System Shock - All News
Tuesday - December 15, 2015
System Shock - Everything about it
Gameinformer tells us everything we need to know about the System Shock series:
Everything You Need To Know About System Shock
Otherside Entertainment, currently developing the Kickstarted Underworld Ascendant, has revealed that they're developing a new entry in the System Shock series, the last of which was released in the tail end of 1999. Here's why that's a big deal.
Back in 1994 gaming was in a very different place. Game demos were passed around on floppy disks. Doom and Civilization ruled the world. Windows 95 wasn't even a thing yet. Looking Glass Technologies, which housed innovators like Warren Spector (Deux Ex), Doug Church (Thief) and Harvey Smith (Dishonored), was known for the revolutionary role-playing series Ultima and wanted to create an immersive simulation that wasn't fantasy-based. They opted for science fiction, and System Shock, a first-person adventure game that cast players as a hacker going up against an artificial intelligence known as SHODAN hell-bent on destroying Earth, was born.
At first glance, the original System Shock looks like a Doom clone. There are pixelated corridors where all sorts of nightmares lumber and roll about, such as reprogrammed droids or humans who have mutated into zombies thanks to corrupted cybernetic implants, all of them looking to turn you into red paste. However, the similarities end there, as the game reveals its role-playing tendencies by requiring you to use an inventory system to store items and to loot the bodies of destroyed enemies. Player movement is a bit clumsy and so is using the cursor to interact with the inventory or objects in the environment. As a result, System Shock is a game where you have to exercise caution to survive since you can't rely on twitchy reflexes to save the day. You have to plan your battles carefully while lurking in the shadows, learning which weapons work best against which enemies. [...]
BTW: Format92 spotted that System Shock 3 is coming...
Sunday - October 11, 2015
System Shock - Enhanced Edition Review @ Brash Games
Daniel Jackson (Brash Games) reviewed the recently released GOG version of the cult RPG System Shock:
System Shock Enhanced Edition Review
Having been a big fan of the original DOS game back in the very distant past i was quite eager to see what the “Enhanced” version brought to the table, and i was not disappointed. Restored by Night Dive Studios the game has had a big graphical improvement along with other changes too, but nothing that changes the overall look and playability of the original game.
The original first released in 1994, created by Looking Glass Technologies on DOS and was a horror scifi adventure game set against a rogue artificial intelligence where you were tasked with investigating the dark and empty corridors on a mysterious space station.
Its the year 2072, you play a hacker who after being caught by the authorities is tasked with hacking a super AI called Shodan, who happens to be in control of the Citidel Station. Offered a highly sought after military upgrade in exchange for the hack. Once the hacking has been done the hacker has an operation to insert the new implant. Put into a coma to help the healing process the hacker wakes up 6 months later, only for the station to be deserted and now under the control of Shodan, the AI who was tasked to take down and has now gone rogue.
At the time of release it was praised for its immersion and FPS control system which was rare back in those days and brought scifi horror to the forefront of video games. With such mechanics as an inventory system, a solid fighting system and rich and moody story System Shock soon became the game to have. Ground breaking in its innovation and style of gameplay, System Shock went on to influence many games of today. Most believe that Bioshock is the spiritual successor, whether you think that or not but what this game brought to modern fps adventure games cannot be denied.
The enhanced version boasts higher resolutions up to 1024×768, an improved control system with mouse support and the ability to redefine and bind your controls, easy stuff these days but not way back then. The higher resolution is very noticeable once played side by side to the original, as are the cut scenes and are a vast improvement. You can clearly see the fluidity in the gameplay from the original.
This is not a remake though, a lot of people think it is, but its not, its an enhancement and nothing more. It still has the old school mechanics which at the time of release were just fine but by today standards they do tend to grip on you a bit. I suppose its a case of being spoiled by modern games of today. You still have the clunky controls and the mouse controls which have been added are not quite up to todays standards of fps shooters. The hit detection also needs a lot of work as you can spend way too much time trying to hit the enemies with a stick or gun but they need to be in a precise area for the attack to work.
Other than that the game is pretty much the same as it was back in 1994, now with better looking out of control androids and zombified humans, which in my eyes can only be a good thing. Don’t go into this expecting a huge change to the original format.
Now of course this is still a game from 1994 which holds up to a certain extent but obviously compared to games of the same ilk these days may struggle to hold your attention. That said if you loved the original and want to go back some scifi horror nostalgia then i highly recommend you get the enhanced version as the changes are aesthetic and don’t take away from the game you loved as a kid.
Tuesday - September 22, 2015
System Shock - Now available @gog.com!
The original System Shock. Now available at gog.com.
System Shock: Enhanced Edition features:
- Higher resolution support: up to 1024x768, and 854x480 widescreen mode.
- Mouselook support added.
- Remappable keys with three profiles to choose from: original controls, custom controls, and lefthanded controls.
- Some original game bugs fixed.
L-look at you, hacker. A pathetic creature of meat and bone. Panting and sweating as you search for your wallet. How fast can you purchase a perfect, immortal game?
System shock is available for a launch discount. Get it while its hot!
Wednesday - September 24, 2014
System Shock - Developer Lets Play Video
Programmer Marc LeBlanc streamed a live play session on Twitch a few days ago with other developers who worked on the game, and shared there opinion on the game.
You also get a look behind the scenes of System Shock's development.
Tuesday - November 27, 2012
System Shock - The Making Of @ Edge Online
Edge Online has posted The Making Of System Shock 2, looking at the creation of the Looking Glass classic:
“Looking Glass was obviously a really impactful experience on me,” Levine explains. “It was my first job in the games industry. I’d met a lot of people who I really respected and admired – people whose legacy is more known to the intelligentsia of the gaming field, and is still being felt. I left because despite how talented the people were there, in some ways it was more like a university than a games company. There really was a dialogue about advancing the media, but not a lot about making successful products.”
Coming from a film-industry background, Levine felt the company needed to find a balance between art and commerce: “I thought, probably naively at the time, ‘Hey! I can do that’. I had no idea what that would actually mean, as I was a cocky guy who thought it’d be easy. We went off on our own and very quickly found it was challenging.” Almost fatally so. The company’s first project, a singleplayer version of early isometric shooter Fireteam, had been cancelled when its publisher decided to concentrate solely on multiplayer. This left Irrational at a loss, until Paul Neurath, head of Looking Glass, called with an opportunity. While they’d left Looking Glass, they were still on good terms with their previous employer. In fact, their half room was actually buried in a corner of the larger studio.
Neurath’s offer was incredibly open. Looking Glass had, in making Thief: The Dark Project, developed its own in-house engine. All of Irrational were experienced with it, having all worked on Thief. Why not make a game with it with us? Any game you fancy, really. “We immediately started designing,” Levine recalls.
Saturday - December 10, 2011
System Shock - The Cutting Room Floor
System Shock - The Cutting Room Floor is a different feature, with the author crawling through the original System Shock's resource files to find unused items. Apparently System Shock has a "wide variety of unused, unfinished, or dummied-out items, textures, and enemies, as well as text, audio logs, and other miscellaneous graphics".
Source: Blues News
Wednesday - July 13, 2011
System Shock - The Lost History @ G4TV
There's a retrospective of sorts on System Shock at G4TV that offers insight on why we'll never get a System Shock 3. Here's a sample:
So why can’t you buy the System Shock games through download services like Steam or Good Old Games, where it’s one of the most requested titles? And why hasn't anyone rebooted the series or created another sequel?
The answer is where things get messy.
EA's System Shock Story
In 2006, a trio of rumors hinted that Electronic Arts was making System Shock 3. First came a trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Then came a couple of unconfirmed reports in Shacknews and PC Gamer U.K., with the latter publication reporting that EA’s Redwood Shores studio was handling development.
But even if EA wanted to publish another System Shock, the company didn't have the rights to do so. Back when the original game was made, producer Warren Spector negotiated a deal in which EA got the trademark to the series, while the developers at Looking Glass Studios kept the rights. To create another System Shock game, you need both. "My thinking was it would force us to be married so it never would be that either party should be able to say we own that, we’re making the next game, screw you," Spector told the San Jose Mercury News last November.
Saturday - February 06, 2010
System Shock - Mouselook Mod
EvilKoala points us in the direction of a Rock, Paper, Shotgun newsbit about a mod for System Shock that adds mouselook, key configs and other niceties. Many, many years ago, I remember ordering System Shock for my store and (at the time) dismissing it as "stupid" because I struggled to even move around. History shows how wrong I was but it would be hard to underestimate how nice mouselook would be to replay this classic.
Thursday - May 21, 2009
System Shock - Retrospective @ Resolution
Following their article on memorable bastards, Resolution Magazine takes a look back at Looking Glass' System Shock:
So it’s an odd experience to be playing a game about technophobia and the future of computers, now we’re that much further down the road of digital progress. System Shock’s a game that sat between Doom and its sequel on the early-shooter release schedule, born of an era when the technology to power something deep and involving simply wasn’t available.
Or was it? System Shock may look crude on the outside, but revisiting it 15 years later leads to a surprising discovery. For all the low resolutions, blocky, primary-colour textures and sprite-based enemies, Looking Glass’ seminal FPS/RPG still works beautifully. Its heavy stylisation transcends digital horsepower. Its presentation still takes over each and every sense in turn. System Shock in no way feels 15 years old. It’s as modern, polished and captivating as anything you like. There’s a lesson there somewhere.