System Shock Remastered back on track with a 2020 release date
The original 1994 System Shock was a cult classic for good reason. Blending FPS and RPG gameplay with both cyberpunk and horror story elements, Looking Glass Studio's breakthrough title was years ahead of its time in terms of first-person game design. Due to the heavy RPG and adventure gameplay influences, the original game was admittedly not for everyone. However, System Shock refined many of these element in its sequel, the even more well-received System Shock 2, which would then go on to inspire games such as the Deus Ex and Bioshock series. While the more modern System Shock 2 has already been the recipient of many enhancement packs and mods, System Shock was still on an engine that used 2D sprites and was hobbled by an clunky and extremely outdated control scheme. Its outdated engine and cult status made the original System Shock as good a place as any for Nightdive studios to start their overhaul of the series (a System Shock 3 is currently in the cards for Nightdive Studios, though the release date is TBA).
Nightdive received over US$1.3 million from their Kickstarter campaign after releasing an impressive concept video/demo for their remake in June of 2016, dubbed "System Shock Remastered", and the title became highly anticipated. However, Nightdive Studios CEO Stephen Kick made an announcement on Feb 17 of this year with news that was crushing to many: the System Shock Remastered project would go on hiatus. Citing problems with "lack of focus" and "feature creep", Kick made the tough call of putting the title on hold for its own good. While Kick did assure that the project would be completed, it would not be unreasonable for many to believe that this was the end — it would certainly not be the first time that a Kickstarter project failed to bear fruit. Thus, when Kick estimated a Q1 2020 release for the game in a recent interview with PCGamer, it was a happy surprise for those would assumed the game would never see the light of day. Kick's exact words are as follows:
"Our intention is to ship exactly the game that was promised, with as much of the features that were promised as we can, in a timeframe that will get it out as fast as we can. Our expectation is probably Q1 of 2020."
While it is unfortunate that the release date isn't March 26, 2018, 2020 isn't too long to wait if the remake comes even close to matching the original game's design. For now, some even better news: Kickstarter backers are expected to get a peek at the current build of the game (now using the Unreal Engine rather than Unity) in early April.