System shock 2
The sequel to the first game in this fantastic series is definitely one of the greatest, innovative and creative games from the nineties. While it could be called just simply an FPS, it can be extensively derived as a First person shooter horror role-playing survival game. You play as a surviving soldier on a spaceship infected & infested with an alien species. Your first task is to meet another surviving crew member who guides you through the ship, yet you quickly realise who is behind this invasion and learn of their quite remorseful intentions.
The game introduces the weapons relatively quickly, yet it does not let you use them so fast. Your statistics in this game limits your ability to use certain items. By progressing in the game, you slowly gain credits that you can spend on physical terminals to upgrade your statistics, skills, special abilities, or weapon capabilities. In terms of weapons, it is very important to manage your ammunition as it is relatively scarce. There are a large number of enemies, traps and turrets that can surprise you anytime. You have access to many different ammo types that you need to specifically use in order to have the best effectiveness of killing. There exist also various psi-abilities that enable you to manipulate the world, grab items from a distance, or magical attacks on enemies. One aspect I found irritating at times was the need of exploring absolutely everywhere so that you can obtain the key or item to progress. Many things are hidden in specific places, meaning you would have to go through lots of rooms and hallways just to get to a room and search every single body or else continuing further is not possible. I guess this is a good strategy to keep the game playing longer, it is fun nonetheless once you get a feeling of completion, yet whenever you get lost it is not so enjoyable.
The story of this game builds upon the prequel, enhancing your endeavor in an infested spaceship. While there are very rare interactions with any other person, you do receive radio voice messages from certain characters, which usually are there to aid you with the next task. The most prominent way of developing the story was something I have not seen much before, which were voice log discs occasionally found on tables, floors, shelfs, etc, which you open and listen to. These logs represent different characters in the story, which over time develop according to what they say. The fact that these recordings are of a past experience, it adds to the dark experience as it indicates that those people have passed. For me, while it may be at times aggravating to be having to listen to an entire recording, it was something very creative that I think is used very well in this game.
Music / Sound
A good amount of the music includes electronic beats with a scientific theme that can energize you while you run and shoot your foes. Furthermore there is lots of chilly music that reinforces the fact that you are a lone human in a spaceship. A lot of the sound design can create foreshadowing as well as adding on to the horror, including the rare voices of the dead playing in your head.
This game has a very eerie ambience, with horror-like situations. The game implements the scariness extremely well by occasional spooky holographic visuals, dark rooms and monsters. There are many sequential instances where monsters can attack from behind or something explodes/ falls from the ceiling, which adds to this uncertain creepiness. Additionally, even though you killed monsters in one place, they can respawn indefinitely so they can surprise you if you come back to a place.
There is not much to say for the economics side as it is an old game, yet it did seem to fail commercial sale expectations, which is surprising as it was deemed ahead of its time when it was released.