System Shock 2 wasn’t quite the start of the immersive sim genre – that would’ve been the original game, or Ultima Underworld – but it was a turning point. It was where the genre went full 3D and became easier to get into – along with the first Thief – and really started pushing the boundaries of world-building and true immersion. It’s the 20th anniversary of System Shock 2 this year, and it’s getting a very special re-release.
Nightdive Studios are the developer currently working on System Shock: Remastered – the complete remake of the first game – and are the owners of the System Shock licence, but they’re also known for remastering and re-releasing other classic games too. The recent Turok and Blood remasters were down to them, for example.
Now Nightdive has announced that its latest remaster project will be System Shock 2: Enhanced Edition, a new version of the 20-year-old title that will follow in the footsteps of the System Shock: Enhanced Edition re-release that came out in 2015.
Nightdive tweeted out the announcement following a special 20th anniversary stream of the game of Twitch. Other than the title of System Shock 2: Enhanced Edition and the promise that it’s “coming soon” there isn’t much in the way of details – however, in a follow-up tweet, Nightdive CEO Stephen Kick promised at least one feature: “working/stable multiplayer for a start!”
— Nightdive Studios (@NightdiveStudio) August 12, 2019
System Shock 2 did indeed have four-player co-op multiplayer, but it was always a nightmare to get working – so it will be a treat for fans of the game who have never experienced it with others. As for other features, it’s hard to speculate. While System Shock: Enhanced Edition had a laundry list of updates, none of those really apply to System Shock 2 – other than perhaps updated resolutions and official mod support.
Nevertheless, an improved version of System Shock 2 will be welcome, especially with work progressing on both the remaster of the first game and System Shock 3 – although that one’s being worked on by Deus Ex creator Warren Spector and the Underworld Ascendant team, rather than Nightdive. We’re presuming System Shock 2: Enhanced Edition will be out before them, however, for the game’s 20th anniversary.