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The System Shock remake does something remarkable

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Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: You wake up in a futuristic medical bay on an orbital space station with some new cyber implants, only to realize everyone else is dead. i could talk bioshock Or dead Space or even, if you squint, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but in this case i’m talking about system shock, which has been remastered by Night Dive Studios. This new version shows how much video games owe to the 1994 classic.

Before I delved deep into the world of video games as a critic and a journalist, I knew about system shock, But it was not possible for me to play it. Originally developed by Looking Glass Studios, it was a moderate hit at the time, but was not as explosively popular as its contemporary Apocalypse, Its legacy has grown over time, clearly influencing games such as the above. bioshock And dead SpaceBut denied, HuntAnd deathloop, It also popularized some narrative techniques that now feel tired, such as the common practice of telling your story through audio logs.

i always wanted to play system shock, to trace the lines of video game history, but as an older, PC-only game, it was hard to get my hands on. Too much time had passed between the release of the game and the present day system shock For being accessible, not only in the sense that I was used to more modern games with better UIs and more intuitive controls, but also in the sense that it was not available for purchase anywhere. For a large part of my youth, system shock, a game so old that it was originally released on floppy disk, was distributed by fans through downloads of questionable legality. When I first saw this game, I heard it was a big hit every game It came in the wake of this, I instead asked people on the forums to direct other readers to system shock 2,

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When approaching a robot in System Shock Remake, the player uses a large wrench

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Image: Nightdive Studio / Prime Matter

now you can play the original system shockThanks for Nightdive as well. The studio acquired the rights to the game in 2012 and Enhanced Edition In 2015. And you can go and play this remastered version right now and enjoy many of its pleasures, even if they don’t hit the same way in 29 years. The then-revolutionary physics engine, originally programmed by Seamus Blackley flight unlimited, may not make the same impression on players in 2023 as he did in 1994; We’ve all seen plenty of physics engines that hinder Blackley’s work in the meantime. If you don’t think you can play a game from 1994, system shock The remake does well. Sometimes, it even does something remarkable and fundamental: It helps you actually perceive the passage of time.

system shock The remake is beautiful. This is not a completely redesigned game final fantasy 7 remake, nor does it completely abandon the aesthetics and art style of the original like the remake of shadow of the Colossus, But it seems the 1994 games pop up in my memory. Smoke bursts from the vents and disintegrates into pixels. Lighting is often dramatic, with your screen saturated in deep reds with bright blue sparks emanating from light fixtures. In your hands, your lead pipe hangs heavy in front of your face, dangling directly in front of your field of vision, sometimes slightly pixelated in the light. You walk slowly – oh so slowly – down narrow hallways with flickering lights, trapped in metal maintenance corridors as you try to make your way through the map. It’s a dungeon-crawler wearing a shooter skin.

familially, system shock The story follows a hacker who was caught hacking into TryOptimum Corporation. You are called to its orbital space station, the Citadel, and given a job: join the corporation and receive a fancy neural implant in exchange for removing the ethics protocols of its AI, Shodan. SHODAN, it turns out, was exactly what those ethics protocols required, and when you wake up after surgery, he has murdered everyone in the station and turned them into mutants and cyborgs.

Player fires a purple laser beam at oncoming robots in System Shock remake

Image: Nightdive Studio / Prime Matter

If you’re a fan of video games, you’ve likely come across SHODAN before, in one form or another. if you have played door, You have had a conversation with a very close relative of his. SHODAN will create the character, a female AI who has lost her morals with a shrill, hoarse voice, now a cliché. GLaDOS is just SHODAN with a sense of humor and a personal animus towards the player. In system shockShodan’s hatred is cold and pure, the way you hate insects when they come indoors; They are beneath you, and should not be here. As you make your way through the levels, she promises that she will strap you to a torture chair and “you will learn more about pain than you ever wanted to know.”

SHODAN’s appearance still feels new, somehow – or maybe, everything old becomes new again. The way the remake highlights flourish looks incredible system shockThe lineage of is even greater. When you charge your power weapons in the charging stations, electricity dances on your fingertips, and I remember how bioshock Get off this game. When system shock leans on its horror elements, shoves you into a dark room with a moaning monster, makes me remember why I didn’t play dead Space, system shock My creep speed is high, but I can see how the next one became that. Playing the game in this form helps me to bring it into conversation with the fully immersive sim genre, a loose collection of games that offer open-ended gameplay to players. You can see the line all the way from the Citadel to the edge of Dunwall denied, The way Looking Glass, and now Nightdive, present you with the Citadel not just as a space station, but a puzzle, a map for you to follow, with little or no instructions on how to proceed. Seeing this done so expertly on a small scale makes me think of a kind of open world that was not technically possible until recently: skyrim, breath of the wild, eldon ring,

A lobby-esque room on the space station, complete with System Shock remake, marble-granite pillars and Art Deco trappings

Image: Nightdive Studio / Prime Matter

what really excites me when i play system shock How little does it hold my hand. You can – and probably will – get completely eaten the first time you try to make your way through the medical bay. You can get yourself into unsolvable situations – it’s a game that asks you to pay attention, which doesn’t always prompt the next thing to do. It rewards your curiosity as much as it does your caution. I often found my way through levels, mostly by accident, deciding to turn off hallways I hadn’t gone down before. There’s always a discovery—a new weapon or a vending machine or a shortcut—or at least a useful lesson lying in wait. It is easy to understand why people play the game and then become obsessed with it, why you can trace some people’s careers through the game. Ken Levine, who worked on Looking Glass when it was made system shocksure never stopped trying to make system shockfinally giving in Bioshock Infinite An ending that suggests there are thousands of variations on this theme.

system shock Will release on May 30 on Windows PC. The game was reviewed using a pre-release download code provided by Prime Matter. Vox Media is an affiliated partnership. These do not affect editorial content, although Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased through affiliate links. You can find Additional information about Play Gamez’s ethics policy here,

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