System Shock remakers Nightdive Studios are remastering The Thing

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Computer Artworks’ 2002 videogame adaptation of 1982 movie The Thing was a ghoulish and gripping third-person shooter with some terrific mechanics that weren’t quite fleshed out, flesh being the operative word. For instance: you can enlist surviving soldiers as squadmates, but are they really surviving soldiers, or are they human-shaped warrens of teeth and mandibles poised to split open and shower you in digestive juices? You have a limited supply of blood tests with which to determine whether any people you rescue are Things in waiting – and even as you’re worrying about them, they’re casting suspicious eyes at you, care of some embryonic “trust” and “fear” systems.

Sadly, much of this acute paranoia could be easily gamed out in practice – back in 2002, I deduced that contact with enemies increased the odds of infection, and adopted a policy of shooting anyone who’d been in my squad for too long. But it’s the kind of system an intelligent remake could pounce upon and have fun with. Sadly, Nightdive are not working on a remake, like their previous System Shock remakes. They’ve just announced that they’re making a remaster, due later this year. Still, I will take a Thing remaster and thus, the opportunity to write more about The Thing, over no remaster at all.

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Announced during today’s Summer Game Festivities, the remaster encompasses a bunch of visual enhancements but still very much looks like a game from the early noughties. Here’s a squirming gobbet of announcement release to point your flamethrower at:

The Thing: Remastered is a faithful restoration of the cult-classic 2002 third-person survival horror shooter game inspired by Universal Pictures and filmmaker John Carpenter’s genre-defining 1982 film, The Thing. Nightdive Studios has upgraded this horrifying classic for the modern era through its proprietary KEX Engine for play on current-generation gaming devices up to a 4K resolution at 120FPS. Improvements to character models, textures, and animations have been hand-crafted by Nightdive Studios, with the implementation of advanced 3D rendering for updated lighting and atmospheric effects–for a suspenseful and disgustingly detailed remaster that reanimates the thrilling game for modern audiences.

Nightdive have previously used their fancy Kex tech to overhaul Dark Forces, Doom 64, Quake II and the enhanced edition of System Shock. You can read more about their recent doings – including what it’s like being acquired by the latter-day incarnation of Atari, who do not have great form for looking after older videogame series – in Rick Lane’s Xmas 2023 interview with the studio heads.

The flurry of summer games events are now underway! Hit up our Summer Game Fest 2024 hub and our Day Of The Devs roundup for all the news worth caring about from the shows so far.

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