System Shock remake preview at PAX West 2022: Smooth systems

We got a closer look at the upcoming System Shock remake at PAX West this year and found it to be an extremely enjoyable, modernized experience.


At PAX West 2022, I was given the opportunity to play a bit of the upcoming System Shock remake from Nightdive Studios and enjoyed my time with it quite a bit. While a fair amount of time has passed since the original cult classic released back in 1994, the remake does an exceptional job at bridging that gap for both original System Shock fans, and newcomers to the series alike.

Everything has received a fresh coat of paint in the remake, most notably the visuals which aren’t overly modernized to the point where the game is unrecognizable as a System Shock title, but instead boast a dark, gritty sort of atmosphere that feels reminiscent of a cleaner, more polished System Shock 2. It also felt a bit like Dead Space and Alien: Isolation in how exploration through the game’s dark corridors makes you feel uneasy.

Another element bringing System Shock into the modern age is the game’s new updated user interface which is intuitive and wonderfully easy to use and understand. I particularly appreciated the fact that you can go around quickly scooping up various items in a room regardless of whether these items are useful or not. You want to grab some test tubes for no reason? The game lets you do just that with one simple click of the mouse. Well, as long as you have the inventory space available.

System Shock remake screenshot showing updated UI and inventory system.
© Nightdive Studios

Speaking of which, clearing things you don’t need out of your inventory is as easy as the process of snatching up items is, the same goes with reorganizing your inventory to make the most out of the inventory space available to you. In addition to combat with the demo I played focused mainly on melee (the gun I discovered had a limited number of bullets), as you work your way around Citadel Station you’ll encounter some fun puzzles including one where I had to re-route an electric circuit in order to open up access to another area. I liked how puzzles like these seem to be well-designed to be more hands-off in nature, but weren’t overly difficult to the point of frustration either.

So far, the remake is shaping up to be a fantastic, fitting game that System Shock fans are sure to appreciate. Especially with the quality of life improvements, such as the game’s updated UI, making for a smoother experience overall. If you’re a fan of System Shock, the remake is definitely one to keep an eye on. An exact release date has yet to be revealed for the System Shock remake, but you can keep an eye on things by visiting the game’s official website, and by following Nightdive Studios on social media.

For more from PAX West 2022, be sure to read through some of our previous coverage as well, including our interview with Gearbox’s James Lopez where we learn more about New Tales from the Borderlands, and our preview of the latest offering from Justin Roiland and Squanch Games, High on Life.

Senior Editor

Morgan is a writer from the frozen wastelands of Maine who enjoys metal music, kpop, horror, and indie games. They're also a Tetris fanatic who's fiercely competitive in games like Tetris 99... and all games in general. But mostly Tetris. You can follow Morgan on Twitter @Author_MShaver.

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