I really can’t believe what I’m seeing. If you were around and into gaming in the late 90’s-early 00’s, you’ll know of Warren Spector. In addition to being involved in titles like the Ultima series, the Epic Mickey series and the Wing Commander series, he’s known for being the brains behind the genre defining classics Deus Ex and Thief: The Dark Project, both of which are among the most influential and adored video games in the PCs library.
So it’s awesome that I stumble across a video provided by Night Dive Studios on YouTube, which revealed that they will be working on a remake of the first System Shock title, which was a semi-precursor to a little game you probably may have heard of: Bioshock.
We’ve not been shown a lot related to the game yet, but it looks like they’re keeping faithful to the original’s design, whilst taking some liberties with the soundtrack, opting to go for a more horror influenced one as opposed to the originals which sounded like a lost Arnold Schwarzenegger movie soundtrack. The mutants also look lovely: they really pop out in 3D! However, I’m curious as to how they sort the clunky interface and redesign the game slightly for consoles and for modern gamers, as it’s not the easiest title to get into in 2016. X-COM managed it with the excellent XCOM: Enemy Unknown in 2012, though, so there is hope that System Shock can do the same.
Despite the Unity engine getting some bad press for asset flipping and general low quality games (among the most infamous being Digital Homicide Studios), it’s nice to see the engine in the hands of a promising developer. I didn’t know much about Night Dive Studios when I saw the video, but a quick Google search shows that they’ve worked on ports for modern day systems, which includes games like Turok and three of the Wizardry series (specifically, Wizardry 6: Bane of the Cosmic Forge, Wizardry 7: Crusaders of the Dark Savant and Wizardry 8), and they are also in development of the recently announced System Shock 3, with Warren Spector himself on the development team. While that’s not always a guarantee of quality (the Star Wars prequels and Metroid: Other M show that having the original brains behind something involved in it don’t always mean the new stuff will be good), in this case, I think it’s safe to say that System Shock is in safe hands.
Oh yeah, and it also looks gorgeous!