The Video Game Odyssey: A Shocking Return from the Past

After years of waiting, gamers can now enjoy the horrors of System Shock 2. Photo courtesy Google Images

After years of waiting, gamers can now enjoy the horrors of System Shock 2. Photo courtesy Google Images

One of the most beloved and influential horror games has made a triumphant return on Good Old Games.com, System Shock 2. Released on August 11, 1999, System Shock 2 was developed by Irrational Games and Looking Glass and published by Night Dive Studios. However, since its initial release it has not seen a single re-release for gamers of more recent generation to enjoy. This was primarily due to complicated legal issues when one of the developers, Looking Glass studios, closed down and the Meadowbrook Insurance Group acquired their assets, which included rights to System Shock 2. According to a report by IGN, Night Dive Studios worked hard to negotiate with the two rights holders in order to secure its re-release on gog.com. There are also rumors that it will also be added to Steam at a later date as well.

System Shock 2’s story takes place years in the future in the deep reaches of space. The player takes the role of a soldier in the year 2114 who has been assigned to the UNN Rickenbacker to escort humanity’s first spaceship capable of faster-than-light travel, the Von Braun, on its maiden voyage. Following several months into the ship’s voyage, the game opens up as you awaken from cryo-sleep with amnesia due to a computer malfunction. However, you find that the two ships have become infested with a parasitic alien life form known only as The Many. Now pitted against hordes of mutants with only an insane AI as your ally, you must find a way to survive and destroy the Many once and for all.

Mutated crewmembers and other monstrosities lurk in every cranny. Due to the excellent sound design, you will often hear enemies before you see them. Photo courtesy Google Images

Mutated crewmembers and other monstrosities lurk in every cranny. Due to the excellent sound design, you will often hear enemies before you see them. Photo courtesy Google Images

System Shock 2 received large critical acclaim upon its release and was hailed by some critics as being “ahead of its time” in terms of game design and mechanics. The creepy, unnerving atmosphere and first-person gameplay elements have gone on to inspire a number of similar horror and action titles such as Bioshock and Dead Space. However, despite all this, it did not do well in sales, with only 58, 671 copies sold within a year of its initial release. Even with the limited commercial success, System Shock 2 has received numerous awards and was hailed as one of the best computer games ever made.

Now, I must confess that I have not yet had the opportunity to play System Shock 2, but I have heard such high praises being sung of it that I have waited for a re-releases like this for some time now. If you enjoy horror games or even titles similar to the ones I mentioned earlier then it would well be worth your while to pick up System Shock 2. I know I will.

So then gamers are you excited to play System Shock 2? What other older games do you want to see re-released?

 

What to get in touch and talk gaming? Contact the reporter at preston.sotelo@asu.edu or via Twitter at @p_sotelo