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System Shock 2 Turns 15

We're right around the 15th anniversary of the release of System Shock 2, according to Wikipedia it's today, while according to our archive it's tomorrow (I'd trust us, we were around at the time, and Wikipedia wasn't). Whenever the actual anniversary is, Gamasutra is marking the occasion by reposting the original postmortem of the action/RPG sequel written by Irrational Games' Jonathan Chey that was published a few months after the game was released.

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25. Re: System Shock 2 Turns 15 Aug 14, 2014, 01:34 Ant
 
DangerDog wrote on Aug 11, 2014, 19:06:
I only finished the game with a cheat that turned off the weapon degradation and never ending monster spawns.

Shame that the original ending cinematic went up in smoke with a hard drive crash.
There was an original ending cutscene? What was it like? No wonder the ending sucked.
 
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24. Re: System Shock 2 Turns 15 Aug 12, 2014, 19:49 Orogogus
 
Creston wrote on Aug 12, 2014, 11:46:
SS2 was an awesome game, but not as fantastic as the original. I wish someone would just remake the original with updated graphics and that runs on a modern OS. I'd kickstart that for 60 bucks.

Ya. In everything but controls and graphics I thought the original was a far, far better game. And I guess people liked the RPG stuff, which I really didn't. It's weird how different SS2 turned out from SS, particularly how the maps in SS were so much bigger than SS2 and Bioshock's.
 
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23. Re: System Shock 2 Turns 15 Aug 12, 2014, 13:05 NetHead
 
Task wrote on Aug 11, 2014, 19:05:
Bioshocks are just poor imitators. Nothing compares to the horror of playing System Shock 2 for the first time..

I'd say Bioshock can generally hold it's own but to me it never felt like a spiritual successor to System Shock, it just isn't on the same level.

The keyword there I'd say is horror, I can even still remember the horror (joy) of playing the System Shock 2 demo, nevermind the whole game. System Shock did great with it's whole horror and thriller aspect, Bioshock is more of an attempted thriller with zero horror.

On the System Shock note I always end up thinking of Routine which does look like a great spiritual successor. Strangely the site seems to be down (http://www.routinegame.com) but there are still videos on youtube (https://www.youtube.com/user/LunarSof/videos)
 
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22. Re: System Shock 2 Turns 15 Aug 12, 2014, 11:46 Creston
 
Thanks for making everyone feel old, Blue!

SS2 was an awesome game, but not as fantastic as the original. I wish someone would just remake the original with updated graphics and that runs on a modern OS. I'd kickstart that for 60 bucks.

 
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21. Re: System Shock 2 Turns 15 Aug 12, 2014, 11:15 Lord Tea
 
jdreyer wrote on Aug 12, 2014, 06:32:
Lord Tea wrote on Aug 12, 2014, 04:08:
Task wrote on Aug 11, 2014, 19:05:

Its time to get the Irrational Games team back together. Its time for System Shock 3. SHODAN is still out there... somewhere.

Not going to happen. The majority of people today prefer fast food (Bioshock) over depth (System Shock). They want to sit on their couch, relaxed, with a game controller in their hands. Not compatible with System Shock.

I think Kickstarter would say otherwise, assuming they could get the team and the rights.

Also, I like yer sig.

Honestly, I'd throw quite a bit of money at such a kickstarter, provided it's done by the right people (e.g. the original SS2 crew).

And... I actually hate my sig

UHD wrote on Aug 12, 2014, 10:58:
PHJF wrote on Aug 12, 2014, 09:51:
Guess I'm the only person who thought weapon degradation added to the game? The preferred way of handling combat, at least through the early game, was to avoid it. Once you got your weapon and repair skills up, degradation became pretty much a non issue.

Weapon degradation wasn't a bad idea. The trouble is it sort of shoehorns you into maintenance skills if you use any weapons at all because a weapon breaking on you mid-fight is a very, very bad thing. Resource management in SS2 was such a massive part of the game that having weapons in constant pristine condition made the game hilariously easier even on the hardest difficulty setting.

OSI players didn't really give a shit about it, though.

On the other hand OSI on highest difficulty was still harder than any other class by an order of magnitude.
 
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20. Re: System Shock 2 Turns 15 Aug 12, 2014, 10:58 UHD
 
PHJF wrote on Aug 12, 2014, 09:51:
Guess I'm the only person who thought weapon degradation added to the game? The preferred way of handling combat, at least through the early game, was to avoid it. Once you got your weapon and repair skills up, degradation became pretty much a non issue.

Weapon degradation wasn't a bad idea. The trouble is it sort of shoehorns you into maintenance skills if you use any weapons at all because a weapon breaking on you mid-fight is a very, very bad thing. Resource management in SS2 was such a massive part of the game that having weapons in constant pristine condition made the game hilariously easier even on the hardest difficulty setting.

OSI players didn't really give a shit about it, though.
 
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19. Re: System Shock 2 Turns 15 Aug 12, 2014, 09:51 PHJF
 
Guess I'm the only person who thought weapon degradation added to the game? The preferred way of handling combat, at least through the early game, was to avoid it. Once you got your weapon and repair skills up, degradation became pretty much a non issue.  
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18. Re: System Shock 2 Turns 15 Aug 12, 2014, 08:37 nin
 
Wesp5 wrote on Aug 12, 2014, 03:25:
DangerDog wrote on Aug 11, 2014, 19:06:
I only finished the game with a cheat that turned off the weapon degradation and never ending monster spawns.

I finished it without cheating, but still people seem to forget that SS2 had some very serious gameplay issues like the ones mentioned above! Also with the stupid ship layout and backtracking due to the "non-linear" level design, I never had the feeling I'm on board of a spaceship in the first place. And the "surprise" was so obvious a long time before it was revealed, that I was rather annoyed that they pulled off the same trick in Bioshock all over again....

One of the later patches allowed you to edit an ini to produce the same effects. I wouldn't call it a cheat so much as a preference.

HATE weapon degradation...

 
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17. Re: System Shock 2 Turns 15 Aug 12, 2014, 07:49 InBlack
 
Nameless Again wrote on Aug 11, 2014, 22:45:
Still my #2 of all time, only surpassed by the original Half-Life 1. It was for me at least, he first FPS to really incorporate the RPG elements. Great game if you never played it.

As far as single-player FPS are concerned, agreed. 100%.
 
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16. Re: System Shock 2 Turns 15 Aug 12, 2014, 07:27 El Pit
 
Well, THIS is a game where they should take the Metro/Resident Evil etc. approach and do a System Shock 2 Redux in a modern engine. And for this redux/remake, I'd gladly pay them 20 or even 25.  
Consoles? I owned two: a Pong clone and an Atari 2600. And that's it.
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15. Re: System Shock 2 Turns 15 Aug 12, 2014, 06:32 jdreyer
 
Lord Tea wrote on Aug 12, 2014, 04:08:
Task wrote on Aug 11, 2014, 19:05:

Its time to get the Irrational Games team back together. Its time for System Shock 3. SHODAN is still out there... somewhere.

Not going to happen. The majority of people today prefer fast food (Bioshock) over depth (System Shock). They want to sit on their couch, relaxed, with a game controller in their hands. Not compatible with System Shock.

I think Kickstarter would say otherwise, assuming they could get the team and the rights.

Also, I like yer sig.
 
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14. Re: System Shock 2 Turns 15 Aug 12, 2014, 04:08 Lord Tea
 
Task wrote on Aug 11, 2014, 19:05:

Its time to get the Irrational Games team back together. Its time for System Shock 3. SHODAN is still out there... somewhere.

Not going to happen. The majority of people today prefer fast food (Bioshock) over depth (System Shock). They want to sit on their couch, relaxed, with a game controller in their hands. Not compatible with System Shock.
 
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13. Re: System Shock 2 Turns 15 Aug 12, 2014, 03:25 Wesp5
 
DangerDog wrote on Aug 11, 2014, 19:06:
I only finished the game with a cheat that turned off the weapon degradation and never ending monster spawns.

I finished it without cheating, but still people seem to forget that SS2 had some very serious gameplay issues like the ones mentioned above! Also with the stupid ship layout and backtracking due to the "non-linear" level design, I never had the feeling I'm on board of a spaceship in the first place. And the "surprise" was so obvious a long time before it was revealed, that I was rather annoyed that they pulled off the same trick in Bioshock all over again....
 
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12. Re: System Shock 2 Turns 15 Aug 12, 2014, 00:14 Fantaz
 
one of the best games i have ever played, truly... and i remember it was also the first game that i have played on an LCD monitor.  
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11. Re: System Shock 2 Turns 15 Aug 11, 2014, 23:04 Cutter
 
Still have my original jewel case and cd.
 
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10. Re: System Shock 2 Turns 15 Aug 11, 2014, 22:45 Nameless Again
 
Still my #2 of all time, only surpassed by the original Half-Life 1. It was for me at least, he first FPS to really incorporate the RPG elements. Great game if you never played it.  
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9. Re: System Shock 2 Turns 15 Aug 11, 2014, 22:08 jdreyer
 
Flak wrote on Aug 11, 2014, 19:26:

I can't remember a recent game that rivals the constant fear and sense of isolation that SS2 creates as you play it.

Yes, this exactly. Such amazing atmosphere.
 
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8. Re: System Shock 2 Turns 15 Aug 11, 2014, 21:54 jam777
 
Flak wrote on Aug 11, 2014, 19:00:
Raise a cup to one of the best games our fair master race has ever witnessed.

Here, here!!
 
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7. Re: System Shock 2 Turns 15 Aug 11, 2014, 19:39 Asmodai
 
Task wrote on Aug 11, 2014, 19:05:
Its time to get the Irrational Games team back together. Its time for System Shock 3. SHODAN is still out there... somewhere.

They'll turn it in to an abortion like the Syndicate reboot was...

/pines for the fjords System Shock 2
 
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6. Re: System Shock 2 Turns 15 Aug 11, 2014, 19:26 Flak
 
Played through it again about 9 months ago, still holds up like a beauty , even more so if you use a patch like this https://www.systemshock.org/index.php?topic=22.0

I can't remember a recent game that rivals the constant fear and sense of isolation that SS2 creates as you play it. As someone said, Bioshock is ultimately a poor imitation of that even though the biggest fans of Bioshock admittedly have never experienced System Shock.

I doubt we'll ever see a true sequel to SS2 but if we get something that comes even half as close as SS3 then we're all in for a treat.
 
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