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Very interested in the System Shock games, but i am not a huge fan of challenging games. I love good stories and sci-fi, so i was hoping someone could tell me how hard they are.
the 1st game has settings to change the difficuly of various aspects of the game, cyberspace, puzzles, enemies and story elements

system shock 2 just has a difficulty setting
I'd say they're challenging compared to modern games since there isn't any giant arrow pointing where to go. You need to pay attention to conversations and logs found in the game to proceed. SS2 can be hard in the beginning because you don't get much ammo so you have to use a wrench or sneak around.

Challenging, yes, but not too hard.

Edit: Don't play thinking it's a FPS game.
Post edited October 03, 2017 by Arykles
SS2 will punish you a lot if you approach a situation from the wrong end. hint - bum rushing turrets will lead to acquiring a lot of unnecessary ventilation (with extra charred edges, if they are laser turrets).

hence, the "if you die a lot, you are doing it wrong" rule.
Post edited October 03, 2017 by voodoo47
I just finished Deus Ex a month ago and yesterday finished SS2, both for the first time. Having been used to Deus Ex' mechanics, I didn't find SS2 "hard" at all, dare I say shooting mechanics in it feel much better. I still don't know which game I liked more, but I have a feeling I will be replaying SS2 more, because you can't "break the game" like in Deus Ex using some nasty tactics LoL Both games are highly recommended though, but be aware you will need a LOT of spare time, and probably your wife will annoy you for playing so much
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FeelingShred: I just finished Deus Ex a month ago and yesterday finished SS2, both for the first time. Having been used to Deus Ex' mechanics, I didn't find SS2 "hard" at all, dare I say shooting mechanics in it feel much better. I still don't know which game I liked more, but I have a feeling I will be replaying SS2 more, because you can't "break the game" like in Deus Ex using some nasty tactics LoL Both games are highly recommended though, but be aware you will need a LOT of spare time, and probably your wife will annoy you for playing so much
Not many things give a strong scrary sci-fi story like SS2 does, so I've found myself replaying it (3 times I think?) when I get the itch for scary sci-fi. On the 3rd+ playthroughs I know it so well it goes pretty fast but is still highly satisfying simply because atmosphere+story is all there.
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PrinceCola: Very interested in the System Shock games, but i am not a huge fan of challenging games. I love good stories and sci-fi, so i was hoping someone could tell me how hard they are.
they are challenging but not hard, as others said, turn difficulty down and you should be good to go
Post edited April 18, 2018 by drealmer7
SS1 is better if you use the hint guide included in the extras section. Well at least if you easily miss details and probably don´t have the time to carefully back track until you get oriented to the mission goals :)

Also go get the rapier as soon as you can so you melt most respawning enemies.
The first game, using the Enhanced Edition's mouselook toggle, is pretty well balanced at default difficulty settings. Not terribly difficult, but just enough challenge to keep you engaged. There was one section of the game that, at the time, was like a brick wall and I was exhausted from the number of attempts it took to proceed... but it turned out that that area was something I wasn't really intended to go to until much later in the game. On that note, sometimes there's a lack of direction that prompted me to briefly check a guide to know where to go / what to do next.

Mainly I'd say the first game's difficulty boils down to a simple learning curve on adjusting to the control scheme. The interface is rather unorthodox, and it was a solid couple hours before I was really in a comfortable groove.

Absolutely love the first game.

The sequel has some major changes, including a skill points / character build system and things like weapon degradation... even with a less unusual control scheme personally I find it harder to get into and, ultimately, more difficult. If you don't class your character out right you'll suffer.
I usually play games on hard difficulty and had just finished Strife on elite which I found really good, but also quite difficult at times, so I started System Shock 1 on everything maxed out except time limits.

After a few minutes of getting my ass kicked I thought "After Strife, not again, I'm taking a break on this one" and started a new game with combat set to 2.

Then I realized it was just me being crap with the SS interface and now I wish I left it on 3. Not that it's too easy now, but I know after getting used to it I would've been fine.

In SS1 when you toggle mouslook off to mess around with your inventory or go back to listen to logs and take notes, your gun is still active, which I did not take advantage of at first and I got slaughtered more than a few times while picking up items and such. Now when I know I'll be off mouslook for a while I equip a good gun and do my business and if some sucker shows up I zap him with mouselook off while reading logs or item descriptions.

I would say my original plan was good. Every difficulty maxed out but no time limit.

Also keep in mind that WASD+Mouselook is a game changer here. The original control scheme would've added tremendously to the difficulty of the first game.

But that's just combat.

The real deal is gathering information and using it properly. One of the logs even incorrectly states that the laser controls are in the west quadrant on the reactor level, which isn't the case. They are on level 2.

Other than that, pay attention to the logs, the date of the log, and the info contained in them. More than once I was out of ideas and went back to them and got unstuck. You do not find them in order, so the dates are important to piece together the narrative. Listen to the logs you pick up as soon as possible, preferably where you picked them up.

Also, be sure to use the automap messages. Create points with description on energy and health stations, important places and locked doors that you can't open yet. This is very important, explore methodically and take map notes. To remove a map note, click its blue dot on the map, erase your description and save the note again, it will disappear.

A notepad on the side also wouldn't hurt.

But that's just me, I use guides as a last resort and would never fault anyone for using them. Hell I'm not finished yet so I might still have to use a guide later.
Post edited May 10, 2018 by MaimMenu