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Apocalypse Then: System Shock 2

Developers: Irrational Games, Looking Glass Studios
Publishers: Electronic Arts
Designers: Ken Levine
Composer: Eric Brosius
Engine: Enhanced Dark Engine (Thief)
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Dreamcast (cancelled)
Release date: August 11, 1999
Genres: First-person shooter, Action RPG, Action-adventure, Survival horror

On this day in gaming, in 1999, System Shock 2 was released. Today marks the tenth anniversary of this classic game.

If I ever made a list of my favourite games of all time, System Shock 2 would be somewhere near the top, probably even ahead of BioShock.

System Shock 2 is a hybrid between an FPS and an RPG, and is the sequel to System Shock, released in 1994. Commercially it wasn’t a huge success, but has generated a cult following over the years. Critics regard it as one of the greatest games ever made. It has influenced other games such as Deus Ex and Doom 3, and has spawned a series of spiritual successors in BioShock and BioShock 2.

Rumours have been going around for a few years as regards a third title in the series, after the trademark on the name was renewed.

The game places the player at first on earth where he undertakes basic training before joining one of three branches of the UNN, a military organisation- the marines, the navy, or the OSA. After this, the player is launched into space where, for three years, he undergoes advanced training, one year at each post. This eventually ends up in him being transferred to the Rickenbacker, a ship which is escorting the UNN Von Braun, an FTL (faster than light) starship which is undertaking its maiden voyage into the unknown reaches of space. Aboard the Von Braun after receiving illegal cyber upgrades, the player awakes in the cryo recovery area of the Med/Sci deck, and quickly discovers that things have gone awry aboard both ships.

You can pick up System Shock 2 here if you want to play a classic. Otherwise you can also try System Shock, the prequel.


Apocalypse Then: System Shock
Classic Games Resurrected: System Shock 2



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