System Shock 2 Image
Metascore
92

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

User Score
9.2

Universal acclaim- based on 380 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: 86 out of 88
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 88
  3. Negative: 2 out of 88
  1. May 10, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This game still give me the shivers.
    It was the game that defined the entire RPS genre as well as the idea of betrayals.
    It isn't filled with enemies to fight, instead it is a game about being better than them. Find their weaknesses and conserve your ammo, cause you will be short for most of the game. And because of that and the sneaky placement of enemies (and the way they attack) you sneak around peeking into new rooms, hoping more often than not that there are no enemies or cameras. Thinking "I have this much ammo, but when I kill that guy three more will show up..." There were literally times when I had no ammo at all, and was forced to wrench down even rather brawny enemies (loader robots, stupid but dangerous).
    Incidentally this makes the game into a semi-stealthgame, while not intended for that. You really weigh up all options pretty much all the time. Do I hack that camera, do I shoot it, do I ambush the scary guards, do I try to avoid it all?

    And all the while being taunted for my inadequacies... "I-i-i-inseccct", nowhere since have I hated an enemy as much.
    As well as constantly being on the trail of the few other survivors, until finally I catch up to them only to be unable to call to them as they are chased away again.
    And the ghosts... disturbingly unpleasant to say the least. And the enemies, creepy!

    This game is stressful in the good way, moody in the right way.
    Bioshock was the heir to this game, yet none of them ever truly managed to match it's masterful combination of the things I listed, even if they tried valiantly.
    Expand
  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. Jul 30, 2014
    10
    Finally! After 15 long years, I was fortunate enough to experience supposedly one of the best pieces of pc gaming history that missed me in it's time, and.... yes, it's a masterpiece! SHODAN is one of the best villains ever, retrospective story told in the found audio logs is extremely effective, atmosphere and all the game mechanics are fantastic. Deus Ex still holds the crown in this category for me, but it's important to realize that SS2 came before that and have been a huge source of inspiration, which you can feel in every corner. I was a bit surprised by quite hard difficulty, but that added even more dread and tension to the overall experience. True PC gaming gem. 10/10 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. Apr 3, 2012
    9
    I'd consider this one an underground classic. SS2 introduced RPG elements to the FPS genre before it become trendy years later, so in that regard it was ahead of its time. The main drawbacks are that I can't get the game to run on any version of Windows newer than XP, and the weapons are unbalanced (all you really need is the Assault Rifle, provided you have enough ammo). Aside from those negative points, you can hack computer terminals and turrets, kill aliens and rip out their organs to research their weaknesses, get more intel on the game plot through emails and audio logs, and acquire psionic disciplines (akin to magic powers, but a Psi-Amp is required). Bioshock's resemblance in gameplay is no coincidence. It's also worth noting the survival horror element of the game - it's a creepy atmosphere all around. It's like a cyberpunk Resident Evil. Overall, I consider System Shock 2 to be a cult classic in the gaming industry. A must play at some point in your life. 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 88 User Reviews