Old And New Blended Into An Unforgiving Experience
The day finally came, and the re-envisioned System Shock has arrived, albeit with some issues getting codes to the original Kickstarter backers. The news is good, and Nightdive Studios kept the same old school feeling, while modernizing the graphics to appeal to our current sensitivities. They did so in a very interesting way, while your pipe might be shiny and reflective, there are many assets that retain a pixelated look if you examine them closely. This definitely adds a retro feel without ruining the polished look of the game.
The gameplay is as unforgiving as the original, and your stress levels while playing the game will reflect this. You are outnumbered and outgunned, especially considering SHODAN has a large stock of bodies to reanimate to refill rooms behind you. This can sometimes be quite a shock as you try to return to a safe area only to find it overrun again, especially if you aren’t hoarding every bullet and health item you possibly can. The respawns are not necessarily the original ones you encountered, which is good as the game will force you to retrace your steps.
You will also want to grab a notepad, back in the good old days games didn’t automatically enter in codes to keypads once you heard what the digits were. We had to write the numbers down and then enter them manually in game, and as Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN says, we bloody well liked it that way. If you do not have fond/terrifying memories of the original System Shock then check out this look at the evolution of the game over it’s three incarnations.
The System Shock Steam demo is to still be available, if you want to take a peek at the game before deciding to buy it or not.