System Shock | We tested it at Gamescom 2022

System Shock | We tested it at Gamescom 2022

Even if you have never experienced the experience offered by System Shock, you have probably played something that was inspired by it. The Looking Glass Technologies classic, published in 1994, first for MS-DOS and then for Mac OS and PC-98, was widely acclaimed by critics but never became a true commercial "best seller" (selling only just over 170,000 copies and paradoxically causing Looking Glass Technologies to lose a lot of money).

The reason? DOOM, which was almost everywhere at that time; the appreciation obtained by the specialized press and industry insiders, however, allowed System Shock to become an influential masterpiece of the videogame industry. System Shock's graphics engine, physics and gameplay were among the most innovative ever, so much so that they laid the foundations for several very successful FPS, including Deus Ex and Bioshock.

So, said this, how do you go about remaking a game of such great impact? But above all without distorting its nature?| ); }

Saving humanity from a fate worse than death itself

Once the demo started, we were engulfed by the game; no objective indicators, nothing at all, just us and the spaceship. After obtaining a key card to open the first door on our path we were free to explore how much there was to explore. In this way, the player can create (by sewing on himself) the adventure to his liking. Something truly rewarding that makes the gaming experience unique. We have decided to adopt a staid and exploratory approach, collecting all the available objects and a few weapons scattered here and there; this allowed us to better face the "monstrosities" present in the level and above all by always choosing a different way to defeat them.

The demo proposed at Gamescom 2022 probably did not foresee a real conclusion; the purpose of the test was - in our opinion - to allow the player to experience the essence of production. Having also played the original, it was almost a real blast from the past but in a modern way. An incredible feeling that gives us hope for the finished product.

The atmosphere in the game works well. The graphics (the engine used is Unreal Engine 4) is a mix of old and new. In fact, although many elements seem to be in step with the times, others have been deliberately left in low definition. A particular choice that, however, goes well with the objective of Nightdive Studios. Will it be the winning card? We cannot know. But the curiosity to try the finished product is really great!

First considerations

Although the duration of the demo was rather narrow, in reality we ended it with an amazing death, the sensations offered by the same have been more than positive. The level design has remained almost unchanged compared to the 1994 product; Significant additions include: high definition elements, improved gameplay mechanics and stratospheric surround sound. If these are the premises, although System Shock will not be able, probably a bit like the original to represent a commercial "best seller", it will certainly be loved by a decent slice of players, both new and veteran of the original title.

We remind you that the System Shock remake will be released by the end of the year (subject to postponements) on PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series S | X and Xbox One.

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