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Cyberpunk Review » System Shock
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Comments

March 20, 2006

DannyV_El_Acme said:

OOOOOOOOH YEAH. Now THIS is what classic cyberpunk gaming is all about! System Shock was truly LIGHT YEARS ahead of its time. It was edgy, it was slick and it was SCARY. And it was one of the first games to truly make your character your own, with its RPG elements and choice of upgrading. This is the game that made Warren Spector a household name, and in it you can see elements of the brilliant masterpice that would be Deus Ex 6 years later.

By the way, goddamn, 6 years is a LOT of time in the videogame industry. System Shock looks positively prehistoric compared to Deus Ex, and Deus Ex looks just as dated compared to Half Life 2. Truly the videogame industry(as well as the movie industry) is truly a good point of reference to notice just how fast technology is moving these days. Who knows, maybe SHODAN will make her grand debut one of these days :)

Metatron said:

Apparently there is little chance of System Shock 3 because of some unresolved copyright issues, the IP rights being spread between too many entities :(

Neuromancer said:

aaah, yessss.

Anyone for a remake using newer graphics?

Nice review Metatron!

DannyV_El_Acme said:

From Wikipedia, pretty recent news… “On January 9, 2006, Electronic Arts renewed their trademark protection on the title “System Shock” in the United States, leading to speculation that they intend to use the title to make a new game. This information was announced at nearly the same time that Take-Two Interactive announced their acquisition of Irrational Games, with BioShock slated for release in early 2007.”

Interesting! :)

Metatron said:

Whoa, that’s some news! Imagine System Shock recreated on a decent engine, say, the Doom 3 engine or Source (an then imagine me winning the lottery to buy a proper rig in order to run it at high FPS…) Still, they HAVE TO make that sequel. Full stop. :)

March 23, 2006

Muad'dib said:

I don’t think I will be able to play a System Shock with the Doom3 Engine - far too scary :D
Still I will be the first to buy “Bioshock”. I absolutely loved SS2. Unfortunately I never got to play the first one…I definitely have to catch up on that sometime.

May 8, 2006

TJ said:

“It’ll be a cold day in hell before they see a System Shock product from us”

Electronic Arts is mearly holding the name, they aren’t intending on producing a system shock project.

June 5, 2006

yammosk said:

After Looking Glass Studios went under, some of the developers of the System Shock formed another company called Irrational Games. They are currently working on a game called Bioshock which is often refered to as a spiritual successor to the System Shock series. Because EA refused to give up the rights to the System Shock IP, Bioshock is set in a different mythos. It sounds like it will build off many of the same gameplay concepts and themes of the System Shock series. You can see the wiki article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irrational_Games), but this interview with one of the designers might give you a better idea of the concepts they are shooting for (http://pc.ign.com/articles/705/705454p1.html).

radioman970 said:

I loved this game. I felt it had more in common with the Altimate Underworlds as far as the 3D worlds were concerned. It felt like there could be something hiding in every little corner, above or below you. I love it when a game has me considering the choice of running and finding a place to hide instead of going forward, guns blazing. Games can be far to predictable these days. Even Half-life 2 and Doom are that way. Neither has really surprised me all that much. Both are fun…but nothing like what the System Shocks threw at me back then.

I’ve wanted to write some fiction based on a game myself. I guess it comes when you get wrapped up in it enough. Both System Shocks sure had that effect on most who played it enough.

Yep, I miss Looking Glass. Awesome game company. The Thiefs will always be on my favorites list. They were a ball, especially the original with it’s zombies and totally twisted levels.

June 16, 2006

SFAM said:

Agreed. Thief absolutely rocked. Definitely good gameplay.

June 17, 2006

radioman970 said:

Yes indeed! One of the few games that scared the crap out of me. I was just lovin the zombies. When I first encountered those ghosts that sound like they are talking backwards I turned the damn game off in a huff! :D

February 10, 2007

Miles the Cy-Fox said:

Best damn DOS game ever. I’ve beat it twice on a Pentium 233 Windows 98 workhorse in DOS mode and I put it on my “new” 486. Started to relive some Citadel nostalga and finally got the brass to up the difficulty levels. Still playing, still loving and trying to spread it around.

Long live Shock

February 14, 2007

Oldie said:

ok, as the last remark was made on 10th feb of this year i feel free to post as well. :D

If there is a game that deserves a remake, then system shock 1. It blew me away, i bought it even twice - (floppy and cd-version) - the sound from the cd version was brilliant. :) i think that SS1 is my absolute favourite on pc (beside ufo- enemy unknown). I hope that the copyright holders will consider a remake and give the younger generation the possibility of playing one of the best games ever as well - so that they know what we are talking about… ;) …and then i could buy it the “third time”. :D well, maybe there could be a real system shoch again, if bioshock sells ok…

February 23, 2007

Buzz said:

Want to play System Shock? Go to this site and they have converted System Shock CD to play on WinXP.

http://www.strangebedfellows.de/index.php/topic,211.0.html

June 19, 2007

Miles the Cy-Fox said:

Strangely enough, I just bought a second copy of the enhanced CD edition of System Shock at a yard sale. 25 cents. =D

July 10, 2007

Psiweapon said:

System Shock is just too AWESOME. The graphics may be outdated, but they’re still goddamn immersive. Shodan is… goddamnit, I’D SERVE HER.

This game is great, and the second one is great. Probably two of the scariest games liek, zomg, EVAR.

The atmosphere is outstanding, the plot, the (few) characters, just EVERYTHING is so frickin’ good.

August 3, 2007

Thanathos said:

I remember myself playing entire nights this game. Unfortunately I got frustrated before ending it and when I tried again 3 years ago (in 2004) I have to agree with Metatron that good memories are better left alone.
However, I always remember the game as if it calls me to finish it, and now I found this review. Destiny? Maybe someday somebody will release a remake. I want a remake!
But, I want a remake? what if the remake deceives the good memories?
I feel sad. This game helped me construct my taste for all cyberpunk related things.
Great review Metatron! Thanks for reviving the memories!

April 12, 2008

John said:

Have the System Shock Portable (SSP) code that I downloaded around 6 months ago. This let’s you play the game on XP machines in 1024×768 - truly looks great and makes it very playable compared with the original 320×200 graphics! Of course, downloading the SSP never stopped me buying the original CD version boxed with manual and all paperwork off ebay. Some things you just need to have a hard copy of!

This game stands up even today. The graphics will warm to you, the story will grab you and Shodan will shake your faith in humanity and re-new your fear in where today’s technology is taking us! System Shock. The best PC game outside of X-Com. Period.

June 4, 2008

Scott said:

Being a gamer first and an asthetically minded individual second, I have to say that this game is absolutely mind-blowing. All of the accolades, the praise, all very richly deserved. You simply can’t find games of this caliber anymore, IMO.

Agreed on it’s immersiveness. Radioman970 pretty much nailed it in a paragraph or less. It truly is SCARY at times, and even the most hard-nosed gamer will still jump when they turn around just as an enemy is throwing a blow your way.

Play the first level. REALLY give it a chance, and you will see that the graphics do nothing to detract from what is a timeless and great gaming experience!

September 11, 2008

POLOMiNT said:

I found myself doing search for the game, see if could find it, stumbled on this thread the great comment each and everyone has shared, and i’m left wanting to play this game right now..

I short the story is next to nothing ever produced, the total emersion you get from the audio tapes as you struggle to piece together what happend while you charator was in status is nothing short of chilling. I myself have messured games not by the graphice content (but some have move use vastly forward) but by the shear way it draws you into the story line surrounding it. not many since this game (1994) have done that, expect close byt the original Half Life story.

I miss this in game, and i hope that some day we all get to play something that comes close to what this game did for me.

Heres to the One and only ‘System Shock’

POLOMiNT

John said:

As sad as I am to say, We won’t see games like System Shock in the future, they are part of a bygone ethos that has disappeared. When you look at the Ultima Underworlds then System Shock, then Looking Glass’s follow-up ‘Terra Nova: Task Force Centauri, then System Shock 2 then Bioshock you see, over a decade or more, the move toward more combat and less thinking. Scares, yes, but there was more thinking and digesting of information in the Ultima Underworlds and System Shocks than anything released since around 2000.

If you like retro games, i’d like to point you to a web service I found started by CD Projekt (The Witcher) that intends selling classic retro games via download with no DRM and guaranteed to work on XP and Vista for $5.99 and $9.99. The company is called Good Old Games and the site is www.gog.com. I think there’s a good chance they eventually have System Shock 1 and 2 if they possibly can! They already have Fallout 1 and 2, Descent, Hostile Waters, Freespace, Giants: Citizen Kabuto and about 20 others. If your not a graphic whore and prefer great gameplay over shallow, even if that means 16 bit SVGA graphics, maybe this site will interest you? I am a fan and not connected with the company in any way. Just downloaded Fallout 1 and 2 and they work perfectly on my XP system! :)

The System Shocks may, through this service, get another slice of the limelight - and that is no bad thing!

John said:

We won’t see games like System Shock in the future. Unfortunately they are part of a bygone ethos that has disappeared. When you look at the Ultima Underworld’s then System Shock, then Looking Glass’ follow-up ‘Terra Nova: Task Force Centauri, then System Shock 2 then Bioshock you see, over a decade or more, the move toward more combat and less thinking in PC games. Scares, yes, but there was more thinking and digesting of information in the Ultima Underworld’s and System Shock’s than anything released since around 2003.

If you like retro games, i’d like to point you to a web service I found started by CD Projekt (developers of the RPG ‘The Witcher’) that intends selling classic retro PC games via download with no DRM and guaranteed to work on XP and Vista for $5.99 and $9.99. The company is called Good Old Games and the site is www.gog.com. I think there’s a good chance they will eventually have System Shock 1 and 2 if they possibly can! They already have Fallout 1 and 2, Descent, Hostile Waters, Freespace, Giants: Citizen Kabuto and about 20 others. If your not a graphic whore and prefer great gameplay over shallow, even if that means 16 bit SVGA graphics, maybe this site will interest you? I am a fan and not connected with the company in any way. I Just downloaded Fallout 1 and 2 and they work perfectly on my XP system! :)

The System Shocks may, through this service, get another slice of the limelight - and that is no bad thing!

John said:

Damn software - Shodan has got into your system!

January 2, 2009

John said:

Here we are 6 months later - and I am still playing it! In another 3 or 4 months i’ll move onto System Shock 2! :)

January 11, 2009

Rob said:

Loved System Shock 2.

Id be interested in assisting with a remake depending on what language and what engine.

January 20, 2009

Paul Jakes said:

Hmm I remember waiting years for SS 2 and it was amazing, tried Bioshock but just could not get into the sub HP Lovecraft/Captain Nemo world. IMHO.
So back to SS 1.

July 14, 2009

Craeox said:

hmm when i got this game i was 6 years old… and it overwhelmed me. Its still best fps/rpg combination 4ever. Deus Ex just sux comparing to this. And if u say Deus Ex is based on ss then its a big shame to the world of gaming, world of cyberpunk

July 15, 2009

kabukiman said:

Deus ex doesn’t suck, it’s just a very diferent game. SS is a horror/survival game, Deus ex is a game about conspirations.

July 19, 2010

Sir_Knumskulll said:

Reading all this makes me feel so nostalgic.

I remember anticipating this game almost a year before it came out. I had been complaining to my friend that Doom was simple and boring after a while and how it would be nice if there was more ways to accomplish a goal than to just storm in guns blazing. He mentioned to me that in the french computer gaming magazine he used to read they were talking about a game just like that to be released next year.

I bought it the moment it came out in 1994. At first I was completely overwhelmed by both the interface and the depth and I set it down for a few days. Then when I got back into it, there was no stopping. As everyone said, this game was literally a DECADE ahead of it’s time! To a degree it shaped part my teenage years. So so many fond memories. Like a few others, I too tried my hand at writing a story about System Shock. I guess that’s how good the game was at immersing the player in this world. By the time one was done playing it, it felt like a real journey, a personal experience almost that had lasted for the weeks or months of playing.

My respects to all the folks who used to be at Looking Glass and all the amazing products they made. If the world was a fair place, Looking Glass Studios would be the most successful game developer to date.

September 28, 2010

EdzUp said:

System Shock 1 is my favourite game of all time after completing it for the 48th time I still never get tired of it :). System Shock 2 is a close second to this masterpiece I would love to see one of the bigwigs come out with a System Shock 3

September 30, 2010

UK_John said:

It’s a sad state of affairs in gaming today, where you fear a follow up to a great game. Back in the day you got excited at follow up’s!

May 26, 2011

Joe said:

“I figure few would be tempted to sample a 12-year old relic and say any words of praise when they have Doom 3 and Half-Life to play with”

Acyually I have played Half Life 1….then a few months ago I decided to see what all the fuss was about. Even knowing all the plot details beforehand, I like HL more (it was released about a decade later, so maybe comparisons are unfair), but I still greatly respect SS1 as a game. Such a shame that SS2 is almost impossible to get hold of…

March 11, 2013

mredders said:

Thanks for writing this retrospective :) I FINALLY got around to playing System Shock 2 via the GoG release and finished slightly disappointed - it was a little underwhelming compared to my memories of playing the terrifying demo version way back in the 90s. I’ve been giving SS1 a try, and whilst I probably won’t make it through the whole thing (just too dated for my tastes), it’s very interesting as a sort of historical relic. A shame they dropped the cyberspace mechanics and put less emphasis on multi-deck-questing in 2, though I preferred the slightly lower - but more dangerous - enemy count and focus on scavenging (if not the weapon degredation!). I think it would’ve been interesting to see the series lean a bit farther towards Deus Ex-esque mechanics. Ah well, computer gaming is littered with what-might-have-beens :)

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