System Shock Remake Review – History In The Remaking

System Shock Remake Review – History In The Remaking

System Shock, originally released in 1994 (I was 3) paved the way for all your favourite franchises to bloom into the wonderful, life changing experiences they became. Bioshock, Deus Ex, and Prey actually came about directly from the existence of System Shock, and at least we have to thank it for that.

This week I was presented with the System Shock Remake. It was due in 2018, then 2020, and now, it will be available to all on 30 May 2023. I am at a bit of a loss as to what to write here, because, well, I am not too sure what they remade, and besides the obvious delay in 2020 due to Covid, I am not sure why it’s taken so long to get out into the world.

Remaster of None

Obviously I didn’t expect a complete overhaul of the game, and I can see that the environments have been recreated to match modern graphic expectations, but the Hacker, aka you, the character model, and any other small detailed object, looks pixelated, and as if they just took the original asset and popped it in for some nostalgia.

It’s like the game is trying to be one of those really cheap TVs that stretch the image to make it look clearer and then goes ahead and sells itself as HD ready. Ready to be HD if we kept remaking the remake for a couple more years?

The puzzles hold up. Simple, and fun. The story holds up. Simple, and fun. You can even customise the level of difficulty on 4 different pillars of the game. Make your combat more difficult and the Puzzles really easy. I was impressed by that, making your game more approachable and inclusive is a great touch. I’d like to see it more and more.

The System Shock game you played in 1994, holds up. You can either run straight through in 6 hours or make it a 20 hour game, really up to you and how much time you want to spend exploring and puzzling.

Gun with the wind

The character model isn’t sure what they are holding up. Hitting a pixelated cyborg with a pipe? More like swinging an empty plastic bottle weighted at the wrong end with absolutely no feedback when it hits what it’s meant to. I wasn’t sure if I had ever hit enemies, and ended up just spamming my trigger buttons until something was clearly dead or powered off.

Oh, you actually found a gun? Throw it away.

The gunplay is non-existent. Right now, I still stand by the fact that the Destiny games have the best gunplay in the industry. I compare most games that make me shoot things to them, and I feel like I actually can’t with this, because I may as well have been shooting damaged 30 year old nerf bullets at a target 1 meter from me and still missing everything about the experience. There is little to no recoil, and again, I never knew when something was actually dead.


The game was good in its time, beyond good from the historic changes it made to the industry and the genre, but right now, unless you are a hardcore fan who has waited doggedly since 2018 for this remake, I wouldn’t recommend a buy at R650.

Verdict | ✪✪

✪ Avoid | ✪✪ Poor | ✪✪✪ Good | ✪✪✪✪ Great | ✪✪✪✪✪ Must-play!