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Reviewed: System Shock 2
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Irrational Games / Looking Glass Studios
Genre Type: RPG/FPS
Price: $49.95
Required System: P200, 32mb Ram, 4mb Direct3D Accelerator, 200mb HD, Win95+
Reviewer's System: PII300, 64mb Ram, TNT, Win98
Related Games: Thief
Overall Rating:
Author: Chris Kim       Date: August 27th 1999
Page: 3

The AI in the game is excellent, the enemies that are dumb are dumb and the ones that are supposedly smart, are. Enemies will be alerted by noises, actions, and other events may trigger something. The hybrids are the really stupid characters which method of attacking is just running up and bashing the lights out of the player, which can be easily dodged and avoided, if it is a pipe hybrid, shotgun and grenade hybrids are a lot more challenging to defeat. The difficulty level is right on par with how the game should be which will provide tons of challenge for a longtime. The easy level setting is still not easy, but it provides the least challenge for the player, while the impossible level is well, impossible.

As for multiplayer, the shipping version of the game doesn't have any. But a patch is being addressed soon to add this feature.

That's a Lot of Dead Hybrids
Badly Damaged R&D Sector
Reading Logs

Control is very good. It may not be the simplest, but it works. Using both the keyboard and the mouse works extremely well, having all the forward, turn, strafe, and lean keys on one side of the keyboard with the ability to still control the rest of the action with the mouse is good. Hotkeys for almost all functions are available as well with configurable keys for these functions. The interface is pretty simple and easy to use, it is almost exactly the same as used as in both Diablo and Darkstone, click and drag, right click to use. Only one quirk with the interface is that the user cannot move when he is in the use mode in the inventory. Other than that, it is very clean and simple to use.

Recharge that Battery
Eat it Bastard
Huge Maintainence Robot...

Attractive graphics are found in this game, using a modified version of the engine found in Thief, the Dark Engine works very well for this game. The dark lighting effects are used to masterpiece in the levels, maintaining a dark atmosphere, the player is even more immersed in the aureal System Shock environment. Level design looks excellent, clean, and extremely scary looking. Details put into the environment are top notch, bullet holes, burn marks, broken fixtures all are part of the environment. Blood stains, human corpses, broken fixtures/furniture, and badly damaged offices. All these very well portray the bad damage that was taken aboard the Von Braun when the player explores the various decks. Everything in the environment yells "scarier than the Blair Witch Project", which is quite true when combined with an excellent soundcard/speaker setup. The only complaint, however, is are the not so well looking models and explosions. The explosions have a very flat and non realistic appearance to them and the models are well... flat looking as well. But overall, they are excellent visuals.

...Broken Maintainence Robot
Anyone for Minesweeper?
Grenade Launcher Explodes

Main focus and emphasis is put on the sound and music of the game. The sound is extremely immersive and actually makes the player fall into the atmosphere of the game. With support for both Aureal's A3D and Creative's EAX, 3D Sound API compatibility is not a question to be asked. The developers of the game really knew that sound would play a huge part on the game, the reason for adding both A3D and EAX support. The creepy low sound effects of the footsteps on the cold feeling metal really can get on the player on the edge of their seat. The echoing of moaning voices down the halls can keep the player from trying to start running down the hall. The taunting voices of the hybrids will make the player peer over their shoulder quickly or make them make an abrupt turn. Whatever the sounds maybe, the positional effects are top notch. On the system that the game was played on with a Xitel Storm Platinum, an A3D 2.0 enabled soundcard, the sound immersion was awe inspiring. With the Force Feedback Headphones, not only could the sound effects heard, but they were felt with where they came from. A hybrid could be heard even muffled from behind a glass window, the flaming explosions could be heard from directly behind.

The music as well plays an extremely important, pivotal part in the game. The music is a mix of techno upbeat stuff along with low toned, creepy whistle noises with low bass beats to keep the player alert and tense. With the addition of sound effects and music combination, the sound experience is truly remarkable.

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Added:  Friday, August 27, 1999
Reviewer:  Chris Kim
Score:
Page: 3/4

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