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Thread: System Shock Remake - Reviews, Impressions & Hot Takes

  1. #1
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland

    System Shock Remake - Reviews, Impressions & Hot Takes

    Alrighty, reviews for this have started popping up and they are... quite good. 76% Metacritic average.

    Polygon and Rock Paper Shotgun's scores don't count towards the Metacritic average since they don't use numbered scores, but Polygon gave it their "Polygon Recommends" badge, and RPS gave it their "Bestest Best", saying:

    This is the product of a team which, to its credit, believed in the 1994 proposition of System Shock and trusted it would still stand up today, in spite of a 30-year shift towards smoothing the player’s path. The result has proved them right. It transpires that our creepy, manipulative robot mother knows best.
    Sounds pretty good! I didn't back it on KS or pre-order, but I might just be picking up a copy tomorrow.
    Last edited by henke; 1st Jun 2023 at 01:12. Reason: renamed thread

  2. #2
    Zombified
    Registered: Sep 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by voodoo47
    anyway, "7/10, too bad they didn't listen to ZB's analysis posted on systemshock.org" is my prediction, feel free to quote me on that.
    https://www.systemshock.org/index.ph...4241#msg144241

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: The Plateaux Of Mirror
    Sounds like it's great.


  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Most of the criticisms seem to converge on a few points besides finding the combat unsatisfying:

    murderous level of difficulty, tons of backtracking, and minimal handholding
    Showing its age more evidently is the frustrating exploration into the unknown on each level of the station. Hallway upon hallway, the hacker is slowed down by all manner of locked doors, unclear objectives, and gratuitous backtracking.

    [..]

    These hallways are labyrinths akin to an old-school dungeon crawler and every cardinal direction is blocked off by some manner of malfunctioning door or zigzagging layout. By the time you reach the objective’s floor sometime later, you will be pushed into tangents due to dying and respawning on the previous level, a series of locked doors, or simply needing to interact with every inch of the floors’ walls before finding some hidden panel that opens the path forward. Frustrating stuff. Don’t be scared to use a walkthrough, I had to. Multiple times.

    This remake of an early 90s sci-fi shooter has a heap of great ideas for its time. But its time has long passed and has little to offer new audiences except for pain, frustration, and a prettied-up history lesson of a game.
    System Shock makes a good first impression, only for frustration to become its default mode once more and more of the station opens up to you. The maze-like level design requires the sort of backtracking that’s reminiscent of the Metroid games—that is, if Metroid was particularly stingy about opening up shortcuts and did a poor job of signposting where to go next.

    The lack of player direction in System Shock will test even the most vocal detractors of modern games’ handholding. All of your objectives are left unmarked and largely uncommented on aside from what you can glean from certain audio logs, which can only be referenced by picking through a list of the many, many other logs that are meant just for flavor.

    The map screen is no better, with tiny icons and minimal labeling that only further complicate the process of remembering where you’ve been. As a whole, this System Shock lacks for useful navigation tools that could have allowed it to better thread the needle between aimless wandering and over-explanation. Even when you know where you need to go, you’re left to fumble around in blind hope of eventually running into an objective or a medical bay.

    With no guidance, no indicator of what my objective is, all enemies on the level dead, and a labyrinthine map of cut-paste corridors, this experience truly takes me back to an earlier, less refined epoch of gaming.

    There are little glimmers of ways in which this experience could be cool, and novel, and showing us how we’ve been softened over the years by games that are too eager to hold our hands when we get waylaid, but most of the time, the theory behind this uncompromisingly old-school design manifests as tedium when I find myself lost for the umpteenth time, backtracking through the map and looking for that one audio log, that one security camera, that one code randomly written on a screen in a completely different part of the level to help me progress.

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: The other Derry
    Surprisingly positive considering most professional reviewers aren't old enough to be 1990s PC gaming vets. Seems like the press wants this to succeed.

    I see mostly the expected criticisms e.g. fair points about the old level design that hasn't aged well, and the combat which could have been better considering it's a remake, but it seems like a lot of people are just whinging because they didn't expect to have to solve a puzzle.

  6. #6
    Zombified
    Registered: Sep 2004
    seems like no SS2 style notes/quest log? puzzling that with all the unimportant additions, they somehow omitted one that would actually make a lot of sense (and I can imagine keeping track of your goals by writing them on a piece of real paper using a real pen is not really the kind of retro experience most people are looking for).

    anyway, I'll just repeat what I have been saying for the last year or so - no worries, it will not bomb. will it be mind blowing? no, definitely not. but it could have been really close to that, with just a few small changes.

  7. #7
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    Quote Originally Posted by heywood View Post
    Surprisingly positive considering most professional reviewers aren't old enough to be 1990s PC gaming vets.
    That's probably exactly why it's reviewing so well. They're seeing it as yet another pixelated retro shooter like Dusk, Selaco, Ion Fury, etc. By that low standard, it goes above and beyond.

    That or they're afraid of losing cred by criticizing a remake of one of the most renowned PC games ever.
    Last edited by ZylonBane; 29th May 2023 at 20:11.

  8. #8

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: The other Derry
    Quote Originally Posted by ZylonBane View Post
    That's probably exactly why it's reviewing so well. They're seeing it as yet another pixelated retro shooter like Dusk, Selaco, Ion Fury, etc. By that low standard, it goes above and beyond.

    That or they're afraid of losing cred by criticizing a remake of one of the most renowned PC games ever.
    There's definitely a fear of falling on the wrong side of the consensus and not wanting to look soft. But I also suspect a lot of people are pulling for Night Dive and the franchise, both of which could be dead if this bombs.

  10. #10
    SShock2.com
    Moderator

    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: 100 Rads Bar
    I'm surprised with how much exposure this is having. I wasn't expecting this remake to have this much publicity. Currently the game is 5th on the Steam top sellers list (and of the four above it, two are free to play games and another one is the Steam deck).
    Last edited by D'Arcy; 30th May 2023 at 11:54.

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2000
    Location: New Atlanta, Sector 11, Building 71-G.
    Indeed, the exposure is interesting, especially when one considers the original game only sold a few hundred thousand copies waaay back in 1994-1995? I'm about to hop in and get down to playing finally.

  12. #12
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    The Steam forum for System Shock is currently overrun with a tidal wave of dipshittery that has to be coming from people who weren't even born yet when System Shock first came out. So I'm puzzled how and why they care that much about it.

  13. #13
    SShock2.com
    Moderator

    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: 100 Rads Bar
    I suppose many of them got it because of the hype. But if they never played the original, I assume that most of them will just get lost and won't know what to do.

    I just got the full game, but still shows Beta Demo on the menu when I start it. Which is annoying me.

    Edit: Just noticed I had to go into 'Properties' and opt out of the beta in order to install the actual game instead of reinstalling the demo.
    Last edited by D'Arcy; 30th May 2023 at 13:56.

  14. #14
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    Quote Originally Posted by ZylonBane View Post
    The Steam forum for System Shock is currently overrun with a tidal wave of dipshittery that has to be coming from people who weren't even born yet when System Shock first came out. So I'm puzzled how and why they care that much about it.
    Steam forum gonna Steam forum.

    Myself, having never played the original (just SS2), this is proving to be pretty cool. I love the look and audio design. I just wish there was a bit more feedback to hits in combat. As it stands, it's very hard to know if you've hit something or not, and the same goes for taking damage.

    It's very intense though!

  15. #15
    PC Gamering Smartey Man
    I <3 consoles and gamepads

    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: New Zealand
    SS1R follows this Boomer Shooter trend of having pixelated textures, like they're trying to look like Quake 1. It's a cliched art style choice at this point, IMO.

  16. #16
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    Quote Originally Posted by Malf View Post
    I love the look
    Go to a lot of raves then do you?

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    One of the more longer reviews, though very spoilery, if you haven't played the original game:


  18. #18
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Quote Originally Posted by ZylonBane View Post
    The Steam forum for System Shock is currently overrun with a tidal wave of dipshittery that has to be coming from people who weren't even born yet when System Shock first came out.
    Are you referring to the people worried that the game is barely gonna have any content because it's "only 8GB" or the philistines who don't appreciate the art direction?

    Quote Originally Posted by EvaUnit02 View Post
    It's a cliched art style choice at this point, IMO.
    I still love the style, but I'll agree it doesn't feel as fresh as it did when they first unveiled it years ago. One of the drawbacks of such a long dev time.

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: The other Derry
    I'm fine with the models and OK with the textures. Sometimes I think the look is too busy with superfluous detail compared to the original, but on the other hand, I think it helps to disguise the blockiness of Citadel's geometry. I'm not a fan of the excessive color saturation and specular highlighting though. I preferred the lighting of the Unity demo.

    The biggest negatives for me so far are the soundtrack and melee combat. I'm really surprised they didn't put more effort into making the melee combat better, considering first impressions are going to be formed while wielding the pipe.

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    Quote Originally Posted by EvaUnit02 View Post
    SS1R follows this Boomer Shooter trend of having pixelated textures, like they're trying to look like Quake 1. It's a cliched art style choice at this point, IMO.
    I think it looks great, but I haven't play many of the recent shooters that use that style, so it seems fresh to me. I guess I must go to a lot of raves or something.

  21. #21
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Ok I just played the first hour or so. Very cool intro sequence!

    I'm playing with gamepad and I gotta say the gamepad implementation is pretty sloppy. Like, pressing B to close the inventory interface also makes you crouch. Scrolling down the message list with left stick also makes you move backwards. It's almost like they expect me to play this thing with mouse and keyboard or something.

  22. #22
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    Quote Originally Posted by henke View Post
    Very cool intro sequence!
    You people are making me lose my faith in humanity.

  23. #23
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Wow that's not even the part I intended as ZylonBane-bait. I'm on fire today!

  24. #24
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Docks
    Came over here to see what the diehard Shock fans think of the remake. Do you guys like it, in general, or not? I'm hoping this isn't similar to when Thief 2014 came out for all the hardcore taffers over in ThiefGen.

    I haven't played the 1st SS since it was released, and I'm enjoying the remake. Got through the first level and a half or so, and everything seems good so far. But I'm guessing it's not perfect for all the traditionalists who've been around since the beginning.

  25. #25
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    Quote Originally Posted by ZylonBane View Post
    You people are making me lose my faith in humanity.
    Is "too colourful" the extent of your criticism?

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