Nightdive Studios Begins Work on System Shock 2: Enhanced Edition
It's a joyous time to be a System Shock fan. Not only is the first game in the series getting a from-the-ground-up remake from the folks over at Nightdive Studios, we're also patiently awaiting the next main installment in the series: System Shock 3. But what about 2? While System Shock 2 has been readily available on PC via Steam or GOG for a long time now, can we expect anything more for it? According to Nightdive, we can. Just the other day, the game hit a big milestone: Its 20th anniversary! Hard to believe it's come all this way, right? System Shock 2 released on August 11th, 1999, going on to inspire a variety of future games despite its sales. Most notably, it was the inspiration for its 2007 spiritual successor: Bioshock. To say it was influential would be an understatement. Nightdive celebrated this legacy with a livestream, complete with an exciting announcement: System Shock 2 is getting an Enhanced Edition.
But what might this mean, you're probably wondering. No worries, because we are too. Nightdive Studios couldn't provide many more details behind the project, or what exactly will make System Shock 2 'enhanced'. The big elephant in the room is will it be a remastered port ala System Shock: Enhanced Edition or a full remake? Going by the naming convention they used, it will likely be the former. Nightdive was also responsible for the aforementioned Enhanced Edition of the first System Shock to Windows PCs. As many fans have already pointed out on Twitter, there already exists graphical and gameplay mods for System Shock 2 to make it play and look better. Said fans wondered how this might be any different. One of Nightdive's own responded: "Working/stable multiplayer for a start!" Other things we can probably expect include 4K widescreen support, and a switchover to the KEX engine for graphics.
Nightdive has added a lot to their plate. As mentioned, they're in the midst of working on a complete remake of the first game. This remake is expected to release sometime in early 2020 for both PC and consoles, meaning a whole new generation of gamers will get to experience System Shock for the first time in a more modern context. Screenshots and trailers for the remake have already been shown off, so you can find them if you're curious. Maybe System Shock 2 will get that treatment someday too, but for now, an enhanced version is certainly nothing to sneeze at. System Shock 3, meanwhile, is being developed by OtherSide Entertainment. They're a group of developers comprised of many former System Shock veterans, people who worked on both the first and second games or one of them. We don't know too much about System Shock 3 just yet, but series antagonist SHODAN will be making a return, voiced by Terri Brosius, her original voice actress. Did you think she'd forgotten you, hacker?
There's no word from Nightdive on when we can expect the Enhanced Edition of System Shock 2 to come out. Most likely, though, they'll have more to share with us in the coming weeks. For now, patience is key! If you want to play any of the System Shock games yourself, they're both available on PC. If you happen to own the first game, you can get the Enhanced Edition of it as a free update rather than a standalone purchase! And as for when System Shock 3 does get a release date, well, we'll be able to expect that on Windows PC and various unknown consoles (at this time). System Shock fans have so much to look forward to, and it's great to see the series making such a big comeback all these years later.