The words do not exist that describe just how obscenely good this game is!
System shock is a 2D/3D adventure game (think Ultima Underworld or Normality) but set in a realistic Sci-Fi environment. The initial plot is standard cyberpunk bollocks – you are a hacker who was caught gaining illegal access to the system of a major corporation (major corporations are bad dontcha know, haven’t you ever played Syndicate?) The corps. CEO gives you a choice, be cyberneticaly enhanced and work for him, or its off to prison for you.
Not having testicles for brains, you choose the former.
After a few odd-jobs you are sent to Citadel, a gigantic corporate space station managed by an artificial intelligence called SHODAN (duh duh duuuuh!) Upon awakening from cryogenic suspension you find the station in chaos. The crew is dead.. or worse (yes WORSE!) and your only clues to what is going on are fragments of the crews personal logs and emails.
Visually the game is very nice, with rich VGA (or if you’re lucky, SVGA) graphics and atmospheric 3D environments (tho the enemies and moving objects in the game are 2D sprites ala DOOM). The heads up display works well (though it will confuse the hell out of you for the first five minutes) and can be customised so that you can choose what is displayed on screen.
It’s the plot and atmosphere that really stands out in SS though. Right from the beginning you are pushed through the game by various events – log fragments, emails, messages from SHODAN (its?)self. There is a tremendous feeling of decay all around you. Computer screens show nothing but snow, control panels spark, debris covers the floors and every so often you will come across the obligatory message written in blood (wooooOOOOO!!!)
Um.. what else (thinks) well, there a few very nice features in the game. One being that you can afford to die once in a while. Once you find and activate the healing booths that are on each level you will be automatically brought back to life should something nasty get the better of you, groovy huh?
OOOOH YES.. Cyberspace! Have you ever seen that movie Lawnmower Man? yeah me too, it fricken sucked didn’t it? But anyway, y’know the 3d environments used to represent cyberspace in the movie? well.. SS has those too.. they just aren’t as pretty. Find an access point and ‘jack in’ and you will be transported to a strange world filled with tunnels and geometric shapes. You can figure the rest out yourself because that’s half the fun 😛
I can’t really think of much else to comment on. Combat is standard fare, either shoot things, blow them up or twat them over the head, the game has um.. puzzles.. and er.. zombies and.. and .. JUST PLAY IT!
I promise you that this is one game that you can’t afford to miss.
System Shock 1
- Designed by: Looking Glass
- Published by: Electronic Arts, Origin