Review of the System Shock Remake from VG247

The original System Shock was a groundbreaking immersive sim game, loved by many fans of the genre, but its age and dated design can make it difficult for modern gamers to enjoy. When Nightdive Studios acquired the license in 2015, it released System Shock: Enhanced Edition, a slightly improved version of the original. However, Nightdive also began creating a ground-up remake, which has just been released after seven years of development.

The remake takes players on a journey through Citadel Station—a corporate orbiting haven above Jupiter—where they must help remove a fail-safe from the station’s system. With the task almost complete, you awake to find that SHODAN, the artificial intelligence that runs the station, has turned everyone into mutant goo.

The game still features the same labyrinthine structure that made the original famous.

This System Shock Remake is an impressive work of visual design that amplifies every aspect of the original without losing anything in the process. While everything about the level layout, as well as the game’s overall rhythm, is largely identical to the original, the aesthetics are where Nightdive takes its bolder, more creative risks.

The game’s chunky pixels evoke the typical atmosphere of 1990s PC games, while allowing enough room for unique and unexpected interpretations. The weapons are brilliantly reimagined and re-engineered in this version, with each firearm having a distinct personality and purpose, befitting a variety of situations. The atmosphere is enhanced by clunky and anachronistic technology, such as USB sticks and LCD displays, combined with the pseudo-cyberpunk look of the future. It all conveys the feeling of a low-tech space horror game, well-suited to modern players.

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SHODAN, the station’s artificial intelligence, taunts and mocks the player throughout the game.

Although this game improves on many of the frustrations in the first game without detracting from the experience, there are occasional downsides. For example, there are minor bugs where dead bodies bounce around every time a save is reloaded, ruining what should be a scary moment in the game. 

Anyone looking for new narrative or environmental twists may be disappointed though, as there are none in this game. However, the System Shock remake is a wonderfully fresh reboot of the genre, accessible to both veterans and newbies alike, and it shows that the future of immersive sims is still very bright.


  • Perfectly re-imagined for modern players
  • Simplified and standardised without eating into System Shock’s unique heritage


  • Minor bugs that causes dead bodies to bounce around whenever you reload a save, which isn’t ideal for a horror game
  • No big environmental or narrative surprises for veterans

Version Tested: PC. Copies of the game were provided by the publisher.

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