Night Dive Studios releases a pre-alpha gameplay trailer for the remastered 1994 first-person cyberpunk RPG System Shock, featuring SHODAN and the Hacker.
Generations have come and gone since 1994, including two iterations and three games featured in the BioShock universe. But before Irrational Games developed BioShock, before System Shock 2 was made in 1999, there was the original. System Shock was developed by Looking Glass Studios, whose members would go on to create titles including Thief, Deus Ex, Dishonored, of course the BioShock series, and so much more. It took longer than it should have, but System Shock is finally back – remastered, that is.
Taking up the mantle is Night Dive Studios, which may at first be off-putting as the developer is most known for acquiring the rights to classic PC games and re-releasing them. The devs have already done such for several Wizardry titles, a dozen Putt-Putt games, Turok, the System Shock titles, and more than 50 other games previously unavailable in the modern era. Remastering games, however, is not something Night Dive has done before, so it’s difficult to discern what to expect in terms of quality.
Which brings us to today, when Night Dive Studios released the first gameplay footage for their System Shock Remastered release. Take note that this is pre-alpha game footage, which is to say that it’s not a content complete game and that much could change between now and the game’s final release. Considering the first-person cyberpunk RPG originally was released in 1994, the differences in visuals alone are staggering.
Gameplay wasn’t the only surprise that Night Dive Studios had for fans today, however. The official website for System Shock was also updated with one note in particular: “Coming soon to Kickstarter.” It appears that Night Dive will not be self-funding the entirety of System Shock, instead relying on crowd-funding to help the team finish their remaster of the game. Considering how many properties Night Dive has managed to purchase and relaunch in the past few years, it will be interesting to see how the community responds to the developer’s crowdfunding efforts.
Regardless of how gamers may feel about the developer behind the project, it’s difficult to deny the allure of a System Shock remaster. The neon colors and odd space station geometry alone likely won’t sell the game, but when SHODAN’s voice kicks in and whispers sweet nothings into Hacker’s ears… chills. SHODAN is the major inspiration behind a myriad villains and anti-heroes since System Shock‘s original launch. Her voice is haunting, evocative. There isn’t a video game AI anymore that doesn’t channel SHODAN in some small way.
System Shock Remastered has no currently planned release date or window. Expect more information on the game and its pending Kickstarter in the weeks and months ahead.