Video SeriesZero Punctuation

System Shock (2023) – Zero Punctuation


This week on Zero Punctuation, Yahtzee reviews the 2023 System Shock remake. If you subscribe to The Escapist Patreon or YouTube memberships, you can view next week’s episode, on Final Fantasy XVI, right now!

For more major games Yahtz has reviewed lately, check out Diablo IV, Street Fighter 6, Amnesia: The Bunker, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Darkest Dungeon II, Redfall.

And check out Yahtzee’s other series, Extra Punctuation, where he’s recently talked about the fallacy of “replay value” and Tears of the Kingdom and the meaninglessness of review scores.

We have a merch store as well: Visit the store for ZP merch.

Zero Punctuation Transcript

Before Deus Ex was sexing it up, before Thief was stealing our hearts, before BioShock was buyable, before either of the Preys came out in ascending order of relevance, there was System Shock, one of the earliest and most influential games in the PC immersive sim genre. Well, maybe more so its sequel, System Shock 2, because PC game development in 1994 was more a fenced-off playpen for tech nerds whose idea of beauty is some nicely annotated code and a smoothly retracting tape measure, and as such the original System Shock was about as attractive and intuitive to play as an untuned piano made of sharpened motherboards. Original developers Looking Glass disappeared up their looking arses years ago, but thankfully we have Nightdive, a developer who puts out lots of remasters of defunct IPs from the 90s. And absolutely bugger all else. I’m not criticising, it’s thanks to them we can still play Blood and Doom 64 and Powerslave, but sometimes they come across like an overeager dog chasing a meat wagon, snaffling up every slightly stale sausage roll that falls out the poorly secured rear doors. The System Shock remake’s a lot more ambitious than a remaster, though, finally realising in full shiny HD the original game’s cramped, ugly, labyrinthine tech nerd paradise.

About the author

Yahtzee Croshaw
Yahtzee is the Escapist’s longest standing talent, having been writing and producing its award winning flagship series, Zero Punctuation, since 2007. Before that he had a smattering of writing credits on various sites and print magazines, and has almost two decades of experience in game journalism as well as a lifelong interest in video games as an artistic medium, especially narrative-focused. He also has a foot in solo game development - he was a big figure in the indie adventure game scene in the early 2000s - and writes novels. He has six novels published at time of writing with a seventh on the way, all in the genres of comedic sci-fi and urban fantasy. He was born in the UK, emigrated to Australia in 2003, and emigrated again to California in 2016, where he lives with his wife and daughters. His hobbies include walking the dog and emigrating to places.