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Bernie

Should I play System Shock 2?

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Ever since I started playing Doom I have always maintained a curiosity for old-school fps. It's just great to harken back to times where the industry actually turned out classic after classic instead of the endlessly-tired COD series. I have since discovered Unreal Gold and have been enjoying it so far, but one game that I see has some of the most respect among the cult-following is SS2. I have seen some footage of it and it seems quite intense and has a lot of stategy that I might enjoy, but I heard that it is quite a confusing and difficult game at times and I'm kind of squeamish towards stuff that is too scary, albeit jumpscares and simply unavoidable zombies that take a multitude of hits to kill.

I will make it clear that I have researched a little bit to gather how to not screw myself over with the stats and points that I really have no experience with since this will be the first game I played that mixes first-person with RPG, so if anyone on this forum who has played this game and knows a lot of it can help me, thank you.

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I would play it. It does have a couple areas that can be a pain, but over all the game holds up really well and you will see why so many say the game was ahead of it's time.

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Absolutely.

Fulgrim was completely right about "ahead of it's time", even the movement system is super advanced. The story is really awesome, the graphics were pretty good for the time, the gameplay is fantastic, and if you're willing to get immersed in the game it can be pretty horrifying in it's own way (not much in terms of jumpscares, but some of the elements with the story and such are very horrifying). If you are a fan at all of the original Bioshock, you will have a blast with System Shock 2. The only thing this game can't do for you is cure cancer. I would recommend using the HD original textures, as long as you don't play with anything that changes models, sounds, or gameplay. I think there's an original soundtrack and movies mod, but your mileage may vary.


Don't overlook System Shock 1 or the upcoming remake, either. Lots of hype for the new one, not many people bothered to play the old one due to controls and graphics, but they're both actually very very good.

Listen to this and there's no way you won't play it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bL7I_eWryI

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Yes, I highly recommend System Shock 2, it is disturbing and intense. I wouldn't say its all that scary though, its just disturbing at some points. One thing I recommend is tot urn off the music, its a good soundtrack but its a bit fast paced and doesn't fit really that well with the pace of the game.

If you enjoy this game, then I'd also highly recommend Deus Ex which is another FPS/RPG hybrid and arguably one of the greatest games ever made.

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Doominator2 said:

One thing I recommend is tot urn off the music, its a good soundtrack but its a bit fast paced and doesn't fit really that well with the pace of the game.


Whaaattt??? The music was one of the best parts of the game. A staple of the series.

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Sick Bow said:

Whaaattt??? The music was one of the best parts of the game. A staple of the series.

I like all my video games with music. That's one of the reasons I don't really enjoy Atari Jaguar Doom.

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SS2 is amazing. I love it, the random nature of the enemy spawns is the biggest factor into why it remains frightening.

Doominator2 said:

One thing I recommend is tot urn off the music, its a good soundtrack but its a bit fast paced and doesn't fit really that well with the pace of the game.


Legit bad opinion tbqh.

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I find the game much more scary if you turn of the music for the first couple of parts.

Honestly the first few sections of the game have really fast paced music and I feel like I'm playing an Unreal Tournament match.

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I tried playing it a couple of times, but I could never get it to run in a stable sense. The game would always crash after a certain time. Sometimes after five minutes, sometimes even up to thirty, but it would always crash to desktop regardless. After that I just gave up.

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One of the few games I tend to come back to just play the base game over and over. Simply wonderful.

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Doominator2 said:

I find the game much more scary if you turn of the music for the first couple of parts.

Honestly the first few sections of the game have really fast paced music and I feel like I'm playing an Unreal Tournament match.

SS2 has dynamic music. The fast paced parts of it only play when you are in combat.

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Quast said:

SS2 has dynamic music. The fast paced parts of it only play when you are in combat.

That's true for the first game, but not for the sequel. None of the Dark engine games feature dynamic music changes. Sci, Ops or Engineering will always play aggressive jungle tracks.

And I love it. Engineering is flooded with radiation and there's no time for getting spooked by hybrids, gotta blast them without breaking stride. Fear is for Med.

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I recommend against HD replacement stuff and using the original graphics. I went back to play it again recently and found the enemy skins actually dorkier than what was being replaced. General dorkiness is easier to appreciate in lo res.

This game scared me soooo bad in high school days.

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everyone should play this game at least once; it's a masterpiece of story telling using the environments, music, and ambiance of the audio (the audio is top notch and I can still hear it clearly after all these years).

The game's rpg elements work really well and allow you to make some interesting character types while forcing you to make some hard choices with the leveling system. Combat is fun and encounters can be unnerving hearing it before you can see what is coming, plus I really liked the weapon attrition and ammo selection aspect. (ie., it matters). Hacking is fun and intuitive.

I would play it again and I've played this 4 times already.

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dew said:

That's true for the first game, but not for the sequel. None of the Dark engine games feature dynamic music changes. Sci, Ops or Engineering will always play aggressive jungle tracks.

No, this is 100% true for SS2. I've never played the original, but I do know that SS2 doesn't have musical 'tracks' of any sense, rather it has short 15-30 second themed and sectional parts of music that weave together depending on what is going on and where you are.

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SS2 always gets the praise and recommendations, when actually SS1 is the more atmospheric/creepy one due to the darker and lower-res visuals and general novelty of the theme. With the mouselook mod/portable/enhanced versions, it plays pretty much like a regular FPS game. SS2 is also a great game, of course - just kind of bright and clean in comparison. So, well, go play both in succession!

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Quast said:

SS2 has dynamic music. The fast paced parts of it only play when you are in combat.


Yeah as much as I love the music in SS2, that's not true at all. You can kill every enemy in MedSci and be stowed away from combat and the music will always play, as well as always playing when you enter an area with music. It's not dynamic.

Aquanet said:

I recommend against HD replacement stuff and using the original graphics.


I disagree. I would recommend the SHTUP texture replacement, as it uses the original textures that the developers scaled down for the sole purpose of fitting the whole thing on a CD-ROM. Might be a preference thing, but they're the same textures, just better.

Doominator2 said:

Anyways Bernine, try playing the game a bit with music on and a bit with it off and see what you like better.


That's fine. Also, this game is meant to be played multiple times, so I'd recommend playing just a straight up marine before going into the other stuff, unless you really want to. Play however you want, just don't convolute the original game and expect to get a fair judgement.

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I'm watching some stupid let's plays because of this, heh. Looks like the music can fade away after some goals get carried out in the side sections, but the central hub of med/sci or the engineering are definitely not calming down ever.

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Doominator2 said:

Yes, I highly recommend System Shock 2, it is disturbing and intense. I wouldn't say its all that scary though, its just disturbing at some points. One thing I recommend is tot urn off the music, its a good soundtrack but its a bit fast paced and doesn't fit really that well with the pace of the game.

If you enjoy this game, then I'd also highly recommend Deus Ex which is another FPS/RPG hybrid and arguably one of the greatest games ever made.

Kinda like fear and Quake really? Well more fear, creepy in some parts but its more action. Quake, well thats more Gothic or horror themed then horror by genre.

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I played it for the first time last year and found it incredibly boring. I really wanted to give it a fair shake, and tried to like it for hours; but I gave up in some copy-paste area with toxic corridors, or perhaps a short time after, I can't remember anymore. The level design was so dull and unmemorable. Constant enemy spawns served as a frustration more than anything, the combat being uninvolved and lackluster. I can't even remember if I fought anything but zombies and turrets.

It's interesting to play to see where Bioshock came from, as well as the things that changed and got dumbed down; it's also a powerful example of the necessity of polish. I'm sure the experience could have been great, had I played the game at release. Nowadays, there's greater shooters, greater adventure games, greater movie games, greater stories, greater sandboxes... SS2 simply doesn't seem to do anything interesting to make up for its many flaws (unlike, say, Deus Ex, which still holds up as a zany sandbox to this day).

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There's a very real case to be made that System Shock 2 is the best videogame ever.

Yes, you should play it.

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Phml said:

I played it for the first time last year and found it incredibly boring. I really wanted to give it a fair shake, and tried to like it for hours; but I gave up in some copy-paste area with toxic corridors, or perhaps a short time after, I can't remember anymore. The level design was so dull and unmemorable.

That is engineering and it is the worst part of the game for sure. I almost hate to say it, but...it does get better. Except for the egg hunt at the end.

I can't even remember if I fought anything but zombies and turrets.

You may not have gotten quite far enough to fight the annoying little psionic monkeys and the more annoying, yet funny suicidal robots.

SS2 simply doesn't seem to do anything interesting to make up for its many flaws (unlike, say, Deus Ex, which still holds up as a zany sandbox to this day).

I'll agree that ss2 hasn't aged that well, though the difference with deus ex is that ss2 is more 'open world' as you gain access to more and more areas of the ship.

The main things I really enjoyed though, was the general ambiance of the entire game and the goddamn crew logs you find. Many of them are pretty damn creepy and the voice acting isn't that terrible either.

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I don't agree with Cynical in that it's possibly the best game ever. But it is very much up there, and is more influential than people might think.

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It's a pretty good game. The main problem I had with it is if you get stuck you can spend forever wandering around a mostly-empty map, looking for a solution. In that sense it reminded me of Hexen.

I thought the graphics were decent considering when it was release, except for the developers' tendency to leave light sources untextured. That looks weird when any game does it.

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Agentbromsnor said:

I tried playing it a couple of times, but I could never get it to run in a stable sense. The game would always crash after a certain time. Sometimes after five minutes, sometimes even up to thirty, but it would always crash to desktop regardless. After that I just gave up.


Is it the original CD version? Get the GOG version as it is formatted to run on Windows 7 and above.

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Bernie said:

Is it the original CD version? Get the GOG version as it is formatted to run on Windows 7 and above.


Additionally, the Steam release works fine (for me) on Windows 7 and Windows 10. Pretty sure you can just run the .exe and bypass any Steam DRM, although this game is seriously the best game to play with the Steam Controller. I'd argue that with some creative shortcuts, radial-menu creation, and the gyroscope, it is just as good as KB/M, while being more comfy.

Still, GOG is an amazing site. No DRM and you actually fucking own your own games after purchase. I get deals off Humble Bundle for GOG keys, just got the first two Witcher games for a couple of dollars!

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System Shock 1 is nearly as good, and shouldn't be overlooked. Both games are quite excellent. System Shock 2 is generally a more engrossing, challenging and complex game than the first, but an atrocious ending and a completely useless romantic subplot hold it back a bit. I'd recommend getting some high definition texture packs for System Shock 2 via Blue Mod Manager.

As for the discussion about SS2's soundtrack, I think the music is pretty good, but it feels way out of place and the game just seems to lend itself better to not having any music playing.

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