One of the most important games in gaming history—System Shock 2—has always been hard to find, especially if you’re trying to stay legal. This isn't a problem anymore as GOG.com has made the game available to buy on its catalogue for $9.99, which roughly translates to Rs 540. As is typical for most games on GOG's catalogue, System Shock 2 will run on modern computers.
System Shock 2 has been important as it was one of the first games to properly integrate role-playing mechanics in FPSes—a genre which mostly just had players running around and shooting anything that moves. While earlier games had done this, including the first game in the series, System Shock 2 had the most refined experience. One can even take a look at recent games to see influences of System Shock 2; games such as Borderlands 2, Mass Effect, Dead Space and Portal.
In the first System Shock, a character known only as “The Hacker” is caught breaking into the mainfraim of a big company. He is offered a chance to absolve himself of the crime, along with a high-end neural interface, and in return, he has to perform nonstandard modifications to the Sentient Hyper-Optimised Data Access Network—aka SHODAN—which is the AI on the company's space station.
“I am SHODAN”
After coming out of the six-month coma that was needed to heal from his neural interface surgery, the Hacker finds that the AI has gone insane after having her ethical controls removed, and has transformed the entire crew into cyborgs and mutated monsters who are completely devoted to her. The Hacker stops SHODAN from destroying the earth and wipes her completely from the database.
The second game is set 42 years after the events of the first game. Because of the events of the previous games, outrage among the general populace against megacorporations results in the formation of the Unified National Nominate—a world government. A UNN scientist Marie Delacroix discovers the secret of faster-than-light travel, and the UNN joins up with megacorporation TriOptimum for a joint mission to Tau Ceti.
The game involves the maiden voyage of the first faster-than-light ship—the Von Braun. The player character is a cybernetically enhanced soldier who wakes up from cryosleep to receive some plot exposition from a voice that identifies herself as a surviving member of the Von Braun. He has to immediately escape from his sick room that has been exposed to space, and begins his adventure into the Von Braun.
The games spawned one of the most memorable villains in the form of SHODAN, who went on to become the template for any game villain—especially AI—that taunt the player throughout the game. Influences of SHODAN can be seen in Portal's GlaDOS most of all.
The biggest reason for it taking so long to make it to digital distribution channels, especially in this day and age where any game can be obtained through the right channels, has been because of licensing issues. Because of the very same licensing issues, the closest things that the System Shock games have to sequels are BioShock games.
Publish date: February 14, 2013 4:11 pm| Modified date: December 19, 2013 8:27 am