Parents' Guide to

System Shock: Enhanced Edition

By Jeff Haynes, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Violent space action classic returns with light polish.

Game Mac , Windows 2015
System Shock: Enhanced Edition Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

This classic survival horror action game has received a few cosmetic tweaks, and it's still loads of fun more than two decades after its release. System Shock: Enhanced Edition has returned to bring a new generation of players to Citadel Station to face off against one of gaming's most notorious villains. SHODAN and the twisted creatures on her station are just as unrelenting now as they were in 1994 when they initially terrified players. System Shock was unique because players never interacted with another human being; instead, you received information from logs and emails from deceased station members, which increased the sense of isolation. It forced players to interact with the concept of cyberspace in virtual mazes to unlock doors or gain additional info. Plus, it was creepy -- even now, the sound of skittering or clicking as you wander the abandoned halls of Citadel is enough to make your hair stand on end. It's the mix of action, puzzles, and atmosphere that makes System Shock an incredible game experience.

The Enhanced Edition delivers this gameplay with a boosted resolution and wide-screen presentation, as well as fixing a number of bugs that plagued the original. But it also brings some of the items that complicated the original in the first place. The controls are still quite clunky, especially after 21 years of improvements that make navigation of a 3-D space much more natural and realistic. You'll still feel like a lumbering tank moving through each level instead of an agile person running for your life. This also plays into the second issue with the game, which is that the learning curve is still very high. You're presented with a ton of information on the screen related to your inventory, your health status, your objectives, and soon. Sometimes, knowing what to do and when to do it can be a challenge by itself. These are relatively minor issues compared with how excellent the gameplay is, and if you're a fan of games such as Bioshock, Deus Ex, or Half-Life, you owe their creation and success to System Shock, which you can experience all over again. Do yourself a favor and get your hands dirty on Citadel Station, hacker.

Game Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate