System Shock is coming back. And it is looking good. The resurrection of the genre-defining classic was announced in November of last year and long-time fans have been eagerly anticipating more news ever since. With the advent of the System Shock Kickstarter, we have all the news we can handle and more.
The new System Shock could be called many things; a reimaging, a reboot, or an update, but the main goal of the project is the same no matter what you call it:
“(Our game is) a modern take on System Shock, a faithful reboot; it’s not Citadel Station as it was, but as you remember it. Many improvements, overhauls and changes are being implemented to capture the spirit of what the original game was trying to convey, and bring it to contemporary gamers.”
The developers at Nightdive Studios are clearly very passionate about giving System Shock the best recreation imaginable and to that end they have recruited the original concept artist, Robb Waters, to help them with their reimagined horrors as well as Terri Brosius, who will reprise her role as the antagonistic A.I. SHODAN. Also, worth noting is the fact that many members of the staff are experts in their field and have worked on everything from BioShock Infinite to Warcraft III and will be bringing all their years of game making experience to the table here.
The love that the people at Nightdive Studios have for this project is made abundantly clear when you check out the most ambitious part of their Kickstarter presentation; the System Shock Pre-Alpha Demo. Unlike many a Kickstarter, Nightdive Studios have already created a proof of concept of their work in playable format and it is available for free, right now, here, here, and here. And how is it? Put simply: Fantastic.
The demo is short, and the graphics are a little fuzzy, but considering that the game is still Pre-Alpha and still seeking to fund, System Shock looks, feels, and plays terrific and terrifying. In my brief 40 minutes with the game, I ended up shrieking several times as I was surprised by attacks from enemies in darkened and blood smeared corridors which ended when I beat them to death with my trusty space pipe. The System Shock demo is definitely something that more prospective game developers, even AAA ones should strive to emulate, as this early look into how the game is intended to operate is both terrifying and succinct. All this is coming from someone who never had the chance to play the original game and yet; System Shock is coming back. And it is looking scary.
The intended release date for System Shock is December of 2017 on Xbox One and PC, with the games release on Linux, and Mac being made available via the Kickstarter stretch goals.
Have you played the demo and think that this game is luddite trash? Are you calling up Nightdive Studios this very moment in the hopes that you can score a job working on this game? Have you never played either System Shock game, just like yours truly? We would love to hear about it in the comments section.