If any PC game could benefit from a remastering - and let’s face it, lots could; we don’t have the remake culture the consoles enjoy - it’s the first System Shock. The ancient parent of some of the finest first-person games in existence (try BioShock, Deus Ex and Dishonored) doesn’t even have mouse-look without modding, and remains trapped behind a UI that probably seemed a bit mad even in 1994.
The license was long thought to have disappeared down a sinkhole of acquisitions. But remarkably, it’s been picked up by dedicated archivists Night Dive Studios, who are now developing a proper remake. They’re even “having some conversations” about a second sequel.
Some of System Shock's descendants are among the best first-person shooters on PC.
Night Dive’s Stephen Kick told Fast Company that the studio had acquired “full rights” to the series, and have been working with original Looking Glass concept artist Robert Waters to revisit his ‘90s designs for a System Shock 1 remake.
“Seeing the difference between his artistic abilities back then compared to now, and his ability to reinterpret those ideas, it’s just been really exciting for us,” said Kick.
As for System Shock 3, Night Dive would need a bigger publisher to get involved.
“To really do another game in that series is going to take resources and time and commitment that we don’t have, and it's really not our core business,” Kick admitted.
But they’re open to the idea, and talking to other parties about it. Gosh: I wouldn’t mind meeting and being manipulated by SHODAN again outside of Underworld Ascendant. How about you?