The original System Shock has debuted on GOG.com, complete with an "enhanced edition" and extra goodies.
Most Escapist readers know System Shock 2 was a landmark PC game, but for some reason, System Shock 1 is usually overlooked. This 1994 DOS release mixed Ultima Underworld's RPG elements with Doom's sci-fi shooter gameplay, striking a balance that inspired a generation story-based action games. That said, the original System Shock hasn't been compatible with modern systems for years - until today. Night Dive Studios, the team responsible for System Shock 2's upgrade, has just released an all-new System Shock: Enhanced Edition which can be purchased from GOG.com.
System Shock is set in the cyberpunk future of 2072, where a nameless hacker - that's you - is arrested and blackmailed into committing a crime. The job: Disable the ethical constraints of SHODAN, the AI for an advanced space station. As you might expect, this plan backfires when SHODAN kills the crew, transforms them into killer cyborgs, and initiates a plan to attack Earth. Now the player's job is to subvert SHODAN's plan from inside the station, fighting robots, cyborgs, and mutants along the way.
System Shock: Enhanced Edition is a remastering with several welcome upgrades. The most obvious are new resolution options, supporting up to 1024x768 and a native 854x480 widesreen mode (as opposed to 640x480 by default). The gameplay has also been improved with a toggleable mouselook mode, remappable controls, and a refined inventory system.
And if you prefer the original experience? That's fine too - GOG.com has bundled System Shock's classic edition with the purchase. GOG.com also tossed in some goodies as well, including the soundtrack, a hintbook, a full strategy guide, and even the 1990s TV commercial.
"With System Shock: Enhanced Edition, we're implementing game-changing improvements," Stephen Kick, CEO of Night Dive Studios said in a statement. "The classic game has never been more accessible to a modern audience."
System Shock 2 absolutely deserves praise for refining System Shock's concept to perfection, but it's important to remember where the series began - especially for such an influential title in its own right. Long-time fans and modern gamers alike can purchase it at a 20 percent discount (or 40 for System Shock 2 owners) for the next week before it reverts to its $9.99 price tag.
One more thing: System Shock: Enhanced Edition will mark the return of The Escapist's Good Old Reviews column! Check back this Saturday Sept. 26 to see how the re-release holds up!