System Shock 2 (1999), commonly abbreviated SS2 or Shock 2, is an action role-playing video game, designed by Ken Levine for the PC.

System Shock 2

System Shock 2

The title is a sequel to the 1994 PC game System Shock, and was co-developed by Irrational Games and Looking Glass Studios. The game was originally designed as a standalone title. Story changes were made when Electronic Arts—who owned the Shock franchise rights—signed on as publisher.

The game takes place on board a starship in a cyberpunk depiction of 2114. The player assumes the role of a lone soldier trying to stem the outbreak of a genetic infection that has devastated the ship. Like System Shock, Gameplay consists of first person shooting and exploration. A role-playing system allows the player to develop unique skills and traits, such as hacking and psionic abilities.

System Shock 2 received positive reviews when released, but failed to meet commercial sales expectations. In retrospect, many critics have determined the game to be highly influential, particularly on first person shooters, and inducted it into several “greatest games of all time” lists. In 2007, Irrational—now 2K Boston/2K Australia—released a self-proclaimed spiritual successor to the System Shock series, entitled BioShock, to critical acclaim and strong sales. In January 2006, Computer and Video Games reported System Shock 3 may be under development. As of January 2009, nothing conclusive has surfaced regarding the purported project’s status.

System Shock 2 is regarded by critics as highly influential, particularly on first-person shooters. In a retrospective article, Gamespot declared the title “well ahead of its time” and stated it “upped the ante in dramatic and mechanical terms” by creating a horrific gameplay experience. Along with Deus Ex, Sid Shuman of GamePro christened System Shock 2 “[one of the] twin barrels of modern FPS innovation,” due to its complex role-playing gameplay. IGN writer Cam Shea referred to the game as “another reinvention of the FPS genre”, citing the story, characters, and RPG system. The title has been inducted into a number of features listing the greatest games ever made, including ones by Gamespy, Edge, IGN, Gamespot, and PC Gamer.

Buy: Amazon

WWW:

@ SShock2.com

@ Mobygames

@ Gamespot

@ IGN

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