System Shock 1 is ready to rock your Cyberpunk world once again

Well, my Saturday sure couldn´t have started off any better than it did. And the reason why is spelled “System Shock”. You see. Last night, I found out that Nightdive (check out our interview with Nightdive Studios!) had launched their Kickstarter campaign for the remake of “System Shock 1”.(the game will be released in December, 2017 for Windows, MAC, Linux and Xbox One). And not only that, Nightdive dropped a playable demo for the game as well (the demo is available via Steam, GOG, and Humble). And to my big surprise, the system spec requirements wasn´t all that demanding:

OS: Windows 7/8.1/10 (64-bit versions)
Processor: Intel Core i5-2400/AMD FX-8320 or better
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Graphics: Nvidia GTX 670 2GB/AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB or better
DirectX: Version 11
Storage: 2 GB available space

OS: Windows 7/8.1/10 (64-bit versions)
Processor: Intel Core i7-3770/AMD FX-8350 or better
Memory: 16 GB RAM
Graphics: Nvidia GTX 970 4GB/AMD Radeon R9 290 4GB or better
DirectX: Version 11
Storage: 2 GB available space

system shock big box collectors edition

Yes, you guessed it. There will be a big box collectors edition of “System Shock”. And I´m going to buy one for myself :3 (it´s all yours for 150 USD).

And it´s just about to get even better. Because last night I also found out that Chris Avellone (Fallout: New Vegas, Wasteland 2, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II, Planescape: Torment, and Fallout 2) is involved in the “System Shock” remake project. And not only that, check out what Warren Spector had to say about the Kickstarter campaign:

“The announcement of the System Shock update from Nightdive [made it] apparent that not only do people remember [the game], they care very deeply about it.”Warren Spector, Studio director, Otherside Entertainment

system shock 1

I still remember when I played “System Shock 1″ for the very first time (the game was originally released back in 1994”). Well, let´s just say that I had a blast.

And I have to say that it feels really good to know that Robb Waters is a part of the “System Shock” Remake team as well:

“Bringing [the game] up to speed two decades later has been an incredibly fun and satisfying process. A character that ended up like a pile of pixels in the original game can now be reinterpreted and fully realized as a terrifying 3D model.”Robb Waters, original SS concept artist, Nightdive Studios

Rewards and Kickstarter thoughts

system shock razer laptop

If you pledge 5,000 USD (or more), then you will get a custom-made “System Shock” Razer laptop.

As for Kickstarter and the “System Shock” Remake rewards. There are plenty of really cool backer rewards (check the Kickstarter page for the full backer rewards list), and so far everything is working truly well for Nightdive. Especially since they have already collected over 700,000 USD in just a couple of days (the goal would be to raise 800,000 USD). And keep in mind that there is still 26 days left on the Kickstarter campaign, so it´s very likely that SS1 will be fully funded in a day or two henceforth. So, what do I personally think of the Kickstarter campaign so far? Well, the Nightdive team has already proven themselves plenty of times in the past. And since I love “System Shock” (I have dreamed about a SS1 remake for years!), I´m going to give the Kickstarter project my blessing.

General Features:
– A modern take on System Shock, a faithful reboot; it’s not Citadel Station as it was, but as you remember it. Many improvements, overhauls and changes are being implemented to capture the spirit of what the original game was trying to convey, and bring it to contemporary gamers.
– Re-imagined enemies, weapons, and locations by original concept artist Robb Waters.
– Terri Brosius reprises her role as SHODAN, and new VO will be recorded.
– Brand new musical score composed by Jonathan Peros.
– The user interface, game mechanics, enemies, and puzzles will be updated to reflect modern aesthetics and sensibilities, while maintaining the feel of the original.

Scope Features:
– $900k Goal: Modern Inventory Management, Modern Controls, New Puzzles, Updated Faithful Levels, Game Difficulty Modes.
– $1.7m Goal : Enemy limb dismemberment, More puzzles, Ammo types/weapon settings, Vending machines, Basic components/research, RPG progression,
– Weapon upgrading, Hardcore mode (No respawning), Ironman mode (Only 1 savegame. If you die, the save is deleted)

system shock 1 remastered keypad

“System Shock is a complete remake of the genre defining classic from 1994 built by a team of industry veterans. Remember Citadel.” Yes indeed, it sure is.

Music and sound

And as we all know, the music and sound effects are very, very important for the gameplay experience. Especially when it comes to the world of “System Shock”. Well, Nightdive hasn´t failed to impress me on that front neither. As Jonathan Peros (composer and sound designer for SS1) has done a really good job with the music and sound effects so far (just listen to the “Ethical Constraints Removed [Intro]” song). And it seems like Prague’s FILMharmonic Orchestra will get the job to record the score for SS1 as well.

“System Shock will have a dramatic and modern take on a musical score. Combining its root sci-fi elements with dynamic acoustic elements à la BioShock, we are striving to set System Shock apart from other more action-based shooters as an atmospheric and dark experience.” – Nightdive

My thoughts on the demo so far

system shock 1 remake intro screen

It feels really good to be back in the world of “System Shock 1” again.

And now it´s time for the grand finale, because as you might remember. I stated very early on in this OP piece that there is a playable demo of SS1. Well, that´s correct. And I have played through the whole demo now, so I´m going to share my thoughts on it with you guys and girls. Well, for starter. Nightdive sure didn´t joke when they said that the remake of SS1 would be “a complete remake of the genre defining classic from 1994 built by a team of industry veterans”. Because once I booted up the pre-alpha demo, those words really made a lot of sense to me.

system shock 1 remake wake up time

The graphics look very, very good in the remake of SS1 (the game runs on the Unity Engine).

system shock remake steam effects

SS1 Remake offers some really impressive steam and practical effects.

And more so, since I had plenty of retro flashbacks while playing through the demo (the demo is pretty much an exact copy of the very start of the original SS1 game, but with today´s graphical standards). I was also quite surprised over how extremely smoothly the demo ran on my computer (I used the highest settings, and I play on an almost two-year-old Gaming computer). However, I did experience some bugs while playing the game (I couldn´t kill some robots, for example). That was somewhat expected though, since it´s a pre-alpha demo after all.

system shock 1 remake stuff

Just like in the original game, there are tons of stuff which you can pick up and use.

system shock 1 remake inventory

You can pick up pretty much anything you want, even body parts! (don´t ask…).

Even so, I had very few problems with the demo. And I got a pretty good idea of what Nightdive is trying to achieve with their remake of SS1. And even though it´s been at least 12 years since the last time I played SS1. It took less than a minute for me to get into the “System Shock” groove again. In the matter of fact, you don´t even have to be a hardcore SS fan to get a grip of the game. As the game and its interface is very user-friendly (a small child could get a hang of the controls and everything with ease).

system shock 1 remake

The pre-alpha demo of SS1 Remake gives you pretty good idea about what kind of horrors that you will face in the full game.

system shock 1 remake space zombies

Space zombies, space zombies everywhere!

I did, however, run into some problems with the enemies in the pre-alpha demo. For example, I encountered a hostile robot which couldn´t be killed (it didn´t matter how many times I hit it with my steel pipe). I also believe that Nightdive has quite a lot of combat balancing to sort out as well (the space zombies can reach much longer than you can, and sometimes you can´t hurt them if they hit you first). Nevertheless, I think it´s safe to say that the SS1 Remake tops the original game with ease. At least based on what I´ve seen and experienced so far from the demo.

system shock 1 remake autodoc healing bed

The autodoc healing bed is your best friend, and you get a chance to use it in the demo.

system shock 1 remake corpse

This poor guy had no chance in hell against the Shodan´s blood hungry minions.

And I can tell you this much, if my brother (Andreas) falls in love with the SS1 remake demo just like I did (Adde is a hardcore “System Shock” fan as well). Then I´m quite certain that both old (and new) “System Shock” fans will love the SS1 Remake demo as well. So do yourself a big favor and download the demo and have a blast with it today 😉

This is a personal opinion of the writer, and it doesn’t necessarily represent the other writers (nor The Gaming Ground´s) opinions.

I´m going to back the SS1 Remake project on Kickstarter.

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Robin “V-Act” Ek
The Gaming Ground
Twitter: @TheGamingGround

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12 Comments ON " System Shock demo and Kickstarter thoughts "
  • Sevuz

    I never play the original but have heard A LOT about it. I must say, after trying out the DEMO myself then am very much forward to it 🙂

    • Really? Then again, I don´t know when you´re born xD You see. I grow up playing “System Shock” 1 and 2 😉 Same here :3

      • Sevuz

        Yeah I know it’s a sin 😛 I’m 29 (80’s kid). I got my own PC 2 years before I was done with school. So yeah I was a bit late to the party. So am glad I get a second chance with the remaster 🙂

        Horror and sci-fi is a perfects match if it’s done right. The Last I played was Alien isolation. But the Alien was so dumb and easy to cheat and the gameplay was boring (the first 5 hours was great) and after 13 hours I had enough. Glad that I played it, but damn I hope they fix the pacing and beef up the gameplay in the sequel.

        • Ah, then it makes sense 😉 Well, better late than never =) With no doubt 😉 absolutely, and SS1 and 2 are the perfect example of that (the unknown, the feeling of being alone, etc.). I think “Alien Isolation” got boring rather quickly, and the PC-version that I played had a lot of bugs too. That would be a really good idea for sure, and more things need to happen. As it would help the game to get less repetitive in the long run.

  • John Smith.

    Meh, Scamstarter is back with more “promises” from industry veterans based on old gamers nostalgia I see. Sorry, I am not interested in getting ripped off.

    • Well, to be fair. Nightdive Studios hasn´t released any bad titles as of yet. And they also managed to get a hold of pretty much everybody that worked with “System Shock 1”. And the demo just blew me away. So it´s up to each and everyone to make up their mind if they want to support the game or not. However, people could also play it safe and wait until the game launches 😉

  • Matthieu Timar

    I’m a bit disapointed by the gameplay: enemy tend to hit you even though you evade them, the laser is as deadly as a water gun (i don’t ask for much for your first weapons but it should at least let you kill someone without emptying half of your ammo in his head), I’m having lags that impede me from playing correctly (i can play witcher 3 on high without any problem). For now im not convince by this reboot.

    • Well, this is what the gameplay looked like for me (and I have a two year old Gaming PC):

      • Matthieu Timar

        Yep and i see the same flaws i mentioned (the enemy hit you after you evaded him (when you come back to him too quickly after his strike) and the laser is useless. I didn’t say the demo was difficult (it wasn’t) i said i didn’t like how the gameplay felt.

        • Ah. Well, I did mention some other flaws in the video. For example, one of the robots got indestructible. And sometimes direct hits didn´t do any damage, and the corsair is off at times. As for the laser, it´s only the alt fire that does anything useful imo (the big blast).

          So I just sent all my thoughts and such (plus bug log) to Nightdive. And that would be my advice for you as well.

          • Matthieu Timar

            Maybe I’ll do just that!

          • Be my guest 😉 And don´t forget to give them your error log as well.

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