Newest Review: ... twists and turns will keep you guessing all the way, right through to the shocking (no pun intended) ending. But before you reach the en... more
Shockingly Hard! - Updated
System Shock 2 (PC)
Member Name: FurtherReading
System Shock 2 (PC)
Date: 11/08/01, updated on 11/08/01 (97 review reads)
Advantages: Good compared to old games
Disadvantages: Hard, User-unfriendly, Not as good as some mordern games
The only reason I bought System Shock 2 was because I heard it was the same kind of game as Deus Ex. It was actually made by the same people, before Deus Ex.
The game is a RPG/FPS (role playing game/first person shooter). This means you make your way through levels (killing if necessary) and develop your character. The game is set in the future (around 2100 I think). Before you play you have to do some training, first basic training and then advanced training – it’s a good idea because this game can be quite complicated. After that you chose whether you want to be in the Navy, Marines or OSA. What you join determines your skills: Navy = mechanics, Marines = better at combat, OSA = can use physic powers. Then you do ‘three years service’, this is basically further training, and you decide which three ‘missions’ you take. I call them ‘missions’ because you don’t actually do anything, it just tells you what experience you have gained and you choose your next assignment. During the game there are a number of ways to further upgrade your skills, one of which is by using ‘cybernetic modules’. You collect these and at special terminals they can be used to upgrade your skills.
The skills are probably the most important feature about this game; here is an example from the manual…
“System Shock 2 game play is open ended, and characters with different abilities will be able to find different ways around obstacles. A Marine, trained in combat skills for years, may fight past several enemies to reach an important switch, while an OSA agent with psionic talents might hide himself from them and walk straight past them. A UNN naval officer might use his technical skills to hack into a nearby gun turret and let it destroy the enemy.”
So that is the major point about the game, you develop your strengths and play the game in your style; that is what I lik
ed about Deus Ex. But this game makes it so complicated. Sometimes needlessly so, I have read the manual, done the training, been to fan sites yet I still find this game very confusing. If you are easily confused (like me) then this isn’t the game for you – it is very complicated.
The graphics are typical for a game produced at the time. Hence they are not very good for today’s standards. The graphics are somewhere in-between the standard of Quake and Quake II. The sound is ok, and the voices are especially good.
Playability, a tough subject this. I found this game exceptionally hard, I played as a Marine and it took me a while until I got a decent weapon, hence the beginning was very difficult. The story is good, but I can’t really say much about it because I’d give it away. Basically you are on a space ship when something goes wrong (it crashes or something), and you have to sort it all out.
The main reason I didn’t like this game was because it was so unbelievably difficult. Normally games ease you into them by making the first couple of levels easy but not this one, you are brought straight into the action. I think the only reason it is hard at the beginning is because you have poor weapons and your health wares down very quickly.
I thought this was going to be a game like Deus Ex, and that’s why I bought it. What I got was a ‘prototype’ for Deus Ex. In Deus Ex they have ironed out all the errors that System Shock 2 has. This game is extremely difficult to play and just to interact with.
If this game was remade now, it could be an excellent game, just make it a little user friendly and easier! If you still really want to buy this game then I recommend this, make sure you read the manual and listen to the training exercises, they do give you the basics of the game, but you really will have to be smarter than average to do well in this game.
Update* – Having read the opinions of others, I realise why I am so negative about this game and other like it so much. I think having played Deus Ex before it my hopes were extremely high. So in comparison this game wasn’t as good. Most other people played this after playing the original (which I have never played) so they are bound to like the improvement in graphic, interface etc. I believe that this game was a classic in its time, however if you compare it more recent games it doesn’t stand a chance.