System Shock 2

Name: System Shock 2
Genre: Roleplaying
Designer: Jonathan Chey
Developer: Looking Glass Technologies
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Copyright: Looking Glass Technologies
Year: 1999

Rating: 3.3

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Review - Wikipedia
System Shock 2, the sequel to System Shock, was developed by Irrational Games and Looking Glass Studios and released in 1999 by EA.

This game takes the tenets of its predecessor, namely to combine a sci-fi/horror action game with role-playing elements, one step further by relying on the modified Thief engine for visuals and atmosphere. Similar to the earlier game, the story takes place in an artificial construct (a spacecraft named the Von Braun) that has been taken over by an alien intelligence, basically turning all the surroundings against the player.

In both System Shock games, the player character has a number of specific skills that can come into play at various points in the game, depending on how the player decides to create the character and play the game. The character can be customized towards various professions, like a gun-slinging Marine, a hacker/engineer or a psi-corps "wizard". In these aspects, the System Shock series has as much in common with computer role-playing games as with first person shooters. Gameplay furthermore requires more variabilty and alternative problem solving than most first-person shooters, mainly because the combat has been toughened up in comparison; most guns require special skills, and skill points are hard to come by. Also, guns degrade through use, and can eventually break, and have to be repaired, either by nanites or special skills. In a typical game, the player will only be able to use about half of the weapons or psychic powers (depending on one's choice of specialization) - this provides a good amount of replayability, and forces the player to think strategically.

Much as the original System Shock's commercial defeat was at the hands of the mainstream Doom, System Shock 2 was essentially eclipsed by Half-Life.

The official patch updates the game from the release version (1.15) to version 2.3. You must have the release version for the patch to work. It adds multiplayer support, a new difficulty level, and several bugfixes. It is recommended to get the patch before playing. However, it can be applied without breaking savegames.


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