System Shock Remake review (2023)


Nightdive Studios may have taken seven years, but it's finally managed to do the impossible and thread the unlikely line between reboot and remake.

System Shock Remake review (1)
(Video) System Shock Remake Review - The Final Verdict

It’s difficult to imagine a more daunting proposition for a remake than the original System Shock. It’s arguably the game that truly launched the greatest boom of immersive sims in history – a genre whose fans are notoriously demanding, despite never having really been able to come up with a universally agreed definition of what an 'immersive sim' even is.

It’s a genre of such a specific time and place, games that possess intrinsic vibes of fat chunky keyboards, bulky cardboard boxes and 640x480 CRT screens. How do you channel that in an era of ultrawide monitors and digital only games? Does anybody even want it? Warren Spector himself, one of the key creative figures in the heyday of PC games about rifling through shelves and reading emails, couldn’t get a tumultuous System Shock 3 out the door before the whole endeavour imploded.

(Video) The System Shock Remake is Everything I Wanted it to be

This isn’t developer Nightdive Studios first wrangle with the licence – after acquiring the IP in 2015, they promptly released System Shock: Enhanced Edition, a slightly prettied up version of the original optimised for modern systems. At the same time, it started development on what was intended to be a ground-up remake. Here we are, a full seven years of stop-start development, engine changes, shifts in overall direction, and scope bloat later, and it should be considered a miracle that the game has been released at all. Never mind the fact that it’s an absolutely groundbreaking work of visual design that elevates the original in every possible way without losing anything in the process.

This System Shock is every bit a reboot as much as it is a remake, following all the same beats but with enough additions and variations to keep veterans on their toes. You are an anonymous hacker, shanghaied by a shady executive to Citadel Station, a corporate haven in orbit above Jupiter. He offers you your freedom and a tasty neural implant in exchange for your help in removing the ethical fail-safes of the station’s managerial artificial intelligence – SHODAN.

Apparently you’ve never seen a single sci-fi movie, so you swiftly take him up on his offer. You wake up six months later and everybody has been turned into mutant goo by a now omniscient SHODAN with delusions of godhood, who is planning to fire a gigantic laser beam at Earth and turn the survivors into a new race of biomechanical terrors to worship her and spread her radiance across the stars.

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You’re now trapped in a multi-level labyrinthine megastructure of twisting tunnels, broken doors and wonky elevators – populated by killer cyborgs, mutant hybrids, and homicidal cleaning robots. SHODAN peers at you from the hundreds of security cameras throughout the station, mocking you and your helplessness from screens and releasing enemies from hidden compartments while your back is turned. You are evidently mankind’s only hope, and you have a piece of pipe.

From there, you are more or less on your own. Any concerns that this new version would make things easier are quickly dismissed. There is still no objective marker. Hell, there’s still no explicit objective listed anywhere. You’re still going to need an honest-to-god pen and paper for the various codes and clues that won’t get added to a log. It’s a matter of working your way room by room, filling out your automap, scrounging what resources and weapons you can while trying to figure out what all these blinking lights, levers and switches do. The core loop, once you get into the groove, is still surprisingly chill; the satisfaction of disabling cameras and turning floors that were once daunting and unknown into familiar territory. The illicit thrill of collecting all the garbage and recycling it.

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Mechanically, everything that made the original System Shock what it was is still here. While the controls are now closer to a traditional first-person shooter, this is still a game about inventory management. About considering the most cost-effective and safest way to clear a room of hostiles. You’ll be spending most of your time piecing together a way to save the day by collecting scraps of audio logs and emails strewn amongst the corpses, following leads to various terminals and station systems.

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While everything from the level layouts to the general ebb and flow are largely identical to the original, the aesthetics are where Nightdive takes its bigger and bravest swings. Rather than a visual design based on realism, on the standard ugly shininess of most Unreal Engine remakes, here Nightdive has opted for something far more interesting.

The big, colourful pixels that make up the weapons and environments of System Shock perfectly and effortlessly evoke the atmosphere of the original, while allowing enough room for expansion and interpretation. It’s not quite the look of modern boomer shooters, but it definitely channels the appearance of low-resolution late 90s PC games more than it strives for contemporary fidelity. These rooms and corridors, while filled with far more detail, still retain an intuitive readability.

The weapons are where the improvements are most obvious. In the original, most firearms take up a tiny sliver at the bottom middle of the screen. You’re lucky to see anything past the muzzle. Here, every instrument of death you pick up is lovingly turned over in your hands when you first pick them up. They’re chunky and colourful and every action made with them produces big meaty clicks and whirs. They look and feel like something somebody made out of cardboard and LEDs for a halloween party. The reload animations are tactile and over-designed in the best sort of way, displaying the sort of exaggerated physicality of those videos of the guy reloading toasters and other household appliances. Weapons vent steam out of access ports, arcs of electricity ripple over them and cheap plastic ammo displays are covered in scratches and finger smudges.

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It would be easy to dismiss all of this as superfluous window dressing, but it all bolsters the world-building. The weapons range from industrial tools to cobbled-together laser beams and mass produced security firearms. They all fit into this oddly colourful horror game, set far into the future but filled with oddly anachronistic technology like USB sticks and LCD displays. You basically have a Nintendo Power glove strapped to your arm. It’s a world of faux 80’s low-tech cyberpunk – a frequently common affectation in pop culture that can so often come across as garish or lazy, but here is executed perfectly. It makes sense.

(Video) SYSTEM SHOCK REMAKE | Full Game Walkthrough | No Commentary

As a remake, this improves on everything that could frustrate modern players without detracting from the experience, simplifying the controls and inventory management to a contemporary standard while retaining all the functionality and atmosphere. As a reboot, it’s an impressively confident foundation for a new generation of immersive sims.

With its System Shock, Nightdive has built not only the definitive way to experience one of the most foundational works of an incredibly specific and daunting genre, it’s created the definitive entry point for players who want to get into games about crawling through vents and collecting keycards but are unsure of where to begin. Spiritual successors such as the 2017 Prey or Void Bastards may have done an excellent job of carrying the torch, but it’s a true delight to go back to where it all started.


  • Perfectly re-imagined for modern players
  • Simplified and standardised without eating into System Shock's unique heritage


  • Minor bugs that causes dead bodies to bounce around whenever you reload a save, which isn't ideal for a horror game
  • No big environmental or narrative surprises for veterans

Version Tested: PC. Copies of the game were provided by the publisher.


System Shock Remake review? ›

A final delay into 2023 was announced, and the game was released for Windows via Steam,, and Epic Games Store on May 30, 2023. Versions for Linux, macOS, the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S are planned, as promised in the initial Kickstarter campaign.

What happened to System Shock remake? ›

A final delay into 2023 was announced, and the game was released for Windows via Steam,, and Epic Games Store on May 30, 2023. Versions for Linux, macOS, the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S are planned, as promised in the initial Kickstarter campaign.

What are the system requirements for System Shock 1 original? ›

  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system.
  • OS: Windows 7/8.1/10 (64-bit only)
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-3770/AMD FX-8350 or better.
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM.
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 970 4GB/AMD Radeon R9 290 4GB or better.
  • DirectX: Version 11.
  • Storage: 10 GB available space.

Will there be a System Shock 3? ›

System Shock 3 is the upcoming third entry in the System Shock series, developed by OtherSide Entertainment. The game will be released on PC and other platforms.

Is System Shock 2 a horror game? ›

System Shock 2 is a 1999 action role-playing survival horror video game designed by Ken Levine and co-developed by Irrational Games and Looking Glass Studios.

Are System Shock and BioShock related? ›

System Shock, the game to which BioShock is considered a spiritual successor, fits the bill of BioShock in space in almost every way. The two titles have similarities from their atmospheres to elements of their plots and even those plots' execution in-game.

Will there be System Shock 2 remake? ›

There is currently no release date for System Shock 2: Enhanced Edition, but those who preordered the System Shock remake will get the updated version for free at release.

Is System Shock playable? ›

While the System Shock remake is a lot more playable than ever before, it's still hard work trying to navigate around its many labyrinthine levels. If there's one thing you should take away from this System Shock remake review, it's that this is the most playable version of the classic PC game.

Can I run System Shock remake? ›

Can I Run System Shock? To run the System Shock Remake system requirements you will need an Intel Core i5-2400 CPU and AMD HD 7870 graphics card, and a measly 2GB of HDD space.

How long does it take to beat System Shock? ›

The System Shock remake's main storyline will take around 13 hours to beat, based on the statistics on HowLongToBeat. That's the time to finish the main questline from start to finish. If you want to get your hands on some side quests without striving to 100%, the estimated playtime will be approximately 15 hours.

Is the System Shock 3 dead? ›

Warren Spector's OtherSide Entertainment stopped work on the highly anticipated System Shock 3 in 2019, Spector confirmed in a recent interview with GamesBeat.

Is System Shock 1 a horror game? ›

Originally released in 1994, System Shock is best known through the games it inspired. Its blend of first-person shooting, sci-fi roleplay, and survival horror made it a touchstone for Deus Ex, BioShock, Dead Space and Prey.

Why was System Shock 3 cancelled? ›

The project needed more funding but no other publisher came forward. Development on the game ceased in 2019, Spector explained in an interview with VentureBeat. This was closely followed by a series of layoffs as most of the key people involved in the project left the studio.

What is the oldest horror game? ›

While the game may not have been easy to play, Haunted House certainly qualifies as the first Horror video game. Haunted House entry in the 1981 Atari Catalog.

Is System Shock 2 similar to BioShock? ›

Additionally, BioShock ultimately focuses on political ideology and the challenges of ethics within capitalism, while System Shock goes in a much different direction. While both games dealt with issues of corporate greed and human progress gone wrong, System Shock took a much darker tone by tapping into transhumanism.

What is the scariest horror board game? ›

Best horror board games
  • Eldritch Horror.
  • Betrayal Legacy.
  • Mansions of Madness.
  • Mysterium.
  • One Night Ultimate Werewolf.
  • Arkham Horror: The Card Game.
  • Zombicide: Black Plague.
  • Dead Man's Cabal.
Jan 6, 2022

Is BioShock 4 a thing? ›

BioShock 4 release date is still to be determined

Interestingly, though, a datamine surfaced last year in 2021 that supposedly pointed towards a launch date sometime in 2022. However, as we approach the end of the year, a 2023 release date is the earliest that we'll see a new BioShock surface.

Why is BioShock called 1999 mode? ›

It's intended to be a difficulty that hearkens back to the "hard old days" of FPS'es, as Ken Levine explains: We call it the 1999 mode because our first game came out in 1999, System Shock, and it was a tough, tough game.

What ocean is BioShock in? ›

Rapture is an underwater city, located in the north Atlantic Ocean somewhere between Greenland and Iceland. It is only accessible by a system of bathyspheres.

Do enemies Respawn in System Shock 2? ›

Up to now I couldn't beat the much too hectic area with the brain and endless respawning enemies. Generally the fighting and loot system of system shock 2 brings a lot of interesting action.

Was Deus Ex inspired by System Shock? ›

Certain game developers have acknowledged System Shock's influence on their products. With Deus Ex, developer Warren Spector revealed a desire to "build on the foundation laid by the Looking Glass guys in games like ... System Shock".

What is the exotic weapon in System Shock 2? ›

There are three Exotic Weapons that can be found in System Shock 2: the Crystal Shard, which is the strongest melee weapon in the game ; the Viral Proliferator, a powerful biological weapon against Annelids ; and the Annelid Launcher, an enemy-seeking projectile thrower.

How many hours of gameplay is System Shock 2? ›

When focusing on the main objectives, System Shock 2 is about 13½ Hours in length. If you're a gamer that strives to see all aspects of the game, you are likely to spend around 22½ Hours to obtain 100% completion.

Is System Shock a metroidvania? ›

Whilst System shock 2 is an ARPG shooter, the first one is more akin of a Metroidvania.

What is the alternative to Shockwave games? ›

The other five competitors in the top 10 list are (1.3M visits in April 2023), (870.1K visits in April 2023), (277.4K visits in April 2023), (571.1K visits in April 2023), and (2.0M visits in April 2023).

What are the recommended specs for system shock remake? ›

  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system.
  • OS: Windows 7/8.1/10 (64-bit only)
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-3770/AMD FX-8350 or better.
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM.
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 970 4GB/AMD Radeon R9 290 4GB or better.
  • DirectX: Version 11.
  • Storage: 10 GB available space.
2 days ago

What are the minimum system requirements for re 2 remake? ›

Resident Evil 2 Remake Minimum Spec PC Requirements
  • OS: WINDOWS 7, 8, 8.1, 10 (64-BIT Required)
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-4460, 2.70GHz or AMD FX-6300 or better.
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM.
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 or AMD Radeon R7 260x with 2GB Video RAM.
  • DirectX: Version 11.
Jun 22, 2018

Can I run Crash N sane trilogy? ›

System Requirements

Memory: 8 GB RAM. Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 2GB | AMD Radeon HD 7850 2GB. DirectX: Version 9.0c. Storage: 30 GB available space.

How long is System Shock 2 reddit? ›

Anyway, from looking online, the average time to beat this game is around 13 hours.

What is going on with System Shock 3? ›

In 2020, it was confirmed by OtherSide that the rights for System Shock 3 were transferred to Tencent, where development would continue in conjunction with OtherSide, which was confirmed by Spector. Since then, we've not heard much information, but the title still seems to be in development.

What is the core code in System Shock 2? ›

Proceed to the engine core on the engineering deck. There you can set the core overload to my control by entering the authorized destruct code 94834.

When did System Shock 2 come out? ›

What is the scientifically scariest video game? ›

MADiSON was scientifically recognized as the "Scariest Video Game of All Time", by The Science of Scare Project from Broadband Choices who has set out to scientifically measure the scariest forms of entertainment available. 200 participants were invited to play over 45 horror games released in the last three decades.

What is the scariest game called? ›

10 Scariest Video Games Of All Time
  • 10 Amnesia: The Dark Descent.
  • 9 Five Nights At Freddy's.
  • 8 Silent Hill 2.
  • 7 The Evil Within.
  • 6 The Last Of Us.
  • 5 Until Dawn.
  • 4 Alien: Isolation.
May 15, 2023

Is System Shock remastered release date? ›

What year does System Shock 2 take place? ›

It's a complex, sometimes frustrating experience that can't replace its predecessor but offers a nicely similar taste. System Shock takes place in a retro-future where the year 2072 looks like 1994 and is set mainly on the sinister megacorp TriOptimum's space station, Citadel.

What year does System Shock take place? ›

System Shock (January - November 2072)

What is the least horror game? ›

So, for those looking for a horror game that isn't too scary, we've expanded this list by another five entries.
  1. 1 Resident Evil 4.
  2. 2 Dead Space 2. ...
  3. 3 Silent Hill 2. ...
  4. 4 Bloodborne. ...
  5. 5 The Walking Dead. ...
  6. 6 The Last of Us. ...
  7. 7 Bioshock. ...
  8. 8 DOOM 3. ...
Oct 29, 2021

What is the most viral horror game? ›

Amnesia: The Dark Descent (2010)

Did Nintendo make a horror game? ›

Eternal Darkness was developed by Canadian development studio Silicon Knights and published by Japanese game company Nintendo. It was directed and produced by Denis Dyack of Silicon Knights.

Can Delta survive BioShock 2? ›

Delta is able to survive long enough to reach the surface with Eleanor. However, his wounds (as well as his broken bond with Eleanor) proved too much for him, and by the time they reach the surface, the Protector is breathing his last.

Is System Shock canon to BioShock? ›

Share All sharing options for: Gone Home, BioShock share the same universe. BioShock, Gone Home and System Shock all take place within the same universe, according to The Fullbright Company co-founder Steve Gaynor in a recent episode of Tone Control: Conversations with Video Game Developers.

Is BioShock 2 connected to Infinite? ›

Bioshock Infinite connects with Bioshock 1, but Bioshock 2 is a whole different Story-line on its own because Bioshock 1 and 2 take place at the same location but at a different timeline, so like Andrew Ryan and Lamb were both in Rapture together, but both incidents between them happened at a different time.

How is the best horror game? ›

10 best horror games for Android
NameGoogle Play Store ratingDownload links
Dead Effect 24.1/5Google Play Store
Distraint4.8/5Google Play Store
Insomnia3.9/5Google Play Store
Alien: Isolation4.2/5Google Play Store
6 more rows
Jan 16, 2023

What is very horror game? ›

A horror game is a video game genre centered on horror fiction and typically designed to scare the player. The term may also be used to describe tabletop games with horror fiction elements.

Why are horror games so scary? ›

The most obvious reason being, of course, that in a game, it's happening to you. There's no second remove- you, personally, are seeing a monster heading towards you. There's a reason horror game protagonists tend to be bland at best. It's easier to identify with horror when it's happening to you.

Will System Shock remake be on PS5? ›

When will the System Shock remake come to Xbox, PS4 and PS5? System Shock remake publisher Prime Matter and developers Nightdive Studios have stated: “Console editions of System Shock will release on PlayStation 4/5 and Xbox One and Series S/X in due course; more details will be shared in the future.”

Will System Shock come to Console? ›

"Console editions of System Shock will release on PlayStation 4|5 and Xbox One and Series S|X in due course; more details on this when we have them."

Where can I play System Shock? ›

System Shock: Enhanced Edition on Steam.

How long has the System Shock remake been in development? ›

Nightdive Studios' remake of System Shock has been in development for almost eight years. Originally announced in 2015, it's had a longer development cycle than both existing System Shock games combined, and that includes the gap between them.

Does Crash Bandicoot N sane trilogy work on PS5? ›

Relive all your favourite Crash moments in their fully-remastered graphical glory and get ready to put some UMPH in your WUMP! To play this game on PS5, your system may need to be updated to the latest system software. Although this game is playable on PS5, some features available on PS4 may be absent.

Will PS2 games ever be on PS5? ›

If you own a PS5, it is possible to play certain PS2 games on your console. Sadly, you won't be able to play disk-based games since those are not compatible with the console. This means that if you have a stack of PS2 game disks at home, you can just keep them as a collection – a relic of the past.

Will PS5 ever be fully backwards compatible? ›

Unlike previous Sony games consoles, the PlayStation 5 is fully backward compatible with games from the last generation. That means you can play the vast majority of PS4 games. And, in some cases, you even get enhanced frame-rates, loading times and/or other improvements.

Is console gaming dying out? ›

Console gaming is not dying. Console gaming is astronomically higher than PC gaming and is growing.

Does console rust have electricity? ›

One of the major highlights of this update is the introduction of electricity. This new feature will provide power to your base components and incorporating it brings numerous benefits, greatly enhancing your base-building potential.

Do Shockwave games still work? ›

End of Life for Adobe Shockwave. Effective April 9, 2019, Adobe Shockwave will be discontinued and the Shockwave player for Windows will no longer be available for download.

Is System Shock an immersive sim? ›

Immersive sims are generally compared to games developed by Looking Glass Studios. The first such game generally considered an immersive sim is Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss, and other examples include Thief and Thief 2, System Shock and System Shock 2, as well as the first Deus Ex.

What engine does System Shock use? ›

Thanks to the fact Nightdive brought the game's original source code over to its in-house engine KEX engine , System Shock 2: Enhanced Edition will be available on current generation consoles.

Will System Shock remake have a physical release? ›

Can I choose to receive a physical copy of the game for Xbox One/PS4? All physical editions of System Shock are for PC. However, each Physical Edition is accompanied by an extra copy of the Digital Collector's Edition available for the platform of your choice.

What was the earliest video game remake? ›

An early example was Gun Fight, Midway's 1975 reprogrammed version of Taito's arcade game Western Gun, with the main difference being the use of a microprocessor in the reprogrammed version, which allowed improved graphics and smoother animation than the discrete logic of the original.


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