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Hack this! Groundbreaking cyberpunk game 'System Shock' is being turned into a live-action series

By Benjamin Bullard
 System Shock Trailer Still

Before Deus Ex and BioShock — heck, even before The Matrix, now that we’re thinking about it — there was System Shock. The original 1994 game from developer LookingGlass Technologies spawned an entire genre of dystopian corridor-crawling shooters, and gave video games an early foothold in steering pop culture toward sci-fi tropes that movies like The Matrix made famous: The idea that technology isn’t necessarily here to save us.

With a soon-to-launch remake of the game still on the way, System Shock’s groundbreaking tale of a solo survival space fight against an evil AI is also reportedly set to make the leap to the small screen. Deadline reports that a live action series based on the original 1994 game is in the works, and it’ll be coming to the fledgling streaming platform Binge.

The series is reportedly a collaboration between Binge and System Shock remake developer Nightdive Studios (you can catch the trailer for the remake below). Binge is set to make its platform debut sometime next year as gamer-focused streaming destination for premium small-screen content, developing additional gaming-based live action series, via Deadline’s report, on titles like Ubisoft’s Driver.

The original System Shock put players in about as pure a dystopian setup as there is: Your unnamed hacker wakes up alone in space aboard Citadel Station, a corporate-owned outpost whose controlling AI — a hissing, crackling core computer named SHODAN — has taken over everything, turning every robot hostile and killing off the crew (or worse). What follows is a twisted cyberpunk shoot-a-thon that even takes the fight into digital space (all Matrix-style) to hit the AI on its home turf.

System Shock had plenty of fans from the start, but it has since achieved almost mythic status as one of gaming’s genre-making greats. It spawned one direct sequel (with a still-unreleased third game also announced in 2015), and is often credited with inspiring big-name dystopian games like BioShock and Deus Ex (whose director, Warren Spector, was also the original producer for System Shock).

There’s no early word on casting or a premiere date for the series, but it’ll have some cyber-company on video game consoles. At last check, Nightdriver was still on track to release its full-scale gaming remake of System Shock sometime this year for current-gen gaming consoles, MacOS, and PC.

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