Last year’s announcement of a remake to 1994’s classic System Shock paved the way for the successive announcement of System Shock 3, which is being led by System Shock co-creator Warren Spector. Developer Night Dive Studios, known for acquiring the rights to old video game IP’s and re-releasing them, has taken charge over the development of the upcoming System Shock Remastered which is set to release sometime in 2017. The game is a complete top-down remake, unlike the previously released enhanced editions that mainly feature touched-up visuals.
Only a few months after the announcement of the remake by the team at Night Dive, the developer has shown off pre-alpha gameplay footage for the first time — via a trailer seen above — turning the ’90s classic into a modern day 3D first-person shooter. From the footage, it looks like System Shock Remastered will capture the essence of the original title, as Robert Waters, the concept artist for the first game, is involved in its development and will surely contribute to the authenticity of the remake.
Taking place on Citadel Station in a cyberpunk future, the remake stunningly recreates the environments of the original game by using the Unity game engine. The trailer showcases the game’s top-notch lighting, crisp sound effects, and some basic melee combat. There are also some breathtaking vistas to see, as players can explore the station and look out to the surrounding planets, which have been beautifully rendered in high detail. The studio has also made it a point to tweak the design of the game to suit modern players, some of whom will be playing the 22-year old game for the first time. In an interview with Polygon, Night Dive Studios founder Stephen Kick spoke about the changes saying of the original, “It’s a little too archaic to hold a lot of people’s attention.”
Kick went on to speak about the importance of the classic series.
“The System Shock franchise is so storied and there are so many fans there. If we can get a little more attention and eyes focused on the brand, there’s no telling what kinds of amazing things we’re gonna see come from that.”
The System Shock games have a close relationship to the more recent Bioshock series and acclaimed game designer Ken Levine played a significant role in both. System Shock 2 was the first game Levine shipped before he went on to head Irrational Games before its surprising closure following the release of Bioshock Infinite. Speaking to Game Informer, Levine talked about System Shock 2’s development and its legacy saying, “We were completely stumbling around in the dark on that game… so the impact that it had was a complete surprise to us.”
The release of System Shock Remastered could make another big impact by getting more gamers back into this inventive and influential series ahead of the third installment’s eventual arrival. At any rate, the game will have its chance when it’s released next year.
System Shock Remastered will launch in 2017 for Xbox One and PC.