Publicada: 23 Dezembro
If you enjoy eerie games of the 90s, System Shock 2 is the perfect game for you. You are an unnamed soldier given cybernetic upgrades after being recruited as a crew member of U.S.S Iforgotthenameoftheship (sorry). Your recruitment is essential, as it gives tutorials of the different play-styles (guns, technology, and psionics) and, more importantly, your customization options. You're given 3 classes, or rather careers: Marines, Navy, and OSA members. Marines are your standard class if you want to have a run 'n gun experience. Navy Seals specialize in hacking and strength, and OSA members specialize in Psionic abilities. Customization options continue depending on "missions" you take during a "tour" preparing for your career while aboard the ship. I quote these terms because they are not actual missions filled with action, merely filler explanations as to why you start with certain skills.
After performing a your "tours" for three years you are upgraded in your cybernetic form and placed in a cryo pod, only to wake up to ship-wreck crawling with parasite-human hybrids and monkeys. This is where the gameplay begins. It resembles a survival horror game at first, with your only weapon being a bloody wrench. Soon you will discover nanites, or currency, data logs, and cybernetic modules. Data Logs actually contain quintessential information for learning more about the game's story. I actually enjoy listening to them, as they add a new layer of depth to the game. Listening to the logs of now deceased crew members is awfully eerie, meaning that this game is fulfilling its purpose in trying to make the player immersed in an uncomfortable fashion. Cybernetic Modules are the experience points of the game, allowing you to upgrade skills or psionic abilities. These, however, come far and few between, and you have to be prepared to make certain decisions regarding upgrading your skills at upgrade stations because said upgrades are permanent. Do not, I repeat, do not spread your skill points thin. You won't have enough to make it beyond mediocre.
The general atmosphere of the game is very creepy and unsettling. What makes it even more unsettling is the fact that game is set in space, the setting one would least suspect as a subject for horror. Thoughts of a starship exploring the vastness of space usually leaves one with a sense of pride and overall positive thoughts. But this is no U.S.S Enterprise voyage accompanied by Captain Jean Luc Picard himself, or anyone for that matter. You're essentially alone, left to fend off against twisted creatures that were once human, and, more importantly, the highly intimidating, highly intelligent, highly creepy computer AI known as SHODAN. Holy ♥♥♥♥ is she creepy. Once in a while, when you least expect it, she'll begin a short monologue describing how much inferior you are. Her voice is mangled, fluctuating between an almost human, female tone and a demonic, twisted, deep voice. I almost jumped when she first spoke.
I can safely say that the gunplay is alright, but it is clunky. If you're skill set does not have strong Maintenance, you will discover that guns break quickly, which really gets annoying at times. Furthermore, ammo either runs out quickly, or they cost too many nanites at dispensers (the equivalent to shops). This could either be a good or bad thing. The advantage of limited, expensive ammo is that it adds to the survival-horror element of the game, as it forces the player to conserve ammo and strategize how to plan their next move. The disadvantage is that it can be near impossible to progress without it, especially later in the game when there are more long-ranged threats. Luckily your psionic abilities counter this problem, if you're skilled. Psionic abilities essentially feed off of an energy meter, granting you super powers of sorts. They can come handy, such as the defense and cryokinesis (basic attack) abilities. It definitely adds to the otherwise sketchy combat.
My biggest problem with the game, however, is your inventory interface. The game does not pause while it's up, which leads to many problems. For instance, the only way to switch weapons is to manually do so through the inventory interface. Now imagine that you run out of ammo for a particular weapon while a few hybrids are chasing you down. You don't have enough time to manually switch weapons before being clubbed to death by the hybrids. But you have to switch weapons if you don't want to lose progress being forced to run back. Furthermore, enemies respawn, meaning that if you visit an old area you might run into even more hybrids and monkeys. There is absolutely nothing you can do except die. I tried switching weapons in a similar scenario and managed to survive, only with 11 hit points and no health packs or healing station in sight. It was even against one basic hybrid while I had armor on. To top it all off, when I made it back, there was another hybrid, waiting for me. The enemy-respawn and user hostile inventory interface add questionable difficulty.
If you're a newcomer to this game, like I am, I warn you that this is a very difficult game, even on the normal difficulty. However, System Shock remains as one of the more positively sophisticated and creepy games I have ever played, a game that still deserves to be critically acclaimed by many. Just turn off the music while playing; it ruins the creepy atmosphere.