Friday, December 2, 2011

System Shock 2

Eventually, I came across a fantastic science fiction horror themed first person shooter called System Shock 2. I think I was 14 or 15 at that time. Now this game was developed by Irrational/2K, the same people who made the super awesome Bioshock, which was basically a spiritual successor to the System Shock series. 

The game begins with the player having to choose a specific career in the Marines, Navy or the OSA. This choice is the first of many that determines how the player will shape their character. Joining the Marines will result in special skills relating to combat and weapons training, the Navy will result in technical training related to hacking and engineering, and the OSA results in honed psychic powers that can be developed for a number of purposes.

Your character, a genetically modifiable soldier wakes up on the medical deck of a spaceship called the Von Braun with amnesia. He is contacted by a survivor, Dr. Janice Polito via a virtual interface using a audio long and tells him that the ship is on an emergency mode and guides him to safety as the cabin he is in is going to depressurize. Thus you find yourself in a empty ship that looks like something very wrong has happened in here. As you explore further, you see dead bodies of crew member and eventually come across the infected crew members who have now turned into zombie like hybrids. 

Many devices populate the Von Braun that can be employed to accomplish character related goals. Skills can be bought using cybernetic modules at upgrade units, allowing the player to increase specific stats such as extra health, increased weapon damage, or increased speed.

The player can also hack devices, such as keypads to open alternate areas and vending machines to reduce prices. When a hack is attempted, a minigame begins where a grid of green nodes form; the player must connect three in a straight row to succeed. Optionally, electronic lock picks can be found and automatically hack a machine, regardless of its difficulty.

System shock 2 was a fantastic game way ahead of its times, which is why the epic Bioshock has so many similarities with this game.I just had a demo so have played this game a little bit, but that amount was also enough to get me hooked on to similar games. Both featured an engaging story in a similar plot setup where you wake up as a vulnerable amnesiac who is guided by a trustworthy seeming character who later turns out to be dead and an impostor who wants to control the environment for his own purposes was pretending to be them and making you do their work. Both games also feature hacking, resurrection stations and have audio logs and encounters with apparitions to reveal past bits of the story. System Shock 2 had Psionics similar to the plasmids in Bioshock. Another major similarity is that the  The prime difference between the two games is that System Shock was made much earlier with a plot based in the future while Bioshock was made a decade later with a plot based in the past.

 Though I am not a very big fan of FPS anymore, I still religiously follow and play the Bioshock series and recently, after discovering the fantastic graphics and  gameplay of Call Of Duty Modern Warfare 2, I am now going to play Modern Warfare 3 also.