System Shock 2 Image
Metascore
92

Universal acclaim - based on 20 Critics What's this?

User Score
9.2

Universal acclaim- based on 370 Ratings

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  • Summary: Like System Shock 1, there will be persistent levels (i.e., drop an item on one level, and you could go back later to retrieve it), gameplay elements like logs, inventory, skills, persistent world, leaning, hacking, rpg elements, multiple weapons and enemies, and a compelling storyline. Unlike most other first person shooters, the purpose of System Shock was not to kill everything in sight; nor was it a "find the key to move onto the next level" game. The plot was always present, but not so confining as in traditional shooters - there was almost always more than one task to accomplish. Levels were realistically designed and had logical reasons behind them. It is the principle of System Shock 2 to continue this game design. [sshock2.com] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 20
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 20
  3. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. 100
    The first game was an undeniable classic that could easily be ruined in the wrong hands. We're here to tell you to pack those fears away in a box because this is the dream sequel.
  2. It's scary, it's atmospheric, it has a great plot, and it rewards the thinking player more than the fragaholic.
  3. If playing games is more of a religion than a hobby to you, meet your new bible...System Shock 2 will scare the hell right out of you -- and you'll like it for that reason.
  4. A gaming triumph...More astonishingly, they've created a system of classes and abilities that are so varied that there's a compelling reason to actually play through the game more than once.
  5. Simply put, the creepy atmosphere is incredible. Forget those survival horror games full of cheap scares and dark alleys. System Shock 2 manages to frighten without succumbing to horror contrivances. Considering this game is six years old, it truly is an achievement. [Aug 2005]
  6. A hybrid game that effectively blends elements from a variety of genres into a thoroughly enjoyable and accessible package.
  7. Utterly immersive in its use of character attachment and amnesiac story-telling, it is a game that will honestly give you the sweats...It's all about replacing your shorts every half-hour or so.

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 84 out of 86
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 86
  3. Negative: 2 out of 86
  1. Nov 2, 2011
    10
    What else to say? Other comments said everything that has to be said. A simply masterpiece done by Looking Glass.
  2. Feb 9, 2011
    10
    This is one of the greatest and underrated PC games of all time, simply terrifying to play with its unparalleled level of ambient horror this is the RPS that defined the genre and has set the standard for future games in this category. Dead Space/Bioshock/Deus Ex - all the others stem from SS2 and it's no surprise why.
    The gameplay is superior to SS1 and the sound and voice acting are some of, if not the best I have ever heard in my years of gaming. To me reviewing this in 2011 after playing it for about 8 years - this is the pinnacle of PC gaming and if you can get your hands on a copy and get it running then you are in for a world of horrific joy!
    Expand
  3. Apr 17, 2014
    10
    First time playing it, it reminds me of Half Life in terms of graphics. But the more I play it, the more I realize just how deep this experience is. They don't make games like this, anymore. Highly recommended. 10 out of 10. Expand
  4. Oct 8, 2010
    10
    How awesome is this game? Well - I've played it for the first time in 2007, right after I have finished playing Bioshock and OH MY GOD, SS2 just dominated it.... SO DAMN MUCH. It is a really unique game - one of few games, which manages to combine perfectly cRPG with a shooter - no really, I was very disappointed with Bioshock, Fallout 3 and even Mass Effect 2. SS2 is just so damn good. Sure, the graphics are kind of ugly now, but the game is just so original, so complicated and at the same time, so player-friendly. It shows a beautiful and convincing vision of future - combine it with really great gaming mechanics, good plot, great sounds, beautiful music, huge replayability and even 4 player COOP - and you get System Shock 2. Yeah, the game has some worse moments, but playing it is just so fun, that it makes you forgive about anything that's bad about it (and there's not many bad things about it). If there's a game which makes any new game looks bad and 'brainless', it's System Shock 2. My favorite game of all times and well-deserved 10/10. Expand
  5. Apr 5, 2014
    10
    A landmark game to be sure. The RPG elements were well implemented, allowing for many different playstyles and adding to the replayability. The atmosphere is great, the plot is well developed, SHODAN is a great villain and this game is very scary. Expand
  6. Dec 2, 2013
    9
    Tense. Scary. Deep. Gripping.

    A wonderful experience for a BioShock fan like me, uncovering how the series was born and finding a story
    just as interesting as Rapture and gameplay way more satisfying than I could have imagined. The fights in this are some of the most white knuckle moments I've had in a game, playing out more like a really high pressure MMORPG battle than the simple shooters future entries were. I encourage anyone who loves good survival gameplay, where you really have to think about what supplies you have and what build your character is, to try this out.

    And of course, that story.
    That AMAZING story.

    Definitely a classic worth embracing if you have the time.
    Expand
  7. May 10, 2013
    2
    Shock 2 ain't no Looking Glass game that's for sure. Comparing it with the original is like calling mud chocolate mouse. Clunky, silly, unscary, slow, predictable....and no cyberspace. Thumbs down. Expand

See all 86 User Reviews