System Shock Preview – SHODAN’s Back

System Shock Preview – SHODAN’s Back

System Shock has gone through an interesting journey. First announced in 2015, it was meant to simply be a remaster but was soon bumped to a full blown reboot as development got more ambitious. At one point it even got put on hold as the studio reevaluated their efforts with the game. Fast forward seven years later and it seems like we’re finally nearing its actual release. My demo was a short slice of System Shock’s introduction where you’re immediately introduced to a gorgeous cyberpunk world, caked in neon and fog. When you’re finally dropped in the shoes of our protagonist, the hacker, the game (for better or worse) is System Shock. From there I fell into immediately familiar territory as I began scrounging for resources, listening to audiologs, completing puzzles, and finding hidden goodies off the beaten path all while avoiding patrolling cyborgs.

All of the elements you remember from that original game are here and modernized enough without straying too far from the original game’s vision. I loved what Nightdive Studios did with the aesthetic of the game, with gorgeously rendered levels that are littered with things to look at and some excellent sound design work. I crept through dingy hallways, beat mutants with a pipe, ran from cyborgs and picked up every piece of junk I found because I could. All in all, fans of the original likely have something to chew on here but I don’t see it winning over newcomers and it doesn’t seem like System Shock is too interested in that. It’s a game clearly made for fans of the original game and genre, and it’s not shy about that fact. Fingers crossed this game leads to a remake of System Shock 2.

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