It seems almost too good to be true, but the System Shock series is apparently getting another installment. Last night, a teaser page showed up in the Twitter feed of OtherSide Entertainment, a small studio led by Paul Neurath — co-founder of System Shock creator Looking Glass Studios. The page linked to a countdown clock that's currently got five days left, but another page seemingly reveals the surprise. The name's all we know for now, but that's still a huge deal for the game's fans.
System Shock and its sequel System Shock 2 were hugely influential, particularly because System Shock 2 was the blueprint for the more widely known game BioShock. As with a lot of old games, the rights spent many years in limbo; it was impossible to even buy them, let alone develop a sequel. Last month, though, a company called Night Dive Studios announced that it had acquired the rights. It's currently planning a full remake of the original System Shock, but it also mentioned plans to continue the series — plans that, if this announcement pans out, will be realized by OtherSide.
OtherSide, founded just a year ago, is "focused on rebooting classic game franchises." It's currently developing Underworld Ascendant, the crowdfunded follow-up to Looking Glass classic Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss. It's extremely likely that System Shock 3 will also appear on Kickstarter, a platform that's hosted reboots and spiritual sequels to everything from Shadowrun to Banjo-Kazooie.
The possibility of a new System Shock game raises all kinds of questions. Will Terri Brosius, voice of megalomaniac AI and central antagonist SHODAN, return to the series? Will the creators stick with the shooting-heavy action of System Shock or add the role-playing game elements that defined its sequel? Will it directly follow the strangely abrupt final twist of System Shock 2? We can't answer any of those, but by the end of this week, we'll hopefully at least have a stronger grasp of OtherSide's development plans.