In 1994, now defunct game developer Looking Glass Technologies released System Shock on PC and Mac. The ambitious game put players in the role of an unnamed hacker in the year 2072, trapped aboard a space station with a malicious artificial intelligence known as SHODAN. While the AI runs multiple scenarios intended to destroy life on Earth, it's up to this unnamed character to stop SHODAN and save humanity. SHODAN would return as the villain of System Shock 2, though her ultimate fate was left a mystery.
Earlier this year, Night Dive Studios announced plans to remake the original System Shock for modern systems. The developer began rebuilding interest in the classic game earlier this year, releasing System Shock: Enhanced Edition as a way of making the original game compatible with current hardware. When asked if there was a possibility of a new installment in the franchise, Night Dive indicated that their team wasn't large enough to take on the task, but that conversations were taking place about the possibilities.
Those conversations turned out to be fruitful, as OtherSide Entertainment has officially announced that they are developing System Shock 3 in partnership with Night Dive. The developer launched a teaser website last week for the game. The site has now been updated, with a message from SHODAN herself. The message is a treat for longtime fans, as it confirms voice actor Terri Brosius will be reprising her role as the malevolent artificial intelligence.
OtherSide also confirmed that many of the talented individuals who helped bring System Shock to life will be returning to the project. Concept artist Robb Waters, responsible for designing the original SHODAN, has reintroduced the character with a modern aesthetic (above). Also joining the team are Paul Neurath, the founder of Looking Glass Technologies and overseer of both System Shock games, and Nate Wells, senior artist on System Shock 2.
System Shock was a critically acclaimed release, though it never turned into a financial success for Looking Glass. Even so, the game's importance cannot be overstated. The game helped to inspire a number of story-based action games, popularizing emergent gameplay and emphasizing player control of the game. The game also spawned two spiritual successors in Deus Ex and Bioshock - both of which earned almost universal praise.
System Shock 2 ends on a cliffhanger, one that has remained unresolved since 1999. With the newest installment in the franchise, longtime fans will finally have an answer about SHODAN's ultimate fate. The two previous games' stories are loosely linked, but there's still enough crossover to make them worth playing in order. Both games are currently available on modern systems, but it would be a nice bonus to see System Shock 2 remade as well before the release of System Shock 3.
No release date has been confirmed for System Shock 3, but OtherSide confirmed the game is in the early conceptual stage of development.