The creators of the System Shock remake want to do Unreal next

Stephen Kick, CEO of Nightdive Studios, has said he’d love to remake Epic’s 90s FPS Unreal. Not familiar with Nightdive? They’re the team behind this May’s triumphant System Shock remake, which Jeremy Peel described in his review as “a breathtakingly beautiful and astonishingly faithful remake that proves the enduring power of Looking Glass design”. They’re also the studio behind last week’s surprise-released Quake 2 remaster, and a bunch of other classic 90s remasters including the PC version of DOOM 64 and Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition. It’s safe to say they know how to pull off a retro (sorry, Kamiya-san) comeback.

Kick threw down the gauntlet on Xitter last night in response to a post about bringing back Unreal from former Epic honcho and original Unreal designer Cliff Bleszinski, who is in quite a nostalgic mood these days. It sounds like the two have been pitching the idea behind the scenes. “It should be known @therealcliffyb stuck his neck out for us and we gave it a real go,” he wrote. “@TimSweeneyEpic we’d be honored to be the care takers of Unreal, you’ve seen what we’ve done with DOOM & Quake, it’d be in good hands @NightdiveStudio.”

All of which echoes Kick’s rather stirring comments to Jeremy in a Nightdive Studio profile, following the launch of the System Shock remake. “I want people to make games that are influenced by our past,” he said. “As far back as we can go. And the only way we can do that is if we preserve them for people to play.”

Not played Unreal? “It’s a very traditional shooter in many ways,” John Walker (RPS in peace) explained in 2020. “You charge through individual levels, growing your arsenal of weapons, hitting switches to open doors, and shooting all the baddies along the way. It isn’t, in this sense at least, much more sophisticated than that. It’s just done so exquisitely well. And as such a technical achievement.”

Brendan Caldwell (also RPS in peace) profiled the Unreal development team in 2018 for its 20th anniversary, calling attention similarly not just to the significance of Unreal as a shooter, but its supporting technology – the nowadays inescapable Unreal Engine. “The machine built for Unreal went on to power Deus Ex,” he wrote. “Follow-ups of the Unreal engine have since been used for a litany of games from BioShock to Mass Effect to XCOM: Enemy Unknown.”

Nightdive, I notice, have two unannounced titles on the boil. What would you like them to do next? And do you have any Unreal memories to share?

This post was originally published on this site