enemies. Players use their mouse cursor to interact with objects, using the heads-up (HUD) display interface. The mouse cursor and keyboard allow the player to move as they wish, such as to move forward, backward, or crouch down. The HUD also features three “multi-function” displays, which display information like the inventory and the map. Players may collect and change weapons and tools as they are laid out in the environment. 

System Shock will still be built around emergent gameplay, which refers to complex situations in video games that emerge from the interactions of relatively simple game mechanics. Emergent gameplay mechanics give the player-character a range of abilities and tools to create solutions, allowing the video game progress to be non-linear. The absence of a pre-planned story structure also gives the player more choices and surprises, guiding them into several different scenarios.

The original game was noted as one of the most innovative games of its time, breaking the limitations of the video game industry. In this System Shock remake, the improved gameplay will include advanced stealth mechanics, melee, and ranged combat. The new remake will also have more RPG (role-playing game) elements to it, with conversations and different encounters affecting the storyline of the game. Better UI, weapon-switching, and the speed of item consumption shortcuts will also be added to the game.

Graphics and design

As any remake goes, the graphics and design will get a huge upgrade. Aside from fresh visual enhancements, improved controls, advanced UI systems, and upgraded AI systems, there are also newly added features and animations, including sound effects and music. There’s already a 20-minute gameplay clip from GameSpot, and you can see the enhanced graphics and visual elements here, giving immersive gameplay a whole new definition. The official trailer for System Shock came out in June last year, prompting a plethora of comments expressing players’ enthusiasm for this remake. The official trailer can be seen here. Several System Shock enthusiasts have also taken their opinion online, stating their excitement and nostalgia for the game.

According to a player from Green Man Gaming, the futuristic design of the space has been revamped to a more modern and sleek platform. The resolution boasts high-definition textures and reworked lighting and shadow effects. The audio-visual presentation has also improved quite a lot. Not only did the voice actor of the original S.H.O.D.A.N. from the 1994 System Shock return to re-record all dialogues for the remake but there are also new sound effects, as well as a new soundtrack. This proves how much Nightdive Studios went above and beyond for System Shock 2023. The new System Shock welcomes new players with surprises and major upgrades.

System Shock 2023

The System Shock remake’s release date is set to be in May 2023 for Windows, followed by Linux, macOS, the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. Players from all over the world are ecstatic about this game’s return, a cult classic with HD visuals, updated controls, an overhauled interface, and all new sound effects and music. Will the remake live up to its expectations? We’ll find out soon.

As System Shock 2023 inches closer to the release date, players have been chattering nonstop online out of curiosity and excitement. New technology spurs new video game remakes and remasters, and players often find them nostalgic and irresistible to try out. No matter what the game entails, it’s always guaranteed to give players a whole new gaming experience. 

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