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SS2=3 in 1: FPS, RPG & Survival Horror in a cyber-punk universe.<br /> Truly revolutionary.

9.0

Editors' Choice
Difficulty:
Very Hard
Time Spent:
20 to 40 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Revolutionary"

Summary

What happens if you throw in a blender a FPS, RPG & Survival Horor with a Cyber-Punk "flavour" & add it a Skynet/SETH like AI villain & a plot similar with the original movie Alien?You get System Shock 2, a game that inspired titles like Doom3, Deus Ex, Bioshock, Dead Space & even Perfect Dark & others as well.At the time of it's release, no one knew that it will proove to be revolutionary & so it was rated only with 8.5 by GS & it gained recognition only a few years ago.Some games are really worth reviewing only years after they were released to see their eventual impact on the industry.Reviewing such games at the time of their release is practicaly pointles.But...now comes the question:was this game inspired after Half-Life?Or Half-Life was inspired after SS1? 'cause the games are very similar in a lot of ways but i've never played the original SS1 so i can't answer this question & i will like to find the answer to see which franchise of these represents the true revolution in the genre.I don't even bother to consider Doom as revolutionary-it's only a revolution in mindles killing so it doesn't count in my book.
SS2 is set in the distant future, 42 years after the events of the first game.In the first game, from what i've heard, a hacker(our protagonist) was forced by his superior from the TriOptimum corporation to remove the ethical restrictions of an Artificial Inteligence known as Sentient Hyper Optimized Data Acces Network in exchange for some military upgrade, stuff.This makes SHODAN a fatal threat for the human race, she becomes something like Skynet from the Terminator or SETH from Universal Soldier lol.SHODAN was created on Earth with the purpose to serve well the Citadel Station.now in SS2, the space craft named Von Braun was in a space voyage & it was escorted by the vessel Rickenbacker.Along the way they receive a distress signal from the planet Tau Ceti V where they descend & find Alien lifeforms later known as The Many that surprinsingly were created by SHODAN.The crew members that were investigating are infected & soon all the colony on the ship will get infected.Well well...now what do you know!James Cameron...an absolute legend.His influence is a major factor in both Movies & Video Games(just think about Starcraft, AvP, Metroid & others:)
The begining of SS2 is very similar with the begining of HL-you arrive at an underground train station & then enter the UNN Facility.Then you begin basic training followed by advanced training where are 3 sections:Psy, Tech & Skills; the cyber-punk visuals are at their best in these training rooms-a futuristic "rave-like" environment where all the walls are black & there are multi-coloured lines everywhere.Sci-fi environment at it's best lol, these visuals will be repeated only at the end of the game unfortunately.Then you begin the real game & choose your military career between Navy, O.S.A. & Marines sections.Then our player wakes up from a cryo-tube where he was sleeping(Halo anyone?:)He's aboard the Von Braun where SHODAN was also brought after the trip to Tau Ceti V.Our player is quickly guided by Dr. Janice Polito to a safer place as the zone was depressurizing.He is helped & guided by radio transmissions by her untill our hero finds out that she was dead & that all the time SHODAN was actually disguised.The inteligence, the computer whatever known as Xerxes that runs the Von Braun is blocking their path & blocks a lot of entries & doors so they colaborate.SHODAN seeks out revenge over the lifeforms that she has created-she is not pleased anymore so she requires the help of our geneticaly modified protagonist to eradicate this threat that she created so he keeps him alive & they oppose Xerxes & The Many(her creation).A chain of events:he hacked her, then she created Alien lifeforms, then she guids him to help her destroy her creation & ultimately they will fight against each other...that saying:You make the devil your brother untill you cross the bridge, something similar.The moment when she reveals herself to our hero(i don't know how to call him) represents one of the scariest moments in video game history.It's simply breathtaking-you have to live that moment once in a lifetime!The Many has infected & infested all the crew members-our hero is alone in the dark, cooperating with the "devil" himself.Bioshock...i consider it System Shock 3 & Bioshock as System Shock 4 as both franchises were created by the same company or the same people from the company that made SS.They are very similar, Bioshock simply exists because of System Shock 2 there is no major difference...only about the graphics maybe.
SHODAN terrorises you psychologicaly all the time & only at the end of the game when she manifests, can harm you directly.She sends you Email Logs warning you about potential threats & awards you when you succed in what she tells you to do.
There are 6 Decks or section on the Von Braun:Engineering, Med/Sci, Hydroponics, Operations, Recreational & Command.& on the Rickenbacker 2 or 3 more parts.You are rewarded with Cyber Modules by SHODAN when you succed on what she tells you to do.They are very hard to find.You spend them at the upgrade units, 4 of them:Psy, Weapon, Tech & Stats.Psy stands for Psyonics.It upgrades your psyonic powers that you were "rigged with".you use them with the Psy Amplifier.4 types of psyonics available.Same thing is in Bioshock.The other stuff that you spend are Nanites-you use them in hacking vending machines & opening crates & other stuff.There are security cameras that are green.When they see you they turn yellow & when they detect you they turn red, informing Xerxes that sends out legions of monsters after you.Only after the timer ends they will stop coming after you.You can prevent this by hacking the control panels that deactivate the cameras for a period of time or by simply shooting them.You have a lot of weapons with a wide range of ammo type:pistols, shotguns, rifles, grenade launchers, fusion cannons, dual circuit emp rifles etc.They degrade & they eventualy broke, gets jammed.You can repair them by hacking them by using nanites.In perfect condition, a weapon is rated with 10 ; 9-very good; 7-good; 5-average; 3-shoddy & 1 terrible.They broke very often so it's kinda annoying.You also have an alternative by repairing them by finding a specific kind of object & to drag it over it to repair it.To improve the condition of a weapon, you can drag a maintenance tool over it.The psy hypos are for psy points & med patches for life-you begin the game with 55 life points & end the game having over 100.The enemies cyborg assasins & shamblers are sightings that look very familiar-they have "brothers" in Half-Life1.The cyborg-widwifes are the scariest though.There are also droids that sound like 3PO & they self destruct when they get near you.All the game you must search bodies for contents & you will find all the way audio logs in which you hear creepy messages from deceased crew members.Very familiar sightings in Doom3 & Bioshock.On board the ship there are also...monkeys.Bad monkeys!That have powerful psyonic powers which can kill you in a very short matter of time.After you kill a monkey you take her brain & have the possibility to research it to find out valuable information.You can do that with all the parts that you find after you kill an enemy but most of them you will need a chemical solution to research it.When you die, you are ressurected at a Bio-Quatum-Reconstruct Unit, the equivalent of the Vita-Chamber.When you encounter the most common enemy it will beg you to kill him & that is kinda both scary & funny.
The graphics are badly outdated but the music is fascinating cyber-punk stuff that builds up the tension.The gameplay is also somehow rusty & out of the range sometimes but this lacking features are compensated by all the revolutionary features of the game itself.& as you can see, there are tons of them.SS2 was nighmarishly hard when i first played it but the 2nd time through was much easier.My first tought when i first played it was:"OMG, this game is complete crap, i don't like it".Now i think it's a nearly masterpiece, not quite, but close.Now i have to find out if SS2 was inspired after HL1 or if HL1 was inspired after SS1, lol.
So in SS2 you have 3 in 1: FPS, RPG & Survival Horror in a cyber-punk universe where SHODAN(as evil as it gets) tries to convert the reality into her own cybernetic universe.You are without your will her ally throughout the whole game...
"Look at you, hacker. A pathetic creature of meat and bone, panting and sweating as you run through my corridors. How can you challenge a perfect, immortal machine?"




A scary, but amazing classic.

10

Editors' Choice
Difficulty:
Hard
Time Spent:
20 to 40 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Amazing"

Summary

This game is scary! It did make me jump out of my seat a couple of times!!! I got this game and popped it into my PC just to find I scared the crap out of myself!!! This is a violent horror, FPS RPG that is truly amazing. The graphics may be really terrible, but that doesn't make it non-scary!!! Without this game there would be no Fallout 3, Bioshock OR even Deus Ex!!! The first system shock was released in 1994, but no one cared because everyone was having fun with doom 2, witch was sad because the first system shock was awesome too. But in 1999 when the second one was released, people played it and it was awesome!!! It won HEAPS of awards for best FPS game and game of the year, etc. The animation in the game isn't really impressive either, but no one really cares because this game is way too fun to realize that!!! If you enjoyed Bioshock or Fallout 3 then you will be hooked to your PC with this game!!! This is an extremely rare game and on ebay they sold it for about $200!!! (Well, because its brand new, of course.) Its worth buying if you have a 95 or 98 PC because it does not work on XP or vista.
Awesome game 10/10




Survival Horror? Nothing comes close to the late great System Shock 2

9.5

Editors' Choice
Difficulty:
Easy
Time Spent:
40 to 100 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Amazing"

Summary

System Shock 2 was one of the first real games I played, having gotten it for my birthday, my parents mistook it for some kind of programming tutorial game, because it looked "computerish" on the front of the box. What was awaiting this little eight year old in reality however, was much different.

System Shock 2 introduced the world to the dark scary corridors of space combat, against an alien force nobody knew anything about. All you know going into this game is that there's bodies on the ground, and alot of mutants on board wielding everything from Shotguns to steel pipes. It doesn't sound like much, heck you fight more than that in your average game today, right?

Well what makes this special is the absolute lack of resources onboard the ship. If you get 12 bullets, you save those bullets for when it's absolutely necessary. If you want to play a game where you can fire off shots left and right, go back to Bioshock (the so called sequelprequel to this.

Just imagine, you're walking down a corridor, it looks like a straight path to your objective, and then suddenly a mutant steps out from a dark shadowed area you hadn't notice and yells, "Your flesh betrays you!" And the next thing you know it's wrench verses lead pipe, as you try to ward off the enemy. It this kind of ambiance that sets you up for one of the wildest rides of your life.

Even with the PDA's, which now has become commonplace in survival horror, you'll fall in love with the characters that tell the story of your space ships downfall. They'll write love notes to each other, they'll frantically try to save one another, and the entire time you'll realize, they're already dead.

Unfortunately this game is pretty hard to get a hold of nowdays, ebay is your best bet, but even then you'll need to do ALOT of patchwork to get it to work on your machine. On mine it freezes alot, having been created for Windows 98. There are ways however, if you look them up online, of straightening this situation out. Through all the sweat and tears, you'll know that it was worth it.




To this date easily the best fps/rpg i´ve played!!!

10

Editors' Choice
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
40 to 100 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Masterpiece"

Summary

I discovered this game in 2010 when i had played bioshock and got very impressed about bioshock´s gameplay features and that so freaking atmospheric rapture that i hadn´t seen in games for ages now. Then i stumbled on systemshock 2 on some sites and it had gotten great reviews and bioshock being spiritual successor to this game i decided to try it.
After playing it trough i was sold totally it was million billion times better than bioshock in every way. There was a very immense atmosphere trough out the game which i find very important in games (and nowaday they completely lack it).

Gameplay and the game setting: So the game takes place in very big space ship which is in space wow. You are sent there to see what has happened in the ship and trying to find out survivors and so on. When you start the game you go through training stage before you are sent to the ship and here you also select your characters class and they determine what items you have at the beginning and some skills you possess (if i remember right) but after you have gotten to the ship you can start to choose your skills anyway you want regardless of your class great right.
So then you start to investigate the ship which is like i said before very big and you can find lots of stuff from weapons, armors, keycards to all kind of useless s*** and audio logs which give you insight of what has occured in this spooky ship. You can buy ammos and hypos from vending machines, you get cyper modules from doing tasks which let you upgrade your character, you get to shoot (or sneak by) good variety of enemies like mutants, robots, cyborg chicks and those disgusting big spiders. You get to explore the ship pretty freely, you can hack doors and containers your character can climb up ledges and boxes if your jump goes little too short so you wont fall and all kinds of other things accompanied by great music which enhances the mood. You definetly should play this game, you will surely be pleasantly suprised and now i finish writing this messy review thank you for reading and hope it was at least a little helpful Bye.




Amazing, immersive, scary and extremely hard to put down.

10

Editors' Choice
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
40 to 100 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Masterpiece"

Summary

This game is proof positive that, even with a dated engine, great gameplay will always trump graphical prowess and technological superiority. I just started my third play through on this the other day, and just like both times before, I can't stop. Well, I stopped to write this, but I do forget vital daily responsibilities, such as eating, sleeping, and sometimes even taking a break to "do my business", he he. I approached a body earlier in the game and "accidentally" noticed this guys totally misshapen head and realized that, although the graphics are severely dated, I completely forgot to notice, for hours! The sound in this game is extremely well done. It does an incredible job setting the atmosphere and scaring the crap out of you. Many times throughout the game, "The Many", a collective conscience comprised of the mutants patrolling the ship and this disgusting biomass that is everywhere, will chime in for a little one on one with yours truly, which is usually a very disturbingly creepy monologue about "the flesh", and "joining" them. Shodan, the returning rogue artificial intelligence from the first game, also likes to talk to you, and she can be pretty creepy herself. I eventually grew to like her and her utter disdain for humanity. The mood in the game is one of being alone, it's claustrophobic and always terrifying. Every now and again you'll catch a glimpse of open space through a window and realize just how far from the comfort of everyday life you really are. The feeling of terror goes hand in hand with this looming sense of hopelessness, and the lack of abundant resources compounds this. This is definitely not a run-n-gun shooter. Upgrading and finding new equipment and enemies to fight, for me, is a huge draw. Of course, this is coming from a diehard level/loot grinding junkie. The rpg elements in this game are very solid, and upgrading your character has an immediate and gratifying effect. There is nothing quite like upgrading to the next tier of firepower and watching the enemy, the one who was kicking the crap out of you earlier, fall in just a couple of shots, where before it would take five or six. The game is also pretty long, and with how addictive it is, you should be prepared for family members to become angry with you and start throwing things at you. I mean, trying to inflict some real damage! Well, if they're like my family anyway. So...........back to the game. This game is the reason I was so excited about bioshock. I remember the first time I read an article about it. I was like. "OMG! They're going to do another game like system shock! [email protected]#$ Yeah!" I really enjoyed Bioshock as well, but these dated, old, graphically sub-par shoes, are just too big to fill. I love this game.
7.2

Great
.