The team at Nightdive Studios are either Mad Geniuses or Complete Dumbasses depending on how you want to interpret this information: they are remaking the original System Shock.While i’ve only played the second game, i can tell you that this franchise definitely deserves the acclaim it has received. I can also tell you that as good as the game play and story was, System Shock 2 looked like shit, and the first game looks ever worse. If ever a case was needed for remaking old game, these two would be it. But these games are also classics, and with that comes their own set of issues, so it’s understandable why no one was chosen to try yet. Right now there are really only two ways Nightdive’s remake can go: either it improves upon the game in the ways fans want it too, or it shits all over the franchise legacy. Even if the game is just mediocre it would be seen by many as a slap in the face that they would even dare attempt to improve upon the original game. As of right now i have to say i’m pretty impressed.
Polygon released a video of a game play demo that looks really promising. So far the game is visually stunning and the gameplay looks like it mixes modern controls with an old school item management. This gives the impression that Nightdive is aiming to make the game more accessible to a modern audience without trampling on the core ideas and features of the original game. My only complaint with the video is that melee combat still lacks weight, but that a common blight for most first person games.
But a video isn’t enough to judge a game by and Nightdive knows this, so a free Pre-Alpha demo is also on Steam, Good Old Games and the Humble store. I have the demo downloaded, but it freezes before the title screen and i haven’t been able to play it yet. I have a feeling this is more due to my shitty laptop, but i thought I’d mention it just in case. If i can get the demo up and running i’ll do an impressions post of it, but i can’t make any promises. But for those who can get the demo working and feel you want to help out, Night Dive has a kickstarter up for the project HERE. There’s 29 days to go and $160,000 of the $900,000 base they are asking for. From what i’ve seen, this is shaping up to be a killer remake, and i’m looking forward to it.