Before Rapture, or Columbia, or anything BioShock, there was System Shock, the precursor that started it all. Now, twenty-two years after its initial release, a remake of the game has made its way to Kickstarter. Better yet, there’s a playable demo to help you decide if Night Dive Studios has what it takes to remake a classic.
Up until now, Night Dive Studios has been best known for taking classic 90s games, getting them running well on modern machines, and releasing them on platforms such as Steam for all to enjoy.
The System Shock remake will be the studio’s first real game, even if it’s a remake of an older game. The studio has plenty of experience, though, and they’ll be enlisting help from industry veterans, some of which even had a hand in the original game. There are even testimonials from other notable industry figures backing the project.
And hey, you’ve got to start somewhere, especially since their sights are eventually set on creating System Shock 3 from the ground up, but that’s getting a bit ahead of ourselves. The System Shock remake Kickstarter hasn’t yet been successfully funded, though it’s well on its way and will likely hit its $900,000 goal in a matter of days. It’s less a matter of whether the Kickstarter will meet its goal and more a matter of which stretch goals will be reached. At the moment, they have plans all the way up to 1.9 million, with more to come if that level of funding is reached.
As for the playable demo, it’s a really nice touch. Unlike most Kickstarter campaigns, this one gives you something to actually play in a timeframe much shorter than three to five years. The demo itself, as anticipated, is a pre-alpha proof of concept, and proves the concept it does. There’s plenty of room for improvement, especially with the feel of the controls, but it looks good, and it looks like System Shock, and I’m sure it’ll help to win a lot of people over. As someone who’d never played the first System Shock, and only sunk a couple hours into the second (recently), I walked away impressed.
With the campaign’s success seemingly locked in, there isn’t a lot of reason to back the project unless you’re gung ho to help the project reach its myriad stretch goals. The rewards are what you’d expect. $30 to insure you get a copy of the game, or $150 if you want a physical collector’s edition. If you’re a System Shock devotee, you can donate $10,000 to attend a party with designers in Portland Oregon, and 30 copies of the game to give to your buddies.
For everyone else, we now have another Kickstarter game to gradually track the progress of over the next couple years. Or, if the estimated delivery date actually ends up being correct – fat chance of that – then maybe we’ll see the System Shock remake December of 2017.