The rendering engine was based on Origin System's (now EA) Ultima 3D-Engine. In gameplay, this allows me to pick up items and to interact with the environment using a mouse pointer. I am pretty dexterous in my environment, being able to crawl, jump and even side step to get away from those necro beasties. This is next-level Doom but without the run and shoot sense of urgency, yet with a level of complication for those who want to work stuff out for themselves.
Log those details
Indeed, one of my main complaints about this game is the UI, which is extremely complex and essential to master in order to complete the game. Gameplay is also let down by the need to have an NVQ in touch typing to aim and reload.
My energy bar is hastily depleted by pickups such as shields, jet boots and also my hefty laser gun. I'm restricted to eight weapon slots – I'm a fan of the Machine Gun and crowbar – and each has different ammo types including hollow bullets and tranquilliser darts.
Choose your weapons
In combat, I need to be sure I am using the right ordnance against the right baddie to deal the most damage. Stim patches for such qualities as strength and sight keep me going, but at a cost. Nasty side effects can be reduced by a detox patch (well, it is
The ten levels of System Shock are intricately connected to each other. I need things from one level to activate things in another. Also hacking into the coloured grid that is cyberspace, looking for key codes I need for a different level, is pretty to look at and certainly entertaining.
One of the things I love about System Shock is the music, it is hilarious and totally contradictory to the menacing and gloomy game play atmosphere. Slaughtering cyborg zombies to rubbish early nineties techno always gives me a giggle. Skrillex, I see what you did there.
System Shock is the perfect combination of bash 'em up action and crafty puzzle solving. Clearly, the inspiration for generations of developers, System Shock 2 raised the bar in 1999 and I think it is impossible to calculate the influence the System Shock games have had, spanning several genres from Half Life to Resident Evil. ®
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Developer Looking Glass Technologies
Publisher Origin Systems
Year of release 1994
Platforms PC DOS, Macintosh
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Oh and I might add....
...there was System Shock and then there was the CDROM edition of System Shock that had the voice work of Terri Brosius as SHODAN. That makes all the difference...if you're playing without her voice, you're missing a whole lot.
System Shock 2 with full surround sound (the Dark Engine kicked serious butt when it came to audio) is something to experience.
System Shock was awesome, but System Shock 2 was even better. I wish they made System Shock 3 instead of Bioshock - Bioshock was good, but not as good as the SS series.
System Shock / SS2 were masterpieces, a leap up from the environment that Doom et al offered in geometry (is that really a translucent bridge!) and in the flexibility your character had to lean round corners, peak over edges etc.
Sneaking around in the dark and jumping out of your skin with headphones was a rewarding and genuinely memorable experience, and the soundtrack and in-game sound effects were perfectly matched, whether creaking self-destructing service robots or psychotic vending machines.
I can still feel a sense of amazement at finding a hoverboard late in the game and seeing it transform the gameplay and present the environment in a new unexpectedly fluid way.
Still got the PC version sitting on my shelf.
Superb game, one of the best ever - and still playable on modern PCs thanks to DOSbox. Google for "System Shock Portable" and thank me later.
People who never played system shock, missed out on one of the brilliant moments from teh sequel... Where you find yourself in the first level of System Shock.