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In Retrospect: System Shock 2

I typically tend to write about big issues in gaming, long-running trends or themes about gaming as a whole but from time to time it's interesting to take a step back from modern gaming and examine some forgotten gems of classic videogaming.

System Shock 2 is one such game.

As a retrospective piece I won't go into too much detail about the history surrounding the game or it's creation (most of which can be found online anyway), but rather I'll talk about what made System Shock 2 an enjoyable game � and indeed still makes it enjoyable to play today, aswell as what it didn't do so well.

The annelids also seem pretty unimaginative, they're little more than worms (as the name might suggest). I imagine if System Shock 2 was made today really interesting things could be done with the Annelid design to make them look like more than just worms, but that's pretty much what they look like, space worms. Or space spiders, in the case of some of them. I guess in the case of all of these it's more about how much developers were held back by the technical limitations of the day than anything else, but still if I had to point to anything that strikes me as off about the game it's the way you can go from fighting genuinely creepy hybrids or crazy robots to fighting blurry flesh monstrosities or space worms and space spiders.

Perhaps that's just me though.

All things said System Shock 2 still strikes me as a really powerful piece of science-fiction gaming, and indeed a powerful piece science-fiction storytelling, and did some pretty revolutionary things for a 1998 game, at a time when games themselves weren't that well developed as a medium.

I doubt System Shock 2 is everybody's cup of tea, but those of us interested in getting their horror fix whilst getting a sci-fi one at the same time whilst also being treated to solid gameplay mechanics, atmosphere and a powerful story, System Shock 2 is still something to be experienced, just, you know, try not to think about the space spiders too much.
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About Panzadolphin56one of us since 9:54 AM on 05.06.2011

Oh hey!

I'm former male model and celebrity nutritionist Panzadolphin56. This is my blog. I write things here.

...in case the blog bit didn't give that away.

Anyway! To the left you'll find my latest blogs, and beneath this you'll find a fairly comprehensive list of most of what I've written over the years (unfortunately some stuff does eventually get bumped off the list.)

I like to write from a fairly critical standpoint about games, usually analysis or talking about issues that interest me, I also do retrospectives from time to time, talk about games I've been playing, write the funny things that come into my head, and very occasionally do some crappy art.

I hope you enjoy what you read!

I also do Lets Plays (mostly old horror games) so if that's your thing then click here:


Everyone who clicks will not win a million dollars!


A little about me:

I am mostly a story person, good mechanics are good mechanics but button pressing never does anything for me. I like Horror, I like Cyberpunk, I like Neo-Noir (especially crossed with Cyberpunk), I like good art and good writing, I like games that cut against the grain or choose to challenge social or industry norms in some way.

I don't have a single favourite game but I am a big fan of the MGS games, Snatcher, the Forbidden Siren series, Silent Hill 2, the old-school Resident Evils, Advance Wars and Power Dolls, among many, many others.


Critical Pieces:

How ugly should Horror really be?
Of Inventories and Horror Games
Crafting A Good Game of 'The Thing'
Alien(s), Creative license and Borrowed Ideas
Crossing from TV/Movie to Games
Scope and Depth in the world of gaming
Boss Battles - When do they ever make sense?
Survival Horror Essentials
Colonial Marines: Well, that kind of sucked...
Disability, Disease in Games
Blood 2 and Post-Modernism
Topics, Tropes and Atmosphere in Horror games
Realism Vs. Fantasy - Who Wins?
The gradual drift away from the mainstream
Is There Horror in The Ugly...?
The Fourth Wall and taking games seriously
Are You Always Online?
Hype: Aliens Vs. Predator
To shoot stuff or not to shoot stuff?
Character Design and Choice in Games
Culture Vs. Creativity: Where do Stories come from?
Where you go Isometric-Strategy Games?
What's the Point of Games?
Do Horror games even still exist...?
Why are Characters Always so White...?
Choice in Games: Heavy Rain

A Magical Dolphin Plays:

The King of the Wood


Resident Evil Remake
Aliens Vs Predator 2
Sweet Home
Forbidden Siren
System Shock 2

Pick up and Plays:

Call of Cthulhu and the Spectre of Good Horror
Story Books and Nightmares in Rule of Rose
B-Movie Bliss: Extermination
Along for the ride with Michigan: Report From Hell
Some thoughts on Wargame: European Escalation
Skyrim: Impressions

Funny/Less Critical Stuff:

Get Yo Summer Game On
Lazyblog: Box Art
Escaping into the Darkness of Hellnight
Diversity what what?!?: Black Mamba Edition
Why Do We Still Have Exploding Barrels...?


Dead Space 3, in a nut shell.
CROSSOVER: Mario X Siren
Boss: Learning the Tools of the Trade

Front Pages:
Tales from Skyrim: The skinhead shopkeep
Steam ID:Panzadolphin56
Mii code:This is a thing?


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