I see your point there, but I’m talking more about gunplay mechanic-wise. Hitboxes, recoil, hit detection, reload animation, even direct combat, were all pretty rudimentary when compared to Half-Life. Of course, Half-Life was made with a focus on action, so it needed to excel at anything directly related to action. Having those mechanics implemented wouldn’t affect the pacing of the game, they’re just there to give the player a smoother, more realistic and satisfying experience, the pacing is defined by other elements, such as number of enemies, difficulty to beat said enemies, types of weapons, if they’re missile based, how easy is it to find ammo for them, how strong they are against the enemies, how strong you are to go against the enemies and how should you act to stay alive.
In the past it was pretty difficult to create smooth mechanics, so what System Shock 2 did was great, considering it used Thief’s engine, but nowadays it may feel old to new players. With the technology we have today implementing good basic FPS gameplay is a lot easier, and also, there’s much knowledge about it that is of common access, so having well polished gunplay nowadays isn’t difficult, which opens space to work around at better distinguishing the gameplay into something more unique, or working on things that still aren’t as well defined.
Yeah I guess with remastering there’s going to be that question about where you draw the line between revisionism and remaster, or IOW how much of an outdated or wonky mechanic is part of the charm and aesthetic of the original title vs it just being wonky. With videogames especially the lines between what people consider the “gameplay” elements vs graphics or sound elements can get pretty blurred. People say things like graphics don’t matter it’s gameplay that counts, but that statement is technically nonsense because gameplay involves the manipulation of graphics. One of my all time favourite games is an old first-person 3D game from the 80’s called “The Sentinel”, the limitations of hardware at the time resulted in slow rendering speeds but when they did a sequel in the 90’s that limitation was gone, but so was a lot of the original feel of the game.
SS2 was incomplete (yet ironically remained totally satisfying as a game) and could use some heavy reinforcement… do a better job on the rickenbaker, add proper cyberspace, redo the boss fight, etc. However I would not want this to be remade in the same way that SS1 is being remade. The artwork on SS1-R is superb so that part is welcomed. I’m sure they’d do justice to the SS2 ambiance. However I don’t want anything to change that was done right. The problem is, simply “finishing” the game and slapping a new coat of paint on it doesn’t constitute the sort of effort that would warrant a remake… it’d be more like a big patch or expansion or something. That’s why I’d assume there’d be a strong urge to start changing things that do not need to be changed.