System Shock (2023) - Review Thread

Game Information

Game Title: System Shock (2023 Remake)


  • PC (May 30, 2023)
  • Xbox Series X/S (TBA)
  • PlayStation 5 (TBA)
  • Xbox One (TBA)
  • PlayStation 4 (TBA)


Developer: Nightdive Studios

Publisher: Prime Matter

Review Aggregator:

OpenCritic - 75 average - 68% recommended - 39 reviews

Critic Reviews

Destructoid - Zoey Handley - 9 / 10

A hallmark of excellence. There may be flaws, but they are negligible and won't cause massive damage.

Enternity.gr - Stelios Anagnostopoulos - Greek - 9 / 10

The ecosystem of the System Shock remake has all those elements that established the original game, confirm the professionalism of Nightdive Studios but - and most importantly for the community - discount, if accepted by the community-market, the return of SHODAN in a possible System Shock 3.

BaziCenter - محمد طالبیان - Persian - 9 / 10

System Shock Remake might not be without flaws, but remaking one of the greatest games ever made after almost 3 decades was never an easy task to start with. Nevertheless, the Remake is solid enough to give the new generation of gamers a taste of one of the pioneers of the video games industry.

Tom's Hardware Italia - Andrea Riviera - Italian - 8.5 / 10

System Shock is indeed a good remake, capable not only of replicating the wonderful and distressing atmospheres of the 1994 original, but of expanding on them thanks to a decidedly distinctive -- if occasionally a bit strange -- visual style and a level design still capable of setting the standard. Nightdive Studios has brought to life what is probably their best remake work; an act of love towards the work of Warren Spector and Doug Church, which now everyone can finally enjoy in its modern form.

WayTooManyGames - Kyle Nicol - 8.5 / 10

For those who are huge fans of the original release, I am sure that this will be highly regarded as a fantastic remake. But this is more than that: for those new to the franchise, this is also a great point to step in at. Nightdive’s System Shock remake is one that will appeal to both audiences. The core gameplay mechanics may not the best or most polished, but it’s the world design, atmosphere and engaging plot that make for an experience that is still very much unique, and well worth the gigantic wait.

The Games Machine - Emanuele Feronato - Italian - 8.2 / 10

Won't be easy to drop the game before defeating SHODAN. This happens mainly thanks to an excellent gameplay set in superbly designed levels, despite some technical inaccuracies. Many hours await you in a continuous challenge between human and artificial intelligence.

Eurogamer - Kaan Serin - 4 / 5

A remake that closely follows the original classic, with a slightly different overall effect.

Everyeye.it - Riccardo Cantù - Italian - 8 / 10

System Shock's remake is a love letter to the original and its fans, but also an opportunity for new fans to rediscover an authentic video game classic.

Guardian - Rick Lane - 4 / 5

Lovingly remade, this game is no longer the trailblazer it once was, but there is an enduring majesty to the design of its space-station setting

PC Gamer - Joshua Wolens - 80 / 100

It might be a little conservative, but this is a smart, faithful remake and easily the de facto way to play System Shock in the modern era.

Screen Rant - Jason Hon - 4 / 5

Nightdive Studios' System Shock remake is the definitive version of the classic 90s PC title whose influence is still felt in today's sci-fi shooters.

Shacknews - TJ Denzer - 8 / 10

Nightdive’s System Shock remake keeps much of its successful elements intact while doing away with a lot of its archaic issues that would drag down a modern game.

VG247 - Siobhán Casey - 4 / 5

Nightdive Studios may have taken seven years, but it's finally managed to do the impossible and thread the unlikely line between reboot and remake.

Wccftech - Ule Lopez - 8 / 10

The System Shock remake offers a lot of great graphical enhancements and beautiful stylistic choices that make for an overall enjoyable experience. Unfortunately, it's dragged back by several aspects that haven't aged well over the years and have become more accentuated after the advancements that gaming has made in all these years.

Worth Playing - Chris "Atom" DeAngelus - 8 / 10

System Shock Remake is a solid remake of an exceptional game. It doesn't quite reach the levels of modernization that you might see from something like Resident Evil 4 Remake, but it does a good job of adapting a classic without losing what made it a classic in the first place. It's a clever and creative game that deserves its place in gaming history, and the remake emphasizes that.

COGconnected - Mark Steighner - 78 / 100

While we wait for a genuine reboot, System Shock is worth playing as a reminder of how important great ideas were, and still are, to the hobby we love.

Spaziogames - Marcello Paolillo - Italian - 7.8 / 10

System Shock Remake is a solid sci-fi first person shooter, although it does not go beyond the boundaries drawn by the first and immortal chapter, released in 1994.

GameGrin - Violet Plata - 7.5 / 10

Unforgiving, with no tutorials, and a true-to-classic experience, System Shock is a retro survival horror title through and through, but you should still consider checking it out, even if you don't care for the original.

Hobby Consolas - Daniel Quesada - Spanish - 75 / 100

If only for the historical value of the original, it is worth trying. Its non-linear gameplay can choke for some players, but if you're into challenges, here's a curious incentive.

Press Start - Brodie Gibbons - 7.5 / 10

After three decades, System Shock still serves up a sci-fi banquet complete with one of the greatest antagonists and features that revolutionised a genre. Classic games are left open to classic stumbling blocks, however, as some of the design shows considerable depreciation.

CGMagazine - Andrew Farrell - 7 / 10

System Shock is an upgraded classic with dated elements that needs quality of life improvements, yet despite everything is still a fun treat for immersive sim fans.

Capsule Computers - Admir Brkic - 7 / 10

System Shock remake offers a great facelift on almost every front but leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to enemy AI and sound design.

GBAtemp - Prans Dunn - 7 / 10

While I won’t call the System Shock remake an instant classic or on par with other recent remakes such as Resident Evil 4 or Dead Space, it is a decent effort to bring a revered sci-fi title to a new audience.

God is a Geek - Mick Fraser - 7 / 10

If you've always wanted to play System Shock but never had the chance, then this remake is the ideal entry point for you.

Metro GameCentral - Steve Boxer - 7 / 10

Not the high-end remake that some fans would have been hoping for but even as a, at times, too faithful remaster this is a fascinating second look at one of gaming's great unsung heroes.

PCGamesN - Dave Irwin - 7 / 10

The System Shock remake is the best way to play the PC classic, making it an enjoyable first-person experience for the modern age. However, it still clings to some somewhat outdated mechanics that will frustrate newcomers.

TheSixthAxis - Steve C - 7 / 10

If you want to explore the history of the horror genre then this is the version to play, but you might want to bookmark a guide to avoid System Shock's most outdated elements.

Atomix - Alexis Patiño - Spanish - 68 / 100

System Shock is the remake fans have been waiting since 2015 and it succeeds in bringing back all that 90s PC gaming experience. Including the outdated feel in an era flooded with greater and more attractive games.

PowerUp! - James Wood - 6.5 / 10

System Shock is less of a modern means through which to experience the best of the original but a separate beast, one far clumsier but in much nicer lipstick.

GamesRadar+ - Leon Hurley - 3 / 5

An oddly pitched remake that has its moments but adds very little to the original beyond a visual upgrade

Multiplayer First - Vitor Braz - 6 / 10

The original System Shock was a classic but also a niche game that never achieved commercial success; this remake highlights the niche aspect but will forgo the classic label. It may entice players who want to see how this updated version looks and plays, and while there’s some considerable tension to be had while going down narrow and dim lit corridors, the fun of being lost in maze after maze wears out quickly, especially when you’re doing the umpteenth scan through the map looking for whatever card or switch you have missed. At this rate, SHODAN is likely going to conquer both Citadel Station and Earth, as frustrating her plans is precisely that – frustrating.

Slant Magazine - Steven Scaife - 3 / 5

However commendable Nightdive’s efforts to preserve the spirit of the original may be, it doesn’t take much frustrated wandering before questioning whether their modernization efforts have gone far enough.

Checkpoint Gaming - Tom Quirk - 5.5 / 10

Nightdive's System Shock remake is a strange game, and whether it will appeal to you may largely depend on your nostalgia for the era of gaming from which it came. This remake still shows its age, despite the considerable and impressive paint job, lighting, and updated controls. If you don't mind the sometimes murderous level of difficulty, tons of backtracking, and minimal handholding, System Shock may be a compelling piece of gaming history that is worth checking out.

WellPlayed - Nathan Hennessy - 5.5 / 10

The atmospheric visual overhaul marks the best part of this exhausting and dated remake, while the villainous AI SHODAN remains a timeless antagonist.

ACG - Jeremy Penter - Buy

Video Review - Quote not available

Chicas Gamers - Álvaro Bustío - Spanish - Unscored

After almost three decades behind it, Nightdive Studio revives System Shock, a much-loved cult game that, this time, is presented to us as a remake (remember that there is also an Enhanced version that is more visually faithful to its original), preserving its game mechanics and adapting them to current ones, all programmed with Unreal Engine 4 with updated graphics in high definition according to current standards. It also has a very interesting interface, which makes all the addons look spectacularly good, updated controls and a soundtrack and voices that make walking the citadel and facing the horrors sent by SHODAN even more immersive than ever. A very entertaining adventure, especially for lovers of shooters and exploration, that although it can be finished in 6 hours on its lowest difficulties and knowing what to do, it can take substantially longer on its highest difficulties.

Polygon - Gita Jackson - Unscored

It’s easy to understand why people played this game and then became obsessed with it, why you can trace some people’s careers through the game.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - Jeremy Peel - Unscored

While its refusal to let you cheat the exam will prove too punishing for some, the new System Shock is a breathtakingly beautiful and astonishingly faithful remake that proves the enduring power of Looking Glass design.

Vamers - Edward Swardt - Essential

System Shock by Nightdive Studios is a marvel of a title, whilst also serving as an utterly transcending and faithful adaptation. The game brings the iconic 1994 shooter to life in modern and unique ways, allowing the classic to be experienced by an entire new generation of video gamers. Similarly, it introduces a unique type of gameplay that many games today have all but forgotten about. It requires thinking, encourages exploration, and absolutely does not hold the player’s hand during any of its many challenging levels. Faithfulness is what System Shock beckons, yet perfection is what it achieves.


Seems like it is a pretty faithful remake, flaws and all. I got quite a lot engagement/fun from controlling the tanklike character, so removing that challenge would certainly make this a simpler Immersive Sim type game.


I think that's a good thing in this case. For such an old game that's quite inaccessible to a lot of people due to how dated it is sometimes a remake is great just to modernise it enough to make it playable to a modern audience but retaining what made it a defining product of its time. Like personally I struggle with playing things from the 3rd generation and older. 4th gen onwards, I have no issue though I suppose that's because I had a SNES growing up. Contrast that with something like Dead Space or RE4 where there are significant QoL changes made along with some changes to level design in areas, those games are pretty playable to any modern gamer interested in 'retro' games, though I use retro loosely.


> Contrast that with something like Dead Space or RE4 That was my exact thought. System Shock is pretty rough to play and so a 1:1 remake feels appropriate. That's in contrast to something like Dead Space or RE4 where the games are already accessible enough that a remake has to do things a bit differently in order to feel justified.


>Like personally I struggle with playing things from the 3rd generation and older. 4th gen onwards, I have no issue though I suppose that's because I had a SNES growing up. I think that's a legitimate rise in quality actually. My first console was a [Magnavox Odyssey](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnavox_Odyssey) (it wasn't powerful enough for background graphics so you had to put translucent plastic overlays on your screen), followed by an Atari 2600, then an NES, then SNES... Most of the Atari 2600 games were absolute trash, then you have a few terrible arcade ports that were okay if you'd never played the real arcade version. The NES had tons of shovelware, and even the good games were plagued by what would come to be known as "NES hard" difficulty, where high difficulty and limited lives/continues were used to gate progress and extend the time you spent with the relatively expensive content. The SNES is where you really start to get quality consistantly. Having started in the pre-NES era, even remembering what an improvement the NES was over what came before, there are very few NES games I find worth going back to (and if they have remakes, like the Mario and Final Fantasy games, I prefer those versions). But there are tons of SNES games I still enjoy playing.


Even outside of the crap and shovelware titles, my god I can’t believe how obtuse the good games are. And it’s not just one or two, it’s the majority of them. I completed the OG Metroid for the first time this year, since I got into the series after Dread. Beyond the NES hard difficulty and password save files of its time, do they really expect me to map out the game on some paper so I have a clue where I’m going? I feel like a lot of it was just to arbitrarily increase the playtime given the games were much shorter based off pure content. I never found SNES games to be a chore, if anything one of my favourite games (Donkey Kong Country 2) I feel holds up pretty well to modern platformers. And I fully agree if there’s anything with a SNES port I’ll take that version, no question.


>Beyond the NES hard difficulty and password save files of its time, do they really expect me to map out the game on some paper so I have a clue where I’m going? Yes. Mapping out games on graph paper was a time honored tradition in my time. Held true for PC ROG games like Might & Magic or Eye of the Beholder too. When Nintendo Power would come out with guides including maps to a game, it was a really big deal. If you haven't already, play [Metroid: Zero Mission](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metroid:_Zero_Mission). It's a GBA remake of the original Metroid with modern conveniences, and it's one of my favorite entries in the series to date. You'll get a really good idea of how far things have come since you're so fresh off the original.


It feels like it should have had an updated mode as well. A simple map and radar and waypoint system would have probably helped out a bunch for the new comers.


The remake does have a map, and according to a comment below, setting the "mission" difficulty to easy puts markers/waypoints on it. It seems like some reviewers may have missed this, if that comment is accurate.


It's accurate


NGL, I have not played the remake and only played it when it came out. I just remember wandering around lost and punishing difficulty.


> A simple map and radar and waypoint system would have probably helped out a bunch for the new comers. Odd, the original had both a map, a radar and a waypoint system (though you had to unlock the radar, and you had to manually set the waypoints from the map).


I hear the lower difficulty has a way point system. Cannot confirm until tmrw though.




Ya it's a bummer that most games cater to these systems. I was playing Prime and had to turn off hints when I realized it was an actual function to toggle. Until I did that it didn't have a true Metroid feel. Getting lost leads to the Aha! moments that make these games great. Do you know how long it took me to figure out how to powerbomb the tunnel to enter Maridia? That was such a fun moment to finally get!


So what I get from most of these reviews is that the visuals are great, however the gameplay is not so much of an upgrade, and like few say even "dated"


That's Nightdive's MO. When they do their remasters, they try to retain the gameplay as much as possible. I think this is their first full on remake, so I'm not surprised they wanted to keep gameplay reminiscent of the original.


Didn't they try to make bigger changes to the gameplay and the community pushed back *hard* against it, basically making them restart the development from scratch?


They did, it was going to have a bunch of new gameplay systems (freezing enemies is the only one comes to mind) and the levels were originally going to be radically redesigned


> They did, it was going to have a bunch of new gameplay systems (freezing enemies is the only one comes to mind) The original game already had ammo that could stun enemies. I think the community pushed back because they were initially planning on removing many of the features of the original game.


The freeze would have been procedural, letting you shoot bits off the enemy body, such as arms. This was to be done using in-world nitrogen barrels.


> The freeze would have been procedural, letting you shoot bits off the enemy body, such as arms. This was to be done using in-world nitrogen barrels. It doesn't sound like a terrible idea, though it would be better if this was done through cryogenic grenades you could throw at the enemy, or something similar.


> The original game already had ammo that could stun enemies. Yeah and Night Dive removed those instead of improving the functionality. The freezing enemies thing is something Jason Fader was pushing, and it was dumb. Big conspicuous barrels of liquid nitrogen just scattered all over the place.


That sounds plausible. I didn't follow the development of this game. I remember it getting announced then years later I heard it was coming out. I support Nightdive and have been interested in System Shock, so I will play this game at some point.


Yep, and they go over some of that in [this Noclip video detailing the development of the game.](https://youtu.be/pE97vZLC_fA)


They did try to make bigger changes (after selling a Kickstarter on the idea there wouldn't be too much change). The community did push back against it. Night Dive didn't care about the community push back until they realized they couldn't get a publisher to provide more funding.


Weird to me that people were complaining about the devs trying to improve the game. Like, if you want to suffer in 30 year old windows maze screensaver level design, just play the original.


> improve Changing doesnt mean an improvement. If you sold me something then say "Oh no were improving it and you'll get this instead" then you're scamming me. Just give me what I paid for.


The Kickstarter was clear about what to expect from the art style, the music, and the level design. Then a year later the devs were showing off completely different music, different art style, and different level design. They had stopped *remaking* System Shock 1 and had started making their own new System Shock game (unrelated to the System Shock 3 in the works at the same time by another studio). They weren't even showing off good changes either -- the new art style had become incredibly drab & sterile and the big gameplay addition they were bragging about was the placement of barrels of liquid nitrogen you can explode to freeze nearby enemies.


Somewhat; I remember reading about the development news back then (it started somewhere around 2016 I think?) and they seem to suffer quite a significant scope creep with their ideas. About a year after that, news comes out they ran into budget issues and had to restart the development and/or their visions of the remake.


I was gonna say Turok and Turok 2 but I guess those aren't at the same level as system shock is.


Those were remasters. They improved the graphics and controls and a few other quality of life changes, but it's still the same game.


This game isn't a remaster though, it's a full on remake and a radical departure from their MO


I think a good remake makes the gameplay reminiscent of the original, but not a straight copy (flaws and all). Basically they should try to recreate one's fond memories of a great game, not recreate the actual game. Dead Space did a great job of this.


Gameplay is very much not a straight copy from the original (I don't know where people are getting this from). In fact I would say it is completely different. Deadspace remake is much closer to the original than this is.


The reviews are calling it conservative and extremely faithful to the original. That's where I get it from.


They're wrong. It's most faithful in the level design, which is very similar, but the gameplay is a complete overhaul.


Would you mind elaborating on that? I've really only read the PC Gamer review and they primarily focused on the map and the UI as detrimentally archaic. Do you mean the combat, or environment interaction or something?


Every element of this game, from UI to inventory management to combat and movement, are all completely new and not in any way held back by elements from the original game (they're all gone). The remake seem to have been inspired by slow shooters like RE7 or Prey more than anything else. It's not just that they aren't similar. It's that the gameplay category itself has changed (the original didn't have grid inventory management, for example). The weapons have some of the same names but the implementation and handling is ground up radically different. So there is just no way you can say the remake is being held back by the ideas of it's predecessor. It's true that the remake does feel kind of dated, but the reason it feels dated has nothing to do with the original. They essentially managed to make a game that feels dated all on it's own.


Thank you for responding! As someone who has been desperate for a new immersive sim since Prey that sounds right up my alley.


Yeah if you're looking for something along the lines of Prey then you will probably be very happy with this remake. The new inventory management, including the recycling feature, is pulled straight from Prey. The overall gameplay, as well, is very much in that vein (with it's own quirks, of course).


I love Prey (and Bioshock) and it felt right at home for me


I mean, Dead Space didn't change much to the gameplay, but it also didn't need to. The original Dead Space likely holds up much better to someone new to the series than the original System Shock does.


The reason they restarted development on this game a while back is that they thought they were reinventing the game too much and would prefer to keep the original intact as much as possible. Warts and all.


Had they changes it too much, there would be other voices saying it wasn't a faithful adaption. Better UI, visuals and controls are a first priority when updating a game I feel, and they did that here.


I can tell you from the demo alone that the work they did to modernize just the controls and UI is worth the remake. From my perspective, much more so than any of the other horror remakes we'll have by year's end.


Easy buy for me now.




It’s my understanding though from initial views that they finally got the active soundtrack to work which was the intent in the original; going from exploration to combat was supposed to pull in different music as well as what level of health and stuff which we take for granted now. The music in the original is full of bangers though for sure.


To me the reworked/new tracks are great, but they're presented as ambient music, being played in-world on the station for a more realistic feel. So the tunes are super muted and can't be heard very well. I get what they were going for and I actually love the way it adds to the atmosphere of the game but I wish they'd added an option to have them play louder as a "normal" game soundtrack would. I'm thinking that mods will be available pretty quickly that will allow that, or even to have the original music.


As someone who never played the original, hearing the soundtrack blaring like that in the original would get annoying pretty quick for me


I absolutely love the game but music is my biggest disappointment so far, it's completely unnoticeable. I understand that upbeat cyber techno bangers don't fit the modern atmosphere of the game but they could have remixed them into slower, more atmospheric versions. Not to mention that the more exciting combat music often kicks in way too late after the combat is already over, only to end a few seconds later.


I came here feeling the same. I'm playing and realizing that the lack of ambiance and soundtrack is really making the game feel like a slog. It's just so quiet all the time, even when enemies attack it only sometimes kicks in music... often it's just this awkwardly silent fight punctuated with a few gunshots but it's not like those are super loud or punchy - just bog standard sound effects. This game REALLY suffers in the ambient music dept. to the point where it hurts the atmosphere overall. At no point do I feel tension, or creepiness, or scared... nothing.


I feel like that's most of these remasters. You either change the gameplay up too much and it doesn't feel like the original or you leave it the same. Fans will like it but it'll feel very dated to newcomers. I loved the Spyro remasters but I could see how the gameplay was pretty bland if you didn't have a nostalgia boner for it.


> Fans will like it but it'll feel very dated to newcomers. I haven't played the original (tried to, but too headache-inducing), but I did play the demo. All I can say is that, yeah, it's not a twitch shooter, but the gameplay feels *really* gratifying to me - be it popping mutant heads with my pistol, or figuring out the puzzles. In particular, I adore how much care was taken to make a lot of things diegetic (like key input systems, or the switch puzzles). There is a 'datedness' to the game, but it's *good* datedness: It expects the player to figure things out on their own instead of having flashy pointers at every step, and instead of one linear cinematic experience, I am let lose on a giant space station and get to explore and discover it at my own volition. Honestly, it's a buy-at-release for me after both playing the demo, and watching a handful of reviews.


That's where I'm at, and why I was excited to play. I tend to think when most reviewers and folk are throwing around the "dated" word, that's actually code for no modern hand-holding, which is a massively great thing for a video game. These are virtual worlds, don't you want to explore? What's fun about following around an arrow for goodness' sake? Figure out what your brain can do for you instead. Not enough games are "dated." They're being made for an ADHD work-shy and intellect-shy generation.


The visuals are also quite retro in style. There is a demo on steam if you want to have a look.


Basically, all of the reviewer complaints are pretty much that they did what they originally promised. At one point, they started doing exactly what those reviewers wanted and reimagining it as a more modern game, but that wasn't what (the majority of) the backers wanted.


It’s a matter of taste I guess, but I love the gameplay of the original. You have so many options.


I’m okay with that




> So what I get from most of these reviews is that the visuals are great, however the gameplay is not so much of an upgrade, and like few say even "dated" I'm looking at the reviews like they're brainless. 7/10 "A great recreation with updates all around with great tension and pacing!" Like... wtf is that? Why would you give it 7/10 if it did everything it set out to do? It's an update to System Shock 1 to make it playable on modern computers without it requiring a soundblaster pro why would I want it to be anything else?


If you want the “Shock” games with modern day simplicity, that’s what Bioshock is. It was the spiritual successor with the immersive-sim part removed. At first I was worried about the scores, but if they kept the gameplay identical and it’s just current day game sensibilities affecting it, I’m glad to have it in my library already!


>If you want the “Shock” games with modern day simplicity, that’s what Bioshock is. If you want that you play Prey the true successor to shock games and a very underrated game. Bioshock was way too simplified for my tastes.


Prey is definitely not underrated. "Underappreciated" maybe.




> but if they kept the gameplay identical They didn't. Reviewers don't know what they are talking about. Best way to describe this remake is that it is System Shock if made with the gameplay of Prey (excluding powers).


That sounds awesome.


Honestly I'm of two minds of it, it's great that it's faithful, however at the same time... System Shock 1 is a *rough* game just in general. The sequel feels like a modern day immersive sim compared to it, while the original is incredibly clunky and dated **when it works**. It's a fine game for the time, but dated is an understatement. This isn't Deus Ex dated, this is early PC 3d game dated where game features and controls were just kinda put together and if they worked they worked


> System Shock 1 is a rough game just in general. The sequel feels like a modern day immersive sim compared to it, while the original is incredibly clunky and dated when it works. It's a fine game for the time, but dated is an understatement. This isn't Deus Ex dated, this is early PC 3d game dated where game features and controls were just kinda put together and if they worked they worked Obviously it has some dated elements, like the use of 2D sprites instead of 3D models, but the original System Shock has been playable with WASD and mouselook for a long time, which means it plays very much like any modern 3D game. You can jump and climb and shoot like any modern first-person game, it's not some archaic relic that controls nothing like modern games. It was even one of the first games with a mini-map and auto-mapping tool, making it truly ahead of its time in quality of life features.


>this is early PC 3d game dated where game features and controls were just kinda put together and if they worked they worked This isn't a fair description of how System Shock or other games of the era were made. There were very few standards of how a game should control or how a UI should function, and the games were made by small teams of mostly programmers and artists. They knew what they liked mechanically about games, but they had no training whatsoever in how to design UI and controls, which nowadays would have dedicated team members specializing in those things (with decades of examples to learn from). If you look at Ultima Underworld for example, which is the predecessor to System Shock (made by the same people, using the same engine), literally the only things dated about the design are its controls and UI. If you updated the control scheme and interface, it would be a modern immersive sim. The game was light years ahead of its time mechanically, and so was System Shock in many ways. Having played a good amount of System Shock Enhanced Edition recently, the game is still a lot of fun from a mechanical and design perspective, and the updated controls really are not that bad overall. The only exception, and the main problem I would say with System Shock, is that the cyberspace sections are kind of half-baked and frustrating. Immersive sims have always been a jack-of-all-trades sort of affair, where none of their individual components compare to a game dedicated to those mechanics, so it's not surprising that the cyberspace sections don't compare to something like Descent. But in this case, I think they overextended themselves, and should probably have left out the cyberspace stuff completely. With the remake having redone all of that stuff, I think it probably makes more sense for most people to just play the remake. I'm pretty excited about it personally. But I think the original is still great, and it's definitely not accurate to say that it was slapped together haphazardly.


I don't even think the original non-mouselook SS1 controls are as bad as they get painted as, they're just *different*. I always suspect a lot of the complaints about that game come from people who played it for all of two minutes and, after being confronted by the visuals and all the ways it doesn't work the way we now expect these kind of games to work, decided it must be unplayably dated. I mean obviously in a lot of ways it is very much a product of its time and not exactly accessible by modern standards, but taken on its own terms SS1 for the most part functions quite well, and if you're willing to engage with it, its weird vestigial quirks are part of what makes it interesting. The difficulty settings are some of the more customizable out there even to this day. It's basically the equivalent of someone today making a game for the year 2045, that nails the fundamentals pretty well but makes some weird choices on the finer details because they had no guidebook to work from.


> when it works It works fine though?


Feels like a good balance of old and new to me


Hm, just noticed if you preorder this one, you get the system shock 2 enhanced edition for free when that releases


Yeah god deal I’d say


I reviewed this one too, and frankly how much mileage you get is gonna depend heavily on your tolerance for old school game design. This game is beautiful, atmospheric, creepy, complex and extremely fun to explore. It's also incredibly obtuse, gives you not so much as a hint for what you should be doing or where you should be going, and suffers from mediocre combat and very repetitive "cyberspace" missions. But if you're a big fan of exploration and don't mind having to figure things out for yourself or consult a walkthrough, it's a great time and you'll really like it. For those interested in the full review, it's posted on our channel, I Dream of Indie games: https://youtu.be/3tiQAqBEwaM


> gives you not so much as a hint for what you should be doing or where you should be going It does, on a regular basis.


Having played some of it last night, aside from fixing your error of removing SHODAN's restraints it doesn't tell you a ton. I quite enjoyed that it didn't tell you anything about where you should go or what your goal is to solve puzzles (thinking of circuit boxes). Granted the circuit boxes aren't super hard but they do make you try to figure out the goal of the box on your own.


I really liked your review, so thanks for that. It's so interesting how you have to, as a professional, navigate the two situations where 1. You have to compare the final product against what the developers themselves said they aimed to produce and 2. Manage the expectations of a game in how it will compare to other similar games in today's time. System Shock remake is a fun situation where the developers might have achieved exactly what they aimed to achieve with the game, and by that metric it can be a 8 or 9 out of 10. But in terms of general enjoyment for the modern gamer there's a lot of quality of life features that makes a game arguably more fun and by that metric the game would be a 6 or 7 out of 10. My question is in a case like the above do you give a weighted score of 6 or 7 out of 10 (if you did scores of course) or do you award it the 8 or 9 with the necessary disclosures? I know a lot of reviewers take a more Hunter S Thompson approach and talk more about their personal experience with a game like you did in this review but I hope you don't mind using System Shock remake as an opportunity to pick your brain on this subject in general. There's Diablo 2 resurrection and Warhammer Boltgun who creates a very interesting comparison to the same "problem". Thanks


Thank you so much, I really appreciate that! To be perfectly honest, this is the quintessential situation for describing the reason why I Dream of Indie Games does not give review scores. At the end of each review, for those wanting a more concise breakdown, we have a screen with the overall recommendation as well as a list of pros and cons. And then of course I sometimes post here with a brief overview of my thoughts on the game. A game like System Shock is just a poor choice to assign a numeric value to. I see the average is around 73%, but truly many gamers willing to overlook or embrace the deliberately obtuse design will play an 8 or 9/10 game or even higher, and those who get tremendously frustrated by it would be much lower. I think assigning a game like this a number is virtually meaningless and demands more context, which is why we give the breakdown we do in hopes that it's both concise enough and detailed enough to quickly inform while giving the viewer a better feel for if the game is for them than a numeric score would. Hope that answers your question!


Thanks it does. I liked the points at the end of your video, but to be honest I've never made my mind up about how I feel about that type of breakdown. I suppose it makes it hard for me to gauge if the cons outweigh the pros if their listed with no sense of how big each pro or con is other than wording (amazing art design vs great art design), like arms on a scale tipping me to buy or wait for a sale. But then again, it must be equally hard for you to display pros and cons in a universal way when difficulty can be a big deal for me while art style is a bigger deal for someone else. I'm belaboring the point, but I just appreciate the opportunity to have a game critic like yourself share some insights on this. It does feel like the work in your field can go unappreciated when people ignore just how much goes into making a review.


It can definitely be a lot of work but writing about games is fun too so it's a balance 😁 Glad I could help!


So... It's a faithful remake of System Shock 1? Thanks for the heads up.


Your description just sold me on the game. Can’t wait to dive in.


Sounds exactly what I’d hope for. I’ve played System Shock 2 but never the first, and I’ve also played the original Deus Ex. Amazing games. But I am so done with hand holding. The way modern games seem to view ‘difficulty’ is just to throw bullet sponge enemies at you. So an actual hard game where you have to put in the work sounds amazing


You just sold me on the game. Thank you.


Only thing that sounds like a bummer is the combat, otherwise I'm in


Yeah and I would not call the combat *bad*. It just really lacks any sort of punch to it or strategy. You may empty half a clip into a robot thinking it did no damage at all, and suddenly the last shot knocks it right out. Melee has a similar issue where it often lacks impact. A lot of enemies will just stand there shooting and slowly following you too, making the best strategy a case of wait around the corner until there's a gap in their shots and take them out that way. Like I said, not horrible but also very uninteresting in my opinion. So for most players, especially those unfamiliar with the original, I'd recommend setting enemy difficulty to easy to keep them more manageable and maintain focus on puzzles and exploration. But naturally, to each their own!


I remember the enemies all have weaknesses so which weapon you use makes a big difference. There's a weapon you get fairly early on that can just melt robots, but you have limited ammo for a while so have to use it sparingly. Others are effective against the humanoid types. There was armor piercing ammo and what not. The combat doesn't lack punch so much as force you to decide between using powerful but rare weapons vs. jack of all trades weapons that don't pack the punch.


> You may empty half a clip into a robot thinking it did no damage at all, and suddenly the last shot knocks it right out Pretty much every RPG shooter has this issue I find. Everything is so unresponsive and spongey. Fallout 4 is the only one I've played to really get this balance down.


If you are on PC mods can fix those issues for most games. For example, If you like Fallout, there is a fantastic New Vegas mod that adds Fallout 4's survival and damage systems


Having played a good few hours of the final beta I can say this game is an odd goose. Compared to the original I love the way they've interpreted the originals mechanics and found an engaging way to present them to a modern audience. Little touches like exploring The Hackers flat before the corpo police storm in go a long way to make it feel like a modern (TM) game. On the other hand it's still going to alienate a lot of people with its lack of hand holding, strange exploration based flow, and focus on backtracking. My main fear is that people will use this as another excuse to bash crowdfunded games. Full disclosure; I backed this all those years ago. I wasn't certain my money was being put to good use after the project went tits-up the first time. Now? Now I'm pleased I got a great interpretation of an absolute classic. I would trust Nightdive with my money again, even if it took a hefty chunk of time to see the results. So remember: kickstarters aren't a pre-order. They're like an investment, and they can go good or bad.


>kickstarters aren't a pre-order. They're like an investment That's exactly what they are, and Kickstarter has always been very clear on that but some people just don't get it.


I swear I see comments on every Kickstarter game that go along the lines of "this game didn't come out 6 months after the campaign ended. It's a scam and the Devs made millions!".


To be fair there are more legitimate complaints regarding some projects though, like how Little Devil In Me seemingly fell off the face of the planet and went completely radio silent, even after being picked up and backed exclusively by Sony and was present in some of their showcases a year or two ago.. One of their target platforms was the WiiU when it launched 🤣


True, but there's also a reason why Kickstarter makes sure to shoe you warnings about crowdfunding across their site.


I know it's kind of becoming an overdone point by now, but the thought of modern gamers needing hand holding at the same time that Fromsoft games and Zelda are tearing up sales charts is kind of dubious. There's not much hand holding in Elden Ring, yet somehow modern gamers managed to not only enjoy it but fully embrace it. I'll give you that most of their games pre-ER could still be described as somewhat niche (just going by sales numbers), but ER shattered that notion. The 2 modern Zelda games don't have much hand holding either, they give you a basic tutorial and kind of turn you loose in the world. And then there are many, many indie games such as Hollow Knight that kind of put the thought of modern hand holding to the test as well. I'm not trying to say that modern AAA games aren't full of button prompts and tutorial messages and map markers and objective lists. Most of them are. I think Horizon Zero Dawn, Spider Man etc are just made for different people. All this means is that the market is large enough to sustain more accessible games like HZD, TLOU and Spider Man, as well as less guided experiences like Elden Ring, Zelda and others. "Modern gamer" is not one homogeneous bloc that will only buy games that hold your hand and tell you which buttons to press the whole way through.


"An oddly pitched remake that has its moments but adds very little to the original beyond a visual upgrade". LoL, that was the whole point.


That GamesRadar review is strange. I really wonder if the reviewer actually played the original like they claim.


Too bad they shot themselves in the penis as far as this "whole point" by intentionally pixelating the textures while at the same time adding the option for texture filtering to System Shock Enhanced Edition.


So the remake keeps the game design mostly intact while updating the visuals, controls, and QoL? Sounds good to me. System Shock has its own identity. At its heart it's a dungeon crawler, whose design acted as a prototype for future "immersive sims". If they changed the core design too much then they'd basically turn it into System Shock 2/Bioshock/Prey. We already know what a "modernized" System Shock looks like.


>At its heart it's a dungeon crawler, System Shock is one of those games that were just a couple years before my time (I played SS2, Deus Ex, BG) that I never got around to. But I took one look at the floor map for level 1 - [https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/961974277960143358/879F4C5251B249627EA04CD6A2F7E50F4FA4DCA9/](https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/961974277960143358/879F4C5251B249627EA04CD6A2F7E50F4FA4DCA9/) Yeah, these mf played a lot of dnd


Man you're so right, I was playing the game and was trying to figure out why the map seemed like something I saw before. This is it.


If they ever remade Deus Ex- this is exactly the style I would want them to go with. Retaining a lot of that dated design. Its one of the things that made that game so good.


Oh please don’t give me hope. Still my favorite game, warts and all.


I'm patiently awaiting the Mandalore Gaming review, surely hell let me know how good it is in a couple months.


I’m waiting for Grimbeard’s. Not to buy it, but just for the sheer joy of watching the review from him.


Also a good channel that should definitely review this game.


The king of goth gamer nation never steers you wrong.


Gmanlives did a review and he's also a fan of the original one, check it out. Him and MandaloreGaming are two of the reviewers I watch most nowadays.


Never liked that guy, likes to smell his own farts


Same. I dunno, a lot of these reviews are complaining about things I figure I'd enjoy. I'll wait till he reviews it since we seem to share the same tastes.


Its finally out? I've been hearing about System Shock remake happening for what feels like 6 years now or something.


What the hell, I’ve been waiting so long for this and I have to know the release date through a reddit post


Based on the demo they released it has all the atmosphere and fun labyrinths I wanted from system shock. My only gripe was the addition of the Recycling Credits mechanic which encourages you to hoard junk objects and make repeated trips to the recycler. This would be fun as an occasional objective to stress your inventory space but nearly every item you can vaporize into easily-stacked scrap is worth 10x the value if recycled intact. It also means the player is invited to grab everything not nailed down instead of being choosy, plus the step of actually vaporizing whatever it is. I'd have preferred the junk stay junk, and save the recycling credits for a few very valuable items like Laptops and Telescopes.


Murderous level of difficulty, tons of backtracking, and minimal handholding? Im sold




There’s a fine line when you’re remaking something as to whether you can be devoted to preserving the original design, or focused on preserving the original feeling. You have Resident Evil 1 and it’s associated remake, where the latter is basically a perfection of the original RE games’ design and is a very faithful remake, even adding in cut stuff from the original. Then you have a game like Resident Evil 2 and it’s remake, where it’s faithful to the source material (mostly), but otherwise is a reinterpretation of how that game played for a “modern” audience; it goes for recreating the feeling of playing the original without being a recreation of how it actually played. Both are valid ways of doing things, but you’re going to run into issues with the first way when remaking a game that originally had an audience with early-mid 90s gaming sensibilities. It’s a design from an era that is largely bygone, so it’s not surprising that a modern player might not take to it well, at least not immediately.


In the same vein, if the RE4 remake kept the same tank controls as the original it would not have got the scores it got. even though you're remaking a game you are still are making a game for a 2023 audience


Yeah, and before release there was a lot of “RE4 doesn’t need a remake so why bother?” talk, but put OG RE4 in new players hands and while I do think a good portion would stick around and play it, the majority of them would quit after the opening village battle. And a lot of it is because you can’t move and shoot at the same time. Revolutionary game at the time because of its camera perspective, but it otherwise controlled the same as every other RE game before it. Though I do appreciate the little touch/callback there is in the modern remakes to how those old games played. Specifically, standing still and allowing your crosshairs to close up for increased damage and a chance at a critical harkens back to having to stand still and aim & shoot in the original RE games.


I think the original game is just pretty rough going if you're used to modern game sensibilities. I loved System Shock 2, and I enjoyed the first one, but this isn't Metroid Prime where with a couple tweaks it's basically a modern game or Mario Bros 3 that is still just as playable and accessible as ever. The lowish scores are probably pretty accurate for a more general audience. I cannot imagine most of my friends that are less into retro games will really enjoy this game.


> I loved System Shock 2, and I enjoyed the first one, but this isn't Metroid Prime where with a couple tweaks it's basically a modern game You could already play the original version of System Shock with WASD and mouselook, just like any modern first-person game. Which makes it more modern than Metroid Prime. In that game you couldn't move while aiming freely. You basically had tank controls by default. The original System Shock was even one of the first games with a mini-map and auto-mapping tool, making it truly ahead of its time in quality of life features.


I think remakes should be judged based on modern gaming expectations, but at the same time, also on how well the spirit of the orginal is captured. Not an easy thing to achieve by any stretch.


I had a couple text bugs or glitches. The main issue I did run into is just that interaction with the games machines for recycling and buying felt a bit off. Combat is that slower feel in movement but pretty insane enemy rate of fire that I like. It feels different in that way.


Small spoiler-y question: Is >!the "Nice Jump." trap!< still there? Amazing moment but I wasn't sure if it'd survive without the slippery movement of the original.


Man. They wanted to do a more modern update, but they got pushed back. Then they release and review scores are in the 70s because they didn't do a more modern update. Damned if they do, damned if they don't.


In this case, the devs dug themselves in a hole because they explicitly made promises to backers, ones that they weren’t keeping when they were making changes that deviated from their original pitch. In the end, it sounds like they achieved what they originally set out to do and what the fans wanted, but that’s not gonna appeal to everyone.


This remake stranger than most reviewers seem to give it credit for. The fact is that they did a complete overhaul of every gameplay element. Nothing in this remake plays anything like the original. It's all new and designed from the ground up. Not just the implementation but the core ideas themselves are new. The reason reviewers call it "faithful" is because the gameplay does feel kinda outdated. But it feels outdated for reasons completely unrelated to the original. It's odd, they managed to create a game that feels old by doing things the original never did - and I'm not sure if it's intended or not.


Most people are citing things like the labyrinth levels and, backtracking, and lack of handholding when talking about it feeling "dated", and those were all features of the original.


They didn't get "pushed back", they ran out of money and couldn't secure publisher support. There was a whole Kickstarter post detailing what happened.


Everyone complains about quest markers and handholding and talks about how great immersive quest design is, but when a game does it, there's complaints about how it's "hard" and "obtuse." The difficulty of the original was almost entirely in the controls, if you had the slightest interest in experimentation and exploration it was easy to progress. I doubt the remake is any different in this regard, but the control scheme and the way you interact with the world is **vastly** more accessible (based on the demo).


There's no universal idea of what people enjoy. There will always both praise and crisitsm for any design The people actively wanting old school game design most likely aren't upset about it being implemented in new games. There's still always going to be a bigger group of people that don't give a fuck about design philosophies from 30 years ago


Note: Anyone who wants quest markers can put MISSION difficulty on EASY because that adds them.


There are good and bad ways to not hand hold you though. Morrowind is always my favorite example because you always get relatively good directions from characters for how to go to the next place for a quest without it just being a waypoint on your map. But then there are games that barely hint at what is supposed to come next. "Go to the level 3 security deck". Like okay, that's not really very helpful. I ran into stuff like that all the time in System Shock 2 which made it really irritating to get through.


Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is probably the best example in recent memory of a game where not only can you turn off all quest and objective markers, but is arguably the better way to play it. Very rarely can you not find where you’re supposed to go (I think there was only one section in Golem City that gave me some trouble) and the whole game just seems to be designed around them not being enabled.


Dishonored 2 is also designed to be able to be played with markers turned off. It haps maps, signposts, etc.


Because handholding is not a binary problem. The opposite of quest markers isn't having zero hints about what to do. When a quest tells you to kill Bob the Banker without any detail or really bad, vague detail, then it's also bad. The directions should be clear and proper when a game has not quest markers. People praise Morrowind for giving directions, but even then the game fails in like half the quests... Either the directions are extremely vague or they mess up the directions (like when north is actually west with a tiny bit to the north)...


I haven't played the full remake, but there are plenty of hints about what to do in the original System Shock at least. It's stuff like "You need to go to the engineering room and shut down the engines", and it gives you a map with an engineering room on it.


I said it above, but after seeing how popular Elden Ring was, bitching about this game being to hard or obtuse is completely ridiculous. This game isn't even old school ridiculous difficult. The only way that type of criticism makes sense is if people are judging it based on some of the dumbed down games that it inspired which is just silly.


Am I an idiot? I honestly didn’t know this was coming to console. Will definitely be checking it out.


I think the console ports are coming later.


Only the PC version releases tomorrow. All the others were indefinitely postponed until further notice. The OP didn't bother to do much except copy and paste.


Fair enough, I will be updating the dates with TBAs. Apparently, the rule about posting review threads without changes has disappeared.


Okay so I'm seeing some conflicting information. Does this control like the tank controls of early first person stuff or did they update it to a more modern style? Like I don't need modern Doom speed and mobility and all that but I absolutely loath tank controls, and would consider them a non-starter. I recall trying to pick up the original some years ago and finding that not quite Resident Evil levels but still pretty hard to enjoy. The rest of the things people seem to have an issue with it seems like if you turn it on easy which I would be I won't notice. But I'd love for somebody to clarify the control issue for me or point me to the review that talks about it at length.


The demo is free on Steam if you want to see for yourself how it controls and feels.


It's modern movement and controls. And modern fps combat. And modern inventory. And so on.


Are Hoppers the literal bane of anyone else's existence? God they're awful, and the research level is respawning like 2 every ten feet for me


can confirm


I thought it was a turret the first time I saw one. Then it started moving,


it's weird how some of these mention the difficulty when the original had one of the best and still rare customizable difficulty settings, apparently missing from the remake (or not, but then why not focus on that aspect?). you could have an optional time limit and thougher or easier combat, puzzles and cyberspace, so when I played it (the original cd version, no mouselook or anything the more recent enhanced edition provided), I just turned combat all the way down and had a blast playing it as a mostly adventure title. would do the same here if I could, though I don't see the point of paying for a mostly visual upgrade anyway.


The remake has the same difficulty settings as the original.


cool, thanks.




that's pretty cool then. saw the video posted but I don't like his style.


his style is ok if a little rushed. Key advantage is that he generally likes the same things i like so i can use him as a reference


Indeed, I do find that my tastes align well with ACG. The short recaps in these threads and his comments (which I greatly appreciate!) do a good job of conveying the essence of his message, so I tend to rely on those for his thoughts. It's a bummer that his video style doesn't really work for me. I haven't watched his videos for a while overall - the entire starting bit with "videos that aren't 2 minutes long and filled with sponsored bullcrap" (or roughly that) and his (in my opinion outdrawn) metaphors and similes kinda grated me. Still, I can appreciate that the format just doesn't appeal to me and that's quite alright.


the preferred style of review is really subjective. everyone was always venerating Totalbiscuit but his videos were sooo slow for me and spent too long looking at the options for graphics/etc for PC. he was a good guy though. RIP John.


While I think I am the only slightly larger Yt reviewer who comes here much anymore, it is indeed sort of why most reviewers don't plink around Reddit much. There is an odd trend of not watching the content and instantly posting in a lot of reddits. Even when that comes to when Reddit used to love me lol. I got to talk in-depth with TB about it and also about youtube comments on the podcasts and prior before he sadly passed. His advice on all this stuff always sticks with me.


You should have Yahtzee on your podcast to see who can talk the fastest :)


Seems like it's exactly what I wanted. What some reviewers are whining about is part of what I loved about the game and wanted to experience again. I'm glad they kept it true to what it was supposed to be instead of "modernizing" it.


really dislike the puzzles in this game, took me forever to figure out that the plugs can have multiple levels of power they can output because the game itself does a terrible job to convey that important piece of info to the player (the plugs have battery meters that are very very small and can easily be missed). i was up watching random people streaming it for the past few nights and many of those player were hard stuck for a while until someone in the chat explained it to them.


I couldn't get into System Shock 1 because of the presentation. Not just the controls and UI, but I also found the visuals, sound design, and music extremely off-putting (and yeah, I know that last one is gonna be a controversial opinion). To see that they overhauled those aspects but kept pretty much everything else faithful seems A-OK to me. I love System Shock 2 so I think I will enjoy the aspects of its predecessor left intact.


The original has some of my favorite game music of all time in it. But I can also 100% understand why some don't like it and feel it kills the vibe. I do hope there is a mod of some sort to play with the old school music kinda like what they did with the Rise of the Triad remake. :D


Security theme slams. Particularly due to when in the story it appears.


It is great because it calls back on some of the bits from I think level 2, but I absolutely love medical and pretty much all of the others as well. Flight Deck is amazing.


Imagine being such a deadbrain that you rate remake of classic 3/5 because it adds too little... What the fuck did you wanted to add, mutants doing Fortnite dance?!


No, they wanted a game where they can just turn off their brain, and not have to concentrate or think about anything you see or hear in the game.


So they wanted something opposite to System Shock in System Shock remake


I think they wanted something more like System Shock 2, which the remake already trips over itself to be like (no crawling sections, forced mouselook, vending machines everywhere, grid inventory, "SPooKY" aesthetic, they even included the wrench for virtually no reason at all) in every regard except those in which Reddit pedestrians can congratulate themselves upon. I'm totally fine with System Shock as it is which is why I'm not playing the remake right now.


I can already do that in this game and I still don't think it's good


It's nice to have a remake not be a standard issue triple A game dressed in a better game's corpse like so many of the recent ones have been. Excited to play this, it's been a long time since I played the original.


It's not quite as faithful as these reviews are putting it. This is more like System Shock if it was made with the gameplay of Prey. Which, for better or worse, makes for a very different experience from the original.


I might have missed the train with the news about the remake because this sure was a surprise for me, judging by the reviews It looks like a good one. Will probably pick up soon


The game is GREAT, faithfull where it needs to be and freeing us from all the boggling down controls of the 90's. Junk IS USEFUL NOW! yaaaah! The voice acting is good, and Shodan is the damm Shodan we all remember, (God bless Terri Brosius) The graphics are smuachk, cheffs kiss, the atmosphere is creppy enough and this are the best 50€ i spent this year. Get it this studio deservers all the love in the world


I think you should edit this post considering you put the release date for all the systems as May 30th, when it's only releasing on PC tomorrow. The other systems were indefinitely postponed until further notice. System Shock is only releasing on PC tomorrow. Edit: Why is this being downvoted for telling you the correct information? Lol, okay.






I do think the now ancient graphics of the original are hard for some to deal with if you didn't grow up with such a thing. 2d sprites and the fairly janky but wonderful physics engine being redone to modern standards hopefully will kill a lot of that. And as for difficulty and obtuse gameplay, considering how Elden Ring was such a mega hit with those elements front and center I cant imagine that being a reason this game puts people off. It is really not that hard to figure out.


As someone who didn’t play the original (didn’t get a PC until 2020), what other games are similar to this game if I wanted to see if I might like it? Dead Space?


Prey (2017) was immediately considered a successor to System Shock when it released, and it’s an excellent game, good mechanics, and a dynamic narrative.


Prey 2017, Dead Space, BioShock, Doom 3, SOMA, and Alien: Isolation would all have similarities, largely because they all took influence from System Shock 2.




Remake of the 1994 game. Very similar level design to the original, meaning it has more of a dungeon-crawler layout than anything you might expect in a modern game. There are notable changes to music, balancing, puzzle design, and more. I really love the original, but so far the remake has been quite enjoyable (though significantly more challenging). The sales pitch: a Sci-Fi almost-Survival-Horror FPS driven primarily by exploration.


It's a remake of a very influential game from 1994. It is not just a remaster, they have changed a lot of the way the game plays, especially how it controls. The original game controlled "like a tank" in that your character was very slow, and it had tons of different user interface things that you could add, to the point where it looked almost like a flight simulator. It was at the dawn of 3d person games and had a lot of experimental stuff. Like sliders for which way your character is leaning or how much they're crouching, a rearview mirror, heartrate monitor, etc. The new game plays like a modern shooter, with mouselook and all that, and your character moves normally. The level design is very similar to the original game though, it's very open-ended. You're basically plopped into a world and told 'figure it out', with only a few general pointers like "make your way to the engineering level and turn off the engines." A lot of information is given in-game through emails and audiologs so if you're just mindlessly running around and not paying attention to the environment, you'll have a hard time. Though the difficulty is very customizable, with different sliders for combat, story, puzzles, etc. On the Easy story difficulty it gives you more guidance. Prey is closest in terms of how it works, but keep in mind the original game is a lot more old-school. Purists complain that the atmosphere is different, particularly the original had a pumping techno soundtrack and the remake has a much quieter ambient soundtrack. I can't totally blame them, System Shock 1 had excellent and iconic sound design across the board.


How’s the controller support? I see it says “Partial support” on the Steam page


It's so faithful that as I hated those stupid puzzles in the original = I still hate them. Also cyberspace sections are still too long for my taste. Also difficulty of them goes up x10 times, between the ones the 1st level ( = lost no health on them ) & on the 2nd (tried the 1st one there already 6 times & "died" 6 times...). Also I'm still not a fan enemies that keep on respawning & respawning & respawning. It makes killing them kinda useless & a waste of my time, as I don't even get no XP. = Fight ''em til you find & active the Restoration Bay. After that, do only what Is needed & run run run run.


Having not played the original, I might say that this is one of the best games I've ever played. I love every aspect of it and hate the backtracking and no hints as to where to next. The game is simple though in it's core. Explore everything and destroy them cameras! Really fascinating score, graphics and this pixelated 3D art style is just great. Many thumbs up to the developers! Gameplay for me is great, wonderful atmosphere!


Always got to add on the "Remake tax" to any review score of a pre 2000's remake title. It seems like many reviewers just come into these titles expecting reboots, not remakes. I feel like you have to give remakes of much older games a lot of leeway if they're faithfully recreating the game, flaws and all. Because part of what made those older titles special compared to today's include some of those flaws. System Shock not having glowing quest markers constantly telling you where to go and exactly what to do is a key part of the experience, even if it might make you feel frustrated sometimes. And so many bizarre comparisons to stuff like Resident Evil 4 remake or Dead Space remake. RE4 came out in 2005, Dead Space in 2008. System Shock came out *in 1994*, of course even a remake of that game is going to feel dated. This was the absolute dawn of the FPS genre. You can't compare it to remakes of mid-late 2000's titles that had the benefits of an entire decade of game design. The point of these remakes is to keep the game design old school while making it feel new. And in that regard the remake excels.


It'd be nice if the larger sites could assign two people to play & review a remake - 1 who played the original and 1 who didn't so they can represent both angles.


I must be the only one loving the original UI. it felt very sim like and I think that was the original intention. Now it feels like any generic fps.




I said elsewhere, I think the game often gets knee-jerk dismissed as dated, when often it's just *different*. Grappling with this complicated interface as if you're piloting a complicated piece of machinery (which your character basically is) is part of the gameplay, and deliberately so because they included things like the HUD fucking up when you take certain stims. I get that that's not what people are used to and is going to limit the appeal, but I wish more people would give it a chance and take it on its own terms.


Don't care about the scores, critics never like immersive sims anyway. I'm just happy to be getting another immersive sim! Can't wait to dive in.


>critics never like immersive sims anyway Sample of popular Immersive sim metacritic scores: * System Shock 2 - 92 * Deathloop - 89 * Deus Ex: Human Revolution - 90 * Dishonored - 90 * Dishonored 2 - 88 * Prey -79 * Bioshock - 96 * Bioshock In - 94 * Alien: Isolation - 81 * Hitman 3 - 87 I don't agree with you. The only immersive sim that probably doesn't deserve the score it got significantly is Prey.


I am actually really surprised about those reviews for System Shock 2. Are those contemporary or retrospective? Because I remember that game being received okay but people’s opinions growing over the years.


> Prey - 79 Still an absolute joke of an average for how mindblowingly good that game is, especially when Deathloop got an average of 89.