Charts Genres Community
Charts Genres Community Settings
Login

System Shock 2

August 1999
System Shock 2 - cover art
Glitchwave rating
4.20 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
738 Ratings / 3 Reviews
#44 All-time
#2 for 1999
A soldier awakens from cryo-stasis to find that the crew of the starship he's aboard has been infected with a violent genetic mutation. His mission to stop the spread of the infection is made that much more difficult when his only ally happens to be SHODAN, the ship's sadistic AI program.
There was an error saving your submission.
Rate / catalog Rate / catalog another release
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Releases 4
CD-ROM
DE 5 030932 021298
CD-ROM
GB 5 030930 021290
CD-ROM
XNA 0 14633 07969 2
Show all 4 releases
Write review
Title
I tried. I swear I tried very hard, but the multiple annoyances just sapped the enjoyment out of this game for me.

Respawning enemies stop being scary after awhile and just become a nuisance, especially with the total lack of ammo this game has. I'm not shaking in my boots, I'm just pissed off i have to fight another giant robot with zero piercing bullets on me. The PSI system is also poorly implemented and there's an extreme imbalance in stat distribution importance. There's audio logs everywhere making you have to pause constantly cutting the tension and flow of the game. Sometimes I'd be lost for hours trying to find a stupid combination, and it definitely doesn't help that the game is filled with grey corridors.

The atmosphere saves it from being average, but in my head there's no denying that Bioshock is a much more enjoyable gaming experience. You can call me a mainstream idiot if you'd like.

With System Shock 2 you get, admittedly, an important piece of videogame history, but a cliché AI villain with uninteresting motivations and a lack of polish all around made me have to drag myself to reach the halfway point.

SHODAN is definitely not Andrew Ryan and the Von Braun spaceship is definitely not Rapture.
Body
tips
Formatting
[b]text[/b] - bold
[i]text[/i] - italic
[s]strikethrough[/s] - strikethrough
[tt]text[/tt] - fixed-width type
[color red]text[/color] - colored text (full list)
[spoiler]text[/spoiler] - Text hidden with spoiler cover
[https://www.example.com/page/,Link to another site] - Link to another site

Linking
When you mention an album, artist, film, game, label, etc - it's recommended to link to the item the first time you mention it. Doing so will make it easier to search for your post and give it more visibility. To link an item, use the search box above, or find the shortcut that appears on the page that you want to link. You can customize the link name of shortcuts by using the format [Artist12345,Custom Name].
Paste the address (or embed code) below and click "embed".
Supported: YouTube, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Vimeo, Dailymotion
Embed
karrilho 2021-06-07T03:26:20Z
2021-06-07T03:26:20Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Supplement
tips
Formatting
[b]text[/b] - bold
[i]text[/i] - italic
[s]strikethrough[/s] - strikethrough
[tt]text[/tt] - fixed-width type
[color red]text[/color] - colored text (full list)
[spoiler]text[/spoiler] - Text hidden with spoiler cover
[https://www.example.com/page/,Link to another site] - Link to another site

Linking
When you mention an album, artist, film, game, label, etc - it's recommended to link to the item the first time you mention it. Doing so will make it easier to search for your post and give it more visibility. To link an item, use the search box above, or find the shortcut that appears on the page that you want to link. You can customize the link name of shortcuts by using the format [Artist12345,Custom Name].
Paste the address (or embed code) below and click "embed".
Supported: YouTube, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Vimeo, Dailymotion
Embed
Attribution
Requested publishing level
Draft
Commentary
Review
draft
en
Expand review Hide
Title
VIral infection
System Shock 2 is a cyberpunk themed FPS with lot of RPG and horror elements. Its a downright amazing game, in almost all of its fronts, and personally it showed me how a game could be over 15 years old and still be an excellent experience when played nowadays.

The basic plot of System Shock 2 sets you on a deserted space station in which something has clearly gone wrong. As you start to explore your surroundings it quickly becomes evident that there has been a mass infection that has lead to the zombification of the crew of the ship, and that this was caused by a rogue AI by the name of Shodan. Its a very simple premise, but like in most horror games it does it job of giving enough mystery to the story and motivating the player to cautiously move forward. You play as a silent character the entire game, and the game treats you as such. However the characterization of the few major characters in the game is outstanding. Shodan gets my title for the best villain in a videogame, beating David from the Last of Us and glados from Portal. You never know the full reach of her powers, or full motives, and she always seems one step ahead of you. Helping the characterizaton is some voice acting that manages to give me chills everytime i listen to it. Extra points of the main plot are explained through vocal recordings of survivers of the ongoing infestion. These are usually semi hidden around the ship, and do a great job of increasing the tension and dread of the situation.

Audiovisually the game is the best you can expect out of 1999. That is too say, that visually the ugly textures are apparent, and this may unfortunatly drive away somepeople. Fortunatly there are some mods with enhanced texture packs. (but im not sure if they change the overal feel of the game). The textures is only really an issue during the first hour of play, because afterwards the game becomes so immersive that they are even barely noticable. On the contrary, i even found that the ugly textures made the zombified crew even more disturbing. Textures aside, the game features a great attention to the aesthetic feel of the game. Its cyberpunk at its best, combining the metallic and blue colors of the ship with the browns and yellows of the monsters that lurk within. And of course a lot of blood splatter covering the walls. Its not a gory game at all, but it doesnt shy away from it. In terms of music, the soundtrack is composed of mainly atmospheric drum n bass, that may sound a bit dated nowadays, primarly if you listen to a lot of EDM: That said, i found the soundtrack great, it manage to pump me up full of adrenaline or get chills on my spine, depending on the mood of the track thats playing. Very cohesive, and does what it sets out to do wonderfully. The sound design is on point as well, i already mentioned the great voice acting, but the same could be said about the noises the space shuttle makes that manage to freak me out everytime. All of this add up to make the game extremely immersive, to the point were i struggled to play it for more than an hour straight, because of how distress i was with the experience. Its amazing at setting dread on to the player, creating a thick atmosphere where you know things have gone wrong and you dont know how much more wrong they can get.

Gameplaywise the game combines exploration with FPS combat. The story is linear, but the players are presented with vast environment in which they must explore to find the way forward. When exploring, you will find a lot of enemies that you can kill or stealth your way through. There are limited weapons available, and you must level up accordingly to use them properly. Its important to have a notion of the basic level up route that you will want from the beginning of the game, since these upgrade points are rare and the game gets very tough towards the end if you dont have a right build. Resources are very scarce in the game, so you will find yourself looking through everysingle drawer just to find a couple more bullets to get you through the section. Its also vital to level up your hacking ability to unlock safes lying around. One major complain is that the combat is clunky, and the shooting doesnt quite feel right. Its different from something like the original Resident Evil or Silent Hill, in which the combat is clunky on purpose. In here i understand the need to make combat difficult to add to the tense atmosphere and horror theme of the game, but they could have done this through the scarse resources (which they have) and weapon sway. The combat feels clunky in the sense that there is no feel for weapon feedback, nor the feel that the bullet has hit its target. If they ever do a remake, this is the era i want to see the biggest improvement on. Its also my major complain. A smaller complain is that death literally has no meaning in this game due to the way that vita chambers work, but this is something i fixed by reloading a save everytime i died. The level design is great, since the ship is built almost like a metroidvania, as in you are given freedom to move back and forth and the levels are vast and almost labyrinthic at times. At the same time, its not too gamey and a realistic space station. Overal, even if it is probably the weakest side of it, the gameplay is great and contributes to the atmosphere of the game and tension that keep my shirt sweaty all the way i played through this.

The TLDR of this is that System Shock is a masterful game, whose strenghs vastly outclass any of the weaknesses it might have. Its one of the best horror experiences out there, and even despite all of this time its a fairly unique game in its setting and aesthetic. Yea its an essencial gaming experience, but more than that it provided me with some of the best moments that medium has offered me, and i couldnt recommend it more to someone who is looking into playing such an experience.
Body
tips
Formatting
[b]text[/b] - bold
[i]text[/i] - italic
[s]strikethrough[/s] - strikethrough
[tt]text[/tt] - fixed-width type
[color red]text[/color] - colored text (full list)
[spoiler]text[/spoiler] - Text hidden with spoiler cover
[https://www.example.com/page/,Link to another site] - Link to another site

Linking
When you mention an album, artist, film, game, label, etc - it's recommended to link to the item the first time you mention it. Doing so will make it easier to search for your post and give it more visibility. To link an item, use the search box above, or find the shortcut that appears on the page that you want to link. You can customize the link name of shortcuts by using the format [Artist12345,Custom Name].
Paste the address (or embed code) below and click "embed".
Supported: YouTube, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Vimeo, Dailymotion
Embed
Threntall 2016-07-05T19:30:08Z
2016-07-05T19:30:08Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Supplement
tips
Formatting
[b]text[/b] - bold
[i]text[/i] - italic
[s]strikethrough[/s] - strikethrough
[tt]text[/tt] - fixed-width type
[color red]text[/color] - colored text (full list)
[spoiler]text[/spoiler] - Text hidden with spoiler cover
[https://www.example.com/page/,Link to another site] - Link to another site

Linking
When you mention an album, artist, film, game, label, etc - it's recommended to link to the item the first time you mention it. Doing so will make it easier to search for your post and give it more visibility. To link an item, use the search box above, or find the shortcut that appears on the page that you want to link. You can customize the link name of shortcuts by using the format [Artist12345,Custom Name].
Paste the address (or embed code) below and click "embed".
Supported: YouTube, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Vimeo, Dailymotion
Embed
Attribution
Requested publishing level
Draft
Commentary
Review
review
en
Expand review Hide
Title
GOAT
This is my favorite game of all time,
and I must stress that my opinion is not painted by nostalgia as I am too young to have grown up with this. My hours are misleading because my mod manager does not count playtime.

Even through multiple playthroughs there are weapons and skills I have yet to even touch; the amount of choice given to the player in how they want to approach any given situation is insane for a game of this era. It becomes very obvious midway through the game that you just simply can't be good at everything on one character, which encourages insane replayability. Combat is admittedly clunky compared to the best FPS of this era, but sidestepping combat with high movement speed is a viable strategy itself. I do not recommend PSI for inexperienced soldiers.

The crowning achievement of System Shock 2 is the very living (though not-quite breathing) world that Looking Glass has crafted for players to explore. Exploration is heavily encouraged due to the scarcity of resources at hand requiring players to check every nook and cranny just to sustain themselves, and perpetually-spawning enemies creates a sense of perpetual unease that blends flawlessly into the game's narrative. This narrative is only strengthened the more you explore, as they have done a fantastic job creating a setting that feels like it doesn't just exist to be a game world, but rather, a real place that you are exploring after it has endured a terrible disaster.

While it's heavily subjective, the aesthetic of the Von Braun is one I find to be unmatched by modern efforts of cyberpunk sci-fi. I recommend using mods to tidy up and modernize the game's textures so you can fully appreciate the grim futurism SS2 has to offer, as the vanilla graphics have admittedly aged. Sadly, I can't really recommend any of the mods that alter the enemy/player models as they differ too much from the intended artstyle for my tastes. Regardless, the world of System Shock remains my favorite example of both cyberpunk and sci-fi, from an artistic perspective; the presence of all the high-tech equipment contrasted with the destruction and disarray directly enabled by said equipment creates a beautifully grim and oppressive image of an increasingly technology-oriented future, from the past. It is downright inspiring and I will be genuinely surprised if any game can ever evoke these specific emotions from me again.

It would be downright misleading of me to not mention the fantastic writing of System Shock 2. All of the storytelling is delivered through dialogue, either through audio logs scattered around the starship, auditory e-mails sent directly to the player, or the occasional telepathic diatribe from the game's hostile alien force. It's hard for me to precisely describe what really speaks to me in writing, but not once does the writing take me out of the game world, it's really quite the contrary. The hopelessness, deceit and disorder felt throughout the Von Braun by its staff is flawlessly delivered -- there are occasional glances of dark humor sprinkled throughout, but unlike most modern examples of the trope are conveyed really well.

My personal absolute favorite aspect of this experience is that of the auditory sort -- the sound design of Shock 2 is an absolute masterwork and it's honestly astounding that no game I've played has even come close to mimicking the beautifully twisted soundscape that this game provides. Be it the sickening beeps and buzzing of the over-abundance of machines the player is constantly surrounded by, or the EXCELLENT vocal distortion and modulation of the game's various antagonists. I've seen more than one take that you should mute the in-game soundtrack for a more 'immersive' experience, and I frankly believe anyone sharing opinions like this needs a swift pipe wrench blow to the jaw. This game's soundtrack is absolutely phenomenal, both the droning ambient tracks and the energetic, 90s techno-bangers that accompany some floors. I cannot in good faith continue this review without shouting out by name the dream-team of Eric Brosius, sound designer and composer of the game's OST, and Terri Brosius, who absolutely steals the show with her performance as SHODAN. The glitchy discordance combined with the absolutely STELLAR voice-acting come together to create an antagonist unlike anything I've ever seen before in the medium; it's really endearing, honestly -- something I wish more people could experience.

I feel like the people who love something the most acknowledge the flaws with it better than most others, and I will admit that System Shock 2 is not a flawless game. Most of my disappointment is directed towards the second portion of the game, where the exploration aspect is heavily undermined in favor of a more linear experience. On its own, this isn't the worst thing, but after doing some research its obvious that the ending of the game was rushed to meet deadlines, it could be a lot better and is pretty anticlimactic, though undeniably iconic. If you know, you know. Compared to other games of the era people's limbs are a little laughable to look at (hands, legs). It's nothing severe enough that really makes me not recommend it.
Body
tips
Formatting
[b]text[/b] - bold
[i]text[/i] - italic
[s]strikethrough[/s] - strikethrough
[tt]text[/tt] - fixed-width type
[color red]text[/color] - colored text (full list)
[spoiler]text[/spoiler] - Text hidden with spoiler cover
[https://www.example.com/page/,Link to another site] - Link to another site

Linking
When you mention an album, artist, film, game, label, etc - it's recommended to link to the item the first time you mention it. Doing so will make it easier to search for your post and give it more visibility. To link an item, use the search box above, or find the shortcut that appears on the page that you want to link. You can customize the link name of shortcuts by using the format [Artist12345,Custom Name].
Paste the address (or embed code) below and click "embed".
Supported: YouTube, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Vimeo, Dailymotion
Embed
aegenerational 2022-06-14T23:47:21Z
2022-06-14T23:47:21Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Supplement
tips
Formatting
[b]text[/b] - bold
[i]text[/i] - italic
[s]strikethrough[/s] - strikethrough
[tt]text[/tt] - fixed-width type
[color red]text[/color] - colored text (full list)
[spoiler]text[/spoiler] - Text hidden with spoiler cover
[https://www.example.com/page/,Link to another site] - Link to another site

Linking
When you mention an album, artist, film, game, label, etc - it's recommended to link to the item the first time you mention it. Doing so will make it easier to search for your post and give it more visibility. To link an item, use the search box above, or find the shortcut that appears on the page that you want to link. You can customize the link name of shortcuts by using the format [Artist12345,Custom Name].
Paste the address (or embed code) below and click "embed".
Supported: YouTube, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Vimeo, Dailymotion
Embed
Attribution
Requested publishing level
Draft
Commentary
Review
review
en
Expand review Hide
Title
Ah man, this is a rough review to write. I've been nursing this game for probably a year now. But I always get like, month-long blocks of me not wanting to play it. I wondered for a while why that was, and suddenly, it clicked: It's not enjoyable.

I want to unpack that statement though, because there are so many elements of this game that are just terrific. For starters, the atmosphere is remarkable. The gameplay is tense, the story unfolds really well. Even some of the RPG elements like crafting and research are interesting. Mechanically, this is a really well made game. But in practice, it just hasn't aged well.

First, I want to draw attention to the user interface. It is a complete mess. When you're scrolling through the logs you get, which are voice memos that often contain passcodes and objective clues that are paramount to the story development, the layout is just a mess. I can't tell where one log starts and another ends on the list, and I'm just confused the whole time scrolling through them. The same can be said for the objectives list, which doesn't make itself apparent either. Up until about a third of the way in, I didn't even know where it was.

Finally, there's the goddamn map. It is fucking useless. It's too small, it's crudely marked, and with no real sense of direction, it is just a mess. No compass, no objective markers. You have to pull the map up inside of this colossal, labyrinthine spaceship so much it becomes fatiguing. But what's worse is, and this happens very very often, when you are tasked with finding a location that is not marked on the map. It becomes painstaking and tedious to maneuver your way around, aimlessly searching for these locations. All the while, your weapons are deteriorating at a steady clip by fighting off grotesque enemies that aren't that scary (at least all the time), but can really do some serious damage. That would be great if I didn't have to back track so much, or worse, get lost a lot, but I do, and it makes the game needlessly tense and tedious. A little backtracking is one thing, especially if you know exactly where you have to go and how to get there. But when you're sort of vaguely told where to go back to, and have a really shoddy map to find your way, it just becomes a chore that is really really tense because hazardous enemies are around every corner.

This is a well-made game in a lot of ways. I certainly wouldn't call it bad, but I think it just fundamentally misses certain criteria that make horror games, or any game, worth the time. I thought I was freaked out too much by this game, which is why I was hesitant to play it sometimes. But I've cleared through the Silent Hill franchise's scariest installments, The Last of Us, and a few Resident Evil titles. This game is probably less frightening than all of those. It's just a goddamn pain in the ass to navigate, and I find myself exhausted in all the wrong ways when I play this.
Body
tips
Formatting
[b]text[/b] - bold
[i]text[/i] - italic
[s]strikethrough[/s] - strikethrough
[tt]text[/tt] - fixed-width type
[color red]text[/color] - colored text (full list)
[spoiler]text[/spoiler] - Text hidden with spoiler cover
[https://www.example.com/page/,Link to another site] - Link to another site

Linking
When you mention an album, artist, film, game, label, etc - it's recommended to link to the item the first time you mention it. Doing so will make it easier to search for your post and give it more visibility. To link an item, use the search box above, or find the shortcut that appears on the page that you want to link. You can customize the link name of shortcuts by using the format [Artist12345,Custom Name].
Paste the address (or embed code) below and click "embed".
Supported: YouTube, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Vimeo, Dailymotion
Embed
Supplement
tips
Formatting
[b]text[/b] - bold
[i]text[/i] - italic
[s]strikethrough[/s] - strikethrough
[tt]text[/tt] - fixed-width type
[color red]text[/color] - colored text (full list)
[spoiler]text[/spoiler] - Text hidden with spoiler cover
[https://www.example.com/page/,Link to another site] - Link to another site

Linking
When you mention an album, artist, film, game, label, etc - it's recommended to link to the item the first time you mention it. Doing so will make it easier to search for your post and give it more visibility. To link an item, use the search box above, or find the shortcut that appears on the page that you want to link. You can customize the link name of shortcuts by using the format [Artist12345,Custom Name].
Paste the address (or embed code) below and click "embed".
Supported: YouTube, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Vimeo, Dailymotion
Embed
Attribution
Requested publishing level
Draft
Commentary
Review
draft
en
Expand review Hide
Title
What a nightmare to get awakened from this game is. It is really, really scary after more than two decades.
Body
tips
Formatting
[b]text[/b] - bold
[i]text[/i] - italic
[s]strikethrough[/s] - strikethrough
[tt]text[/tt] - fixed-width type
[color red]text[/color] - colored text (full list)
[spoiler]text[/spoiler] - Text hidden with spoiler cover
[https://www.example.com/page/,Link to another site] - Link to another site

Linking
When you mention an album, artist, film, game, label, etc - it's recommended to link to the item the first time you mention it. Doing so will make it easier to search for your post and give it more visibility. To link an item, use the search box above, or find the shortcut that appears on the page that you want to link. You can customize the link name of shortcuts by using the format [Artist12345,Custom Name].
Paste the address (or embed code) below and click "embed".
Supported: YouTube, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Vimeo, Dailymotion
Embed
travisBickle2004 2019-02-15T00:24:59Z
2019-02-15T00:24:59Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Supplement
tips
Formatting
[b]text[/b] - bold
[i]text[/i] - italic
[s]strikethrough[/s] - strikethrough
[tt]text[/tt] - fixed-width type
[color red]text[/color] - colored text (full list)
[spoiler]text[/spoiler] - Text hidden with spoiler cover
[https://www.example.com/page/,Link to another site] - Link to another site

Linking
When you mention an album, artist, film, game, label, etc - it's recommended to link to the item the first time you mention it. Doing so will make it easier to search for your post and give it more visibility. To link an item, use the search box above, or find the shortcut that appears on the page that you want to link. You can customize the link name of shortcuts by using the format [Artist12345,Custom Name].
Paste the address (or embed code) below and click "embed".
Supported: YouTube, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Vimeo, Dailymotion
Embed
Attribution
Requested publishing level
Draft
Commentary
Review
draft
en
Expand review Hide
Title
Shodan's Aged Poorly
Non-Spoilery Review: Good game, compelling if dated, if you like the games it inspired it's worth a shot.

Spoilery Review:

I was disappointed at first, that despite serving in the polygonal military, my character was so incompetent around firearms, that he refused to even attempt to use a pistol without cybernetic enhancement. Also, those upgrades are damn expensive, Polito better be joking about how hard those cybernetic modules are to find. In any case, getting used to the game takes time. If one of those cameras spots you, you’ll set off a 120 second alarm that is the LEAST fun to deal with of every alarm I’ve ever set off. I would seriously rather deal with an alarm in Metal Gear Solid. Dudes will spawn infinitely until you can stop the alarm at a security station, and your resources do NOT spawn infinitely.

Thankfully, the security stations have another function for those with the skill investments to make Shodan’s “hacker” nickname literal. You can shut off security (turrets included, thank fuck) for a period of time if you win the hacking minigame. Just don’t uh…LOSE the hacking minigame. You’ll set off another alarm and also BREAK THE STATION. Hope you invested in repair as well, jackass!

Once you get the hang of these mechanics though, the experience is quite unique and mesmerizing. The dope-ass soundtrack keeps you constantly on edge, as it should. More than any of the multitude of games it inspired, SS2 has no safe areas. Enemies respawn seemingly unpredictably, you’ll need a weapon drawn when moving to any area, previously explored or no. This makes it, by far, the most functional horror game of any immersive sim I’ve played. I fear that most modern IS are afraid to take some of the power away from the player to create this effect.

This is in part due to the unique structure of SS2 compared to other IS, despite inspiring most of them. SS2 has little-to-no player agency. Sure, there’s a multitude of potential module investments, and ways to approach each situation, but the situations themselves are pre-determined, and can’t be affected by player action. I hesitate to compliment the game for this, since on its own, this is NOT a good quality. Player agency is almost ALWAYS a welcome mechanic that improves the experience exponentially. The only times this isn’t the case, is when a lack of choices bears thematic relevance.

For whatever reason, the plot of SS2 is so masterfully built around the absence of player agency that it succeeds at stealing your choices better than any game I’ve played (that could be expected to give me choice in the first place, but that should be obvious). The first part of the game is linear objectives for Polito, with the end goal of MEETING her which should allow some choices to open up. Unfortunately, Polito HERSELF has no agency and is just a pawn for Shodan (rogue AI, if you’ve somehow missed her on every “best video game villains” clickbait list). So, the next part of the game is linear objectives for Shodan, who is kind enough, between berating you and calling you “insect”, to say you can do her mandatory objectives in any order. How gracious of you, considering one set is on the floor I’m currently on, and the other’s on the floor I have to go to next anyway. Which order will I choose?

Once those are done, you’ll finally get your first seed of rebellion against the AI. Delacroix, who is one of the brighter members of the Von Braun, according to various audio logs, wants to meet you. The resistance at last! Shodan shall face the wrath of our…oh Shodan killed her before I got here. Perhaps my favorite moment of the game is when Shodan explicitly instructs you NOT to enter the cargo bay Delacroix is in, and of course, you do so anyway, since you’re sick of being called “insect”. You find 10 cyber modules on her corpse, which more than makes up for the trouble (even though Polito WAS joking about these fuckers being hard to find). And, feeling pleased with yourself, maybe whistling a nice little tune, you exit the cargo bay, only to have Shodan subtract the fucking modules from your account!

It’s such a brilliant and thematic subversion of expectations, to have your precious upgrade currency suddenly drained. It feels like a violation of some unspoken rule, as it should, because it was Shodan who gave you your first cyber modules anyway. And how did she do it? By ADDING the modules to your account. Inspired game design, truly.

Now, I’m not usually one to reminisce about the good old days (not the least because I was two when this game came out), and this game is DATED AS FUCK, which we’ll get to in second, but Bioshock, Prey (2017), Dishonored, what have you, would NEVER take your upgrade currency away. And in those games, that’s a good thing. You’re an independent operative and you earn every plasmid/neuromod/rune. But in SS2, only choices are serving the AI or doing nothing, right up until the climax, and it makes sense that anything you keep is only as she allows.

So surely, this all sounds like a recipe for more than a 3.5/5. Unfortunately, the game isn’t that fun to play. Combat is awkward, platforming is SUPER awkward (though, thankfully, rare), and almost everything you can do is locked behind an upgrade cost, which would actually be fine if you didn’t have to buy upgrades at a physical location. The game’s challenge is likely one of its most impressive aspects, yet the gameplay would need to be better for this to come off as anything more than frustrating.

The game has a rather ridiculous enemy called the “cyborg assassin” who’s dressed like a ninja and throws high-damage neon shurikens at you. On more than one occasion, I actually got SPAWN CAMPED by one of these fuckers, at one point having to just load a save. When you respawn, you start with low health, which makes sense, but not if there’s a capable enemy AIMING AT YOUR SPAWN POINT the whole time. The combat has too many time-consuming mechanics (quickly degrading weapons, multiple ammo types with massive differences in effectiveness, chargeable psi powers) to be employed quickly enough to get out of that death loop.

The Von Braun is the best part of the game, and once you leave it, things take a turn. The Rickenbacker seemed like an absurd difficulty spike, but even that I’d live with if it wasn’t for the absence of a proper map. The Rickenbacker SHOULD have a proper map, yet all it gives you is a list of things on your current floor, which is usually about as much knowledge as I have BEFORE OPENING the map. This feels like A. an incredible oversight or B. the absolute definition of artificial difficulty.

I won’t begrudge the game for not providing a map for the body of the many (though having the character draw the map as you progress like in Silent Hill is true mastery of game design), but I will begrudge the game, quite joyfully, for the body of the many being the worst part of the game by a huge margin. It’s quite comparable to Xen, actually, the last section of Half-Life. All of a sudden, classic FPS abandons its strengths to do a fleshy alien universe that nobody really likes that much, but they still love the game, so they kind of just don’t talk about it. Except the many is much, much worse.*

On the plus side, the “boss fight” at the end of the many is kind of alright and certainly much better than the final boss of Half-Life, if only because it’s quick once you know what you’re doing.

The final section of the game, delightfully titled, “Where am I?” is fun but…unfortunate. This is by far where the game shows the most age, and it’s a shame that the final showdown with Shodan is the only part of the game that feels inescapably 90’s. First off, Shodan is manifested as a floating polygon and she looks fucking ridiculous. The intimidating JPEG of her face does NOT translate to a 3D object. On top of that, and this isn’t related to age, but it still subtracts from the sequence. This boss fight is TRIVIALLY easy. Like what the fuck, game? There wasn’t a single segment in the many that wasn’t more challenging than this. You hack 3 easy terminals (which you can do while taking damage), and then shoot her a bit. She doesn’t even take that much damage. Shodan’s a fucking chump.

As she dies, she offers you more power if you team up with her, which is an incredibly obvious fake offer if I’ve ever seen one. Still I expected to make the choice, even if it’s a fake choice like not siding with G-man in Half-Life. But instead, my character speaks his first and last line of dialogue, a cheesy, atmosphere-destroying “nah” and sends her to oblivion. Way to cheapen your fascinating game in the last 5 seconds, Jesus Christ. Then there’s a cutscene that might be a sequel setup, or just a horror ending where the evil never stays dead, but I’ve learned that Shodan is a fucking wuss who can’t take any damage anyway, so I’m not exactly frightened by this. It’s an unbelievably bad note to end on, in a game with such a massive supply of excellent notes.
Body
tips
Formatting
[b]text[/b] - bold
[i]text[/i] - italic
[s]strikethrough[/s] - strikethrough
[tt]text[/tt] - fixed-width type
[color red]text[/color] - colored text (full list)
[spoiler]text[/spoiler] - Text hidden with spoiler cover
[https://www.example.com/page/,Link to another site] - Link to another site

Linking
When you mention an album, artist, film, game, label, etc - it's recommended to link to the item the first time you mention it. Doing so will make it easier to search for your post and give it more visibility. To link an item, use the search box above, or find the shortcut that appears on the page that you want to link. You can customize the link name of shortcuts by using the format [Artist12345,Custom Name].
Paste the address (or embed code) below and click "embed".
Supported: YouTube, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Vimeo, Dailymotion
Embed
*A list of reasons why the many is much, much worse:

1. Awful platforming. Love it or hate it, Half-Life’s platforming is much more competent, and much easier to get used to. SS2 really should never have made you jump a single time.

2. Those little jet things. As you progress through the many, usually through linear arteries, you’ll come across these jet things in the middle of your path, that shoot you in some direction. A list of reasons why this sucks:
A. It shoots you in a direction you don’t want to go.
B. It shoots you with such force you hit the wall and take damage.
C. It does both at the same time.

3. The game just throws enemies at you. It’s the second-to-last area of the game, so I guess it’s trying to ramp up the difficulty. But anything that makes this section take longer is a negative.
Supplement
tips
Formatting
[b]text[/b] - bold
[i]text[/i] - italic
[s]strikethrough[/s] - strikethrough
[tt]text[/tt] - fixed-width type
[color red]text[/color] - colored text (full list)
[spoiler]text[/spoiler] - Text hidden with spoiler cover
[https://www.example.com/page/,Link to another site] - Link to another site

Linking
When you mention an album, artist, film, game, label, etc - it's recommended to link to the item the first time you mention it. Doing so will make it easier to search for your post and give it more visibility. To link an item, use the search box above, or find the shortcut that appears on the page that you want to link. You can customize the link name of shortcuts by using the format [Artist12345,Custom Name].
Paste the address (or embed code) below and click "embed".
Supported: YouTube, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Vimeo, Dailymotion
Embed
Show more
Show less
Attribution
Requested publishing level
Draft
Commentary
Review
review
en
Expand review Hide

Catalog

orange_cockroach69 System Shock 2 2022-06-29T06:21:32Z
2022-06-29T06:21:32Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
twinkiemachine System Shock 2 2022-06-29T04:30:23Z
2022-06-29T04:30:23Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Nosfeshiro System Shock 2 2022-06-29T02:00:51Z
2022-06-29T02:00:51Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
rile System Shock 2 2022-06-28T22:55:19Z
2022-06-28T22:55:19Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
RedMorley System Shock 2 2022-06-28T01:40:33Z
2022-06-28T01:40:33Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
wildeverything System Shock 2 2022-06-24T15:24:53Z
2022-06-24T15:24:53Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Margaritea System Shock 2 2022-06-21T20:23:35Z
2022-06-21T20:23:35Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
jake7 System Shock 2 2022-06-20T07:02:14Z
2022-06-20T07:02:14Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
xiiv013e System Shock 2 2022-06-19T12:26:15Z
Windows / Linux/Unix / Mac
2022-06-19T12:26:15Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Gradono System Shock 2 2022-06-18T20:32:02Z
2022-06-18T20:32:02Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
lukei System Shock 2 2022-06-18T18:40:38Z
2022-06-18T18:40:38Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
DanielWaker System Shock 2 2022-06-18T03:32:07Z
Windows / Linux/Unix / Mac
2022-06-18T03:32:07Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Player modes
1-4 players
Media
1x CD-ROM
Multiplayer modes
Cooperative
Multiplayer options
LAN, Online
Franchises

Comments

Rules for comments
  • Be respectful! All the community rules apply here.
  • Keep your comments focused on the game. Don't post randomness/off-topic comments. Jokes are fine, but don't post tactless/inappropriate ones.
  • Don't get in arguments with people here, or start long discussions. Use the boards for extended discussion.
  • Don't use this space to complain about the average rating, chart position, genre voting, others' reviews or ratings, or errors on the page.
  • Don't comment just to troll/provoke. Likewise, don't respond to trollish comments; just report them and ignore them.
  • Any spoilers should be placed in spoiler tags as such: [spoiler](spoiler goes here)[/spoiler]
Note: Unlike reviews, comments are considered temporary and may be deleted/purged without notice.
  • Previous comments (26) Loading...
  • imfindinglovewave 2022-01-20 13:57:21.445239+00
    IDK if the game glitched or something but I couldn't pass Hydroponics because of not having any antimony. I used up one but looking up walkthroughs does give me any answers.

    There's a lot I like about this - really enthralling atmosphere, for one. But, Engineering was such a slog to get through. And getting stuck on Hydroponics, which I otherwise thought was alright, was pretty aggravating. Felt like I was just getting by with quick saving every 10 seconds and hoping the clunky ass crowbar finally hit a lot of the time too.
    reply
    • More replies New replies ) Loading...
  • ... 2022-01-23 17:10:59.500736+00
    yeah the part of engineering with the cargo bays didn''t age well
    it's kinda eerie but at the same time being low on ammo and surrounded by explode-on-touch robos isn't the best combination
    reply
    • Xantha_Page 2022-02-06 00:17:15.443901+00
      That is the best combination.
    • More replies New replies ) Loading...
  • Zenosyne_ 2022-02-15 18:15:20.795233+00
    save three ICE Picks to cheese the final boss
    reply
    • More replies New replies ) Loading...
  • SNAFS 2022-03-10 21:01:10.627036+00
    Ken Levine is god.
    reply
    • More replies New replies ) Loading...
  • King_Death 2022-04-06 07:19:47.738116+00
    :)
    reply
    • More replies New replies ) Loading...
  • flowergirlcore 2022-05-18 17:06:07.541549+00
    This game is really solid with mods, really painful without them though
    reply
    • More replies New replies ) Loading...
  • More comments New comments (0) Loading...
Please login or sign up to comment.

Suggestions

ADVERTISEMENT
Examples
1980s-1996
23 mar 2015
8 apr - 12 may 2015
1998-05
Report
Download
Image 1 of 2