When you have a medium of entertainment that lasts an incredibly long time, inevitably, products from the earliest generations will influence present-day titles in one form or another. Inspiration often comes from looking back and seeing what you can do better in the present. An excellent example comes from the RPG System Shock. The RPG had many traits still relevant in modern titles, and it did those things without the graphics and processing power of hardcore PCs and consoles. Fast forward to now, and Nightdive Studios is doing the System Shock Remake that is coming out in May.
We’ll admit that the title has had many delays over the years since the remake was announced, but the team is finally seeing daylight. To that end, they talked with Epic Games to discuss what it took to make the System Shock Remake and how the struggle helped make the title better.
Oh, and they were fine with admitting they messed up a few times here:
“Updating System Shock, a 30-year-old game, was challenging, but at the same time incredibly rewarding,” CEO Stephen Kick said. “We had over three decades worth of games that were released between 1994 and 2023 to look at and evaluate. How did System Shock inspire other games? How did future games improve on the immersive sim formula? How do we condense all the original controls onto a modern controller? There was an unending series of questions we had to answer along the way and it was a daunting task.”
He even talked about how they worked on the project for about two years before they needed to restart it, which is never a good sign in the gaming industry. However, he said it was necessary because they jumped from the Unity Engine to the Unreal Engine, which helped deliver the visuals and tone they needed for the remake.
Despite their changes, the team was careful not to overhaul everything so much that it didn’t feel like the cult classic game anymore. They knew they had to keep things intact on certain gameplay levels, or it would be a different title.
That included bringing back the “Cyberspace” elements despite how hard they were in the original title. Despite the obstacles and hurdles, Kick and his team feel that they made the remake that gamers will want to play, and playtests of the title indicate that when the game releases, it’ll be a hit 30 years in the making.