Nightdive's kicking around the idea of an 'XCOM-like' System Shock that casts you as the Citadel's doomed resistance fighters against Shodan

System Shock (2022)
(Image credit: Nightdive Studios)

The System Shock remake is finally here, eight years after it was first announced, and Nightdive is already thinking about what it wants to do next with the series. It might not be what we expect, either: In a chat with TechRadar, Nightdive CEO Stephen Kick mulled over a few potential projects the studio could attach the System Shock name to, including a straightforward remake of System Shock 2 or, intriguingly, an XCOM-like strategy game set on Citadel Station.

Kick said that Nightdive might prefer to let System Shock 2's upcoming enhanced edition "breathe on its own for a bit" before the studio committed to a full remake of that game, meaning there might be a bit of room to experiment with the series. "We've talked about exploring the System Shock universe in different genres," Kick told TRG, mentioning the idea of "an XCOM-like that takes place before the events of System Shock 1, where you're the resistance on Citadel Station".

In System Shock, about six months pass in between the player character hacking SHODAN to remove her ethical restraints and waking up from his subsequent post-surgery healing coma, leaving quite a lot of time in the interim for Nightdive to stage a strategy game. You'd play as Citadel Station's staff—presumably the very same people whose audio logs you later collect in the original game—as they tried to resist SHODAN's rise and went about "fighting SHODAN’s cyborgs and machines" however they could, said Kick.

"Personally, I think that would be really cool," said Kick, and I have to agree. It would probably be a fairly tragic game, given that (spoiler alert) Citadel's resistance doesn't succeed in toppling SHODAN before System Shock's player character shows up, but seeing the station's fall would be an interesting twist of perspective.

This is just one of several ideas Nightdive is kicking around right now, so there's absolutely no guarantee it'll ever get further than Kick idly noting that it sounds neat, but the studio can at least put me down in the 'in favour' column. I'm very curious to see where System Shock goes next.

In PCG's System Shock remake review by, uh, me, I had my quibbles with how faithfully Nightdive had adapted the strengths and weaknesses of the original game, but I thought it did justice to such a beloved classic. I'm eager to find out where the studio takes things in the future.

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.