System Shock 2 Image
Metascore
92

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

User Score
9.2

Universal acclaim- based on 394 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: 90 out of 92
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 92
  3. Negative: 2 out of 92
  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. DanielF.
    Jul 15, 2003
    10
    Certainly one of the best games I have ever played. A real classic!
  4. Sep 1, 2013
    10
    Extremely deep PC game and I like how this one of the few PC exclusives now and its very well done all the sound effects and audio logs much better than that crappy overrated piece of crap Bioshock came after this and this is the best of all of the Shocks games Expand
  5. Jul 15, 2013
    10
    System Shock 2 is everything I look for in a game. Great gameplay, great story, nice graphics, great soundtrack, great atmosphere, uncanningly amazing voice acting. The player models are a bit "ugh" but aside from that the graphics are quite good for the time it was released. The one thing I didn't really like about it was that the default controls really suck. W is forward (as usual), but A and D were turn left and right, respectivly, and S was crouch, whereas Z and C were strafe left and right, respectivly, and X was backward. Of course, this can be easily changed, so it is but a minor annoyance.
    The thing that first hit me about this game was the tutorial. Most of the time, the tutorials in games are crudly done (Half-Life) or very vague (Ghost Recon) if existant at all (Day of Defeat). System Shock 2 takes tutorials to a whole new level. It's very thorough and fits into the storyline like a cute glove. And if you're on your second playthrough, you can skip the tutorial completely. However, if it is your first time playing, you really should play it. This is not just another FPS. This is unique.
    So how much is this worth? More than Steam is selling it for. If you don't like RPGs, you wouldn't like this. If you only play modern games because "GWAFIXXXXX", stop it for this game. You can't just not play it.
    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. ShawnDarichuk
    Jul 9, 2008
    0
    This game is broken to the point of being unplayable. I don't get a gun when I start, I'm told that I can't even use the gun I just found (because people in the military don't know what guns are), and my only weapon is a wrench. Wow, isn't that fun.
    Easily the worst PC game ever made.
    Expand

See all 92 User Reviews