System Shock 2: Enhanced Edition announced, coming soon

The team behind the System Shock: Enhanced Edition are giving the same treatment to the beloved sequel.

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System Shock 2: Enhanced Edition has been announced following a 20th anniversary stream. The stream itself was a moment for the developers to come together and celebrate the iconic title.

The stream was put on by Nightdive Studios, a team responsible for bringing some beloved retro games to the future, including the original System Shock. The 1994 title was re-released in 2015 with improved visuals and performance, as well as an improved resolution, and even included the game in its original form.

While the only information about the System Shock 2: Enhanced Edition is a single tweet, it’s enough to get fans excited. Judging from the reception of the original’s Enhanced Edition, it’s safe to assume that Nightdive Studios will do the game justice with this re-release.

Stephen Kick, CEO of Nightdive Studios, also revealed that the DotA announcer would be out around the same time that System Shock 2: Enhanced Edition becomes available. For those who may have forgotten, Kick made an announcement on the DotA 2 subreddit that a SHODAN Announcer pack was in the works. While we may have had to wait four years, at least the project hasn’t been abandoned.

The System Shock 2: Enhanced Edition would make for the second System Shock game currently in development at Nightdive Studios. The team is already hard at work creating System Shock, a reboot of the franchise that was Kickstarted in June of 2016. This reboot is being created in Unity and is set to feature a world as we remember it. The enemies will be re-imagined by the original concept artists, Robb Waters, while Terri Brosius will slip back into the role of the terrifying SHODAN.

It’s a good time to be a System Shock fan. For those that haven’t played the sequel, it could be worth holding off on a playthrough for when the Enhanced Edition launches. Now we just wait for a release date.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    August 11, 2019 11:15 PM

    Sam Chandler posted a new article, System Shock 2: Enhanced Edition announced, coming soon

    • reply
      August 12, 2019 3:01 AM

      SS reboot is now in Unreal.

    • reply
      August 12, 2019 4:52 AM

      I will play this. Once again. So tense and good.

    • reply
      August 12, 2019 4:57 AM

      system shock 2 holds up!

    • rms legacy 10 years mercury mega
      reply
      August 12, 2019 5:54 AM

      Are they doing a Blood-style release, with just engine improvements, or try another SS1 reimaginging?

      • reply
        August 12, 2019 6:20 AM

        definitely just engine improvements

      • reply
        August 12, 2019 10:03 AM

        This is engine improvements like the SS1 Enhanced Edition (which is available now and separate from the remake).

    • reply
      August 12, 2019 6:21 AM

      i'm excited for this. i never liked the unofficial reskins / new models. it always looked too tryhard and "sinister" vs. the original lower-complexity yet scary-looking enemies.

    • reply
      August 12, 2019 6:46 AM

      Hopefully if they redo the character models they manage to keep the WRONGFUL look of the original designs. The fan remodels were clearly better looking models, but they weren't a good fit for the game. I honestly suspect part of the reason the original models feel that way is because they're so bad. I'm not sure you can make a good/detailed model that gives off the kind of vibe some of the original ones did.

    • reply
      August 12, 2019 9:56 AM

      More details from Nightdive

      - THEY HAVE THE SOURCE CODE meaning they can make improvements all day long.
      - They will port it to their KEX engine
      - They will make sure the co-op features are better implemented

      https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2019/08/12/20-years-after-release-system-shock-2-is-finally-getting-an-enhanced-edition/

      • reply
        August 12, 2019 10:00 AM

        Still waiting on Powerslave EX to get a proper release :'(

        I'm loving how versatile KEX is proving to be

      • reply
        August 12, 2019 10:02 AM

        Improved coop?! Node hear my call!!!

      • reply
        August 12, 2019 10:04 AM

        Mixed feelings on the Kex thing. There's some real fan content for dark engine games (far more than there is official content).

        I'd like to see the dark engine GPL'd like they did for System Shock so the community can continue with that if they're going to do the Kex port.

        • reply
          August 12, 2019 10:06 AM

          After reading the article, it sounds like they're handling the community stuff well; sounds promising.

        • reply
          August 12, 2019 10:33 AM

          Moving to KEX doesn't mean they're losing compatibility with the user content. I think the one time they weren't able to fully support it properly was with Blood, but that was because they didn't have the source to work from so things like enemy behavior were off

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            August 12, 2019 11:21 AM

            It'd be hard; there are literally hundreds of fan missions, and they're not just new geometry - people have created multiple entire campaigns complete with new gameplay mechanics, tools, AI, etc.

            Even NewDark has some incompatibilities, along with a sort of patching mechanism to correct for them.

            My Thief Fan Missions folder is over 26GB, and System Shock 2 stuff is kept separate from that (though there's only a few of those by comparison).

        • reply
          August 12, 2019 11:38 AM

          As long as the original system shock 2 is available, i don't see this as a problem.

          • reply
            August 12, 2019 11:39 AM

            No, it's not. My concerns were basically allayed when I read the article.

      • reply
        August 12, 2019 10:05 AM

        KEX? Hummmmmmmmmm

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          August 12, 2019 10:08 AM

          I'm hoping this:

          The game will also be ported to the studio’s KEX engine, though the original version that’s on Steam and GoG will remain, and will continue to be updated by the community.

          Means they'll be open sourcing the original version. Since the fan "NewDark" engine is actually what they're shipping in those.

      • reply
        August 12, 2019 11:14 AM

        Wrapping it in KEX is a bit of a disappointment, though it wouldn't shock me if that's largely in part due to it already having functional modern networking that older games can be made to hook into.

        Still fingers crossed that, like with System Shock, they open source the engine as hinted at about a year ago.

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          August 12, 2019 12:45 PM

          Found the tweet thread saying it should also go Open Source:

          Jun 19 2019:
          "We should have some updates on System Shock 2: Enhanced Edition in the near future. I think we'll end up releasing the code like we did with SS:EE"

          "We'll put the code up on GitHub so everyone can create their own branch"
          https://twitter.com/pripyatbeast/status/1141534099443634176

          • reply
            August 12, 2019 12:48 PM

            Well, "should," in the sense of they would like to. But as anyone who followed the difficulties in open sourcing idTech4 should know, it's not always as simple as just dropping the code out in the wild. Sometimes critical bits have to be entirely rewritten due copyright or patents.

            • reply
              August 12, 2019 1:03 PM

              It's true. I've gone over the leaked code, though, and the indeo codecs are the only thing I can think that might be a problem - and they could be replaced easily enough.

              I wasn't really looking with that in mind, though; I could totally have missed stuff.

          • reply
            August 12, 2019 12:48 PM

            Thanks for tracking that down.

      • reply
        August 12, 2019 2:41 PM

        Two good articles that helped to get me up to speed on how Night Dive, NewDark , and the new edition all fit in

        https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2019/08/12/no-one-knows-who-is-patching-system-shock-2/
        https://kotaku.com/system-shock-2-has-been-getting-new-patches-for-years-1837180538

        tl;dr Night Dive has been trying to get to this Le Corbeau that created NewDark patch, but can't - so the EE of SS2 will likely not be based on NewDark directly.

    • reply
      August 12, 2019 11:22 AM

      I'm deeply skeptical of Nightdive at this point. They keep announcing new projects and they haven't shipped anything as far as I can tell. I wouldn't be surprised if System Shock 3 is vaporware or just a deeply underwhelming game.

      • reply
        August 12, 2019 11:43 AM

        What? SS:EE Is on Steam right now, and they've published quite a few. Just search on Steam for them as a publisher. The recent Turok ports are a solid example of their work, and appeared on all the consoles.

      • reply
        August 12, 2019 11:47 AM

        SS3 is also not theirs, that's Otherside (Nightdive has the IP rights and licensing to them)

        • reply
          August 12, 2019 12:01 PM

          Ok, I got the companies mixed up. They both have generic, forgettable names.

          The fact that we haven't heard a peep since December 2015 doesn't inspire a tremendous amount of confidence.

          • reply
            August 12, 2019 12:02 PM

            We have, though. They presented at the most recent Unity conference.

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              August 12, 2019 12:03 PM

              And "Otherside" is a clear reference to "Looking glass"; it's not generic and has a clear meaning for fans of their old games.

            • reply
              August 12, 2019 12:04 PM

              Oh right. I forgot about that crappy trailer. :-/

              • reply
                August 12, 2019 12:08 PM

                I was referring to their actual presentation, but okay, thanks for your input there, I guess.

              • reply
                August 12, 2019 3:28 PM

                you have a bug up your butt or something? games take a while to make sometimes, this is nowhere near the level of egregiousness seen elsewhere, especially because they've been continuously shipping products over several years

      • reply
        August 12, 2019 12:08 PM

        Enhanced releases shipped:
        Blood: Fresh Supply
        Forsaken Remastered
        System Shock: Enhanced Edition
        Strife: Veteran Edition

        Turok 1 & 2 (mildly enhanced, but not marketed as such)

        Licenses worked out / re-released in playable forms:
        System Shock 2
        I Have no Mouth
        7th Guest + 11th Hour (though lost the license to a shitty mobile company).
        All the Humongous Entertainment games
        Tex Murphy 1-5
        Slave Zero
        Etc.

        Like, regardless of how the full remake of System Shock is going, they absolutely have a history of successfully re-releasing and/or updating old games.

        • reply
          August 12, 2019 12:19 PM

          And if anything, its either them or GOG that are working as hard as they can to get NOLF out of IP help.

          • reply
            August 12, 2019 12:22 PM

            Nightdive were the ones who spent years trying to work NOLF's rights out of the pit of despair.

            But the last I heard on the topic was the 2015 article detailing how it almost worked until it was fully shot down by WB:
            https://kotaku.com/the-sad-story-behind-a-dead-pc-game-that-cant-come-back-1688358811

            • reply
              August 12, 2019 12:28 PM

              Oh wow, huh, there have been recentish teases.

              Last November they sent a poster with the artwork from their prior attempt to Monolith:
              https://twitter.com/MonolithDev/status/1061003454045282304

              Followed by:
              "When we get the rights to re-release the series I'll put them back into our store 😁"
              https://twitter.com/pripyatbeast/status/1087147492376862720

              So at the very least they haven't fully given up, which is nice.

              • reply
                August 12, 2019 1:21 PM

                Part of me wants to see someone sell a cracked version of NOLF 1 & 2 just to see who bites and make them prove it before responding to the cease and desists so the matter can be resolved.

                • reply
                  August 12, 2019 1:25 PM

                  Plenty of legit articles have pointed to freely available copies of NOLF1/2 that you can download and play, but of course are clearly copyright infringement.

                  The problem seems to be that the three groups that would have NOLF ownership via ways of acquisitions - Fox, Activision, and WB - do not know who the "leading" player is, have lost paperwork/contracts, and otherwise cannot be bothered to chase down the initial agreements to resolve the matter. It's *technically* abandonware, but not really. And unfortunately, unlike trademarks which have to be defended, copyright will keep going for at least 95 years.

                • reply
                  August 12, 2019 1:32 PM

                  That was part of why Nightdive registered the trademark years ago.

                  But ultimately the issue then wasn't so much that it wasn't possible to know who has rights, the issue was that one of the three parties, Warner Brothers, said they were not interested in perusing any sort of licensing nor partnership.

                  And there's just not a whole lot you can do against a firm "no," from the one company that has the strongest claim to the IP.

                  • reply
                    August 12, 2019 2:16 PM

                    Yeah, if someone started selling it though then it would all get figured out in court eventually and that'd be the end of the mystery.

                    • reply
                      August 12, 2019 2:20 PM

                      But even if you find a rich person who is willing to do a crime so that they get sued, and then dig in their heels just to lose a bunch of money to this lawsuit for the sake of discovery... That doesn't solve the fundamental problem that shut down the last inquiry.

                      Even if all three of the companies know exactly who owns what part of the game, if Warner Brothers still says "No, we don't want to license this," that's still the end of the conversation.

                      • reply
                        August 12, 2019 2:22 PM

                        Sure, but at least it clears up the ambiguity and if WB say owns the tech and the name and Fox owns the characters then a spiritual successor could still be made (which is all a sequel nowadays would be) with the characters intact.

            • reply
              August 12, 2019 12:29 PM

              That's right, I forgot Nightdive said they abandoned it.

              But I as I recall (and verifying), GOG has talked about NOLF too, as recently as this Noclip documentary https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffngZOB1U2A

        • reply
          August 12, 2019 1:23 PM

          M2 is another company that is doing good work on that front.

          • reply
            August 12, 2019 1:27 PM

            M2 does excellent emulation/remaster work - honestly they might actually be *too* good at it, they go to ridiculous lengths sometimes - but they generally don't seek out titles and make them available on their own the way Nightdive has been.

            But yeah, if I see them as the developer of a collection or re-release I know I'm in for a good time.

    • reply
      August 12, 2019 2:12 PM

      Apparently the source code was in Paul Neurath's closet.

      https://kotaku.com/system-shock-2-has-been-getting-new-patches-for-years-1837180538

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