Who remembers Monolith's Blood? One of several games made during the 90s on Ken Silverman's Build engine, Blood distinguished itself by having a ridiculous array of weapons, from dynamite bundles and voodoo dolls to dual-wielding weapons (not a unique feature, but uncommon for the period). Now, it looks like we're getting a "reboot", thanks to Atari, with Nightdive Studios taking up the developer reins.
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The last time we checked in on Nightdive Studios and its remake of System Shock, the developer had made the decision to put on the brakes, after realising the game was moving too far away from the original. Since then, Nightdive has delivered regular updates via its Kickstarter page, with the latest news offering a glimpse of what an enhanced -- but faithfully-adapted -- System Shock would look like.
Nightdive Studios has released the Mac source code for the original System Shock under GPL. Recovered by OtherSide Entertainment, helmed by LGS' very own Paul Neurath, all and sundry can now check it out on GitHub and even create their own versions. Not that this is likely to happen, given how ancient it is, but hey, at least it's possible.
It could be said the writing was on the wall when Nightdive Studios, the developer behind the System Shock remake, switched engines from Unity to Unreal. So, when it was announced the game was going on hiatus after "straying from the core concepts of the original title" it wasn't completely out of nowhere. Now, it appears Nightdive's lack of focus has pushed the game's release all the way to 2020.
A game swapping engines mid-development is -- to put it mildly -- a risky proposition. Assets have to be redone, code ported or even cooked from scratch and developers have to acquaint themselves with new tools and workflows. However, in the case of Nightdive Studios and its System Shock remake and its surprise shift from Unity to Unreal, game director Jason Fader believes they've "mitigated [the] risk by switching early".
So, uh, an interesting turn of events -- that remaster of System Shock from NightDive Studios? Days before its planned Kickstarter, the developer has decided to drop the "Remastered" bit and is launching head-first into reboot territory. This, I'm sure, will be met with mixed feelings.
NightDive Studios' in-development remaster of the first System Shock will not only give it a much-need face lift, but hopefully improve the original's clunky controls and UI niggles. If you're wondering how work is progressing on the project, we have a couple of new screenshots to share.