The System Shock remake arrives on consoles with its retro modern magic intact

May 21, 2024
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Nightdive’s 2023 System Shock remake was a revelation on PC last year, and now you can play it on console too – and you should! This re-envisioning of the original 1994 System Shock stands as one of the most engaging immersive sims I’ve ever played and took a spot on my personal GOTY collection. This is a game that does not hold your hand; it asks a lot of players but gives a lot in turn. The remake is now available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S, and we’ve tested it on all platforms to see how well it runs on each, how it handles on a gamepad, and what, if anything, doesn’t make the cut from that spectacular PC release.

As I covered in my System Shock remake review, the original game is one of the earlier examples of a true immersive sim: a systems-driven game designed to offer players a series of problems to solve via a growing set of tools. The freedom on offer enabled a level of interactivity and player agency that was truly revolutionary back in the 90s. The 2023 remake retains this freedom while greatly improving the core mechanics – the shooting, movement, encounters, and general feel of playing the game are sublime.

Of course, both the original and the remake were designed with mouse and keyboard inputs in mind, given the complexity of the game and its PC lineage. The remake did offer some basic controller support on PC, but it was clear that the gamepad implementation was unfinished with some missing functionality. Thankfully, while I still prefer mouse and keyboard, controller support is now significantly smoother, making for an easily playable game without sacrificing the game’s intricate nature. The controls are fully remappable and cursor-driven actions like inventory management are surprisingly natural, with the thumbstick driving the cursor around. Some actions are a little fiddly, but the game plays well overall. Nightdive also continues their trend of offering keyboard and mouse support on their console releases, so you’re free to plug in PC peripherals if you prefer – even on last-gen machines.

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