The System Shock remake shows off the results of its 'staggering' work on dismemberment

Teaser art for the System Shock TV series.
(Image credit: Binge)

The New Year brings a new update from Nightdive Studios, developer of the upcoming System Shock remake. The post opens with confirmation that the game is due to arrive in March this year, which the studio had previously announced as a target: 

"This is not our first time announcing a tentative launch window," writes Nightdive, "but over the past few years much has changed: the scope and scale of the project has evolved dramatically and with [publisher] Prime Matter joining the project it’s enabled us to focus on quality-of-life improvements, bug fixing, and localization support—the last major steps towards releasing a game we’re all incredibly proud of".

Nightdive goes on to detail some of the areas of the game it's been focused on, including giving Citadel "a bit of a makeover" to suit the big finale, and adding some enemy variants to create new challenges in later levels. There's also a new enemy type which "is a call-back to an original we initially omitted, but decided to include". The accompanying video simply shows it being blown away and collapsing, so I'm not quite sure what kind of threat it poses.

There's a little look at Diego (a CEO who Shodan turns into a cyborg), some fancier weapon effects, and then the coup de grace: ludicrous levels of dismemberment.

"As you know dismemberment has been a high priority for us and every enemy is receiving a completely custom dismemberment model," writes Nightdive. "There are a lot of enemies and the amount of effort being spent on this is staggering". Staggering! Good pun.

This is accompanied by a video of a bird-like enemy, which unfortunately can't be embedded but is viewable here, where the player first of all headshots the poor thing before individually shooting the wings, legs and other parts. Perhaps it's just me but this video is unintentionally quite amusing, though I imagine when playing seriously rather than trying to show off the tech this adds a great deal to the game's atmosphere.

The comments on this post are mixed, for two main reasons. One is that this is a game announced in 2016 that has suffered repeated delays, and those who backed it are now pissed: As one reply says, "how do I change my delivery address? I've moved four times since 2016." The second is that it began as a "faithful remake" and, whether positive or negative, Nightdive is definitely making substantial changes. 

The proof will be in the pudding with this one, though it speaks volumes that the studio is confident enough to say it will finally launch in two months. For what it's worth we took a look at the remake's arsenal not long ago, and found a lot to like, while the most recent trailer hit all the right notes.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."