System Shock 2 Image

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

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Universal acclaim- based on 385 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. [] 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: 87 out of 89
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 89
  3. Negative: 2 out of 89
  1. Jul 24, 2013
    Visually dated, but SS2 is still as adept at creating an immersive, tense atmosphere as it was in 1999. Ultima Underworld in space, massively influential and with a narrative every bit as engaging as its gameplay. One of the best PC games ever made, no question. Expand
  2. Feb 9, 2011
    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!
  3. MichalW.
    Dec 5, 2003
    There are only two games in history that can compare to it - Thief and Deus Ex. It's simply a masterpiece.
  4. Jul 16, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. System Shock 2 is one of the greatest games of all time. This is one of the most claustrophobic, scariest, creepiest, pulse-pounding, heart-racing, adrenaline-pumping, games I've ever played. The music score really gets you ready for anything and puts you on the edge of your seat. This game isn't full of jump scares either. It has great atmosphere. The hybrids have the scariest voice I've ever heard. The game's graphics are dated but that's about all. I don't even care about graphics. I care about gameplay. The gameplay is pretty good too. It uses the dark engine which the first two Thief games use. The game also has one of the greatest reveals in video game history and THE greatest villain in video game history, SHODAN. SHODAN is on almost every Top 10 video game villains list I've seen. System Shock 2 is also an RPG. It is actually my favorite RPG. The game takes place in space on board the starship Von Braun. The game is very intense. I highly recommend this game! Expand
  5. Dec 3, 2013
    When a game like this is still being talked about and still given recognition 14 years from when it was released, that means a lot. This game has defined the FPS/Survival horror genre so that all the others before it could be inspired. It has also innovated storytelling and having a villain in a game that gets you really involved in what's going on. SHODAN is still considered one of the greatest video game characters and villains of all time. This game has had a profound impact on games and I believe if they made a 100 greatest games of all times list 100 years from now, System Shock 2 would be on the list. Expand
  6. Sep 8, 2011
    with a heavy heart i give this a 9 - why would i do this for a game that is amongst my personal top of the finest games ever made? because it could have been more; nonetheless, it is simply one of the most brilliant horror FPS ever made; the game play is certainly immersive - not quite as much as the Thief series (from which SS2 borrowed a lot of the sounds since the same developer (Looking Glass) made both game franchises), but nonetheless incredibly well done; but what i think the game failed to do is to balance all weapons (some are acquired later on and typically quite under-powered and useless, especially since the RPG aspect is so well developed in this game, meaning that a later stages in the game you will already have developed your character to be most proficient in some weaponry - little use are underpowered exotic weapons that your character has little to no skill in using); and the lonely environment is simply not convincing - other attempts in the genre like Dead Space actually do create horror you can feel and thus heighten your feeling of isolation; but in SS2 this feeling never develops because of the vast weaponry at your disposal and the rather pathetic attempts at instigating several encounters with other alive NPCs that then get killed or run off; however, the musical score is superb and creates incredible atmosphere in this game; all in all a definite must-have! Expand
  7. ShawnDarichuk
    Jul 9, 2008
    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.

See all 89 User Reviews