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To those just getting into SS1 and have rarely played old games like this, other than the outdated graphics and audio, here are some notable differences between SS1 and modern games:

1. There are no mission list, mission markers, mission clues, etc. The logs and emails are all you've got to perform each task. You have to manually look up logs and emails if you forget the mission detail.

2. You can type notes on the in-game map. This somewhat makes up for the lack of mission markers & clues. Modern games hardly use this feature. But it is quite common for older games to allow custom notes.

3. There are almost no side missions. Because of that, you can complete SS1 in 20-25 hours at a leisurely pace despite the fairly large map sizes even by today's standards.

4. SS1 has no "free-look with mouse" when it came out because this was a DOS game and mice were not yet widespread. You could "free-look with keyboard" like many first-person games in that era, but it was cumbersome. NOTE: the enhanced version provides a very good free-look with mouse feature. Caveat: No. 5 below.

5. You must enter and exit free-look mode manually in order to perform actions that are possible in one mode but not the other. This is actually quite common in older games.

6. There is no tutorial, pop-up tips, etc. to familiarize you with the game's controls, which are quite complicated.

7. Separate keys are used to crouch and uncrouch. (You can also jump to uncrouch.)

8. A separate key is used to un-lean yourself if you are leaning.

9. When picking up content in a container, you must pick up items one by one. There is no "pick up all" option.

There may be others but these are some of the biggies.
Meh, modern games have destroyed the gaming genera by removing all the features you talk about. Especially the ability to blend FPS and RPG by selecting an enemy to see details about it. No, a mouse means shooting always!

Necessity of mission markers because you've dumbed down the dialog to save on voice acting costs.

Removal of custom notes...

Overly simplified missions and a big floating "these are your mission objectives" (Though you forget about "Status v1" which is your official mission log.

Let alone how tutorials are now FORCED instead of being an optional level.

From where I stand, these are POSITIVES in the system shock series.
Might correct your view on some things.

About 4. : When the game was released in 1994, EVERY PC I knew had a mouse. What most still lacked were Soundcards or CD-ROM Drives. A mouse was already standard at that time. Free-Look by Mouse was not supported, because it was not introduced/established at all. First time I really used it was with Jedi Knight II, Quake 2 and Half-Life, because of the WASD Keyboard Layout. All previous FPS games used the cursor keys to move.

About 5. : This is actually a mod. In general you were navigating the game already with WAXD (S was used for slow walk), while confined to keep the screen centered. Mouse was also used for quick actions (noticed the arrows around the cursor when in "free cursor mode?), like aim different angles or move with mouse only (because nobody at that time was aware of using mouse-look).

About 6: this was pretty common. You had to read up the manual. It was typical for that time and contained most information and already answered all questions for ingame problems with FAQs (though some games had a ""tutorial" "introduction" mode).

About 7 & 8 : again it was all not standardized at that time, this was mostly introduced with later games, we talk about a process of 2 years until WASD and crouch toggle/hold had settled for C or CRTL etc. in most fps games. Today most games unfortunately skip on leaning, but it was neat.

Just putting things into perspective ;-)

Post edited August 14, 2019 by classicsftw