System Shock 2 Tales from the System Shock 2

Published on June 17th, 2013 | by Michaela Buckley

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Tales from the System Shock 2 Pt.1

System Shock is an Action RPG which came out in 1994 for PC, developed solely by Looking Glass Studios, who later went on to create Thief: The Dark Project. It was an interesting game set in the distant future on a space ship, that used two types of screens which you could switch between, one is the normal First-person mode where there are limited pieces of on-screen information around the outer edge and the player can move around normally, the other mode is the HUD mode, where the player can look at the inventory and other information.
The game suffered from lack of refinement and is a product of its age, but in 1999, Looking Glass Studios would return and along with Irrational Games, decided to make a sequel.

Set in the 2114, it all looks like Blade Runner meets Half-Life.

Set in the 2114, it all looks like Blade Runner meets Half-Life.

Headed by Ken Levine of Thief and Bioshock fame, System Shock 2 built upon the original as a core Action RPG, however this one would have some more First-person shooter and Survival Horror elements.
Set on board the Von Braun, a stranded space vessel 42 years after the first game, a man is trapped and tries to escape.

The game appears to be more of a first-person shooter, however there is a hugely customisable upgrade system that is hidden beneath its exterior. Just like with the first game, if you press shift, you enter a management and RPG style mode where the mouse moves over the screen while the player remains still, here you can check your items, logs and other piddly bits of the game.
The first-person mode is a lot more fluid, with a more intuitive system for checking out objects.

What a cute robot. Somehow this feels a little ominous...

What a cute robot. Somehow this feels a little ominous…

The game starts with a spanner, but there are also many different guns, like shotgun and pistol as well as a magic type attack called psionic power, which use up some of your psi points and works similar to HP.

The role-playing system is much more advanced. The player is able to select a set-up for their character by choosing whether they would like to be a marine, who specialise in combat, Navy who are good at hacking and engineering or OSA which are psychics.

The in-game currency, nanites are used in the majority of the role-playing elements. Most upgrades are done at terminals and are bought, getting increasingly more expensive the more you buy of a certain type.

The game didn't offer me any advice.

The game didn’t offer me any advice.

Some of the upgrades include the base stats like Strength, Endurance or Agility, however there are also upgrades for technical skills like Hacking, Maintenance and Repairs and Combat skills, like Standard guns, Energy weapons and Heavy machineguns, or you can get O/S upgrades which offer nice bonuses like movement speed increase by 15% or 20% more health from hypos.
Equippable implants can be switched and are not permanent, they increase the base stats.

The game is notorious for being a landmark in interactive storytelling and also for its main villain, evil computer Shodan.

The beginning of the game begins with a rather Starship Troopers-y cutscene about the companies of the future, our main character, who we don’t seem to know the name of, known merely as Soldier G65434-2, but that’s dull so we’ll call him “Stiffy” for short.
Stiffy is joining the Armed Forces and after the world’s shortest training segment, we get to choose which path, Marine, Navy or OS.

A skip screen if ever I saw one.

A skip screen if ever I saw one.

At this point I didn’t really know what was going on, so I chose Navy because I like the uniform and also Stiffy needs to live up to his name, then we get some pretty poorly disguised choices for skill point allocation in the form of story mission choices, as it happens I just ended up choosing all of the hacky type ones, which I probably would have done anyway.

And so starts our adventure on the Von Braun, a military ship which will be escorting another one called the Rickenbacker. Well everything seems to be going well, I can’t foresee anything going wrong in the immediate future.

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