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System Shock 2 Postmortem

Making of System Shock 2 on Rock, Paper, Shotgun looks back at development of the classic shooter/RPG sequel, taking advantage of access to Ken Levine to get his personal recollections from the creation of the System Shock 2. Piece of cake, right? "No time. No money. I had no experience. Id never shipped a game before that."

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22. Re: Nostalgia Apr 5, 2008, 08:22 Prez
 
"SILENCE THE DISCORD!"  
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The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
- Mahatma Gandhi
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21. Re: Nostalgia Apr 5, 2008, 01:08 Creston
 
The storyline was linear with three endings tacked on

Yeah, okay. Because, you know, there had been absolutely HUNDREDS of games that had had such a freedom in its storyline. I found new options/ways to do things on my NINTH playthrough.

Linear storyline. Deus Ex.

Creston

 
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20. Re: Riker Apr 5, 2008, 00:17 CreamyBlood
 

I'm still hoping that once this current generation of consoles phases out that even a small percentage of the mass market that likes something a little more cerebral in their games becomes a profitable target audience for a developer willing to make a few bucks instead of gazillions.

 
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19. Re: Riker Apr 4, 2008, 18:36 Jerykk
 
That's not a real problem if you opted to sneak around all sly like, but the combat in Deus Ex left a lot to be desired.

I can't disagree with you there. DX did have pretty lousy AI and the combat was nothing special. However, the game was greater than the sum of its parts. AI has evolved since then, yes, but what about actual design? Design has taken a step back, as games get easier and more shallow by the second. Refer to DX2 and Project Snowblind for examples. Hell, refer to any game since DX for examples.

And no, DX doesn't have the worst AI I've ever seen. Have you played C&C: Renegade? Or Crysis? At least the NPCs in DX react to corpses and don't just stand there while you shoot them in the back.

 
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18. Re: Riker Apr 4, 2008, 16:47 PHJF
 
By better, I can only assume you mean production values. New games may be pretty and have epic soundtracks but I have yet to see any games match the gameplay of the classics.


Go back and play Deus Ex, right now. Seriously. I'll wait.
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Done? Good. Did you see that AI? Deus Ex had the worst AI I've ever see in a shooter, bar none. It doesn't hold up; hell, it wasn't considered good when it came out, either. That's not a real problem if you opted to sneak around all sly like, but the combat in Deus Ex left a lot to be desired.
 
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17. Re: Riker Apr 4, 2008, 14:28 Jerykk
 
Valve threw in a risky but admittedly welcomed new npc Alyx, who became believable without being a bimbo (insert Laura Croft pic here)

How is Lara Croft a bimbo? Have you actually played any of the TR games?

 
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16. Riker Apr 4, 2008, 14:22 Surf
 
Unfortunately you will be waiting an extrememly long time and you will probably look similar to Rip Van Winkle until you see a game of the calibre of the ones you mentioned.

With the consoles inevitably taking over, and game companies following deeply in the shadow of hollywood, money rules the roost.

Games want to cater to little jimmy and daddy john while considering females and also all races white, black, brown and yellow.

By not focusing on a select group or narrowing games down to select groups, and attempting to cater to all, you get a mish mash of dog shit.

The games you mentioned cater mostly to males and more so to white males which are the predominant pc users. Valve threw in a risky but admittedly welcomed new npc Alyx, who became believable without being a bimbo (insert Laura Croft pic here). That made it mature and accepting.

Now with more games out on the consoles, most attempt to cater to everyone, most fall flat on their ass. However we get a gem now and then that accomplishes it all, such as Rock Band and maybe even Guitar Hero.

I am not looking forward to waiting for the console games and ideas to catch up to us with their linear hand holding that PC gamers experienced 10 years ago and still do somewhat to this day.

Oh well, it was a fun ride while it lasted!

 
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15. Cutter Apr 4, 2008, 14:16 Surf
 
At least they know how to use them and also while my statement may not be popular, it is dead on.

 
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14. Re: No subject Apr 4, 2008, 14:11 Riker
 
Of course modern games are "better," but these were trailblazer games.

As much as I wish that were true, modern games don't come anywhere near these games (DX, SS2, HL) IMO. After the release of DX, I really hoped and expected that other developers would take note, but it remains a completely unique experience to this day. I've played and enjoyed many other games since these games were released, but these 3 are still at the top of my list, and it looks like they will stay there for quite some time. I'm still waiting for someone to do better.

 
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13. Re: System Shock 2 Apr 4, 2008, 14:02 Cutter
 
Hey Surf, the Klan called and they want their PC back.


"I like to think of Jesus like with giant eagles wings, and singin' lead vocals for Lynyrd Skynyrd with like an angel band and I'm in the front row and I'm hammered drunk!"
- Cal Naughton Jr.
 
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"The South will boogie again!" - Disco Stu
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12. I have no idea why people think Deus Ex Apr 4, 2008, 14:02 Surf
 
Because NOTHING has been able to beat it prior or current. Until you can name a game that does everything Deus did, what 9 years ago, then your claim will have no merit.

Until then go home.

This comment was edited on Apr 4, 14:02.
 
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11. System Shock 2 Apr 4, 2008, 13:59 Surf
 
This game sure gets a lot of random press, and fairly consistent too.

Too bad EA won't consider making a 3rd installment, and if they do they will consolize it to cater to the lower rung (i.e. Blacks and Mexican console purchasers).

Save the cerebral games for the people that own computers and know how to use them (i.e. whites and asians).

 
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10. Re: No subject Apr 4, 2008, 13:46 Jerykk
 
I have no idea why people think Deus Ex is such a great game.

Deus Ex was the first game to really have emergent gameplay. The RPG skill system, augmentations and open level design really let players think outside the box and do things in ways the designers never intended. This is what made Deus Ex so awesome to me.

Of course modern games are "better," but these were trailblazer games.

By better, I can only assume you mean production values. New games may be pretty and have epic soundtracks but I have yet to see any games match the gameplay of the classics.

This comment was edited on Apr 4, 13:47.
 
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9. Re: No subject Apr 4, 2008, 13:30 osage no onna
 
Of course modern games are "better," but these were trailblazer games. Credit is due.

I'd say System Shock 1 and Ultima Underworld blazed some trails for both of those.

EDIT: messy quoting


This comment was edited on Apr 4, 13:31.
 
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8. Re: No subject Apr 4, 2008, 12:20 PHJF
 
Half-Life was the first truly cinematic shooter. Deus Ex was the first shooter to offer an unarguably nonlinear "sandbox" type of level design (Remember the submarine base? Yeah.)

Of course modern games are "better," but these were trailblazer games. Credit is due.
 
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7. No subject Apr 4, 2008, 12:09 dryden555
 
There were some web articles years ago from some of the lower ranked developers of SS2 (not Levine who is overhyped). There were lots of budget constraints making SS2. The engine was limited in how it could draw human figures and some of the later levels re-used textures from previous levels. The engine wasnt designed for cut-scenes. Awesome A++ game in any case.

 
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6. Re: Nostalgia Apr 4, 2008, 12:06 Riker
 
I have no idea why people think Deus Ex is such a great game.

Everyone's different of course, so I don't take offence if you don't think it was the best game ever made, as I do. I agree that there wasn't much in the way of role-playing, aside from the constant stealth vs combat options and choosing which biomods to install. And the storyline (which I got totally wrapped up in) was completely linear up to the very end. But I still loved the hell out of it, and it's hard to say why. Regardless of what the game didn't have, what the game did have, I loved... I happened to really like the setting, characters, gameplay, and atmosphere. It wasn't perfect, but it was still the most satisfying gaming experience I ever had.

Going even further off-topic, when I first played Deus Ex, I thought the music was out of place. It sounded odd. But now I love it, and can't imagine the game without the music. I think for me, the game just ended up being far more than the sum of its parts.

Loved Half-Life. It's actually right behind Deus Ex and System Shock 2 on my list.

Ken talks about atmosphere in the System Shock 2 article, and I agree with him that very few games have a great atmosphere, and I think that's one of the most important factors to how good a game is. All 3 of these games had tons of atmosphere.

This comment was edited on Apr 4, 12:11.
 
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5. timespan Apr 4, 2008, 12:05 Buttercup
 
I always think it's amazing that SS2, Deus Ex, and Half-Life all came out in an 18-month span -- not to mention Unreal Tournament and Quake III. What an incredible time for gaming.

 
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4. Re: Nostalgia Apr 4, 2008, 11:52 Yifes
 
TBH, I didn't think Half Life was that amazing either. But then again, I've always felt that the most important aspect of single player games were the story, the characters and the atmosphere. Great gameplay by itself was never top priority for me, unless it was a multiplayer or a strategy game.

 
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3. Re: Nostalgia Apr 4, 2008, 11:43 mag
 
It's still a great game, but hardly deserving of the "Best PC game ever" moniker that some people attach to it.

*starts flame war* It's at least more deserving of the title than Half-Life, which is the other game everyone trumpets as zomgbestgameever.

 
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22 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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