So System Shock 2 ... is it good?

Posted by Aetheldod (3594 posts) 1 year, 7 months ago

Poll: So System Shock 2 ... is it good? (117 votes)

Yes you need to play it 62%
No is so hideous ... save your money 3%
Well ... it could be I gues 32%

So we all know that system shock 2 is available on gog ... I never played the game in my life so I ask should I get it? In case you wonder im not a graphics whore and I never ascribed to the notion of "its not modern so it plays bad" silly business. But I still don´t know if the game is good , and yesterday stream was inconclusive for me ... Brad said that Bioshock has a lot of stuff from System Shock 2 , I enjoyed Bioshock so will I like this game? Or is there any videos you could recomend me to have a look at it (spoilerless if possible)

#1 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5554 posts) -

Define "we." I gather Bioshock is virtually identical to System Shock 2, except one is baby easy and the other is fairly difficult; one of the old good yahtzee videos: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/zero-punctuation/4-BioShock

Also there's games that play fine that are old, but by and large those don't entail stealth nor non super fast FPS's (anything between UT/Quake 3 and Painkiller pretty much).

#2 Edited by Tru3_Blu3 (3211 posts) -

System Shock 2 is still a great game. It's difficult as hell, but it's fair. You just need to know what type of build your getting into and understand enemy behavior so the right dodge maneuvers can be given. You also have to be very economic by not wasting ammo and sci-fi-mana on weak, individual enemies. So wrench out on enemies often so you don't have to in the long term.

Here's an awesome review of System Shock 2 (this guy despises Bioshock, by the way (and he's dead also, so give virtual respect)).

#3 Posted by believer258 (11949 posts) -

System Shock 2 is, from what I gather, ball-bustingly difficult and if you don't play well and don't allocate your skill points well, you might hit a point where you can't go on. That said, this game would not have become the cult classic that it is if that possibility were an ever-present hole that any new player was bound to step in.

Yes, I've played some of it and yes, it has some things in it that would be downright baffling today. The controls are downright weird, even for the time; weapon degradation is insanely high and the devs themselves wish they would have toned it down some (I'd suggest modding it out altogether, but that's just me and my hate of that mechanic); there are several other oddities that you'll have to get used to.

BUT

After all's said and done, System Shock 2 is a perfectly playable game if you can get around the quirks and graphics of the time. There are way worse ways to spend your money and time.

#4 Edited by Aetheldod (3594 posts) -

@fredchuckdave: :D yeah that video sold me ... Im a sucker for complex games thanks duder

#5 Edited by Pr1mus (3936 posts) -

I want to know more about this game too. I like Cyberpunk, i like Deus Ex (both the original and the Human Revolution variety), i like Dead Space and i don't mind old games as long as getting them to run on Win 7 64 bits doesn't involve black magic or some other kind of arcane ritual. However i do not care for Bioshock. So is it for me?

#6 Posted by Aetheldod (3594 posts) -

@tru3_blu3: @believer258: Well I guess its a no brainer ... :D thanks duders , yeah I dont mind effin it up , and I do like more arcane (aka no babysitting hand holding) gameplay.

#7 Posted by Captain_Tolerable (20 posts) -

System Shock 2 has this ability to remain eerie and very frightening even though it is close to 14 years old. I'd chalk it up to the story being so well fleshed out, the setting of the game, and not to mention the difficulty. A big contrast from Bioshock and System Shock 2 is that the latter didn't necessarily need something like scores of Splicers or Big Daddies to throw at you to accomplish what it needed to do. Ammo is generally scarce, ammo types in particular play a larger role, especially early on for instance when all you have is a Pistol and Shotgun. The one thing that will take a considerable amount of time adapting to is the playstyle, as it's very slow paced and the controls are awkward.

Bioshock was a great game, don't get me wrong, it's just not a great RPG or Horror game. If you want a good Horror game with neat RPG elements integrated instead of tacked on, System Shock 2 is definitely worth it.

Also did I mention it includes late 90s video game techno!?!

#8 Posted by project343 (2828 posts) -

Completely depends on your tolerance of and appreciation for older games.

#9 Posted by JZ (2125 posts) -

You had to play it at the time.

#10 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4826 posts) -

The interface and keys are completely fucking borked. They were borked in 1999 and they're just as borked now.

If you're fine playing an FPS with one hand looking like a miniaturized version of Twister then I'm sure you'll have a ball.

#11 Posted by punkxblaze (2987 posts) -
#12 Posted by Aetheldod (3594 posts) -
#13 Edited by Oldirtybearon (4826 posts) -

@oldirtybearon: Is there no key binding?

there probably is, but there are six different keys for doing the same thing in six different ways. System Shock 2's greatest crime is being made before context sensitivity was a thing.

#14 Posted by SoldierG654342 (1771 posts) -

@aetheldod: There is full key rebinding. The default controls are baffling but there is even a pre-made FPS binding that you can load that's more traditional.

#15 Posted by Aetheldod (3594 posts) -
#16 Posted by owl_of_minerva (1455 posts) -

It makes me twitch when people complain about graphics/rebindable controls/difficulty. SS2 is one of the best games for the PC and absolutely should be played. Some minor annoyances aside it has great atmosphere, sharp writing and setting, and it hybridises action and rpg elements well, thus adding depth and replayability. Although it might not fit into how you want to play I would advise levelling hacking and standard weapons.

In terms of SS2 relates to Bioshock, Bio is quite similar but it strips down the RPG elements and makes many things too easy (respawning doesn't have a resource cost, security cameras with lights showing you where they're looking, less atmosphere, over-plentiful resources, etc.).

#17 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

I'll be the judge of that....once somebody gifts me the game, of course.

#18 Posted by BeachThunder (11994 posts) -

If you liked Bioshock, then you'll probably like System Shock 2. Imagine it to be a combination of Bioshock and Dead Space.

#19 Posted by Butano (1741 posts) -

So I ended up purchasing it and have played about 2 hours of it. I'm liking it so far (never played either one). I was surprised at how much easier it was to get into than the first Deus Ex (at least for me, I've replayed that Statue of Liberty level like 20 times, and then never could continue after that).

My only beef with it is respawning enemies. It kinda feels like Far Cry 2's enemy respawn.

#20 Edited by Captain_Tolerable (20 posts) -

@butano said:

So I ended up purchasing it and have played about 2 hours of it. I'm liking it so far (never played either one). I was surprised at how much easier it was to get into than the first Deus Ex (at least for me, I've replayed that Statue of Liberty level like 20 times, and then never could continue after that).

My only beef with it is respawning enemies. It kinda feels like Far Cry 2's enemy respawn.

While it seems sort of lame I think that if you removed respawning enemies it would end up taking more away from the game then adding it in terms of quality.

What I feel the respawning enemies accomplish is the need to manage the quickly deteriorating weapons and not to mention ammunition and health. It forces you to remain alert at all times in a way. It punishes you for being lax when running through an area once again and taking hits from said enemies. It also acts as an outlet to use your nanites. Another great thing respawning enemies creates is it makes you pay attention to your surroundings, and that in turn helps you take in the levels in a way that wouldn't be possible if they were missing. I have found myself discovering new audio logs, rooms, and items because of the respawning enemies. It also has a tendency to make the game much more difficult, especially later in the game.

Maybe it's a dumb sort of challenge, or it's cheap challenge, but I enjoy the respawning enemies. I feel if you were to take them out it would retract from the game as a whole, making certain objectives like backtracking to a previous area for one reason or another an absolute bore with no real threat or fear that something could kill you on your way.

#21 Posted by azrailx (386 posts) -

pffft system shock 2, it was better when it was called bioshock

#22 Posted by Butano (1741 posts) -

@butano said:

So I ended up purchasing it and have played about 2 hours of it. I'm liking it so far (never played either one). I was surprised at how much easier it was to get into than the first Deus Ex (at least for me, I've replayed that Statue of Liberty level like 20 times, and then never could continue after that).

My only beef with it is respawning enemies. It kinda feels like Far Cry 2's enemy respawn.

While it seems sort of lame I think that if you removed respawning enemies it would end up taking more away from the game then adding it in terms of quality.

What I feel the respawning enemies accomplish is the need to manage the quickly deteriorating weapons and not to mention ammunition and health. It forces you to remain alert at all times in a way. It punishes you for being lax when running through an area once again and taking hits from said enemies. It also acts as an outlet to use your nanites. Another great thing respawning enemies creates is it makes you pay attention to your surroundings, and that in turn helps you take in the levels in a way that wouldn't be possible if they were missing. I have found myself discovering new audio logs, rooms, and items because of the respawning enemies. It also has a tendency to make the game much more difficult, especially later in the game.

Maybe it's a dumb sort of challenge, or it's cheap challenge, but I enjoy the respawning enemies. I feel if you were to take them out it would retract from the game as a whole, making certain objectives like backtracking to a previous area for one reason or another an absolute bore with no real threat or fear that something could kill you on your way.

Oh, I definitely understand why they have it, cause if they didn't the game would be a cakewalk. I don't mind enemy respawns, but when I say it's like Far Cry 2, I mean I clear a room, leave for about a minute, come back and the enemies have respawned over the corpses that are still laying there. That sort of implementation of it is what bugs me.

I'm still enjoying the game though. Much more than I did the first Bioshock.

#23 Posted by Captain_Tolerable (20 posts) -

I could understand what you mean from that then, I never really played Far Cry 2 much so I'm not too familiar with what that actually meant. I could sympathize with having a problem with that, I have had a few times where that has happened but the only really large one I had a problem with was when I loaded into a level and an enemy materialized into the same room as me after the load completed, there's a texture that goes along with it too I believe. It looks like the Doom respawning green orb effect but blue instead, which I found pretty funny.

#24 Posted by The_Hiro_Abides (1263 posts) -

The game is easiest to play with Navy, because then it becomes much easier to get into anything that is locked. Also you can start leveling up the skill to manage weapon degradation. At a certain point the game becomes a lot easier to manage but still tense.

Anyway, this is worthwhile to play for the atmosphere and the story. Plus it's fascinating to see how Bioshock lifted some big stuff from System Shock 2. Also Dead Space does burrow a few things for atmosphere.

#25 Edited by RedCream (705 posts) -

Hell yeah it is! I wrote something about it on my blog. Check it out if you're interested.

#26 Posted by Quarters (1721 posts) -

From what I've played, I just couldn't get into it. And that was back in the day. I didn't think it's story/storytelling seemed that interesting, and I didn't like the gameplay. I'd rather play any of the Deus Ex games(which I realize is different in certain respects, they are just both highly revered). For an indicator of where my tastes lie, I hate the Half-Life games(beat all of them, don't like any of them) and the first Bioshock(beat it, haven't played 2, don't plan on playing Infinite) too. So if you really like them, perhaps it's best to ignore my advice.

#27 Edited by Aetheldod (3594 posts) -

@quarters: With all respect I will :P I love me some Half Life.

#28 Posted by BigBoss1911 (2478 posts) -

If you like Bioshock, you'll love System Shock 2.

#29 Posted by IAmNotBatman (652 posts) -

@tru3_blu3: Awesome to see some 'antisocialfatman' love. :)

#30 Edited by FancySoapsMan (5834 posts) -

if you like horror games and/or cyberpunk setting then System Shock 2 is a must play, even after all these years. By the way I think the HD graphics mod looks kind of bad. The original enemy models are much creepier.

also I was not aware that antisocialfatman had died :( I remember that guy used to post on Gamespot. he was pretty cool

#31 Posted by paulwade1984 (478 posts) -

Weapon deterioration and enemy re spawns may seem redundant and stupid at first. However when I played this through years ago, I found that the game is balanced so that you need to dump points into weapon modifications, maintenance and/or repair. Otherwise you end up with skill points for everything and the game becomes a cake walk.

System Shock 2 was great. It's fun to play now if you have fond memories of it or you like to play games from the past. Anybody who loved Deus Ex and Bioshock needs to play this game. I never forgot the first time I teabagged an annelid arachnid.

#32 Posted by Funkydupe (3321 posts) -

It was a really good game, now it just looks old and it makes me not want to pick it up again. I played it plenty before and I don't feel the need to go back to it.

#33 Posted by Tesla (1923 posts) -

I'm playing it now for the first time and loving it. Of course the original Deus Ex is my favorite game, so I have a tolerance for the shortcomings of a first person rpg that's over a decade old.

But yeah, bought it from GOG, slapped a couple mods on it to pretty it up some, and jumped right in relatively easily.

#34 Posted by mordukai (7153 posts) -

@aetheldod: Hi. There are a ton of mods that make a huge difference. Monkey around with them. The GOG version makes it super easy to test and then run them.

#35 Edited by djames216 (376 posts) -

I bought the game back in the day so have the original retail disc. I've played it several times by now. I just recently played it on impossible difficulty (the hardest) leaning towards the military method of standard guns etc. I've also played navy and psi methods but not recently. I think the one I had most fun with was using psi powers (just my personal preference). There's some pretty damn cool powers when you look. I think the one I had most fun with was invisibility.

In my most recent playthrough I took the opportunity of installing some mods that improve graphics and audio a little.

http://www.systemshock.org/ is a good starting point for that kind of stuff.

#36 Posted by atomic_dumpling (2473 posts) -

I played a bit of the GOG version with some mods, here are my thoughts.

As someone who never played the original, this game seems good but tedious. The constant backtracking started to get on my nerves rather quickly. I threw in the towel after I was forced to deck 3 after yet another arbitrary plot contrivance blocked my path to deck 4.

To be fair, it was probably my own fault for chosing PSI and "hard". I guess that combination clashes too much with the intended way to play the game. I could do fuck-all besides using my PSI powers and eventually I ran out PSI hypos, at which point I was thoroughly boned. I suppose SS2 is much more fun playing as another class.

Maybe I give it a second chance some day now that my expectations are somewhat lowered.

#37 Edited by Cybertification (203 posts) -

One extremely important thing to know is that you can hold down the forward key(w) and the jump key(space) to climb up things that are too high to jump over.

Also, the only mod you will need is the newdark patch, it fixes almost everything and allows you to pick a higher resolution.

#38 Posted by Cybertification (203 posts) -

@atomic_dumpling: Playing as a psi agent is the hardest way, and picking hard also means that you get far less hp, and everything costs more.

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