Re­turn to a shiny new Ci­tadel Sta­tion in this highly an­tic­i­pated sci-fi re­make

XBox: The Official Magazine - - CONTENTS - Adam Bryant

Pub­lisher Night­dive Stu­dios De­vel­oper Night­dive Stu­dios ETA 2020

Well, it looks like we can all breathe a sigh of re­lief as de­vel­op­ment for the re­make of ev­ery­one’s favourite im­mer­sive sci-fi sim is back on track. De­vel­oper Night­dive Stu­dios re­leased a video pre­view of the Sys­tem Shock re­make’s open­ing area to show off its fi­nalised vi­su­als, and it looks great.

When the game was an­nounced as a reimag­in­ing, ev­ery­one was ex­cited. Sys­tem Shock is a beloved ti­tle, and it in­spired the cre­ation of many clas­sics such as BioShock, Deus Ex and Prey to name a few, but the re­make has seen a trou­bled de­vel­op­ment pe­riod. After be­ing funded on Kick­starter for over $1.3 mil­lion in 2016, the team ploughed ahead with its vi­sion. It was to fea­ture many over­hauls and changes, but would cap­ture the spirit of the orig­i­nal for a mod­ern au­di­ence. Fol­low­ing a change of re­lease date from De­cem­ber 2017 to the sec­ond quar­ter of 2018, it be­came clear that the de­vel­op­ers be­came too am­bi­tious and fea­ture-creep caused the team to lose con­trol of de­vel­op­ment.

Then in early 2018 the game was put on hia­tus. Things were look­ing grim, but the de­ci­sion was made to go back to Night­dive’s orig­i­nal plan to stay as close to the orig­i­nal as pos­si­ble. This in­volved re­duc­ing the size of the de­vel­op­ment team to make a more con­cen­trated one. And now new footage has sur­faced which has re­vi­talised our ex­cite­ment.

Hacker’s de­light

“The de­ci­sion was made to go back to Night­dive’s orig­i­nal plan”

Al­though vet­eran game de­signer and writer Chris Avel­lone joined the team to re­work di­a­logue and fix plot holes in the story, Sys­tem Shock will re­main faith­ful to the orig­i­nal. It takes place in the year 2072 and fol­lows the ex­ploits of a name­less cy­berspace hacker who, after a bit of mis­chief, finds him­self un­der ar­rest and at the mercy of a cor­rupt ex­ec­u­tive from the TriOp­ti­mum Cor­po­ra­tion. With the prospect of all charges be­ing dropped, and the prom­ise of a new neu­ral in­ter­face that will aid his hack­ing abil­i­ties, the hacker agrees to carry out a mis­sion on Ci­tadel Sta­tion, a TriOp­ti­mum space sta­tion or­bit­ing above Saturn. The mis­sion in­volves re­pro­gram­ming SHODAN (Sen­tient Hy­per-Op­ti­mised Data Ac­cess Net­work), the AI that con­trols the sta­tion, and steal­ing a mu­ta­genic virus. The mis­sion is an ap­par­ent suc­cess and the hacker gets his im­plant. But the op­er­a­tion puts the hacker in a six-month coma. He awak­ens to find that the space sta­tion has been com­man­deered by SHODAN. Freed from the shack­les of ethics, the AI has slaugh­tered all of the hu­mans on the sta­tion and it’s up to the hacker to save the day.

As big fans of Sys­tem Shock we’re glad to know that things are go­ing smooth once again, but we’ll feel a lot bet­ter once the game’s re­leased.

Be­low Night­dive’s Sys­tem Shock re­make cer­tainly looks a lot bet­ter than the 1994 orig­i­nal.

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