System Shock 2 original pitch advertised a game "paced like an RPG, not a Quake deathmatch"
If you nab the long-awaited System Shock 2, which just made it to GOG's library, you'll also score the original concept pitch for the atmospheric role-playing scare-fest as a bonus look at the game's early iterations. It describes how the project, first named Junction Point, would skirt the combat-dense designs of the Doom and Quake clones populating the late 1990s in favor of "a moody cross between System Shock and Apocalypse Now."
"Junction Point tells a dark tale set in a very dark place," the pitch reads. "Shock provided players with a unique tension and suspense much more akin to Alone in the Dark and Resident Evil than Doom. Junction Point also is set in a suspenseful futuristic horror setting and introduces a number of themes and game mechanics that support this vibe."
Though System Shock 2's monstrous Hybrids and cyborg assassins occasionally demanded you defend yourself with whatever arsenal you managed to find, the pitch document stressed that Junction Point would focus on role-play and character depth rather than more guns.
"Primarily, Shock was at heart a real role-playing game, not an action shooter," the pitch states. "With Junction Point, we are clearly setting out to make a role-playing game, not only embracing the sense of role-playing that Shock provided, but expanding on it. Junction Point is paced like an RPG, not a Quake deathmatch. The player character grows, not just their gun collection.
"Most PC shooters are essentially games of attrition. Players can take dozens of rounds of shotgun shells, grenades, and BFG fire before they even start feeling woozy. The gunplay in Shock was a much more decisive affair; it was crucial to get the drop on your foe and fire on him before he knew you were there. Junction Point will adhere to this style of gunplay."
If you've played or are playing System Shock 2, how closely do your experiences match up with the Junction Point pitch? Do you charge blazing across the Von Braun, or are you more conservative with the weapons at your disposal?