System Shock Remake: A Modern Take on a Classic Game
System Shock, the iconic first-person shooter game from 1994, has been remade by Nightdive Studios. The game has been updated with modern conveniences that make it enjoyable for gamers for decades to come. In this new remake, players take on the role of a lone hacker on a space station far from home, fighting through horrible mutants and killer robots to take down SHODAN, the monstrous artificial intelligence behind it all.
Exploration Over Combat
While System Shock is nominally a shooter, it is more about exploring the labyrinth that is the TriOptimum Corporation’s Citadel space station. The player’s character, the hacker with their military-grade neural implant, is responsible for disabling SHODAN’s ethical limitations. As a result, SHODAN has created horrible cyborgs, mutants, and killer robots and is on a mission to export her godlike divinity to Earth proper.
The game is old-school in terms of level design. It features deliberately-designed mazes of interconnecting corridors, rooms, and locked gates that provide an exciting challenge to learn your way around. There is no main-quest hand holding, so players have to explore and figure out the plans the crew had cooked up.
While the game is primarily about exploration, there is still a lot of combat to be done along the way. Players will have to bash, shoot, burn, and blow up some nasty monsters to escape the Citadel. Combat in this new System Shock emphasizes explosive action combined with stealth tactics.
Boss fights that were once tedious encounters in the original game are now tense fights that require players to gather the right equipment from around the station to win. Players revive at the nearest medical chamber they’ve unlocked on death, with their gear and equipment intact. Rushing through levels can work, but it’s easier if players have found a way to revive nearby when they accidentally fall and die.
Cyberspace: A Boring Detour
The game’s weakest point is its cyberspace sections. Players find terminals that let them enter the station’s cyberspace mainframe, where reality is instead a kind of “six degrees of freedom” shooter with mediocre wireframe graphics. While the remake is very faithful to these sections by leaving them intact, they could often bore players to tears.
Overall, the System Shock remake is an amazing update of the classic game. The revamped visuals and effects, music, and sounds bring pure spaceborne cyberpunk vibes to the game. The game’s old-school level design and new combat mechanics make it a real FPS with unique enemy designs that require players to think and act cleverly.