System Shock 2 is the predecessor to the successful Bioshock series. It was released in 1999 by Irrational, and all sorts of other details that we could find via google search.

Anyway, System Shock 2 is an FPS/RPG/Survival/Horror game. Yeah, it covers a lot of areas, and let me tell you, it covers all of them very well.

The setting is 2114, and you are a soldier aboard the Von Braun. You awaken with amnesia and must uncover what happened to the ship and crew. The neat thing about the opening is that you can pick your path to a certain extent. There are three branches of the military you can join (Marines, Navy, OSA), each with their own unique advantages, but for the most part, Marines are better with weaponry, Navy sailors are better with tech, and OSA agents are skilled with psionic abilities, which let you do things like move objects via telepathy or freeze enemies solid.

The first person shooting is very good, exceptional even. It’s not crazy, over the top shooting a million bullets a second Call of Duty style. No, if you try that, you will find yourself very dead once you run out of ammo and the hybrids are all over you. What it requires from you is trigger discipline and learning what time is best to fire your weapon.

As previously stated, you do roleplay quite a bit as the soldier, which can be extremely fun. There’s also an extensive upgrade system. Using cyber-modules, you can upgrade your weapon, tech, and psionic abilities as well as increase your attributes (Strength, agility, etc.). You can also upgrade your weapons with the modify skill, but be careful, because your weapons degrade over time, so you’d better be good at repair and maintenance, unless you prefer killing enemies with a good ol’ trusty wrench, which is cool too.

The survival and horror elements are strong here. If you want to make it, you’ll have to restore health whenever and wherever possible, as well as conserve ammo and explore. You may even find yourself unloading an enemy weapon just for that one extra round. Throughout the Von Braun are matter-based replicators, which with a few nanites (the currency in the game) can produce food, health kits, ammo and whatever else you may need to survive your vacation in paradise.

The crew of the Von Braun will not help you. In fact, they’ve been infected by an alien species known as “The Many”, and will fight you every step of the way. For the most part, you are alone in this fight, except for one surviving crew member who will provide you with information and cyber-modules for upgrades.

One final thing to mention is the soundtrack. Soundtracks in video games are not extremely important, but System Shock 2’s soundtrack is amazing. Fantastic. I’m particular to the song that plays in Med Sci at the beginning.