System Shock PS5 review

by on May 20, 2024
Reviewed On
Release Date

May 21, 2024


With the original System Shock being thirty years old this year, the remake has finally arrived on PS5. Dropping on PC last year, Nightdive Studios’ impressive attempt to replicate what made the original special for a new audience was received well by most people. Nothing is really different on console, but it does let players who don’t have a PC to experience an exceptional remake that gets almost everything right. It’s not perfect, and some parts of the gameplay might put off a handful of folks, but its immersive and explorative in ways you don’t see nowadays.

Trying to stop a rogue AI from heading to Earth and turning the people of the world into messed-up cyber freaks is your goal. On board the Citadel space Station owned by the shady TriOptimum Corporation, SHODAN has turned all of the crew into a plethora of jacked-up monsters imbued by cybernetic augments in the worst way possible, and it is your job to stop her. System Shock on PS5 gives you plenty of freedom to do that, with its labyrinthian layout filled with plenty of things that want you dead begging to be explored.

It can be tough to know where you’re going at times, and if you don’t want your hand held there’s plenty of opportunity to get lost, wander back to previously explored areas, and get annoyed by what to do next. There are options to help with various elements of the game such as combat and exploration, but to truly get the best experience, persevere and you’ll find where to go. Eventually you’ll stumble on a new area, and that feeling of finding a new room with something creepy or interesting in there is amazing.

There are audio logs scattered around that will guide you, key cards that help you get through locked doors, and some great puzzles like rearranging the pipe circuit board. The audio logs provide some great backstory to the crew, and you slowly start to understand the horrors that occurred on the Citadel at the hands of the psychopath that is SHODAN. She’s amazing in the sense she’s totally unhinged – a bona fide murderess – and when you hear her over the speakers she makes you feel genuinely nervous for the thought of what she might do next.

I love the visuals of System Shock on PS5 because they manage to both replicate the feel of the original but also bring it into the present day. If you look closely enough, the environments have a pixelated effect. There’s plenty of colour for a sci-fi horror title, with the cyberpunk aesthetic in full effect. There are certain sections of the game where you enter cyberspace and fly around trying to shoot specific nodes and travel through the mainframe via tight corridors while partaking in digitised dogfights almost. They’re a neat departure and give you something extra to do.

While I liked a lot of what System Shock offers, the combat is probably one of the weaker elements. Sure, there are tons of cool weapons you get to use and for the most part, shooting creatures is fun, however, it can feel a bit clunky. Smacking enemies with melee weapons doesn’t ever feel impactful, and some of the weapons don’t feel as tight as they could. Enemy AI is also lacking as they don’t always move as cleverly as they should, but on the flipside of that, they can be bloody fantastic at blindsiding you from out of nowhere and making you jump a mile when they fire at you from behind.

System Shock on PS5 is a great remake of the original. Exploring the space station is liberating and exciting. You never know what you’ll find or who you may bump into, and SHODAN is one of the coolest enemies in gaming full stop (and she’s even voiced by the original actor). The puzzles offer welcoming moments of catharsis, and there are plenty of enemy types for you to try and kill, with a wealthy arsenal to boot. It’s also a good-looking game in a non-obvious way. If you’ve ever been interested in seeing what all the fuss was about, Nightdive Studios has done a fantastic job with the remake.


Great visuals
Wonderful sense of freedom
Some cool puzzles
SHODAN is still awesome


Tough to know where to go
Some weapons lack a punch
Enemy AI could be more intelligent

Editor Rating
Our Score


In Short

System Shock on PS5 is a great opportunity for console players to experience Nightdive Studios excellent remake of a classic.