System Shock review | PC Gamer

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What is it? An FPS/survival horror remake of one of the first progenitors to modern immersive sims.
Release date May 30, 2023
Expect to pay $40/£35
Developer Nightdive
Publisher Prime Matter
Reviewed on Ryzen 7 3700X, RTX 4080, 16GB RAM
Steam Deck Unverified
Link Official site

Let me tell you about the one that got away. She was pitiless and cruel, narcissistic and delusional. She unfurled through Citadel Station in a thousand security cameras and as many cyborg slaves, their meat taken from the bodies of the outpost’s former staff. She made pustules and blisters, mutants and monsters. She was the death of me a million times over, and I’ve missed her more than words can say.

She is SHODAN, of course, the malevolent AI goddess who was the centrepiece and proudest creation of 1994’s System Shock, now rebuilt in sparkling Unreal Engine 4 in this remake from Nightdive Studios. It suits her. Gone are the sprite-based enemies and screen-eating UI from the original game, replaced by clanking, three-dimensional automatons and an inventory that—while not exactly sleek—is certainly easier to use than the original’s rolling shopping list of weapons, explosives, and stimulants.

It’s so good to see you again. (Image credit: Nightdive)

Both System Shock and SHODAN are legendary; they’re iconic symbols of an era and philosophy in game design, and remaking them must have been a daunting task for Nightdive. How do you change-up the game that first used the 451 code, the one that every immersive sim still uses to mark itself as part of the tribe to this day, without being accused of sacrilege and blasphemy?

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