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System Shock 2 {PC]
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Toger
Somewhere, out there...
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February 14, 2013 - 11:18 am
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I'm surprised no one has mentioned this: Shodan awaits at GOG

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Steerpike
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February 14, 2013 - 12:08 pm
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Yes! I'm just about to finish Alan Wake, so the timing is perfect. $9 for a modern-OS-optimized piece of gaming history is too good to pass up. 

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Synonamess Botch
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February 14, 2013 - 1:08 pm
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Y'all beat me to it!  Now if they could get the original that would be something.  I still say it's the superior game, but there could be some nostalgia clouding my opinion.

 

 

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Toger
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February 14, 2013 - 6:11 pm
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I've still got the discs in my collection but I'll probably still chicken out. I distinctly remember getting as far as my first encounter with those damned monkeys and got so creeped out I couldn't even bring myself to fire up the game.

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geggis
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February 15, 2013 - 9:13 am
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Yesss! And what's funny is Aliens: Colonial Marines has been released in the same few weeks as Dead Space 3 and System Shock 2.

Anyway, this is great news. I shalln't be returning to the Von Braun for a while but I'd love to play the original as I remember Botch saying some time ago that he prefers it to the sequel.

I love GOG though. They're single-handedly propping up one of the PCs greatest strengths: backwards compatability. Not only that, but they're monetising it in the most agreeable fashion by bundling purchases with all sorts of goodies and no DRM, and they're preserving history while they're at it.

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geggis
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February 15, 2013 - 9:21 am
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And this is the only mod you need if you're wanting the barest of bones facelift for SS2. Makes a huge difference without really changing anything fundamentally. In fact, they look like the original textures that the game then scaled down! Amazing work.

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Steerpike
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February 15, 2013 - 10:00 am
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Meanwhile, if cutscenes aren't working for you (as they may not in 1680x1050 and other high resomolutions), download the SS2Tool here and... you know, run it. 

I installed SS2 last night before finishing my Alan Wake responsibilities. After fixing the cutscenes it ran great, zero problems, hi-res, excellent all around. I'm pretty excited to get back into it! I wish I'd had as much luck with Dungeon Keeper 2 on GOG.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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geggis
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February 15, 2013 - 10:17 am
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Yeah I heard DK2 was a bit rough on GOG. Does it still have issues?

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Steerpike
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February 15, 2013 - 1:35 pm
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More like it doesn't play as well as I wish it did - control remapping is wonky, it doesn't support higher resolutions, certain features don't work at all, the Direct3D effects are dodgy. I love DK2 and it wasn't built with the future in mind (funny how some games are, and some aren't). To be honest I haven't check GOG for patches or anything. I should do that.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Synonamess Botch
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February 15, 2013 - 4:00 pm
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Gregg I still stand by my claim about the original.  But System Shock sits in an odd place in gaming history.  It was most definitely ahead of its time.  The keyboard/mouse first-person system we're now used to hadn't been worked out yet, so the controls feel clunky by today's standards.

In my honest opinion, System Shock 2 and Bioshock didn't do anything that System Shock hadn't already done.  That's one reason I'm not eagerly anticipating Bioshock Infinite.  Ken Levine seems to make the same game over and over.

 

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xtal
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February 17, 2013 - 2:06 pm
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This is tempting, even while I own the BIG BOX '99 version...especially considering that version is nigh impossible to get running on today's computers. I think I can live safely with the memories I have of sysshk2 though.

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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Pokey
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February 17, 2013 - 4:18 pm
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I played SS2 twice and then sold it and the strategy guide for a good price. I figured I wouldn't play it again. I do still have System Shock in the big box. I tried playing it but it was difficult navigating. I got far enough that I recognized the scene in SS2 and I was glad for that.

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geggis
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February 19, 2013 - 8:15 am
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I still have the big box edition too xtal, in mint condition like my Thief: The Dark Project, Thief II: The Metal Age, Homeworld and Planescape: Torment boxes!

If I remember rightly, simply dragging the SHOCK folder from the CD on to your hard drive, patching it, then loading it from there seems to solve all manner of ills.

Edit: http://www.gog.com/forum/gener.....eau/post10

Pokey, I too did the same thing with System Shock, played just enough of it to appreciate 'that' scene... and by accident too... and the night before I finished System Shock 2 too. Had I played it even a day later that entire section would have been lost on me. Coincimental!

 

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Synonamess Botch
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March 19, 2013 - 2:41 pm
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I know I've criticized Irrational and Bioshock, but that doesn't mean I don't like Ken Levine.  In fact, he seems like the type of guy I'd enjoy talking about games with (over beer of course).  This presentation and interview is very enjoyable, not least because Levine is genuinely engaging.

Levine Interview

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AJLange
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March 20, 2013 - 12:37 pm
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I'm playing this for the first time! I just started it this week.

What I discovered early on is that Navy + Hacking seems to be the best, at least for a beginner. I tried Psi first, but I kept being annoyed I was missing out on all those locked treasure boxes. Plus the juicy bonuses for research.

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Steerpike
Subtropical Southeastern Michigan
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March 22, 2013 - 9:08 am
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AJ, I played through the first time as a Navy hacker. It does seem to be the most balanced.

Unlike the vast majority of games, in SS2 you'll never really have enough cyber modules, so I do recommend choosing a few paths and sticking with them rather than trying to be a little of everything.

The only warning about hacking is that I failed to notice that each hack costs nanites, so I'd often keep trying until I succeeded. This bit me halfway through the game, when I was suddenly so broke that I was at risk of being unable to use the Bio-Reconstruction Chambers. Just watch your monies.

Gregg and I have often talked about how we wish there were certain games we could be playing again, for the first time. System Shock 2 is definitely one of them. Enjoy!

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

Jakkar
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March 22, 2013 - 4:22 pm
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In constant conflict with Fallout and Shadow of the Colossus for my 'bestest favouritest game evar' position, which nothing but Fallout has ever firmly held...

Curious;

Synonamess Botch said

In my honest opinion, System Shock 2 and Bioshock didn't do anything that System Shock hadn't already done.  That's one reason I'm not eagerly anticipating Bioshock Infinite.  Ken Levine seems to make the same game over and over.

This is why I was gravely disappointed by my beautiful steelbook copy of Bioshock, but by no means can I criticise SS2 for the same sin relative to SS1 - I can't grudge a game the wish to make that considerable leap from the 'BUILD style engine' era of sprite foes and music comparable to Theme Hospital to the late 90s staple of 3d acceleration, full stereo high quality audio and complex levels less obviously constrained by engine limitations.

System Shock 2 may have been more of a SS1 *remake* than a leap in gameplay, but the technological leap entirely justified the choice. Bioshock, on the other hand truly added nothing technologically *new* to the game, SS2 even had a decent basic physics engine for its time, relative to Bioshock's weightless ragdolls and compulsively masticated cakes.

And that's not even taking into account the many unnecessary steps backward taken by that repetitive under-sea adventure, removing inventory management, multiplying the combat content by at least double and failing to provide any semblance of a challenge beyond the first Big Daddy encounter or that utterly indefensible end-boss. *bitter memories*

Levine dropped from being a man I immensely respected to someone I regard warily, like a proto-Molyneux, a dishonest maker of big promises who never delivers, with Bioshock. To his credit, he isn't a rude, abusive and manipulative prick - that I can tell.

I find it significant that the man was uninvolved in Bioshock 2, and I found that game considerably more entertaining (though, anti-spoiler warning; I've yet to finish it) than the first foray into Rapture.

System Shock 2: If you've never played it, stop waiting. Mods are unnecessary. And play it thinking "This was 1999. This was the era immediately following Half-Life, and Unreal. This preceded Deus Ex.".

 

 

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Synonamess Botch
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March 25, 2013 - 2:07 pm
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To your argument about the technological leaps from SS1 to SS2 I have no defense.  I guess I was talking more about themes and gameplay elements.  Certainly for those unable or unwilling to get the original running on a modern PC, SS2 is a worthy substitute.  Still, my (perhaps nostalgia-stained) mind still reveres the first.  I should probably shut up about that now.

 

Rule #2: Double-tap

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Steerpike
Subtropical Southeastern Michigan
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March 25, 2013 - 10:33 pm
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Dude, Shock 1 is one of those games that reverence + the passage of time = totally acceptable.

I'm mortified and ashamed, given my line of work and the lectures I've subjected you all to on various gaming matters, to admit that by the time I played Shock 1 the world had moved beyond its control scheme and I wasn't able to make myself endure it for very long. I think I got about halfway through.

With Infinite coming out today, it'll be interesting to see how it stands against the other games with the word "shock" in the title. Bioshock basically was System Shock 2; I don't think the same will be the case with Infinite. I think it will be more its own game. But we'll have to wait and see!

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Helmut
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March 26, 2013 - 4:22 pm
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The original is a lot easier to play with the shock portable kit found here.

The controls are a bit dodgy, but there are keyboard shortcuts. It seems easier to me to control the character if you walk around in a half crouch all the time (g key). Keyboard movement keys are enabled, but not configurable in the 'szxc' pattern.

Here's a (2 hr!) podcast with Paul Neurath, a founder of Looking Glass Technologies.

It's inspiring that they created such technically advanced games, but sad that they were unable to meet the market demands of the time and eventually wound up as loose change in the VC and acquisition environment in the late 90's.

 

My Dark Souls single player sensibilities are protected by a +10 GfWL Firewall of Ineptitude

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