Old and new merge into an unforgiving experience
The day has finally come and here comes System Shock reimagined, albeit with some problems getting the codes for the original Kickstarter backers. The news is good, and Nightdive Studios has kept the same old-school feel while modernizing the graphics to appeal to our current sensibilities. They’ve done this in a very cool way, while your pipe might be shiny and reflective, there are many assets that retain a pixelated look if you look closely at them. This definitely adds some retro flair without spoiling the polished look of the game.
The gameplay is just as unforgiving as the original, and your stress levels throughout the game will reflect that. You are outnumbered and outgunned, especially considering SHODAN has a large supply of bodies to reanimate to fill the rooms behind you. This can sometimes be quite a shock as you try to get back to a safe area only to find it overrun again, especially if you’re not stockpiling as many bullets and health items as you can. The respawns aren’t necessarily the original ones you encountered, which is good as the game will force you to backtrack.
You’ll also need to grab a notepad, back in the good old days games didn’t automatically enter codes into keyboards after hearing what the digits were. We had to write down the numbers and then manually enter them into the game, and as Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN says, we damned liked it that way. If you don’t have fond/terrifying memories of the original System Shock, then check out this look at the evolution of the game in its three incarnations.
The System Shock Steam demo must still be available, if you want to check out the game before deciding whether or not to buy it.