This science fiction role-playing game returns players to the battle begun in the original, System Shock. The sequel sets you in the 22nd century, where you can use a multitude of mechanical weapons and Psionic powers to attack and confuse your monster enemies in the universe. As you play, you will discover advances that will allow you to upgrade your weapons systems, uncover alien technology secrets, and hack into critical computers. This game is based around the Dark Engine and offers surreal 3-D graphics, effects, and action.
Creepy ! Wow ! This is creepy ! It's very simple: Do you want to be scared ? Buy this game. It's the scariest game ever ! Hint: Play this one with head phones and with the lights turned off... If you dare !...more info
Most terrifying game ever? System Shock 2 is most likely the scariest game I have ever played, Half-life being the only close contender. As good as HL is, though, SS2 tops it with more storyline and depth and personality. I'm an RPG fan and I'd consider SS2 more of an action game than an RPG, but the game still allows you to configure your character in ways that deeply affect the gameplay. First time through I played as a psionics guy who wielded hand-to-hand weapons. Late in the game I was able to use an invisibility psi power, run up to enemies, and whack the bejeezus out of them. I didn't have to use guns much, and when I did I just used the cheesy little pistol. Next time I play I'm going to specialize in guns and be a long-distance sniper. The role-playing elements are not that deep, but I still greatly appreciate the opportunity to choose how my character develops. That's why this game is better than Half-life.
I tried to go back and play the original System Shock while I was playing this game and even though I had played and loved the original when it came out, I found the interface way too annoying now to play it. In System Shock 2, the graphics are much much better, and the interface is nice and clean -- very configurable and fairly easy to use even when I was juggling psi powers and healing hypos while backing away from an enemy.
I only have a couple complaints about the game: loading times were annoyingly long -- one and a half to two minutes. This made the difficult sections where I died a lot tough to slog through. Also, there was one place where I had to use a walkthrough because even though I had the in-game gamma correction turned up all the way, I still couldn't see a passageway I had to go through. I had to turn up the brightness on my monitor to find it. You're probably thinking "No duh, dummy", but I like to play with a low brightness level (makes the game extra scary at night) and I was able to see everything fine except for this one area. A minor point though -- in general the level design was linear but good.
I think I had a nightmare about the cyborg assassins in this game -- the sign of a truly cool and frightening enemy. If you like half-life (or first person shooters in general) but would like something a little meatier that lets you have an inventory and customizable stats, SS2 is for you....more info
Quite Possibly the Best Game I Ever Played I'm not exaggerating this--this game scared me, engrossed me, confounded me, and pulled me in more than anything I've ever played. I'm not even a sci-fi fan, really--my tastes normally lean towards fantasy and role-playing stuff--but this is just amazing. It's an experience that you need to have if you're a gamer, and since it's a little older and will run on comparably slower systems, it's a bargain.
Also, I hadn't had the opportunity to play System Shock 1, but that wasn't a problem for me. There were a few points in the game where, I assume, there was some connection to the plot and possibly the look of the previous game, but this in no way hindered my enjoyment of this one. So don't let that stop you. In fact, don't let anything stop you--buy and play this game!
A convincing 22nd century experience I remember the first time I heard the name System Shock 2 from a friend. Well to be honest I said to myself "he must be exaggerating, how good can it be? Probably just another FPS." I am glad that I am dead wrong.
The atmosphere is what makes the game unique. The character graphics are not quite good, even at the time the game was released, but there are free graphical enhancing mods which offset this drawback. The surroundings is exteremely realistic. You feel that you are in a REAL spaceship, where more than 100 people live, with food, drinks and cigarettes around, the magazines they have read before their demise, the theater they watched movies, the sports lounges, the dining rooms.....every single detail completes the feeling that the ship was once a crowded spaceship.
The music and sounds are AWESOME. I can still (after 3 years) remember exactly how those chimpanzees screamed, the electronic voice of the sentinel droids, and the terrifying noise of the cyber assasins. Those sounds are ENGRAVED, CHISELED, IMPRINTED in my memory, probably never to be forgotten.
The storyline is so absorbing that I remember playing for hours just to learn what will happen when I reach my destination. And every NPC had a character of its own which causes you to have feelings towards them, they are far more than mere names.
On top of all this creepy atmosphere, the game is harder than an average FPS. You may find yourself huddled in a dark corner, out of bullets and psionic energy, praying that the hybrid will not notice you before you run to it and smash it to ground with your wrench. EVERY SINGLE BULLET COUNTS, you cannot just go into a killing spree and rain bullets or cryogenic bolts at your opponents.
Some people find the respawning of the monsters annoying but I beleive without that the game would lose much from the atmosphere. There are NO safe spots. There are no places where you say "Oh, I have cleared this place before, I am safe until I go up from the elevator leading to next level" which increases the adrenaline level of the game. Well if you still do not want that much stress, you can download the patch which enables you to turn off monster respawning and fast weapon degrading.
All in all, I haven't yet played a better FPS after SS2 in those 3 years. I hopeful that Half Life 2 turns outto be better since Half Life 1 was surely the second best FPS. If you have patiently read the review until this point, what are you waiting for? Go and buy it, especially at this reasonable price. You will NOT regret it....more info
Best. PC Game. Ever. The title of this says it all. This game is as ground-breaking now as it was seven years ago. Imagine Half Life, Elder Scrolls, Deus-Ex, 2001, Event Horizon and William Gibson on a spaceship. Now play it in the dark. Alone. There has never been or will be another game like this until possibly the "Bioshock" game in 2007. Even that one has a completely different setting, but I have faith it will live up to its heritage.
Well worth the money, although it's getting harder to run on modern machines, so be aware that you may need to build a retro rig to run it. 1024 x 768 @ 16 bit is the highest res it will run at. Also make sure to obtain the "rebirth" files that drastically improve the look of most of the enemies, without hurting the gameplay....more info
no time for love, Dr. Jones.. ...
this is one of the most frustrating, infuriating, mind numbing games i've ever played. the whole thing could have been completely awesome, but there's just too many of those freakin' zombies coming at you all the time. you're given an extensive menu of items, options, and what not, that you constantly have to pay attention to, but you don't have time to pay attention to it because when you bring up your menu screen, the game doesn't pause and you're constantly being attacked. what this means is: forget about using health powerups, forget about changing ammo when you run out.. forget about anything.. if you stop even for a second, you'll die.. you're better off running like heck if you see anything coming at you. i understand that in "the real world", things don't pause when you reach in your pocket for an item you may have stashed there.. so maybe that's what they were going for.. but it was a stupid idea. i don't even care about finishing this game. it's a shame, because the atmosphere has a lot going for it, and i like the action/horror/RPG mix.. but raising my blood pressure or having a heart attack just isn't worth pushing all those keys so damn fast just to reload an imaginary weapon to kill an imaginary zombie. sorry to all you fans, but i just don't think this game is all that great. FUN is the first thing any game should be, and unfortunately, FUN is exactly what this game is lacking.
the two stars are because for its time, the mix of genres and playing styles was probably fairly groundbreaking, but if you're thinking of seeking out this hard to find game, i'd say PASS on it.
Even better than the first one! This is not for 'shooter-fans', no quake, unreal, etc. This is NOT a no-brain shooter! This is an RPG, with shooting elements. This is a thinking person's shooter, where EVERY bullet counts. One does NOT spray the enemy, one waits for the correct shot. You need to know what kind of character you want to achieve, because the upgrades are sharp (& expensive!). Don't touch this if you don't like thinking....more info
There are games you play... ...and games you EXPIRIENCE. System Shock 2 is an expirience. There are plenty of great reviews here so I don't want to be redundant. But I will say you can't spend a better 10-to-15 bucks. SS2 will totally transport you into its world - where it's cold, claustrophobic, and no one can hear you scream. Never have I felt so alone, uncomfortable, sometimes just plain freaked out... it was difficult, seemingly impossible at times... and I loved every minute of it!
The only downside is the load times on this game are soooo long. Even on a P4 1.4 GeForce 3 system, it took awhile (there are 'regeneration' booths on every level where you can be instantly respawned, but it costs you each time and in this game, every resource matters!), but that's a small price to pay for such an incredible gaming experience.
If being transported into another realm where you must struggle, use your brains, and have the spit scared out of you is your idea of fun, buy this game!...more info
This game spooked the *%#@ out of me! This is a fabulous game. If it were at all possible to give a game a ten star rating, I would. It never sold well for unclear reasons (no multiplayer?, to difficult to grasp a FPS/RPG hybrid?) but that does not mean it wasn't good. Anybody who wants to play a game where they feel absolutely immersed, this is it.
I've played plenty of creepy games in the past including the Resident Evil series, Silent Hill, etc. This is one of only two games (besides Clive Barker's Undying) that I absolutely hated opening doors in, dreading what was on the other side. The ever present SHODAN also added an extra eerie dimension to the game.
Do yourself a huge favor and buy this game. It will go down in gaming history as one of the best and original games of all time.
Still one of the best games I've ever played. System Shock 2 is hard to categorize, because it blends several genres and styles of games so well. It's a Role-Playing First-Person Shooter Science Fiction Survival/Horror game, with some extra twists here and there. If you wished Half-Life was more like Deus Ex, or you wanted to play the more violent and scary parts of Thief with 22nd century firepower, this is the game you want to play.
Though it's getting a bit dated now, this game was far enough ahead of its time to still be very playable. Where the original System Shock made history as a remarkably immersive story-driven first-person shooter, the sequel goes even further with complex character development elements usually only seen in role-playing games. The graphics scale up smoothly enough to still look impressive on today's faster, higher resolution (and higher polygon count) displays, the sound is of sufficient quality to still be just as effective as most newer, more technically advanced productions, and of course, a great story is never obsolete.
Once you get into a game this immersive, you forget about the technical details that may no longer be as cutting-edge as they once were. Just turn off the lights, plug in your headphones (or surround-sound if you have it), and try to stay alive. If you happen to forget that it's just a game, this one can really scare you. Definitely not for the faint of heart.
The biggest flaw in this game is that the developers just didn't have enough time to fully flesh-out and polish some of the later parts. Certain areas are just less expansive and detailed and finely-tuned than others. The game doesn't significantly suffer from what's missing. It just could have been that much better.
By far the most common complaint about this game is that the weapons break too fast. Personally, I don't consider that a flaw. I like the extra stress factor of having to keep an eye on the condition of my weapons. Unlike most First-Person Shooters, your resources are very limited in this game. Throughout most of the game, you will very rarely have enough ammo to stop worrying about making every shot count. There are a limited number of weapons available, and if you keep firing one until it jams, you have to either expend other resources to fix it or deal with the fact that you have one less gun to work with.
If you really don't like worrying about broken weapons, there is a way to reduce or completely disable weapon deterioration. It's not a menu option you can switch on and off within the game, but the release notes file on the CD explains how to do it, and it's not difficult.
One complaint I've heard about the end of this game is that there are two "final battles" at the end, and the second one is disappointingly easy. I didn't feel that way because I recognized that the first final battle was the climax, and then when there was one more confrontation after that, I thought of it as more of an epilogue than a challenge. This is something gamers just aren't used to, and the only other game I've played that had an "epilogue" after the final confrontation was Half-Life, which has been accused of having the worst ending of any game ever. The ending of System Shock 2 isn't nearly that bad, but it can be disappointing if the relatively short final areas have left you expecting more.
Unfortunately, due to the particular circumstances of the closing of the company that developed the game, Looking Glass Studios, it is very unlikely that there will ever be a third System Shock game....more info
Why do you resist The Many? Regardless of what genre you prefer, be it first-person action or roleplaying, you owe it to yourself to experience this game. When I played Half-Life there were at least dozen different times when I thought to myself, "This is the best game I have ever played." System Shock 2 had only one of those moments. I was never crazy about System Shock 2. I have never played the first game, nor have I even heard of it. At that time I was too busy playing Doom, which at that time was what I thought was the best game ever. Oh, if only I could go back and take that box that had the title 'System Shock' out from the bargain bin. I bought System Shock 2 because of two reasons. One being the praise it recieved from the gaming press, another being it was selling for a measly 15 bucks. It was the best deal I ever got. At first, I found SS2 to be a very good game, but I didn't think it was going to beat Half-Life anytime soon. Sure it was scary, and there were times when I was just too frightened to continue. But nothing was going to hold a candle to Half-Life, no way. But then came the time when I went through an unassuming door on the Engineering deck on the Von Braun spaceship,that I had one of memorable experiences I could ever have with my computer.
I don't know about you, but I prefer to use headphones instead of speakers. So imagine how I reacted when I heard a voice, the voice of SHODAN, a self-presumed artificial goddess gone insane, speak to directly to my character. The voice is coming from your head, your mind, and asks you in an almost sad, metallic female voice, why you resist the Many, which then switches to an angry, cold and metallic tone, explaining why you and mankind are inferior to the cosmic influences of the Many. I literally froze, not moving and inch, for fear of facing SHODAN and her minions around the next corner. System Shock 2 is one of those games which deserve more attention. It is truly one of the richest and rewarding experiences you will ever have with your computer. The atmosphere and sound is astonishing, you can actually hear your worst fears, be it the taunting from alien hybrids to run and hide, or the whirring servos of approaching robots coming down a hallway with no other purpose but to seek and destroy. System Shock 2 is not a game like Half-Life, but a journey into your worst fears. Loneliness, and a sense of hopelesess as you run down corridors, desperately looking for a way out while resisting the calls of the Many......more info
PLAY THIS GAME AT MIDNIGHT WITH THE LIGHTS OFF ALONE I reccommend you PLAY THIS GAME AT MIDNIGHT, ALONE, WITH THELIGHTS OFF. From the eerie droning of the ship's engines, to thechilling taunts and calls from the muscle-bound Hybrids and hand maidens, this game will make you think twice about leaving the doors unlocked. I have played so many horror games, and yet this game is the only one where I truly felt *ALONE*. No one can help you. This and the incredible gameplay mixed with roleplay make this one of my top 10 games.
And now the bad stuff. About the only bad thing that I can think of is that towards the end, the programmers seemed to forget that in order to FIRE my weapons, I need AMMO. If you can find a way to hold on to your ammo, this game is just for the roleplayer - FPS player in you!...more info
The Most Scared I've Ever Been Never has this happened before! In the boots of the System Shock 2 hero, fighting for my life in the shadowy corridors of the starship Von Braun, I found myself trembling, hiding in a dark corner, whimpering as I listened to the evils surrounding me.
After one hour of this game, I get intensely involved. In two hours I'm jumpy and hyperventilating. Three hours, I go into cardiac arrest.
Meanwhile, the detailed story had me captivated--awed at the surprises I should have foreseen (given the excellent use of foreshadowing) but didn't. The role-playing elements are well done, and greatly enhance the intrigue. And the AI (borrowed from Thief) is the absolute best I've ever seen in a first-person shooter.
The settings are so realistic, its scary. No generic Quake corridors here. The kinds of environments you will visit are bathrooms, living quarters, sick bays, recreation rooms, shopping malls, kitchens, cafeterias, meat lockers, chapels, gardens and other types of everyday living spaces you would expect to find on a real starship. All this just adds to the sensation that you're really there.
I don't think I've ever played more than 2 or 3 games of this calibre in my lifetime, and certainly none so terrifying!...more info
Best game i've played I can honestly say, that this is THE best game I think i've played. The first was great, innovative and totally consuming. This however, breaks the mold. I can't tell you how many times I've played this game through, 8 or 9 minimum. Just get it, play it and thank me.
# of times foot has been injured from sudden jerk because one of 'The Many' snuck up on me, 3 and counting.
In space, there isn't any air to scream with A solidly good sequel to the classic original, 'System Shock 2' was one of the most engrossing games of 1999, and had me playing it well into the early hours. It's not quite as good as the original - or, for that matter, the same team's 'Thief: The Dark Project', but it's still very good. The good things are legion - it has the same scary atmosphere as the original, with you as the lone survivor of an unexpected catastrophe on board an unfamiliar space vessel. The interior is wrecked, bodies litter the floor, mutant zombie people are attacking you, and some areas of the ship have been overtaken by an icky fungus. The later sequences, in which you discover the nature of the problem, and team up with a strange ally, contain some of the most effective goes at telling a story in a computer game without resorting to having pages of text and / or dialogue. The game itself is much as the original - search everything in sight whilst shooting - and the 'Thief'-esque engine, whilst not pretty, can do stealth and AI at least as effectively as 'Half-Life'. The game has a great cool, crisp atmosphere to it, too.
The downsides? As I have said, it's not pretty. The whole 'character generation' system is almost completely pointless, and, as you play, you realise that firepower is infinitely more important than cunning. And the FMV sequences are simply terrible - the ending sequence, in particular, is totally out-of-place. Most abstract of all, the down-beat, grim tone gets to you after a while, but that's not really a fault of the game. Having your guns break over time seems a bit excessively realistic, too (alhough a patch fixes this), and the last quarter or so seems rushed. These are quibbles, though.
Still, I felt extremely sad when I realised that I had almost finished and, after spending three days finishing the thing (it took me 17 hours), I immediately played it again....more info
One of the best I started playing System Shock II in a dark room late at night. In about five minutes the lights were on and I was contemplating waiting until morning! Never has a game so effectively created an atmosphere as immersive as this one does.
Besides atmosphere, this game has a really good story, with twists, turns and upsets that you just did not expect. This is no cookie-cutter; the plot keeps you guessing until the end.
I also liked the setup of the game. There are different development paths your character can follow and, depending on which you choose, this game can be very different. However, it is never easy. There is no way to start out as a butt-kicking character; you must claw, bludgeon and think your way up the butt-kicking ladder.
I highly suggest this game to those who like first-person shooters with a great story, immersive action and staying up late!...more info
Scary good fun! My favorite thing about SSII is that it tells a coherent story that makes sense. Every action you take in SSII is motivated by a desire to accomplish a clearly-stated objective. Goals are not assigned arbitrarily, either, and are extremely well-explained by the superb voice acting. When you accomplish a mission, you are rewarded with access to more areas of the ship and new missions to accomplish.
Another great aspect of this game is the way it flows. There are no levels, other than levels/decks within the ship you are trying to escape from, and accomplishing certain objectives means traversing multiple decks.
There are times when this game is extremely scary. It's designed to frighten you, and at times it accomplishes this goal very well. The music is mostly techno, but it's scary techno. That might not make sense to you, but trust me, it can be very intimidating at times.
If you haven't played the original System Shock read up on its plot before you play this game. The background information you gain will help you out a lot.
Overall, this is on my top ten all-time....more info
Beware the Van Braun Ok, let me get this out of the way first. Whenever anybody comes up to me and asks what my favorite PC game was, I reply saying System Shock 2. I just can't say enough about how amazing it is. Look at other reviews for all the praise. I'm (unfortunately thanks mom) a person who sees flaws. The only flaw in this game is the difficulty. I just don't like how incredibly hard it is. I want to keep moving on and finding the next puzzles but then get stuck from some near impossible part. My advice, get the game, but beware, if you're not an experienced gamer then you will have a hard time enjoying it....more info
If Elvis is legendary to music, LGS is legendary to games LGS stands for Looking Glass Studios. The company has closed down last May. It is sad to see an innovative company being shutdown because the games they make are innovative and intelligent.
System Shock 2 is one example. Co-developed with Irrational Games, which has its root with LGS, this game uses the famous Dark Engine used in games like Thief and Thief 2. This engine is one of its kind: 1. the physics is realistics (you throw a box up on a slope and you can see it sliding down slowly; you stack a few crates and pull away the lower ones and the rest drop and tumbles); 2. the AI is smart: each critters has eyes and ears and therefore react to sight and sound. Yeap, they can hear where you are. Unlike many games which cheat by letting the creatures knwo where you are, this game simulates the real thing. 3. Sound: I think I need not describe how incredible the sound effect, music and digitised speech this game produces. You can read from all the players reviews. It gives so much atmosphere that I shudder to think what the next version of the engine is going to be like. It's sad that the company has closed....more info
SS2 is a must have for any intelligent Gamer Although I never had the chance to partake in System Shock, when I downloaded the demo to this game off of @Home, I was instantly hooked. The Thief engine is cleverly disguised as an all new, horrific and terrific world. I share the terror and anxiety of my fellow gamers, and warn that this is no easy game, no game to be taken lightly, and not your standard FPS. I have played em all, and this is one of the best, GET THIS GAME!...more info
It's like a horror movie... Only scarier... This is a winner from start to finish. It is just as good as Half-Life, if not better and I could not stop playing it. A wonderful combination of RPG and 3D action comes to together nicely. Plenty of spooky atmoshpere and cool sound effects and great graphics (make sure you have a good video card) adds to it. The storyline is one of the best I've heard, and this is a somewhat realistic game that is a joy to play. It's also very scary at times, so playing it late at night with the lights off and the sound turned up makes a great (and spooky) experience. This is worth the money. Buy it!...more info
Simply the Best game ever This game is awesome ! It runs on a souped up version of the engine the Thief used... Great Graphics, Playability and Audio round up a winner....more info
Realistic, innovative, challenging, and FUN Game! When I played this game, my hands were actually sweating from the SUSPENSE! The story is quite entertaining with some predictable AND surprising twists in the plot. This game allows you to play as a Marine (weapons), O.S.I.(psionics/mind power), or Navy (cybernetics/computers). Each branch has its corresponding (strengths) but having superior computer skills make the game somewhat easier to proceed through the challenging levels. There are LOTS of high tech weaponry and gadgets throughout the eerie decks of the von Braun including a "red lights" district in the crew's recreational area. It was more fun for me to solve the levels myself rather than resorting to online walkthroughs. If you enjoyed Half-Life and Thief, then you'll have a great time with System Shock 2!...more info
My new favorite game I bought this game about a year ago, played it for one day, and for some reason stopped playing it. I guess it just didn't appeal to me that day. I finished Half-Life a few days ago and was looking for something else to entertain me, but I didn't think anything was going to satisfy me as much as Half-Life did. I reinstalled System Shock 2 and decided to give it another try...best thing I ever did. And as a matter of fact this has become one of my all time favorite games I have ever played, and some might call me crazy but I find this game to be FAR better than Half-Life.
The graphics are excellent and the sounds are top notch. You really feel as if you are part of this doomed spacecraft. Things jump out at you and pieces of debris come flying at and down on top of you which has caused me to jump out of my seat a few times.
The interface is very easy to work with and you'll have it mastered in no time.
There are different approaches you can take throughout the game. Some of my favorite things are modifying weapons and hacking into security computers and vending machines.
I could go on and on about this game but theres no need to, just read the other reviews and you know that this game is great! I highly recommend it to anyone!...more info
The End All of Cyberpunk What can I say about System Shock 2? It is the most concept-comprehensive space-faring cyberpunk computer game to date. This sort of thing only comes around every decade or so and pretty much ends up sacrifing the company that makes it due to the law of averages alone (the nature of the universe does not allow such things to be birthed very often). Cybernetics, hacking, and psionics are all used extensively in conjunction with absolutely extraordinary voice acting and a perfectly written mystery. First contact is made, FTL is achieved, genetic mutations abound, harkening back to zombie horror...did I mention this is concept-comprehensive? Better still, all the geekiness is not a compensation for lack of art or universal appeal. It's scary as hell and you could be a complete idiot or have Asperger's and still love it. If nothing else, it has sound. I used to fall asleep to the main menu drone...then I started to date and now I write reviews instead. Enjoy....more info
Best computer game ever? Perhaps! Before 'Thief', before 'Half Life', before 'Deus Ex', even before this, there was the original 'System Shock'. It was perfect. This is better....more info
Be afraid I've always been a big fan of the suspense/horror genre in books and film. When I purchased System Shock 2, I never expected it would be more frightening than any novel or movie had ever experienced. My 14 year old will only play it if I am in the room with him. The plot is great....I have yet to reach the end of the game and I am dying to see how it all pans out. The only thing better than the graphics is the audio. I have actually jumped back from my computer out of reflex. What a ride! Parents beware, however. Although there is no nudity or sex, the suspense and horror are very realistic and intense. I would not reccommend to anyone under 14....more info
The BEST 1st person, sci-fi RPG EVER! This game was absolutely wonderful. To start out, you get to choose what military service you want to be in and what kind of training you want to get. This totally affects how the game proceeds. Very sophisticated weaponry. For example, you can even "steal" stuff by hacking. Hack it wrong and it breaks! Beautiful levels, sophisticated tasks. You will stay busy and amazed by this game. So now you are asking, why didn't I give it 5 stars? I got stuck on the second to the last "battle". Bunch of baddies and I couldn't kill them to progress to the end of the game. Other players will probably have no problem with this. Find this game where ever you can it is worth it....more info
Scariest game ever? Maybe...best ever...probably Half-Life? I played it...I thought it was ok but too easy, I practically never even had to circle strafe to beat the thing. Even on the hardest setting, too easy (except when it became Super Mario in an alternate dimension with the "shudder" jumping puzzles)but scary?? Nope..not once. System Shock 2 though is a totally different beast and beast it is. Extremely difficult and literally the only game that I have ever played that gave me chills (as you might have guessed by now, I am old and somewhat jaded having seen nearly every horror flick in existance). My favorite games ever have been Thief 1-2, Deus Ex, and well, this one. All of these games have been charged with the crime of being too hard by some folks. Strangely enough though, this is exactly what I love about them. Somehow, unlike many other games that I have played (and I play 'em all) when I get killed in SS2 or Thief it makes me all the more determined to get right back in there and do it right this time. Other games I just stop playing...for some reason, I just don't care if I could do better or not. So my advice to you is this...buy this game, download the newest skin meshes that are available on the web (much better graphically making for a far scarier experience) turn out the lights, put on the headphones and be prepared for the ride of your life. Truly the thinking man's horror game....more info
I thought I was prepared I bought System Shock 2 just before Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving 2001. I still haven't gotten one-third through the game. I've played Doom, and plenty of other *scare the crap out of you* games, but this one is the real deal. By immersing you in a horrific world, and letting you figure out how to survive, this game has done damage to my psyche. Once you hear "your song is not ours," you'll never let anyone say that phrase without a quick punch to the mouth.
I'm attempting to beat the game, after all these years. Yes, YEARS of fearing this game. It's tantamount to an alcoholic trying to kick booze. Go to [. . .] for more upgrades, mods, and patches for System Shock 2. Look into the High Texture Detail mod, if you want to see how pretty System Shock 2 can be....more info
This is tough...how do I write this? Hmmm... strange. This has never happened to me before. I'm very eagerly attempting to describe and heartily recommend "System Shock 2" to players who appreciate great immersive games, but am having a hard time trying to figure out how to word this. Does it make any sense to say that I love the game dearly, but don't have fun playing it? Maybe if you are a big fan of well-made horror movies you know off the bat what I mean: I don't believe "having fun" was the response LGS had in mind when designing it. **SPOILERS AHEAD. THIS IS THE SORT OF GAME BEST EXPERIENCED BY JUST PUTTING IT IN THE COMPUTER AND TURNING IT ON, GOING THROUGH TRAINING AND THEN PLAYING THE GAME ITSELF. DO >NOT< LOOK AT THE INSTRUCTION MANUAL OR THE DESCRIPTIONS ON THE BOX. DON'T EVEN READ THIS COMMENT ANY FURTHER! THIS WILL GIVE YOU THE BEST AND FULLEST IMPACT DURING GAMEPLAY, I GUARANTEE IT. IF YOU FEEL YOU SIMPLY MUST KNOW WHAT YOU'RE GETTING INTO, CONTINUE READING. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.** As always, LGS has designed a unique and realistic title here--like its cousin, the excellent THIEF title, it's not so much a game as it is an ==experience==. You're a highly-trained individual who is a member of one of three branches of the intergalactic military. You have been stationed aboard the Von Braun, the first faster-than-light ship ever devised. This is her maiden voyage. You've also been cryogenetically frozen for an unspecified period of time, conveniently leaving you with a mild form of anmesia so you are unable to recall the events of the past few weeks or so. When the game begins, you have just woken up with an electronic mail message from a top superior instructing you to meet her on a top deck for briefing on your first duties. However, the moment you step out of the sleep chamber, it's obviously that something is horribly wrong. Debris is scattered everywhere, furniture is shattered and dead bodies are strewn about--the obvious signs of struggle and mayhem. Warning signs flash all over the ship. Monitors have been knocked out, display screens that still work only show static snow. And most disturbing of all, there's no one else in this area of the ship with you. And soon you find out why: the crew members have been infected with an "intelligent alien virus" which has transformed them into hideous mutants that kill anyone left still human. There's no one to help you. You are alone. And with frighteningly few weapons and supplies to be found on board the ship. To tell more would be simply unfair, so I won't go into further detail. The controls, based on the THIEF engine, are just as superb as on that other game and guaranteed to feel natural and easy to you. The game is challenging, exciting and has infinite replay value due to its being so freeform. Now for my personal response. I'm hoping that somehow my following comment will encourage you more than ever to at least check out the demo of this game, and if it doesn't I hope it won't stop you, but here goes: this game frightened me nearly to death. Several times it made me jump, and at least once it almost made me hide under my seat. And at one point when it became too intense to bear, I found my fingers on their own accord automatically stabbing the ESC key because I just wanted to turn the accursed thing OFF. And after the computer was shut down, the experience made me feel strange for an hour or so. As I walked through my empty home doing everyday things, I found myself automatically closing and locking all the doors I went through behind me. I kept glancing over my shoulder and was startled by slight noises. And yet I would play the game again in an instant. By this point of my comment, you're either amazed that a game can cause such a reaction or you are absolutely dying to get your hands on this one. Either way, check the demo out and give it a try, there's at least an 80% chance you'll be hooked. I am also advising you not to play it either at midnight or with the lights turned out....more info
One of my top 10 fav games of all time. Well System Shock 2 is simply put, amazing. The plot is probably one of the best in any game, ever, especially how it unfolds. The blend of action and RPG makes for a one-of-a-kind experience. The atmosphere of the game makes you genuinely, truly feel as if you are alone on a doomed ship full of weird violent imagery. Let's just say System Shock 2 takes the cake for scaring the hell out of you....more info
Good single player, BUGGY multi-player Good plot line that rivals Half-Life's single player story line for fun and immersion. Tremendously engrossing with enough twists to keep you deeply involved for hours. The fun stops there however. My three friends and I had nothing but problems getting the multi-player to cooperate. We eventually gave up. The auto-save games become corrupt for no apparent reason and there were certain areas of the map that would crash our game when we got to them. It took 2 hours just to find the right tweaks that would get our SSII games to talk to each other properly. A top-notch single player game, but second rate when it comes to multi-player. (version played was retail ver. with latest patch as of 5/20/2000)...more info
Good game but cost unrealistic SS2 is a good quality game. Like others, I find the atmosphere creepy and the elements of gameplay innovative, but the same elements of gameplay are just too difficult to adjust to. I made the first mistake of assuming that if I brought up the items screen, the game would pause (thanks to conditioning from Deus Ex and Morrowind). It didn't, and I got the snot slapped out of me by a hybrid. Lesson learned: I made damn sure to clear an area out first before I did anything with inventory. That quip aside, this is a fairly decent game. The only other problem is that as you progress, the ability to travel between areas perviously explored becomes less and less, and you have less freedom to explore whole areas since many places are closed off (it feels like being herded down a ramp to the ending, like when on the Rickenbauker). As a note, I borrowed this game from a friend, since I refuse to purchase a game that is older than Deus Ex, but cost more than Deus Ex. If the graphics were stellar and on par with Half-Life, I could understand. But seriously, charging 30 plus dollars for an older game such as this, when I got the GOTY edition of Deus Ex for 9.99 just sort of kills the initiative to buy it; not to mention it is a gross rip-off of customers. I would consider purchasing it if the price went down to say...8.99 at the least, 12 flat at the most. Again, great game (when a few flaws) but not worth the cost when all you get is a jewel case and a cd. Do you really think someone is going to fork out 35.00 for just a cd case and no manual? Didn't think so. ...more info
AWESOME! If you loved Half-Life, this is a must buy. I am not a big FPshooter fan but SS2 (like Half-life) combines a great story with an incredibly immersive atomsphere. If you have yet to play Quake and its clones do not bother buying them, start with this one. Not for the those wary of the macabre....more info
Best video game ever made This is by far my favorite video game. It has everything I like. Horror, sci fi, a creepy storyline, all rolled into one. Since so many other people reviewed this, I'll be brief. The sounds are great, the environment is great, the story is great. The sounds create a fantastic ambience. The environment you walk around in really looks like it could be a starship.
The player plays a cyborg with very limited resources. The player has to decide how to use those resources to achieve his goals. In other words, the player can't use every single item or shoot every single weapon around him, unlike a conventional first person shooter. The player can learn a small number of skills very well, or spread his learning across multiple skills and learn several not as well.
The only flaw that this game has is the low polygon count on the foes. This will turn off anyone who is only used to modern games with incredibly high polygon counts for everything. (In other words, the game isn't as graphically advanced as Half Life 2.) However, anyone willing to play a game that has graphics that aren't as amazing as modern games will be satisfied with this game....more info
A Good Review This game is ok. It overall entertained me for a while, but like any and every other game (except for Diablo 2 of corse )other game got booring after a while....more info
Why isn't this game more popular than Quake3? I have read all the reviews and played the game my self only to ask my self, why is such a perfect game on the bottom shelf of my computer game's store and why is there more Quake fans? I have only truely liked 2 games in my life: Mechwarrior2 and System Shock 2. (hey both are 2s) They are both very cool and immersing. I don't need to say all the stuff above that has been repeated many times. It is scary, mad, fun ...
So somebody tell me why this game isn't as popular and famous as quake? @#?$% email@example.com...more info
Scary, cool, but not a whole lot of fun. Other reviews relate this game to a really scary horror movie. I agree. This game scared the living weasel out of me more than any movie could.
But when I go out to buy a game, I'm not really looking for something that's gonna scare me. I want a game that's fun. And SS2 just didn't cut it.
Awkward play control (especially when fighting), lousy attempt at techno music, bad graphics. It's not enough RPG to be an RPG, and at the same time, not enough of an FPS to be an FPS.
Bottom Line: You wanna be scared witless? Read a good book or watch a horror movie. Wanna have a lot of fun? Buy Unreal....more info
Innovative twist on an old genre. It's doom with ghosts. First off, why do top designers make mistakes like building a game that's so dark I can't see the gamma controls in options? Believe it or not, they used a dark blue control for the gamma and the page is black. The other controls on the page are light green. This little artistic flourish sent me on a three day journey of frustration to play the game and get the brightness up. Navy on black is idiotic. Too many designers use tiny letters and obscure illegible fonts for games. We don't all have 21 inch monitors you know. Please keep an eye on the fools you hire to deal with the simple things like choosing fonts and background colors. Now on to other issues.
The story is intriguing. The opening music was great and got me interested inspite of the rather choppy and low quality cut scenes. What happens to that great opening music later? It turns into action, disco, buttkickin game music that I hate.
Training could be more involved. I needed to play over and over to get to any proficiency with the many controls and seemingly endless information kiosks. I don't really play games because I want to read so why not just give all the information on the mfd or pfd device in voice format instead of having us read all this drivel? Better yet, build a training mission with us actually having a stress free environment to really work on skills and become familiar with controls. Hey! Here's an idea. You know those training missions I fly off on, but I really don't go I just watch the movie? (I wonder if my ugly woman is still waiting for me?) Why not really send me on that mission to learn? WHAT A THOUGHT!
Why can't I choose a weapon or get some health when I'm in user mode? The action doesn't pause and the monsters just keep pounding away and sneaking up which I just find stressful. I know you're trying to put me in the situation, but I like to pause and think. You can forget that in this game.
Here's another annoyance. You go to this vending machine to buy bullets and health and soda or whatever and first you have to select what you want on this complicated interface after you figure out what it costs from the tiny numbers buried off on the side. That's already annoying, but then you have to pick the items up individually and then you have to go to user mode and "USE" them. Just forget it if you're bein attacked and most likely you will be. A possible reason for all this difficulty is that you should learn to turn off the security before trying to purchase anything. Once again, this is annoying to me.
Is this a new genre? Action, adventure, role playing? Sort of. I think of it as an action adventure with a tedious learning curve and a lot of dull reading. It's a boring second year college course. The psionics have me interested, the inability to use guns is frustrating at first and there's too many monsters to deal with wrench style.
The ghosts are great. I didn't have any kind of religious moment or anything like I've read some people describe, but then I knew the ghosts were there because I'd read the review beforehand and now, so have you. The monsters or ex crew or whatever they are, are scary, but they are also blurry and unlike some people, this game didn't really scare me to death and make me wary when I'm alone or anything like that.
There are a lot of good games out right now and I'm having a hard time devoting much time to this time demanding game. I do appreciate the innovation involved in this game, but I also loathe the geeky qualites of unnecessary complication. Then again, without all the skills, this would be just like half life or doom or whatever. Doom with ghosts....more info
Brilliance System Shock 2 is a brilliant combination of fear, adrenaline, single player extensive customisation and required skill. I hate to see a game to easy and that's a good reason to therefore like this, it aint all bang, bang move to the next corridor; its about thinking and engaging combat with some tactical analysis needed. Ammo is low for a change and u'll b freaked out of your mind. One necessary requirement of the game is to play it alone in a dark room. Atmosphere gives it a lot!...more info
Best game ever? After finally getting this game to run without crashing in the first 2 minutes (just needed to update my video drivers), I realized it is probably the best game I've ever played. The designers managed to make an old, rehashed storyline interesting. (Ship goes into deep space, gets taken over by strange alien entity, hero goes in to investigate) The video and audio make for a really eerie atmosphere, and the various characters, skills, weapons choices, etc. definitely enhance replayability.
I've never really liked first person shooters, but this game goes way beyond that. There are so many different elements, and the designers didn't overlook any detail. Plus, any game that can almost make me soil myself when I get attacked from behind has to be good....more info
Single-player, story-driven action gaming at its best! Ever since the original System Shock appeared in 1994, I have wanted a sequel. Despite how antiquated the old game is, I still go back and play it over again to this day. And now, at last, we have System Shock 2 -- about as close to playing the lead role in a sci-fi thriller movie as most people can get.
First off, you'll need a pretty powerful system to play this game at its fullest -- I have a Pentium II 300 MHz with 128 megs of RAM, and a 16 MB Riva TNT video board...SS2 runs fine for me at 640x480, with a little choppiness here and there. My only complaint is that it seems to take a long time (20-30 seconds I guess?) to load a saved game.
But that aside, you'll never notice any choppiness. You'll forget it's even a computer game. You'll be too busy gritting your teeth in terror as you hear the footsteps of someone -- or something -- approaching you, wondering if that one last slug in your shotgun will be enough -- and praying that your badly-damaged weapon won't jam when you pull the trigger. These types of scenarios are common in SS2 -- weapons degrade and misfire, ammunition is at a premium, and the approaching footsteps of the nearby mutated monsters or security robots are ultra-realistic. The only way to play this game is with the lights off, in a quiet room, through a good surround speaker system or headphones. You will come to appreciate the suspense, the atmosphere, and the downright creepiness of the thing that much quicker.
Previous reviewers were right when they said this is a thinking person's 3D shooter. And indeed, it is almost more of an RPG than a pure action game like Quake, et al. There's a wonderful character development system, which is neither too simple nor too complex...you must build your skills and abilities, ranging from what weapons you are best with, how easily you can repair things or hack computers, etc. You CANNOT max-out everything -- so you will have to choose which skills to concentrate on. Throughout the game, there are numerous tasks you must perform, apart from killing things, to get to the bottom of the mysterious forces at work on the Von Braun, the starship you awake on at the beginning of the game. Those of you who have played the original System Shock are in for lots of wonderful tie-ins and surprises. There is one particularly horrifying revelation near the middle of the game -- during which you are reintroduced to an old friend -- that had my jaw hanging open for about half an hour. There is more atmosphere, suspense, and pure terror here than in any game I've ever played before...including the Resident Evil series.
If you or someone you know is a fan of single-player action/adventure games and likes the first-person shooter role, System Shock 2 is an absolute MUST HAVE, no doubt about it. Get this game immediately. I am certain that you will not regret it....more info
Stop reading this and buy it. I can't stress the above statement more. You will never find a better horror game anywhere. A unique blend of sci-fi, first-person shooter action, and pure terror create the world of System Shock 2. You start out simply enough, heading into the Ramnsey Recruitment center on Earth to join the UNN army, getting to choose which branch you want: Marine (weapons), Navy (tech), or OSA (psionic). Then you get to choose 3 missions to take, earning skills that will aid you during the actual game.
Next, you take part in the UNN escort mission of the newly constructed Von Braun faster-than-light space voyage. 5 months into the mission, you wake up to find the ship in chaos: crewmen murdered, some transformed into horrible alien hybrids, and the ship's computer has turned down-right evil. Slowly you realize that the alien force, known as The Many, are somehow connected to the horrific events on Citadel Station and the insane AI, SHODAN. A bloody scrawl on the wall warns you, "Remember Citadel".
I enjoyed this game, but sometimes I was afraid to actually play it; I wasn't sure I wanted to see what horrors awaited me beyond the next door. That isn't to say it isn't fun as well. The audio logs you find scattered around the ship give you a glimpse of what happened here, plus some occasional laughs at what the crew thought of each other.
Have a powerful computer handy for this one, because this thing is a systems hog. Another downside is that the load times are quite tedious; I could make myself a sandwhich while waiting for the next deck of the ship to load. Still, the pros squash the cons. Heavily immersive gameplay, compelling and surprising story, and a fun ride all the way through....more info
The best sci-fi RPG ever! This is without any doubt the best sci-fi RPG ever (and I mean ever) made. And it's so scary that the first many hours you play it, cold sweat will run down you neck. It's in 3D, and it's (in my oppinion) the only RPG that gets away with that. And the sound is so great and sooooo scary that some times you wish you never loaded the game. Even if the game costs $100, it was still worth the money....more info
Frightening, disturbing, and thrilling Why can't there be more games like this? System Shock 2 is a one-of-a-kind Sci-Fi/Horror game that is a mix between a stealth action game and an RPG. It defies conventional definitions for games, and that is why I doubt I will ever play another one like it. I have played some creepy games before (e.g. "Thief", "Arx Fatalis"), but I have never played one before that hit me this hard with a combination of atmosphere and storyline. You can have nightmares about this game, thanks to its disturbing imagery, dark storyline, and eerie sounds.
The entire game takes place on a huge spaceship 67 trillion miles from Earth. When I say huge, I mean huge. The ship has gigantic areas for engineering, medical treatment, crew quarters, a command center, and an athletic facility. There is even a virtual sex booth in a shopping mall. You really get the feeling that you are walking around a ship that was once inhabited by thousands of busy crew members. I say "once", because something has gone terribly wrong, and it is up to you to find out what has happened, and escape with your life.
As you play, you uncover pieces of the storyline in voice messages that have been left behind by the ship's crew members. With a few exceptions, the voice acting for the game is terrific. They start off somewhat chilling, and by the end, they get downright scary. You follow storylines for individual crew members many times to their grim demise. I found myself hoping that a character would survive the game, only to find her dead later. Also, an surviving ally guides you through the game with e-mail messages. By listening to the messages, you also get clues for the game's puzzles, which are generally very easy to solve. All the while, you are alone, defending yourself against the hideous force that has hijacked the ship.
"Terrifying" is an appropriate word to use here. "System Shock 2" does not rely on scripted events and cheap tricks to scare you. Instead, it is scary in an Alfred Hitchcock way. You are frightened by what you don't know is there, and by what you can't see. You find the corpses of the ship's crew scattered about, and you never get used to them. Even when there are no enemies in the room, you feel like you are only a split-second from demise. The brilliant use of sound in this game is one reason why the game is so successful at this. When you stand still, you can hear enemies moaning or chattering around the corner, or, perhaps, approaching you from behind.
This game is not just a simple alien bug hunt. Stealth is key, and survival is very hard. The game has an extensive (and sometimes confusing) role-playing system that gives you a variety of ways to develop and equip your character. In addition, there are about a hundred gadgets and goodies to pick up and use for survival. The role-playing system has some faults though. One is that certain skills, like hacking, are too overpowered compared to others, like psionics. You can't survive the game without a good hacking skill. Also, there are contrivances in the game that seem to be there to force you to buy certain skills. For example, weapons are absurdly fragile, so you have to learn the "repair" and "maintain" skills to use them. I like the role-playing aspects, but "Deus Ex" is better in that department.
The graphics for the game have aged very well, with one exception - faces on the characters. They basically look blocky, and polygon counts for enemies are generally low. Other than that, the environments in the game are very convincing and immersive. Rooms are usually dark, but filled with computer consoles and gizmos that flash and beep.
The first half of the game is incredibly hard and frustrating and requires continuous use of the "Quick save" and "Quick reload" keys. This, in fact, is why I didn't finish the game until two years after I bought it. The storyline is what keeps you going during the frustrating times. My recommendation is to buy the game, play it, and stick with it. "System Shock 2" is definitely an acquired taste. Once you get to like it, I think that you will consider it to be one of the best Sci-Fi/horror games ever made....more info
Probably one of the best games ever made Title says it all really. This was a total immersion experience combining RPG elements, FPS, creepy environment and effects, engaging sci fi story line, puzzles, horror, mystery, long game play. Outstanding. ...more info
Great game This was one of the best first person type games I've played. The plot, although derivative of so many in the genre, was interesting and creepy. The skill advancement system was one of the first to allow you to develop your character in a first person game with the skills YOU wanted to use most including those in technical, hacking, and repair fields. The sound effects were quite good and added immensely to the environment. This was the first game I played that regularly startled me when I'd hear a noise from somewhere off to the side of or behind me, or open a door to be immediately face to face with an enemy. The game does suck you into its world. As much as I truly enjoyed the story, the gameplay, the graphics (good for its time), and the sound, about two-thirds of the way through I kept thinking I was near the end only to find the game would continue on. It got a bit tedious, which I find common with most first perons shooters I've played. With the difficulty towards the latter part of the game, I finally looked up some cheats on the web to make it through the final segments. A little shorter would have been better in my opinion, but this game set a new standard for me....more info
Scary Let's just say this game is basically Terrifying! The sounds of the hybrids creeping up to you from behind and the 3D sounds are incredible. I actually had to quit playing this game for awhile because it was that scary. The game is a bit choppy at times but other than that, the graphics are fine but gameplay beyond intense. Play this at night and you will make sure the doors are locked. If you've ever seen Event Horizon, think of it as that but only you on the ship, no one else. A word of caution: when playing this game, listen to EVERYTHING and WATCH YOUR BACK. REALLY! And if you cherish a good night's sleep, play it with someone in the room or if you want to bring Halloween a little early in the house, play it alone with headphones on and in the dark and you'll know virtual fear in a whole new light....more info
A Classic worth revisiting Countless times? Oh yes. To classify System Shock 2 as a FPS (First-Person Shooter) would not do it the justice it deserves. Likewise, it would be inappropriate to refer to this game an RPG (Role Playing Game,) for it does not operate like traditional RPGs. What then, is System Shock 2? It is a result of a beautiful marriage of these two genres and happens to be one of the most involved and unique games of it's kind. While it carries a quasi-experience system, weapons and items that degrade with use and an impressive storyline that casts you as an unnamed member of the military and one of the few survivors aboard the alien-hijacked, experimental starship Von Braun, it's FPS elements still have a very large effect on gameplay. The most notable and obvious of these elements is the perspective through which the game is played -First person, much as the name suggests. Other such elements include a wide variety of weapons, all with significantly different uses, specifically defined bosses surrounded by lesser enemies and ammunition that must be defeated to pass onto the next level as well as intricate puzzles that could never be worked into a side-scroller, 3rd person, or overhead perspective game.
Research is the key to success in System Shock 2, failing to realize this makes the earlier stretches of the game rough and the later bits extremely difficult, if not impossible to get through. Utilizing chemicals found in specifically marked rooms throughout the ship, your "Cybernetic Rig" as your guide, Doctor Janice Polito refers to it, researches tools, alien organs, and even the occasional vial of anti-annelid toxin to provide you with enhanced damage on specific creatures, new medical miracles, or even new ways to destroy the minions and growths of the cancerous biomass that is slowly consuming your ship.
Most of the System Shock 2's story is told VIA scattered crew logs and voice E-mails from Polito, though apparitions, which the good doctor refers to as "defects in the R-grade [military grade] Cyber implants" occasionally cross your path, replaying events that are often horrific in nature. These add to the overall feeling of suspense in this very dark and at times, gothic game, especially when, upon emerging from a dark elevator into a seemingly uninhabited area of the Von Braun, you are confronted by an apparition which promptly blows his own brains out, then fades away. If this doesn't at least slightly unnerve you the first time around, I recommend that you check your pulse. In even rarer circumstances, you are contacted by the force which is now in near-full control of the ship, a massive communal mass of entities manifested in a steadily expanding boil of neural tissues that refers to itself as "The Many."
Consisting of two separate starships connected by a massive airlock passage, there is plenty of room to explore on System Shock 2. The Von Braun itself consists of six expansive decks and the bridge (which is more of a subset of deck six,) while the Rickenbacker, a military transport resting on the back of the Von Braun, consists of two or three undefined decks and two more separate subsets. Consisting of the body of "The Many" and an unknown area somewhere between the two ships where the final showdown with the intensely vindictive A.I. known as Shodan, (reappearing from the original System Shock) occurs, these subsets are totally separate from the rest of either ship and no crossing-back into other areas can occur once you've traveled this far into the game.
In all, System Shock 2 is an excellent title; it is one of the few that has successfully combined the elements of an RPG with a FPS, while also carrying a considerable amount of substance and mild horror in the storyline....more info
Riveting Game System Shock 2 is the most riveting game that I have played in a long time. The plot design and mechanics remind me strongly of Half-life. Like Half-life; the visuals, the sounds and the plotting all emotionally attach the player to the game.
But where underneath Half-life sat a simple first person shooting game, underneath System Shock 2 is a complex character development system. As the game progresses, players must choose how to evolve their game persona. And how that persona is evolved directly affects the tactics and strategies that the player uses to make their way through the game.
System shock 2 is a compelling title. Engrossing and engaging, I recommend it strongly. (And I am disappointed that Looking Glass -- the developers -- have closed shop.)...more info
Making sure it stays on the radar... System Shock 2 is, quite frankly, my favorite game. I discovered it fairly late (which would be about 5 years ago now), but it has earned a permanent place on my hard drive. The graphics and the physics are dated... but the rest of the game is in many ways still ahead of every other game out there. The level design, the storytelling, the attention to detail... this is a game where you can pick up and carry around every little item that isn't tied down, from coffee mugs to house plants, dump it in a room, come back hours later... and it will still be there. There is no forced progression; at any time right up until the last two levels of the game you can go all the way back to the very first area you visited and explore around hunting enemies which will continue to spawn.
It is that respawning combined with the atmosphere of the ships which really makes the game scary, too- unlike in games such as Doom 3 (which borrowed heavily from SS2) where if you clear a room you're safe, there are very few secure locations in SS2. You are always in danger. The first major plot twist, which I will not spoil, is a perfect setup- you see it coming, but like in any well-told story it still manages to sneak up on you and club you in the face. The sound is incredible for a game of SS2's age- much better than that of Half-Life. You will learn what each and every enemy sounds like, and those sounds will send prickles up your spine.
SS2 also features (in the patched version) online co-op for up to four players- something which very few other games can claim to have.
I could go on for pages and pages about why I love this game, but there are some things which sadly must be mentioned...
There are compatibility issues. If you have a newer system, it will take some doing to make SS2 work. The most important issue to be aware of is that SS2 is not compatible with dual-core processors- there is a very easy-to-implement workaround, but the game will not work out of the box if you have a dual-core or hyperthreading (simulated dual-core) system. Some video cards may also be incompatible, though I don't know which ones (besides the nVidia FX series, which I once had one of). I have no idea whether or not it will run in Vista.
If you have the patience to work through the issues, you will be rewarded with one of the best gaming experiences out there. The impatient may want to take a pass- but if you're looking at decade-old games to begin with, odds are you won't let a little compatibility trouble get in your way. ;) ...more info
More Than Words Can Express... Where to begin? This game is just pure AWESOME. The story-line may seem kind of like the plot of many others. You know, that "aliens have taken over the base" or "zombies resident evil style" and so on. Sure, it may seem that way, but the further and further you get in this game, the more the plots twists and turns. Halfway through the game, I felt as if I was actually the character, I knew so much.
No other FPS I know is like this, with so much story, not even the famous Half-Life. That is why I call it a "FPRPG" or First Person Role Playing Game, because that is what is resembles. You see the game through the eyes of a Soldier, placed upon the first faster-than-lightspeed ship named the Von Braun, in the history of the human race. There is action, tactics, and an AWESOME, deepening plot like no other game I have ever played. At the end, you'll be awed and strucken, for the largest, oddest, most unpredictable plot change ever, in the history of any game.
So I won't waste your time anymore. Order this game NOW!...more info
First Person Shooter RPG Perfection It's like they took the best parts of both the FPS and RPG genres, added scifi and horror, and ended up with something splendid. Its only competition for greatest PC game of all time is its predecessor, System Shock. The graphics are astounding, and the dead bodies actually look horrified. Sure in Quake you may see bodies with blood everywhere, but in Quake you have a giant rocket launcher, whereas in SS2 you're lucky to have anything beyond a wrench. The 'residual psychic emanations' (ghosts) are really freaky, and show up whenever you're starting to relax. The voice acting is incredible (they need to use guys like these when they dub anime!) and very convincing. The sound itself shines and it's quite obvious they used the Dark Engine. You can hear enemies in the distance as you creep around, wrench in hand, desperately searching for health and ammo. I couldn't play it for longer than an hour without having to give my nerves a break. It's even scarier than Aliens vs Predator! Buy this ghame now....more info