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System Shock 2 Retrospect...and Possible Followup?

Cliff posted more than 9 years ago | from the revel-in-the-speculation dept.

PC Games (Games) 257

Starsmore writes: "Gamespot has a retrospective on the 1999 cult classic System Shock 2, which normally isn't that big of a deal on it's own, although it's a nice read for those interested in some of the stories behind the production of System Shock 2. The biggest draw is that tucked at the end of the article (and shown below for those that don't want to RTFA), is this: 'But why even look back at System Shock 2 at this point? Because Irrational has been, and it plans to make a related announcement this Friday (tomorrow). The studio has decided that it wishes to further what it started in System Shock 2--to work on games that promote "emergent" gameplay--open-ended exploration that offers many choices and combinations of options to players. You'll see what we mean tomorrow. Be sure to come back then.' " Could this possibly mean a sequel to the System Shock franchise? Update: 10/09 22:30 EDT by C : As many of you suspected, Irrational is in the process of developing BioShock , a "spiritual successor" to the System Shock games. Here's hoping they can distill much of what made games like System Shock and Thief so successful, yet succeed at their aim of building a game with truly emergent gameplay.

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257 comments

Obvious answer (4, Funny)

Per Wigren (5315) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467511)

Could this possibly mean a sequel to the System Shock franchise?

Wait until tomorrow and you will find out.

Re:Obvious answer (1, Insightful)

halowolf (692775) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467566)

Well, now that Irrational has got the development of Tribes: Vengeance out way I suppose they have some time up their sleaves for announcements ;)

I'll play TV while I wait it seems...

Re:Obvious answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10467573)

Wait until next week and you will find out again!

What? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10467514)

This is the most incoherent, confusing headline that I've ever seen.

Dumb Commentary (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10467516)

Did we really need the extra speculation after the quote? The linked article already speculated... Damn I'm sick of dumb questions and comments in the headlines

Agreed, should be more open-ended games (5, Insightful)

Ghostgate (800445) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467524)

to work on games that promote "emergent" gameplay--open-ended exploration that offers many choices and combinations of options to players

There's a few out there if you look hard enough (Morrowind, for example), but most single player games just aren't very deep these days. Of course, to make a really open-ended game requires a LOT more testing, driving up the budget and especially the time to develop the game - and modern games already take a long time to develop. Most developers feel the extra effort isn't worth it in most cases, unfortunately.

Best single player game in existence... (4, Insightful)

PepsiProgrammer (545828) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467640)

Is still Deus Ex (The original, the sequel blows )

Emergent gameplay: Check
Open Ended Exploration: Check
Many combinations of options: Check
Good plot (Espescially considering current world trends): Check

All it needs now is a graphics/ai overhaul and it will be perfect (Someone want to start a doom3 total conversion?)

Re:Best single player game in existence... (5, Insightful)

Blublu (647618) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467891)

I can't see why people hate Deus Ex 2 so much. Sure, it wasn't an exact copy of Deus Ex 1, but it was still a good game despite the fact that it was suffering from mild console syndrome. Oh well.

Re:Best single player game in existence... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10467943)

Mild? The inventory system was crap, and that HUD truly shits me to tears. Now add to that the fact that it seems to run slower than Doom 3, and you'll know why I personally can't stand it.

Re:Best single player game in existence... (4, Insightful)

Dimensio (311070) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467999)

Someone already mentioned the terrible inventory system and HUD, and it should also be noted that the concurrent X-box development of the game led to the PC version having abysmally small levels (meaning lots of irritating long load waits) in spite of the fact that the devs had previously stated that the PC version would have larger maps with fewer load points, and the game has very low-res, ugly textures. While fans created a third-party add-on with much improved texturing, such a thing should not have required third-party intervention and there is no solution to the tiny map size.

Not to mention that the main character is bland (possibly partially a result of them designing the story around the main character being either male or female), the story is flat without depth in the characters, there's only one real twist to the story and it's not exactly that shocking, the "universal ammunition" system is garbage, character development was heavily dumbed down from the first game (in the first game, you had to carefully choose your development choices to optimize according to your play type, and you could never fully max out every stat. In DX:IW, you could max out every stat before the middle of the game, and if you didn't like your choices you could easily swap no less than three of them out and re-max them), character models look hideous and the overall interface was too far streamlined down to accomidate the X-Box, destroying much of what made Deus Ex fun in the first place.

Re:Best single player game in existence... (2, Insightful)

Blublu (647618) | more than 9 years ago | (#10468019)

Okay, replace the word "mild" with "heavy"... I forgot about the tiny map sizes. I agree it was dumbed down because of the damn Xbox, and the unified ammo and that stuff was annoyign at first, but still I enjoyed playing it and thought it was a good game. Not AWESOMELY GREAT, but enjoyable. If anything, it was just overhyped.

Re:Best single player game in existence... (1)

Dimensio (311070) | more than 9 years ago | (#10468032)

The problem is that quite a bit was promised, and very little delivered. A number of promised features (larger map sizes on the PC version, destroyable light sources, AI that isn't as dumb as paint) never made it to the final release.

Deus Ex was a revolutionary title. It had flaws in its mechanics, yes, but overall it was great gameplay mixed with a great story. Deus Ex: Invisible War was a complete disappointment, failing in every way to live up to its predecessor. It's one thing to try to improve upon the original and come up short, but IW looks like a project where the developers deliberately tried to make it than the original in every way.

Re:Best single player game in existence... (2, Interesting)

Blublu (647618) | more than 9 years ago | (#10468042)

This is why I always set my expectations to "low" for almost all games. That way, I don't get disappointed and can enjoy a game for what it is as opposed to getting disappointed by what it isn't.

Re:Best single player game in existence... (2, Insightful)

PepsiProgrammer (545828) | more than 9 years ago | (#10468051)

As I mentioned in another post on this thread, I think another reason for such suckiness in dx2 is the current political situation. The plot of dx2 does not have the same feel at all as the first. And I think this could be because some people would view the first game as VERY critical of current political trends, to the point where it would likely cause some controversy to release a game with such a plot.

Re:Best single player game in existence... (1)

__david__ (45671) | more than 9 years ago | (#10468067)

I agree with you. I thought compared to other games out there it was enjoyable. I had a lot of fun playing it. I was disappointed, though, when comparing it to the original--it doesn't stack up at all.

My least favorite change wasn't the universal ammo or the lack of inventory (though I do miss the micromanaging of the inventory). What I really miss the old weapon mod system. DX2 only lets you mod the weapon twice, and then you have to throw it out and start with a new gun. I hated that. I never got attached to any of my weapons like I did in DX1. I remember LOVING my cool hyper-accurate and long distance enhanced sniper rifle and my cool silenced pistol with laser sight, scope and damage and distance enhacers. Ahhh.... If I could have named the weapon I would have done it in a second. :-) When I got thrown in jail in DX1 I was heartbroken that I might not get my same weapon back (and overjoyed when I found it in the weapons locker). And I never felt that attached to anything I had in DX2.

-David

Re:Best single player game in existence... (2, Insightful)

PepsiProgrammer (545828) | more than 9 years ago | (#10468040)

There are other problems to past the obvious ones you mentioned. The game is orders of magnitude shorter than the original, the game seems very rushed (Biggest indicator of this is all the talk and build up of red greasels, but none ever show). The input system feels laggy, almost none of the neat things the engine was supposed to do came to fruition (dynamic shadows in gameplay namely) and the physics system was not implemented well at all.

All and all it was just an extremely dissapointing game. Part of this is probably because it had alot to live up to, and looking past the fact that it is supposed to be the sequel to dx1, it is no longer abhorent, its just another below average fps.

I do not know of anyone who really enjoyed the first game and the second, I believe fans of the two games are mutually exclusive.

Re:Best single player game in existence... (1)

Minna Kirai (624281) | more than 9 years ago | (#10468056)

the "universal ammunition" system is garbage,

Yes, but that was probably an overcompensation for the horrible ammo supply in the first game.

In case you can't remember, you played a top-secret government super-agent, and yet you couldn't even convince your shadowy bosses to reload your 9mm pistol in between missions. Looting ammo from the numerous heavily-armed opponents didn't work, because they'd turn out to only have 3-4 bullets in their assault rifles.

That problem greatly reduced the flexibilty of character development. For example, I'd like to train up on only the pistol and use that for all combat (except the occasional armored robot), but there's just not enough ammo around. You've got to carry 3 separate guns, just so you can be capable of shooting all the bullets you find.

Re:Best single player game in existence... (1)

PepsiProgrammer (545828) | more than 9 years ago | (#10468070)

Yeah the lack of ammo in the first game makes it a bit hard to go run and gun through the whole thing with your choice of weapon.

The worst example of this in the game are the throwing knives I think there are 2 or 3 sets of 4 in the whole game (And you cant remove them from people you kill with em)

Great thing about deus ex is that you dont need thousands of rounds of ammunition to play it. I have personally played through the game without firing a shot (and with harming only one person).

But the universal ammo system in the second game was overly silly.

Re:Agreed, should be more open-ended games (1)

arose (644256) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467995)

I have come to the conclusion that I favor linear games (with or without branching) over open ended games. I do not want to wander around and do silly things, I want a clear goal and many methods for achiving it (NetHack), or an engrosing story that pulls you allong rather than leaves you hanging (All Roads [wurb.com] ).

Re:Agreed, should be more open-ended games (1)

Ghostgate (800445) | more than 9 years ago | (#10468055)

I do not want to wander around and do silly things, I want a clear goal and many methods for achiving it

I see what you are saying, but that's what makes a game like Morrowind so special. It DOES have a linear storyline, or a "main quest" sort of thing. The beauty of the game is that you can follow that main quest all the way through, without deviating much, and "win" the game (of course, you can still keep playing once you have done this), or you can put it on the back burner and do anything else that looks interesting. Now, here's where some open-ended games fail, because they don't provide enough variety/detail and can leave you bored rather quickly. But the history, political system, and environment of Morrowind are all so detailed, it really does draw you in and make you feel like you are a part of the game world. And the fact that the game has a plugin system and ships with an editor assured that there was, and still is, a large mod community for it, making it even more open-ended than it originally was.

I'm not saying I'd want EVERY single-player game to be like this. It's nice to follow a more linear, pre-determined story too, as long as it's interesting enough. But here's the difference. Once you have played through that kind of game, you're pretty much done with it. On the other hand, I still play Morrowind regularly, well over 2 years after getting it, and there are still MANY things in the game world I have yet to experience. The fact that I still enjoy the game so much and still find new things, after playing it all this time, speaks volumes about how great open-ended games can be, if done correctly.

Reading the article for hidden meaning? (5, Funny)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467528)

Is that like reading Slashdot for the trolls?

Re:Reading the article for hidden meaning? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10467542)

Or like reading Playboy for the articles?

Re:Reading the article for hidden meaning? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10467663)

There's not really much reason to read Playboy other than for the articles. As pornography goes, its about as watered down as you can get. You might as well be watching ultrasoftcore porn on Cinemax.

PLEASE DO NOT BUTCHER IT (-1, Troll)

mindaktiviti (630001) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467529)

Like Deus Ex 2: Invisible War was butchered. It played WORSE on my computer than Doom 3 did! Yet, it came out around 6 months prior. Go figure. :/

Re:PLEASE DO NOT BUTCHER IT (1, Insightful)

JoeLinux (20366) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467571)

Deus Ex itself was butchered. They took out the RPG aspect of it, limited you on what you could carry, and took out the side quests...I was extremely dissapointed in it.

Re:PLEASE DO NOT BUTCHER IT (0, Troll)

Sta7ic (819090) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467764)

Are you bitching about the lack of adventuring or the lack of role-playing? Inventory is a function of an adventure game, while actor interaction is a function of role-playing games. Quests are a story element that is pretty much universal to anything short of puzzle games, and those have win conditions and bonuses.

Maybe you've forgotten that Final Fantasy is NOT a role-playing game? Where's the role-playing in "Uhh... Yes." and "Uhhh... No." in your dialogue? When your character is all but faceless and plays himself? That's an adventure game, where you run around and save the world and watch the character emote on their own.

"You can't fight ideas with bullets."

Additional speculation (4, Interesting)

Starsmore (788910) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467539)

Hey, I didn't put that stuff in on my original submission, don't blame me. :P

Hope there is a sequel (2, Insightful)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467540)

The original System Shock is a classic - I absolutely loved that game. SS2 was even better, however its much more creepy to play if you turn off the in-game music and just have the sounds of the things moving around.

If they announce a sequel I'll be a happy man indeed.

Wouldn't mind a remake... (1)

johannesg (664142) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467766)

I loved that game, but I haven't been able to make it work on my current machine. No matter what patches I apply or how I install it, it always crashes seconds into the game.

Besides, technology has moved on. Now, imagine the Doom 3 engine used to run the System Shock 2 game. Wouldn't that be yummy?

Re:Wouldn't mind a remake... (1)

BlueJay465 (216717) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467834)

I would love to see another game from that era and the 80's is Sid Meier's Pirates!, in full 3D glory, with the same kind of gameplay. I have been able to get System Shock and Pirates Gold! to run with moderate success, assuming you save often, in DOSBox [sourceforge.net] .

So.. this is.. (-1, Troll)

modifried (605582) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467558)

A news story.. without the story..

I sure hope there's another... (4, Interesting)

EvilCabbage (589836) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467561)

System Shock 2 was one of the last games that really scared the hell out of me. Clive Barkers: Undying did a pretty good job of that too.

If only Clive and the System Shock crew could get together, I'd be afraid to turn lights off for the rest of my life.

Re:I sure hope there's another... (4, Insightful)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467730)

Oh yes. Yes. Absolutely, yes. Completely.

I didn't play SS2 when it first come out. I tried the original SS looking for a Doom-clone and it didn't satisfy me, so i never bothered to look into the sequel. Besides it didn't ran that well on my computer back then.
Years later, with much better hardware i stumbled into a site that praised SS2 from top to bottom as the most underrated game ever. For some reason it stuck on me, and some days later i had a discussion with a friend who unconditionally loves the game, so i decided to give it a shot. When i found it on a bargain bin it went home with me.

A week later, i was so hooked my studies suffered. The game is, to this day, still the most atmospheric game i've played, and it sucked me in completely. It's tensefull, and creepy, and the "damn-that-made-me-jump-off-my-seat" moments just keep coming one after another (damn monkeys!). Doom 3 captured much of that atmosphere - and borrowed quite a lot from SS2, in fact; but the game itself wasn't anyware as good. Doom 3 is a shooter with a few jumpy moments, SS2 it's a suspense horror movie translated to the PC.

I enjoyed it inmensly. Graphics are dated, (through functional) but the gameplay are story are excellent and the sound, even by today standarts, is top notch - so much, playing it with headphones it's a must. By all means, if you're reading this and haven't tried it, do so.

Anyway, SS2, through it didn't sell well back when released it's to this day one of the most cherished games of all time. Unless they manage to fuck it up completely, System Shock 3 would sell like hot bread. I know i'm not the only one that would buy it in a heartbeat. Damn, i would even buy the original SS2 if they ported it to the Doom 3 engine. Twice.

cooperative play (5, Funny)

greyhoundpoe (802148) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467953)

I still remember the cooperative multiplayer, crawling through that damned ship while on a phone line with a friend of mine. That was hands down the best cooperative-horror game experience I've ever had. Both players could specialize--I hacked, he fought--and the entire experience was so *immersive*. We still talk about one moment when, hacking a crate, he had the bright idea to come up behind me, groan "I'm... sorry...." into the mic, and club me from behind. I knocked half the stuff off my desk trying to turn around so quickly. Screw Doom 3. I miss System Shock 2.

Re:I sure hope there's another... (1)

xsupergr0verx (758121) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467739)

Agreed.

Undying is easily my favorite single player game, and scared me quite well (Resident Evil series never caught me.) It can be picked up for $10 in a two pack with American McGee's Alice (mediocre... great atmosphere and characters, too many stupid jumping puzzles and annoying bosses).

Agreed with both you guys... (1)

EvilCabbage (589836) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467793)

I have just finished playing through both SS2 and Clive Barkers : Undying again, both of which on my new hardware provided me with a far more satisfying experience than Doom 3 did.

Re:Agreed with both you guys... (1)

sh0dan (762382) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467984)

It is however remarkable how much Doom3 looks like SS2 - story aside of course.
The creepy mood, logs, emails, sci-fi setting just constantly reminded me of SS2 - but it also made me wonder if a SS2-like game would be interesting today.
I have a hard time defining what made Doom3 a rather bland experience. The story is of course not as wellcrafted as SS2, and not a tenth as good as SS1.

SS1 was really groundbreaking for me. It was the first game that incorporated an intense story with a high degree of freedom, and sense for detail, that I've only seen in Deus Ex 1 since. It's very hard to put the finger on what these games did so well - and in both instances the followups have been much less interesting to me than the original - though SS2 to a much lesser degree.

I hope they will focus more on the story than "open-ended design". This is what made DX:IW horrible to me - not having a straight storyline. The story should IMO not be open-ended, since it makes the story loose focus, and it makes it impossible to make the player immerse in the story. We need good and evil. We need to have our options restricted. Otherwise the game cannot tell a strong story. DX:IW proves just that IMO.

Dunno ... (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 9 years ago | (#10468071)

...Quake 1 gave me a big scare. The first time I played this game I started by looking around in the room where I spawned at the start of one of the levels. One of those chainsaw toting Ogre monsters (which I had not seen since he had gotten behind me) revs up his saw and lets out a loud scream. The combination of speakers on a high volume setting and a sound quality I was not used to (I had previous played DOOM on a 386 with a crapy sound card) combined to startle me to the point that I dropped a can of Coke on the keyboard.

I like open ended gameplay (3, Interesting)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467563)

as long as it's _really_ open ended. That is, I can do what I want and live with the consequences. I can play the game however I see fit. Morrorwind did a great job of this, but it left it open to easy exploitation once you learned the system, and the game got really easy. This was fine, because there was so much to see and do I didn't care that the challenge was gone. What I hate is seeing the 'seams' in games. You know, the places where the game developer's limited what you could do because it would fsck up the pacing of the game or let you finish it too quik or they're just full of themselves and want you to do things their way (**cough** Half-Life **cough).

Re:I like open ended gameplay (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467662)

" You know, the places where the game developer's limited what you could do because it would fsck up the pacing of the game or let you finish it too quik or they're just full of themselves and want you to do things their way (**cough** Half-Life **cough)."

Hehe. UT 2004 drives me nuts with that. It has these huge outdoor maps, and when you fly to the edge of the map *ThUnk* you hit an invisible wall. Uhh thanks guys. I really wish they had done something like had the computer automatically turn the ship around with a message like "You're not going AWOL on us!" Something with a bit more character, yannow?

Re:I like open ended gameplay (1)

PepsiProgrammer (545828) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467679)

They got creative with a few of the maps, like on Dria? I think, if you fly too close to the flight ceiling for too long you get hit by an orbital canon :)

Re:I like open ended gameplay (1)

torenth (172029) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467942)

UT 2004 drives me nuts with that. It has these huge outdoor maps, and when you fly to the edge of the map *ThUnk* you hit an invisible wall.

This is a bit off topic, but that reminded me of what was cool about Tribes: when you go off the end of the map, the game generates more random terrain for you to walk on for as long as you feel like wandering.

Does EA own the License to System Shock still? (4, Interesting)

darkmayo (251580) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467567)

I recall there being a bunch of hullaballo with EA being pricks about that license. If Irrational hasnt accuired the license then we may be looking at a spiritual successor to System Shock 2.

Re:Does EA own the License to System Shock still? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10467592)

The problem is (or was) that no one person owns the System Shock license. When Looking Glass Studios broke up, each of the creditors got a chunk of the license. From memory one ex LG-er tried to track down who owned what and got nowhere.

Re:Does EA own the License to System Shock still? (3, Funny)

Provocateur (133110) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467988)

one ex LG-er tried to track down who owned what and got nowhere

Now *that's* really _open_ ended.

Oh, this would be great. (3, Insightful)

kerrle (810808) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467572)

System Shock, along with the Thief series and the first Deus Ex, is pretty much one of my favorite games ever. There was just something amazing about the atmosphere, but even more, slowly piecing the plot together from the emails of now dead crewmembers was just amazing. There's a reason Doom III pretty much lifted it intact; it worked great in SS2.

Re:Oh, this would be great. (1)

Calrathan (114381) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467720)

After playing DOOM3 for about 8 hours, and being heavily reminded of the tense atmosphere that system shock 2 provided [and the amazing use of sound as an emotional hook] I ended up re-installing ss2 to re-experience my memories of it.

iD Software does amazing work in pushing the limits of computing hardware for interactive entertainment. This latest title does an awesome job taking advantage of sound and lighting to generate an immersive atmosphere. That being said, I didn't get into the Doom3 storyline, and with the plethora of inane content on a lot of the data pads, it was kind've painful. I think the mechanism for story telling is great, but iD just pulled it off poorly.

System Shock 2 was an amazing, immersive game. The sounds in it don't compare to Doom3 in my opinion; however they do work very well, and were a groundbreaking for for me when I first experienced them. The appeal of SS2 was in the immersive environment, but unlike Doom3 which did so by placing a premium on environmental sound effects, the story, method of story telling, and open-ended partial-RPG style of the game were what made it the game that I love so much.

That all being said, I decided a few weeks ago that my ideal game would be if the DOOM3 team teamed up with the team that made System Shock 2, and build something that took the amazing immersive elements of both the technical and aureal that iD did so well, with the story telling and, to borrow a term, "emergent" environment from Irrational.

I'm looking forward to this announcement tomorrow, and hope to hear something along the lines of the Doom3 engine being licensed for the next in the System Shock series.

I'd like to know how the hell you played it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10467888)

stupid freakin XP and Norton declared it to be the worst thing since code red and sasser. Pisses me off. Anyone know how to run SS2 on XP? I dont want to go back to 98!! I'm SCARED!!

Re:Oh, this would be great. (4, Interesting)

johannesg (664142) | more than 9 years ago | (#10468072)

Yeah, except that in Doom 3 you already know what happened so it doesn't work _at all_. Not to mention the fact that all the audiologs are more or less the same: "This is the [bored sigh] audio log of dr. [whatever]... The guys in the delta complex are ticking me off [exasperated voice] again. Something weird happened, and I wonder if it is related to them... [indifferent voice] Well, I hope everything will be alright. The code to my locker has been changed, and the new code is 1, 2, 3."

In System Shock 2 it took a long time before the crew was even aware of any problem, and once they were they had enough time to organize resistance (unlike Doom 3 where the entire thing is over in a few minutes, basically the time it takes you to walk from the comm. center to marine HQ). As a result you find many, varied logs, some from before the problems start, some from people getting suspicious, and some from those who actively fight back.

While it is rather hard to actually identify crew members in SS2, I often found myself wondering if the mutilated corpse in front of me was in fact that of one of the people who's logs I had been reading. The notion that I could still hear their voices while they were no longer around to speak added a poignant touch to the game.

Excellent (1, Redundant)

antivoid (751399) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467575)

System Shock was absolutely excellent; I'm wondering if the proposed sequel will live up to the high standard set by the former. Generally, sequels don't seem to hit the high level of enjoyment as originals; it is interesting to note however that Half-Life 2 is very good, and has a lot of the same gameplay elements as Half-Life (another game I worship, incedently).

Doom 3 was a sequel to Doom1 (imho) because the engines for all *Doom* games was based on the same engine. And Doom 3 is epic (and that may be an understatement.)

What I am saying is, in essence, that SS2 could very well be brilliant as well; but don't be too shocked if it doesn't have as drastic an impact as its predecessor.

Re:Excellent (1)

antivoid (751399) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467593)

My apologies; I meant SS3 and not SS2 as posted in the parent article.

Re:Excellent (2, Funny)

BlueJay465 (216717) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467814)

There is one thing that must stay consistent. Terry Brosius' phenomenal charactarization of SHODAN. To this day, that granulized, broken and haunted voice still gives me chills and makes HAL 9000 look like a Teddy Ruxpin.

I have chomping at the bit for a SS3 for many moons now.

Re:Excellent (1)

sh0dan (762382) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467918)

Terry Brosius' phenomenal charactarization of SHODAN.
Agree! It should still be possible - at least she is still in the gaming industry. I saw her in the credits for "Thief: Deadly Shadows".
Also found her wrap-sheet [mobygames.com] .

My personal opinion was that the evil SHODAN was used for far too little in SS2. I would rather have had the roles of SHODAN and the many reversed, so you were fighting SHODAN most of the time and not the other way around.

axe (1)

lemody (588908) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467584)

I loved this game ... but then again I hated the lack of bullets, it was quite much just hacking computer terminals and smashing zombies with axe :)

Re:axe (1)

Dimensio (311070) | more than 9 years ago | (#10468008)

Axe?

I think that you mean wrench. Or laser sabre. Or crystal shard. I don't remember any axes in the game.

Sweet, Sweet System Shock.... (1)

NBarnes (586109) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467588)

I describe System Shock 2 to my friends as 'The best game I've ever played'. I have a half-completed design doc for System Shock 3: Earth, a MMORPG (it's a good idea, trust me). I'll be... checking GameSpot tomorrow.

Kick ass game (4, Interesting)

AnthonyPaulO (732084) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467597)

That game truly kicked ass. I've gotta say that the only games that managed to scare me have been the original Doom and System Shock 2. Everything worked so well together in SS2, I couldn't stop playing it, and when I finished, I played it again as another character. It is so good that I'm getting the itch to install it and replay it one more time. I've a former roommate that played it for a few hours (I purposely turned off the lights in the whole apartment and pumped up the 3D sound) and he kept shitting in his pants until he got up and refused to play any more of it, and that night he kept looking over his shoulder. I just died laughing. Good memories. I wish the do a SS3, I would be first in line to buy it!

Re:Kick ass game (1)

Zorilla (791636) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467676)

and he kept shitting in his pants until he got up and refused to play any more of it...

You'd think he would have gotten up the first time he shit his pants. This guy's not like the other children, class.

Re:Kick ass game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10467873)

So...

Some people think cucumbers taste better pickled.

Re:Kick ass game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10467982)

I was (also) scared shitless by the first three (Marine) levels of AvP (PC). You couldn't save in level and we played it round robin *shivers* and in the dark. Jesus gig god christ.

But yeah, SS2=_best_FPS_ever.

Please not DX:IW (4, Insightful)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467600)

If they decide to XBox it to the extreme like Deus Ex: Invisible War, count me out. Please let it be quality.

Re:Please not DX:IW (4, Interesting)

PepsiProgrammer (545828) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467671)

Exactly, the xbox ruined Deus Ex: IW. But I think some other factors did as well.

I think the current world political situation alsoinfluenced the game in a negative way. Look at it this way, if they released a game with a plot like the original now, they'd probably all be 'detained' indefinately. The second game completely lost the feel of the first even if you can look past the xbox crippled engine/design.

I imagine the current political situation is also why the movie project also got the axe. Nobody wants to be labeled a terrorist/antiamerican/nonrepublican anymore.

System Shock 2? Oh please. (-1, Troll)

sparkeyjames (264526) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467611)

That game was like on one of the lamest FPS's I have ever played. Please bury it before it happens.

What about real life? (0, Redundant)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467627)

to work on games that promote "emergent" gameplay--open-ended exploration that offers many choices and combinations of options to players

What I find endlessly interesting is the amount of effort and money being spent to make video games that mirror real life - as though there isn't this real life out there waiting for you!

I think it's a side effect of standardized education. We're all taught from early ages to respect the institution beyond our own personal judgements. Creativity is supressed in favor of complacency and "sit down, shut up". Psychological shackles are placed and maintained so consistently through our childhood, that we aren't even aware that we wear them. We succumb to the inevitable - prepare for and go to college, get a job, 401k, etc.....

But then, this new environment shows up, free of these shackles, and the first thing we want to do is to make it as much like our life as possible - only without these shackles.

"Free to do whatever you like". No shackles. Yet, the shackles aren't really there in the first place!

You don't need a job - you need money. You don't need a schedule. You don't need a boss. You don't need to sacrifice your day-to-day life in order to pay for that 7,000 environment killer to impress your neighbors. These things are all just stress. They are all just shackles!

The shackles are in your mind. How freeing it is to be rid of them! How pointless video games suddenly seem! The real world is so much richer, so much fuller, so much more inviting!

Finding your passion (such as, for me, engineering) is so incredibly rewarding! Knowing that on the morrow, when I awake, I will create peace for hundreds of people, some I've met, and many more I'll never know.

My works will ease the burden for these fine, good people. Their day will be a little brighter, their song will be a little lighter. And, these good people, will then be a little more free to spend their energies helping those they help.

I know this because they tell me so. I know this because I see the results. I've seen the kids, happy, hopeful, and bright.

What a joy it is to find one's true passion in life! Face your fears, clear away your shackles, and discover your true passion in life! Strength, joy, and peace of mind can be yours.

Re:What about real life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10467647)

What a joy to troll on slashdot and tell people how stupid they are!

What a wonderful feeling to tell people that you'll be saving lives every day, while they're stapling TPS report covers on!

How grand it must be to tell people for the upteenth time to go outside and do something else, after they've come home from a long day of work and want to relax!

Re:What about real life? (1)

Knnniggit (800801) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467694)

You have a point. Why do we bother making these silly games when we can just go outside and blow shit up? Oh wait.

Yes, but... (1)

Ghostgate (800445) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467750)

... finding my passion sounds like too much work. And when things sound like too much work, I close my eyes and cover my ears and go "LA LA LA!"

Then I go and play a game, and feel much better. Hooray for games! That was your point, right? Now I understand.

Re:What about real life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10467751)

Competition is what's fun. I can't shoot my friends in the real world (more than once that is) and it's not very nice.

Re:What about real life? (1)

Mant (578427) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467925)

There is a lot of effort to make realistic looking graphics in games, but they are very, very far away from trying to emulate real life. Even open ended gameplay is not about emulating real life. Choice and combinatins are ofen min/maxing minigames to get effective characters.

The things people enjoy in games are often very different from real life. I love Burnout 3, but I wouldn't want to crash my car in real life. Obviously any fantasy or sci-fi setting is impossible. Real life rarely has a good narrative, or satisisfying closure.

People want elements of reality it their games so they can relate, but the want elements of escapism too. If you are going to knock games for the escapist element stopping them improving thier life, you have to knock theater, movies, TV, books, hell, almost every form of human entertainment ever created. Even sports let you concentrate on the team/players/match and forget about 'real life'.

Obviously if you are so caught up in escapism it stops you improving your quality of life it is a problem. For most people though, it is a balance, and their quality of life is improved by some escapism. Video games (and other escapist entertainment) aren't a substitute for doing something in real, but a way of experiencing something you couldn't or wouldn't want to.

People need to eat, have shelter, cloths and that generally means jobs. Its great if you get one you love, but there is nothing that says the availablity of such jobs is going to match up with what people want. All through human history people have had to do stuff they haven't enjoyed to get by.

Yes, obsession with consumerism is bad, staying in a bad job to buy stuff you need is dumb. However, people have to put up with all kinds of crap in life they can't help or control, a bit of healthy escapism like video games is a good thing. The real world can be rich and inviting, but it can also be harsh, cruel and painful. You certainly shouldn't use video games to hide from it, but you can use them to make your journey through it a more enjoyable one.

You rather sound like a recruiter for some wacky cult.

Re:What about real life? (2, Insightful)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467985)

What I find endlessly interesting is the amount of effort and money being spent to make video games that mirror real life - as though there isn't this real life out there waiting for you!

You could say the same thing about reading Moby Dick, seeing a production of Hamlet, or watching Friends instead of going out and interacting with real friends. We humans often find imitations of reality to be far more interesting than the real thing. Sometimes fiction is a lot more educational and emotionally satisfying than real life. The best books have characters who you care for just like a friend, and the best games have experiences that you can remember fondly even though they weren't real.

Wow (3, Interesting)

Knnniggit (800801) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467634)

I played the hell out of System Shock 1 and 2, and loved them both. The monster respawning did WONDERS for the atmosphere. Even when backtracking through finished areas the games were really tense. And don't even get me started on the groves. If they choose to do this, sweet. If not, then maybe someone will have the balls to make a DOOM 3 mod. It seems like the perfect engine for it. =)

On a side note.... (1)

Knnniggit (800801) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467642)

On a side note, anyone remember Terra Nova: Strike Force Centauri? *Sniff* I miss LookingGlass...

Re:Wow (2, Interesting)

hthb (798809) | more than 9 years ago | (#10468058)

There was an attempt to create a SS2 remake for the Doom 3 engine (System Shock 2 :Rebooted), but EA stopped it short by sending a threat of lawsuit to the team leaders.

The Many (2, Funny)

MourningBlade (182180) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467635)

The Many sings to us. Where is the love in your cold world of machines?

Quit your job. Join the many. Embrace the world of flesh.

...Ok, that was either an ad for porn or a sign that my job is in danger. Fucked either way.

Could it? (4, Insightful)

Hanno (11981) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467666)

Could this possibly mean a sequel to the System Shock franchise?

Could this possibly be another example of Slashdot's new habit of trolling for comments by adding rethorical questions?

Demo with no guns... not *that* hard. (2, Funny)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467695)

Because of this incident (Coumbine), Irrational was asked to bring a demonstration version of System Shock 2 to E3 that had no guns in it.

Well actually that doesn't sound very hard to me, given how much time I spent with a crowbar in that game and about two bullets left... :-)

I did love it though, and hope they are working out a sequel!

Re:Demo with no guns... not *that* hard. (1)

Blublu (647618) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467930)

Do you mean a wrench? As far as I remember there was no crowbar in System Shock 2. There was a wrench, a lightsaber and a crystal shard, but no crowbar...

Real announcement... (5, Funny)

Mike Rubits (818811) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467706)

"We've got nothing. Suckered you along there for a while, didn't we!"

I'm waiting for a company to try and do something like that.

Re:Real announcement... (1)

Dogers (446369) | more than 9 years ago | (#10468025)

Clearly you havent been following HL2 then?

Misclassifying Shock 2? (4, Interesting)

Sta7ic (819090) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467735)

"Emergent" and "open-ended" gameplay? I'm really curious as to where you people are getting these ideas. The number of games that I know of that pull either of these qualities is small, mostly including Fallout, Morrowind, Deus Ex, and the SimCity games.

Emergent gameplay is defined as when rather than actions being scripted, the level of interaction with the environment is sufficient to allow the player options. Rather than "grab key, use on door", the player can also pick the lock, find a bomb, or find an alternate route around the door (DX, LaGaurdia Airport, using the metal crates to climb up to the window of the building leading to the hanger). These sorts of games require multiple parallel systems that usually aren't too complex, but annoying to get synced up. The "alternate route" option requires more complex level geometry, etc. If you're dealing with a globally emergent system, rather than a local one, you suddenly need to be able to track all the details going on, such as how many churches you have, and where there's more high res space.

Open ended gameplay is a lot easier, but frequently less useful. Why have a game if all you do is run back and forth killing stuff (FF* ignoring the full motion story, BBS door games where nobody else joins in, Diablo 2) and your level increases ad nauseum? Players only navel gaze so long, even though the EverCrack and Diablo 2 addicts are threatening to prove me wrong.

Morrowind is an example of a game with both emergence and open-ended gameplay gone horribly wrong, as others have mentioned. You can run around all you want, but you can seriously break the storyline if you wander too far, collect items within the Fence, or exterminate entire towns. It's also far too easy to wander off, get lost, and even get bored of the game. The alchemy system is a nice example of emergence, but is so broken to be insane. The enchanting and spellmaking systems, while fun, aren't all that balanced and even your strongest custom spells will look like wet firecrackers against God's Fire. Because of the massive cost of constant effects, you'll also never really keep your enchanted items after the first half of the game because they just can't cut it. The apalling weakness of scrolls is also degrading.

Deus Ex is an example of emergent gameplay and level design coming together to make a wonderful experience. Take Hell's Kitchen, the first time around, where you have at least 30 distinct ways to learn about the warehouse, approach and enter, destroy the generator, and exit to the helicopter. Your 'ware choices seriously affect how you play your character (even if skills make less difference, since there are fewer "real" choices), along with what sort of toys you drag along. The lack of scripting in many places actually improves the game, making it possible to walk out of many areas without ever engaging the enemy.

(flamebait) As for open-ended gameplay done right, we'll have to look at Tetris.
(/flamebait)

If not Tetris, then Fallout 2. You can plot your course almost however you choose - doing a line drive to San Fran to snag the power armor early, go through The Den and either become a slaver or get a five-fingered discount on equipment, become a boxer, wander around the wastes... the game is as open as you want it to be and lets you go whereever you want. The variations are too many to outline, but anyone that's treked past Klamath, through New Redding, and visited NCR knows just how loosely your path is written.

System Shock 2 had very little in these departments. The ability to hack or psi your way towards better gear was nice, but optional, and not terribly emergent -- it granted options, not other ways around. The "open ended" nature more meant farming monsters with a wrench (or energy weapon if the weapon degradation was low enough) -- no new ways around or reasons to hang around. Extra level space does not open endedness or emergence make.

As much as I respect Shock 2, I really feel that Shock 1 was superior for the gameplay, even if I am biased to the Skorpion. Both games have an awesome atmosphere, and were very well crafted. But the limits they pushed were with the story and the technology, not the gameplay.

Happy (1)

Freon115 (672518) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467742)

This is the happiest day in my life.

Ok I may be overreacting a little, but I really loved that game. Even if they don't make a real sequel (for legal reason), I'll be glad to play this kind of game again :)

HOOOAH!!! (3, Informative)

Mr. Flibble (12943) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467746)

Well this makes me damn happy. In a list of my favourite games, System Shock 2 is one of them.

I was overjoyed when Thief 3 came out, especially after, quite sadly, Looking Glass closed their doors.

For those of you who have never played either the incredible Thief Series, or System Shock, you are in for a treat. Be aware that the graphics are sub-par, but the audio! Eric Brossius is FRIGHTENING. He is responsible for the audio in Both the Thief Series, and System Shock 2. They damn well better have him on board.

By the way, if you want better system shock 2 graphics, check into Rebirth:

http://perso.wanadoo.fr/etienne.aubert/sshock/ss r_ info.htm

Its a mod that makes for better graphics.

Re:HOOOAH!!! (1)

Mr. Flibble (12943) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467752)

Err, that first sentence should say that it is in my top FIVE favorite games of all time.

Re:HOOOAH!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10468043)

yes, but how do you make it WORK on xp?? :(

Oh my old love (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10467785)

I really hope they'll make a sequel. Since i've migrated my gaming pc from win98 to win2000 some years ago i haven't been able to play this game. I used to be so addicted to it! All those nights i've spent in the dark, only illuminated by the faint light of my old 19" crt. Those creepy voices in my headphones, trying to suppress screams when zombies come out of nowhere to get me...

I WANT MY PSY-AMP!

SS2 wasn't a "cult classic"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10467798)

It's the first System Shock that was a cult classic. SS2 sold too damn many copies to be "cult."

Come to think of it, SS1 is the one I still have a CD of, too.

GJ Irrational (1)

NG Resonance (794484) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467813)

Oh man, I've been waiting for a game in the true tradition of System Shock for ages. Tomorrow's going to be interesting :)

I am full of the glory of the Many! (2, Informative)

scoser (780371) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467838)

If you haven't played System Shock or System Shock 2 yet, go and get a copy now. Then when you have it installed, wait until late at night and turn off the lights and turn the sound all the way up. Only then can you properly experience these games.

I did these things and scared the hell out of myself when I actually came across the first hybrids/cyborgs. If you aren't scared in the slightest by these games, you aren't playing them correctly.

While waiting, check out SS2 graphics update (4, Informative)

Zarhan (415465) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467858)

http://perso.wanadoo.fr/etienne.aubert/sshock/ssho ck_rebirth.htm [wanadoo.fr] is a nice little project that aims to update the aging graphics with better textures.

Unfortunately, it has kind of died (latest update in 2003...), but the downloadable Beta 1 works fine.

Re:While waiting, check out SS2 graphics update (1)

Blublu (647618) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467961)

Am I the only one who finds the "new" robot-girl model to be distasteful and cheap? I'm not saying I don't like breasts, but they had to add those huge supermodel balloons onto her. Not only that, they also made her face "pretty". It just completely takes away the "scaryness" of that thing. There weren't even any breasts on the old model at all, so why did they have to change it? The reason the old model was scary was because it was ugly and horrible. Instead they made her a supermodel with metal legs... Oh well, I guess nothing is perfect.

I thought SS2 had problems (1)

StoatBringer (552938) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467909)

I tried it a few years ago, and agree that the atmosphere was great and it was wonderfully creepy.

What made me eventually get annoyed to the point of giving up on it were things like the painfully slow movement of the character, and that the "zombies" not only could all use any weapon, but were extremely accurate with them as well whereas I couldn't even use a shotgun without acquiring the appropriate experience levels.

I began to find it more frustrating than playable, and quit. Which was a shame as I was looking forward to playing what I'd heard was a classic game. I'd still be interested in a sequel, though.

System what? (2, Informative)

bombshelter13 (786671) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467933)

For those interested in seeing what all the fuss is about, System Shock 2 is available for download at an abandonware site located at this adress: http://www.the-underdogs.org/ Just scroll through the list of games till you get to the end of the 'S' section and follow the instructions to download the 148mb installer.

Re:System what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10468045)

it's also illegal, and a butchered version of the game.

I'm tired of hearing this (1)

obeythefist (719316) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467940)

But are we about to be told that SS2 (and SS in fact) will have a new sequel that will be advanced and revolutionary and groundbreaking, but will capture all of the excellent features of the first two games?

And will we then be told that it will be released exclusively for XBox/PS2?

And will we then be told it will make best use of two analog sticks?

And will we then be told it will have a unified ammo system and generic instead of localised damage systems?

Please, please, please don't let them do to System Shock what they did to Deus Ex.

Ultimate Irony (1)

Agret (752467) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467954)

The ultimately ironic thing is that my friend and I were talking about System Shock 2 today beacuse i've never played it and we are going to play it at my LAN next week.

What about a movie? (1)

Albinoman (584294) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467959)

Almost every movie based on a game sucks. SS2 is one of the few games made that has enough story to not need fight scene fillers. It would have to of course be altered somewhat. Maybe two people so there is more dialog than Polito/Shodan's orders (though her insults are to such a loathing that theyre down right funny) and logs. Of course it would have to be a man and a woman so we could get the obligatory boobie scene.

Funny thing was I dug this game out a few weeks ago and Ive been slowly going through it again. Right now Im trying to get sim units under Shodan's control.

Some quotes, links, and facts from SS2... Co-op? (2, Interesting)

antdude (79039) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467963)

Some cool SHODAN's quotes to give you the chills and flashbacks:

"Step right into my trap, little hacker!"

"Look at you hacker. A pathetic creature of meat and bone, panting and sweating as you run through my corridors. How can you challenge a perfect immortal machine?"

"Welcome, to my DEATH MACHINE, interloper!!"

The rest of cool quotes can be found here: http://www.ttlg.com/ss1/archive/voice.htm [ttlg.com]

http://www.sshock2.com/ [sshock2.com] is still an awesome Web site. Don't forget its forum.

I never did get to play co-operative play with SS2. I heard it is pretty cool. Did anyone play it?

i'll take a remake (2, Interesting)

real_smiff (611054) | more than 9 years ago | (#10467980)

ok this'll probably get me flamed but i'd play a remake of SS2 with a better engine. the game was wonderful but i could never get the mouse movement smooth and responsive like it is in ID FPS games (Quake etc., or Unreal) for example. Was i doing something wrong or did anyone else find the engine had problems (movement wise, it had problems in other areas like collision detection and dodgy animation IIRC but those aren't as important to the experience).

EEEEEEE! (1)

strider_starslayer (730294) | more than 9 years ago | (#10468063)

*Screeches like a littel girl, and then giggels incesantly* Seriously system shock 2 was an awsome game, a sequel, or a connector, or something, would be awsome.
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