Is System Shock Remake Worth It? Review

Is System Shock Remake Worth It? Review

System Shock Remake is a remake of the legendary System Shock game that was released in 1994. The original System Shock was way ahead of its time. It introduces concepts that are still used in games. The influence of it can be seen in many games. A lot of games were inspired by System Shock and it changed the industry for the better. The Remake embraces all that the original brought to the table.

It is not a complete rebuild of the game but rather a true remake. The only things it changes are the things that are not suitable in modern video games. System Shock Remake is an old-school version type of the game that remakes the original from the ground up. It brings the feeling of the original without completely messing it up. A lot of people that buy it might not be playing it for the first time.

The Remake is a cyberpunk sci-fi shooter with concepts that have not gotten older. The art style of the game is a combination of classic and modern concepts. It only changes the things that were annoying in the original version. The rest of the game remains the same. One can even call it a frame-by-frame remake of the original. All this makes you wonder Is System Shock Remake worth it? Let’s find out.

Plot and Setting (Spoiler Free)

The story is a direct port of the original ones. You are a nameless hacker in a Cyberpunk type sci-fi world. As a hacker, you are doing hacker things and get caught by a corporation called TriOptimum Corporation. After getting caught, you are shipped off to Citadel Station which is a station in the space. You cut a deal with the administration of the ship to remove safety measures from SHODAN. SHODAN is an AI that runs the Citadel Station. In exchange, you are given a clean slate and freedom.

Later on, you wake up in an abandoned medical wing and realize that SHODAN has complete control of the station. You have survived the initial onslaught and now you have to survive the station. You have to scavenge resources and escape the takeover of SHODAN. System Shock Remake sets the tone for a survival game pretty early on.

System Shock Remake has minimalistic storytelling so it will not tell you about every nook and cranny. There will be clues and you will need to figure out the rest on your own. The opening cut scenes start off interesting. Explore enough and you will find everything needed to understand things. Writing is top notch which makes logs and characters more interesting.

Have To Find a Way

There are only mission objectives and no waypoints or markers. You have to find everything on your own. You have to figure out what you should be doing next as the game won’t tell you much. At times, the objectives can feel obscuring and confusing. The layout of the levels will not help either even with the mini-map, as navigating through it can be overwhelming. Unless you have a good sense of direction, it is easy to get lost.

Unlike the original, each area is different which makes it easier to differentiate between different areas, making navigation a little better. Enemies and feel of the environment are the same as the original. The environment is still maze-like but differences in their design make the navigation a little better. Backtracking can become cumbersome, especially in the early parts of System Shock Remake when you are not familiar with it. The original has the reputation of being a well-done horror game despite being a good dungeon crawler. The primary antagonist is still as creepy that does indirect damage.


Conserving ammo is an important part of the game and you have to approach combat smartly. It is not a walk-in-the-park kind of game so, death can come swiftly. There are healing stations and energy recharge stations but they are not everywhere. There are parts where you can go all out because there is a healing and energy recharge stations nearby. Some floors of the game will restrict tool usage which can severely impact your combat performance.

There are a variety of enemies in System Shock Remake. Even though it doesn’t have extensive enemy variety like some other games it is enough. You would need multiple weapons to deal with different enemies. Energy weapons are better against machines, ballistic against mutants, and things like that. You will get a big arsenal of weapons from the start. You can store items in the space elevator to access them on any other floor.

Fight and Progress

Each Floor has a restoration station if you find it and hack it then dying is not the end. If the station is not online when you die, you will turn into a cyborg of SHODAN. You will see it in a death animation and it can get old! When you see it every time you die. That is the only death animation that the game has. Enemies do appear again once you clear them after some time.

SHODAN is not just going to let you go once you clear the enemies. You will find more mutants and enemies after initial clearing.

The difficulty has multiple options to choose from. You can select combat, mission, cyber, and puzzle difficulty separately. Such a diverse option of difficulty makes it easier to make a custom difficulty for yourself.

System Shock Remake has control of a modern shooter with an in-depth interface making it all the more fun. Such smart choices have a huge impact because it stays close to the original game while introducing changes for the better.


Most of the game revolves around taking down enemies, finding key cards, ammo, health patches, and upgrades. You have to do all these things to escape the station. Along the way, you will find audio and text logs that will tell you what happened during the fall of the station. Most of the logs contain generic video game stuff but some contain clues or even codes to progress.

The flow of System Shock Remake includes entering a floor and it will start with a lot of enemies. Every door is locked in the beginning and getting around it is hard. You will slowly work around the look door to open up a path forward.

Taking down security cameras will reduce the presence of SHODAN on that floor. Reaching the CPU and destroying it will override the lockdown of SHODAN and unlock the elevator which will let you go to the next floor. So the basic objective on each floor is to reduce the presence of SHODAN on a floor to progress forward.

General Gameplay

Controls have seen a massive improvement over the original. It is way easier to control the weapon and easily aim where you want to. The clunkiness of the original is not there. However, it is still not on par with modern games which can get annoying.

Despite the original being dubbed as a horror game, the Remake is not scary. Both the original and Remake feel more like dungeon crawlers. Sure it has a creepy atmosphere but it feels like a dungeon crawler more than a horror game. There are creepy scenes and SHODAN is a creepy villain but overall the game is not scary.

SHODAN will appear throughout the game and will taunt you. She will trigger traps that will cause enemies to appear from a secret location on the floor. System Shock Remake shows SHODAN like she has complete control of the station.

System Shock Remake will auto-save from time to time but manual save is still important as death can come quickly. If there is no recent save game then auto-save can push you half an hour backward upon death. It will give you the option of a modern checkpoint style so there are options. The game will not just spoon-feed you so, the lack of it is up to preference. It is up to your preference how much old-school-style gameplay you can handle.

The Design

The sound design is good and the dialogue of the characters does not feel out of place. Even the audio log has good voice acting. SHODAN has really good voice acting. The way she speaks actually feels like an evil AI that wants total control. The score feels out of place because it feels more exciting rather than dreadful. A game like System Shock Remake should have more dread in its music than excitement.

Each area of the game’s setting has a distinct color pallet and layouts. Even the maintenance area has quite a bit of detail to it. Such a design choice makes the recognition easy which intern makes the navigation easy. It has a classic sci-fi style like the movies from the 90s. The tech is not all touch screens, holographic displays, and augmented reality like the modern games

The art style of System Shock Remake is a hybrid that combines old graphics with new ones. You can clearly see the chunky texture along with clear graphics. Such a combination makes it so that the game has the nostalgia of the original one. All these factors make it a faithful remake of the original.


System Shock Remake does a good job of bringing a classic game to a modern audience. It is a faithful remake of the original which can have drawbacks. The control and layout of the game might not sit well with players that are playing System Shock for the first time. Even then, it is the best way to experience the original game in a new skin. The changes that it brings to the Remake of this classic can make it better even for the players that are playing it for the first time.

If you are interested in the old school game with modern graphics then System Shock Remake can be the game for you. It is not just a graphical improvement as it brings a feeling of the original too.  Even though System Shock has influenced a lot of Horror games, it does not feel scary. It is a good remake of a legendary game.

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