More cyberpunk than cyberpunk, System Shock Remake first look.

  With the first day of PAX 2022 is wrapped up and we have tons to show you, but we are starting with a first look and hands on of the Syste...


With the first day of PAX 2022 is wrapped up and we have tons to show you, but we are starting with a first look and hands on of the System Shock Remake from Nightdive Studios. 

Nightdive Studios has been working feverishly the last few years in reviving old classic from the early 90's PC era and polish them up to work with today's technology and demands, without losing the feel and vision of the games back then. They have had various titles out in recent years such as DOOM 64, Turok, Tex murphy, System Shock enhanced edition and Blade Runner. This time around they are going back to System shock and instead of just receiving minor enhancements, the game is being fully rebuild from the ground up with new art assets and audio, while at the same time keeping the story and core gameplay the same. 

Our hands on time with the game was a ton of fun, the quality-of-life improvements such as controls now using mouse look or even have controller support work smoothly. The graphics look amazing with clear textures that have a vague pixelated outline but look incredibly sharp. And the game does not hold your hand but instead lets you explore and find out what to do next and how to progress. To see it in action was an impressive experience. The setting, presentation and color schemes all exudes distant future dystopia and the words that came to our lips as stated in the title is that this game feels more cyberpunk than cyberpunk. We talked with Larry Kuperman from Nightdive studios about the game as we played the demo.

GvG: You mentioned this is a complete rebuild, how would you go about that? Did you have the sourcecode or did have other resources?

Larry: Our team every one of our team members played the original game exhaustively we
also did find um the previously lost source code for the game but we're fortunate at Nightdive that we're in a unique position because we're the publisher also of the original version of system shock the enhanced edition as well as system shock 2.

So all of our developers have been immersed in the system shock universe i will also give a shout out to our producer Daniel Grayson who is the guru, the mastermind behind system shock he knows every aspect of the game.

GvG: Have there been any particular challenges with making this for a new era? Things that were normal at the time and perhaps not commonplace anymore or solutions that were "hackier" due to resource constraints.

Larry: The original game didn't have support for things that are now of course commonplace like mouse look, it was all keyboard-based um there were a number of you know crouch and lean keys a very, very difficult combination of things. Again, because we're the publisher of that game our enhanced edition already has a more modern more accessible um user interface, but we wanted to appeal to two distinct bodies here of players um the old-school players who are going to look at particularly the art style and say yes this is the way i remember the game looking. We wanted to give that to the old school players, but we also wanted the newer generation to be able to just sit down and pick up the game immediately and we think we've achieved that

I've been working with consumers both here and at Gamescom and as people get done i ask them the same question over and over again did you have fun right and the answer has been resoundingly yes. Things that people should be aware of the game is by intent hard, you are going to fail a lot. You're going to have things that you don't know how to do i anticipate that a week or two weeks after the game is released that there's going to be a long reddit telling people how to find things

GvG: That is why we used to use a thing called guidebooks. 

Larry: Older games expected you to really work to win the games the consequence of that is that when you finally get to the final boss battle when you finally beat SHODAN your feeling of victory is really something that you had to work hard to achieve and it's all the more valuable because of that.

GVG : You said you wanted to make the game feel like people remember it, and that is probably why certain arts decisions were made. Have you ever thought about at any point to maybe make the game even more modern and decided against it or was this always the vision from the start.

Larry: It was always the vision from the start. All Nightdive does is completely devoted to bringing back the lost classics. That's the motivation behind the name Nightdive and behind our iconic undersea diver retrieving things that were lost from the depths. The hard part is to is to preserve all the things that made the original game so iconic and yet make it accessible to today's players and judging by the consumer response here i think we've achieved that.

System shock remake is not finished yet and it will be out when it is ready and Nightdive does not want to ship out a rushed product. If this demo was anything to go by then things look bright for dystopian futures near you. You can check out more of the interview in the video below.

About the writer: DadGeek (Rob) is the co-founder of GeeksVsGeeks. He is a product of the eighties and never let go of his geek interest and hobbies no matter how often someone told him to stop. His love for gaming and all things geeks has been part of his parenting style and permeates throughout the whole family. A family of Geeks vs Geeks 


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