It seems that you're using an outdated browser. Some things may not work as they should (or don't work at all).
We suggest you upgrade newer and better browser like:Chrome,Firefox,Internet Explorer orOpera

×
arrow-down2arrowcart2close4fat-arrow-leftfat-arrow-rightfeedbackfriends2happy-facelogo-gognotificationnotifications-emptyownedremove-menusad-facesearch2wishlist-menuwishlisted2own_thingsheartstartick
There's been loads of topics of how great SS2 is, how it's the best thing ever and how there has never been a better horror game. By now, there's a lot of hype surrouding the game, a lot of misconceptions, and I believe that some people will turn out to be disappointed when they compare what they've been told about the game and the actual experience: And this is a topic for those people, or to warn others of issues this game has (and it does have quite a few.)

Let's start by the misconcetions, stuff that people say and I believe it's simply not true:
1) System Shock 2 is an RPG
Nope. No way. SS2 has stats and skills, but building your character correctly is not crucial to your success (you can mostly just take whatever and still get trough the game) and your skill as FPS player will be much more important. There are also absolutely no story-based decisions that would be important for the game in any way, shape or form - at best SS2 is a game with some RPG elements. I'm posting this as a warning, and I'm not willing to discuss it - if what I have described above fits your definition of an RPG perfectly, go ahead and think of SS2 that way.

If you don't mind what I have mentioned / just want a second opinion, look over here.

2) System Shock 2 is the best horror game evah, and so difficult!
First bit is very subjective. Some people are very afraid while playing SS, some aren't - most of the horror and difficulty are tightly tied together however, and the moment you get more powerful arsenal, you won't be quite as scared. To explain what I mean: About 1 third of the game, if it is your first playtrough, you are most likely going to be genuinely scared. Resource scarcity and your inability to tell which skills are the best to take will make sure of that. But then you'll learn the game, learn the mechanics, and learn survive quite easily, which takes fear away and turns SS2 into a horror-themed FPS. A brilliant horror-themed FPS, but a horror-themed FPS nevertheless. Therefore, if you are looking for the scariest game you have ever played - SS2 probably won't be it. But the first third IS worth it alone, and the rest of the game is genuinely great as well.

Now, to the game itself:
1) Skills
There are some fundamental issues with balance in this games. There are skills which are flatout better than others, weapons which will easily outperform others etc. I won't go into details here, just - don't look for a Diablo 2 experience here, problems in this area will become apparent very quickly, which actually kinda adds to the survival element of the game ... Still, it's not really a good gameplay design, and it can lead to artificial difficulty.

*KINDA SPOILERS IN 2)*
2) Quality degradation
The game feels rushed towards the end - levels get a lot more linear and a looot less interesting, if I don't count a ... Particular ending bit which is linear but kind of awesome. And I always felt that the boss battle really, really sucked, altho what led to ... her was fucking amazing as a throwback to the first game. I'm getting distracted tho - as you get out of the first ship, game suddenly gets a lot less interesting and a lot more FPS-y.

These two points aren't criticism per se, they're just annnoying for some people:

3) Inventory tetris
Some people don't quite find this to be a problem, others care a lot, sp: Inventory management in the game is done via limited grid, in which you have to place equipment of varying size.

4) Respawning enemies
While enemies never respawn 'completely', as in you will never have to fight the same hordes that you have killed the first time in an area, one or two will always spawn from time to time (or more if you trigger an alarm).

Well, that's my two cents. It's really not much, which shows how much I actually enjoyed the game, altho I will eventually come up with more - feel free to discuss and add your own, if I see a well-described argument, I'll edit it here, into the OP.
Post edited February 28, 2013 by Fenixp
Very good idea for a topic. I'm not far enough yet too offer my own thoughts, but hopefully this'll help give people a slightly more realistic idea of the game.
avatar
Gazoinks: Very good idea for a topic. I'm not far enough yet too offer my own thoughts, but hopefully this'll help give people a slightly more realistic idea of the game.
When you are, just post; even minor annoyances can piss quite a few people off. I'm actually kinda sad this game got its reputation, I went into it completely blind, just knowing that it's 'kinda good', and had a complete blast. To be fair, I'm not sure I would have enjoyed it as much if I've been trough all the hype that was going on around the internet, I'm quite susceptible to it.
I have to say, this being my first time playing system shock 2, that I find it to be an amazing game. I think a lot of the fear comes down not to the enemies, which are often easy to deal with, but the atmosphere that looking glass crafted.

I also think that saying its not an RPG is a little unfair. While you can't change the overall story, the choices you make in skills, equipment and OS upgrades do influence how your particular character deals with the events. There are options that are limited to people with the right skills, and a multitude of them at that, weapons usage is restricted to skills, hacking is related to skills, psi usage, everything. Much like an RPG, you can only use what you have the skills for, and you can get a little bit of everything, or really good at some things. I also don't think needing to build your character well is a requirement for an RPG. There are plenty of RPG's that are finished with any character build.

That said, I'm not finished yet, but I have been enjoying it. I think you might be disappointed if you hop on the hypetrain and ride for too long, but if you get off at reasonable station, things will be pretty damn good.
Post edited February 15, 2013 by Zalifer
avatar
Zalifer: ...
See, my problem isn't that it does not have RPG aspects - it most certainly does - but I've seen a lot of people mentioning the game in 'best RPG I have played' topics and such, and ... Well, if an RPG player gets into the game and thinks of it as an RPG, he will be disappointed. Yeah, stats and skills are important in the game and yeah, there's loads of them, but it is not a crucial part of the game (with some restructuring SS2 could work pretty well even without the RPG bit) and it is not the main focus of SS2 - it is a survival-horror FPS foremost.
avatar
Zalifer: ...
avatar
Fenixp: See, my problem isn't that it does not have RPG aspects - it most certainly does - but I've seen a lot of people mentioning the game in 'best RPG I have played' topics and such, and ... Well, if an RPG player gets into the game and thinks of it as an RPG, he will be disappointed. Yeah, stats and skills are important in the game and yeah, there's loads of them, but it is not a crucial part of the game (with some restructuring SS2 could work pretty well even without the RPG bit) and it is not the main focus of SS2 - it is a survival-horror FPS foremost.
Oh it's not a pure RPG, sure, but its an FPSRPG. One of the earlier ones, that founded the genre. We see it again in deus ex, and a few more through the years. I can't really think of any way to make it more of an RPG without making it less of an FPS, and the vision was to merge the two. Certainly there were things in say, deus ex, like dialogue trees, but almost everyone is dead in System Shock 2.

I agree that it should be noted that its not a fully fledged RPG, and that you will have to enjoy FPS games to get much out of it.
I kindda agree with you points, on the other hand I personally don't know of anyone who had been expecting the best horror RPG ever. If you had, then someone misled you badly.

And to be fair, this game was shit scary back in 1998. Today it's kindda hard to be scared of monsters that look and move...well like monsters used to look and move 15 years ago.

So for everybody with wrong expectations - SS2 is a mix between Deus Ex and Dead Space 1, it's 15 years old but with mods it's still very, very much playable. Don't expect pure-blood RPG, don't expect to be scared like you were on the first playthrough of Dead Space. Then you'll very likely enjoy it.
Dead Space was rather boring in my opinion, considering that later playthroughs of System Shock 2 evoked more fear within me. That said, for me the Thief series are the scariest of classic videogames, mostly because you were really delicate and the role that sound played in them.
I would probably inform new players about the clunky shoot mode / use mode and other gameplay related issues rather than speak about my subjective opinion on the games difficulty or whether SS2 can or cannot be called an RPG. Mentioning unbalanced skill tree and quality degradation makes senses though.
avatar
Aalda11: So for everybody with wrong expectations - SS2 is a mix between Deus Ex and Dead Space 1
I sincerely hope not (in terms of scariness, not quality of atmosphere as DS nails that). Dead Space wasn't scary due to the fact that you turn into a juggernaut that can and will destroy, in the goriest way possible, every predictably placed enemy that fails at their pathetic attempt to scare you.
Eh, this is all really subjective stuff. System Shock 2 is considered an RPG in the same way Deus Ex is considered an RPG. If your conception of an RPG is that player skill won't matter, a conception that has been broken by recent RPG developments in the past 5+ years, then I guess you'll be disappointed. I can make it through Mass Effect, Deus Ex, and any other real-time RPG without putting in a single point. It will be hard as hell but it goes without reason that if I know a game inside and out I can circumvent the system.

People playing the game for the first time won't know it inside and out.

It's funny how the rest of the stuff applies to Deus Ex as well. DE had obviously better skills and the game got a lot more linear as it progressed. People make fun of Human Revolution for the "push a button" ending but Deus Ex literally had the same thing except the buttons weren't located in the same room.

I guess my point is, if you've played Deus Ex (and why haven't you if you're on GOG???) then you know what to expect with SS.
One thing I'm doing to help to remedy the game getting less intense as it goes on is only using resurrection chambers. No quickloading unless I haven't activated the chamber on a particular level or are out of nanites, and then I can only reload a save I make when I first enter the level. The idea being that even as you get more powerful, you'll have to stay on your toes and pay for your mistakes. I have no idea how well it will work in the long run, but thus far it's been providing a wonderfully intense experience.

Also, I fully support this topic. People need to go into this game with realistic expectations.
Post edited February 15, 2013 by jefequeso
You have to also take into account that this was released in 1999 and back then it was an exceptional gaming experience. However by todays standards and advancements of course it's not likely to have anywhere near the same affect on gamers.

However I am looking forward to playing it through again though undoubtably it won't be as great a I fondly remember but then nothing ever is.
avatar
Righteous_Angel: You have to also take into account that this was released in 1999 and back then it was an exceptional gaming experience. However by todays standards and advancements of course it's not likely to have anywhere near the same affect on gamers.

However I am looking forward to playing it through again though undoubtably it won't be as great a I fondly remember but then nothing ever is.
Funny thing is that for me, so far it's actually exactly as good as I remember it being. Like, absolutely no change one way or another. We'll see if it holds up as I get further in.
I definitely agree about the quality degradation and the final fight. It all goes downhill once you're off the main ship.

Worst thing about the final fight is that AFAIK there isn't an ammo vending machine on that entire final level, and the previous level involves a lot of shooting, so it's actually possible unless you have a certain melee weapon (not the wrench) for you to run out of ammo and it being pretty much impossible to beat the game. You then have no way of doing damage other than making the minions hit the boss with their projectiles.
Post edited February 15, 2013 by povuholo