System Shock 2 Image
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92

Universal acclaim - based on 20 Critic Reviews What's this?

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9.1

Universal acclaim- based on 664 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.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
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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. Irrational Games and Looking Glass have produced one of the best games I've ever played. System Shock 2 is truly scary, smart, challenging, fascinating, and disturbing. I recommend it to any adventurous adventure player.
  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. 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]
  5. 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.
  6. A frightening game to the point that I found myself having to take breaks from playing just to ease the tension in my shoulders.
  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. Negative: 2 out of 111
  1. Oct 13, 2016
    10
    I figured I get around to reviewing this game even though my first experience with this masterpiece was back in 1999.
    System Shock 2 today
    I figured I get around to reviewing this game even though my first experience with this masterpiece was back in 1999.
    System Shock 2 today still retains all of it's qualities albeit beeing very dated. You can enhance the game with a few mods that are easy to implement and even have their own guides in the games community hub on steam.

    One of the big strenght of this title is the feel of dread and isolation it delivers. The game is an RPG/FPS/Horror hybrid with alot of sci fi done right and puzzle solving. If you're familiar with the “Alien” series of movies and have played another master piece by the name of "Deus Ex" (the original pc version), you already have a good idea of what to expect.

    The atmosphere portrayed within this game is incredibly tense and has a creepy, somewhat disturbing ambience to it.
    I will attempt to explain how the game's plot goes: you are a soldier of a futuristic military force known as the UNN, and accept a mission to go onboard the maiden flight of mankind's latest technological achievement: a starship called the 'Von Braun'. This starship is capable of travelling faster than the speed of light and is the first manned spacecraft to explore beyond our solar system. You are put into hypersleep for six months and while you're asleep, all hell breaks loose. Aliens take over, all the crew is slaughtered and the AI running the ship goes berserk (ala 2001: A Space Odyssey). You however are not discovered and upon waking must find out what happened. And the game keeps your interest throughout the entire game.

    The actual gameplay mechanics, like "Deus Ex", are brilliant for those of us that like games a bit more intellectually challenging than say other horror titles like the newer Resident evil titles or moody fps games like Alien vs predator titles. The story line is presented brilliantly, and character development is unbelievably good. This is a glimpse of how games that are allowed to take risks could be, if the devs don't fall for the run of the mill console cannon fodder dudebro titles. Or at least in my opinion how they should be.
    If you're a budding game developer, this game would be a great place to look for ideas and examples of a quality gaming experience. In conclusion though, I can't really recommend this game enough.

    Summary of some of its traits: A quality game hampered today only by it's age. The ambience is heavy and dark. The atmosphere is one of death and hopelessness throughout, not unlike a good horror movie. It successfully imposes a feeling of isolation and dread. Storywise it is very good but where the game excells storywise is not necessarily in the story itself but in its execution. If you though Half-Life, Resident evil or Alien Isolation were good, you haven't seen anything.
    Gameplay is excellent. It's essentially an intellectual's FPS. It's closest comparison is the original pc version of Deus Ex, other examples are the Thief series (or Ultima Underworld series if you're old fart like me, or atleast old enough to remember), and newer examples are the Bioshock titles wich were inspired by this game.

    I't cheap and can be found both on Steam and GOG and well worth a buy and playthrough.
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  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 thisThis 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!
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  3. MichalW.
    Dec 5, 2003
    10
    There are only two games in history that can compare to it - Thief and Deus Ex. It's simply a masterpiece.
  4. Mar 1, 2013
    10
    One of my fellow reviewers, ShaunDerichuk, evidently has bad taste in games, because this was one of the leading pioneers in both horror andOne of my fellow reviewers, ShaunDerichuk, evidently has bad taste in games, because this was one of the leading pioneers in both horror and 3D gaming. It has genuine suspense, tragedy, action, strategy, and it's graphics haven't aged well...in the RIGHT way. The enemy's jerky movements are genuinely unsettling and paired with their cries for help and warnings towards you to run, even apologizing to you, is piss-your-pants in terror scary. Security cameras are worthy adversaries, causing lengthy alarms if triggered that make you truly think about whether to fight or flee, the turrets are tough and can kill you easily, and equiptment like chemicals for research or maintenance tools are hard to come by. Even RESPAWNING requires strategy, because it requires you to manually activate a machine and pay money to use it. Come to thing of it, money is used for EVERYTHING, which makes it really important to budget out. You can't really be a 'Jack-of-all trades' in this game, so don't expect to be able to hack with your toes while pulling off head shots with a laser and repairing a grenade launcher, while also doing in depth research on ancient alien brains and running really fast. This is a severely underrated gem that is one of the games you HAVE to play before you die. Expand
  5. Jan 31, 2013
    10
    una obra de arte, un juego de culto, todo en uno, en los inicios de la carrera de los mejores programadores de todos los tiempos como lo esuna obra de arte, un juego de culto, todo en uno, en los inicios de la carrera de los mejores programadores de todos los tiempos como lo es Ken Levin, famoso por sus 2 obras de arte: System Shock 2 y Bioshock, un juego que no debe perderse, que gano premios, que se convirtio en un titulo de culto, una jugabilidad impresionante, y una historia que es simplemente fantastica. Expand
  6. Sep 8, 2011
    9
    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 itwith 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
    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 IThis 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.
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See all 111 User Reviews