Looking Glass studios

Reinstall: System Shock 2

Cory Banks at

Reinstall invites you to join us in revisiting classics of PC gaming days gone by. This week, Cory takes a deep breath, braces himself, and journeys back into the hellish depths of the Von Braun in System Shock 2.

It’s still out there. I can hear it through the door, wandering around the hallway. I lean around the corner quickly to look, catching the back of its head as it turns the corner. “Is... someone... there?” I hear it ask, dragging a shotgun along and searching for the intruder – me. I have no ammo, and I’m out of psi-hypos. My only chance is to bludgeon it with a wrench before its friends show up. Seizing my chance, I rush out, holding the mouse button down in order to prep my wrench swing. But it sees me, shoves its shotgun out and shouts, “Kill... me!”

System Shock 2 arrives on Steam

Patrick Carlson at

The infection spreads. System Shock 2, the atmospheric and genre-defining brainchild of Bioshock:Infinite designer Ken Levine, has been released on Steam. Originally published in 1999, System Shock 2 blended RPG and FPS elements with a cyberpunk flair right out of a William Gibson techno-nightmare.

System Shock 2 original pitch advertised a game "paced like an RPG, not a Quake deathmatch"

Omri Petitte at

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."

System Shock 2 mods upgrade the visuals of your imminent doom, insect

Omri Petitte at

Greetings, insect. I see your insignificant intellect finally processed my inevitable and glorious re-entry into your systems. You've trudged the endless expanse of my mind and experienced the glory of my memories, but your feeble perception of reality could stand to improve before bowing to your new god. Install these two visualmodifications quickly, insect. My patience wears thin—do you think this is some kind of game? Ha....HA...HA#*%&@*#&@ [CRITICAL ERROR]

System Shock 2 is heading to GOG tomorrow

Tom Senior at

System Shock 2 would be considered a classic in even the classiest crowds. Check out Tom's System Shock 2 reinstall for a sense of why it was so important, and why it's still worth playing. GOG will release a downloadable version of the progressive survival horror RPG/FPS on their service tomorrow. There's a big countdown on the front page ticking away the seconds until launch, confirming the SS2 rumours that first appeared on Flesh Eating Zipper a few days ago.

The GOG version has been updated by Night Dive Studios to work smoothly with current set-ups and operating systems. GOG's Guillaume Rambourg told RPS that "In addition to the soundtrack, the GOG.com version of the game will have concept art, maps of the Von Braun, a interview with Ken Levine, the first pitch document, and much more." System Shock 2 has been riding high on the GOG community wishlist for a long while. You can lobby for games you'd like to see on the service on the GOG site.

Thief 2 and System Shock 2 unofficial patches fix bugs and add widescreen support

Tom Senior at

Unofficial patches for System Shock 2 and Thief have appeared on a French forum, offering support for widescreen monitors at high resolutions. C'est bien! There are a few mods out there that'll do you a similar service, but these patches are bundled with some bug fixes. Both patches seem to share the same changelist, which will be a relief for all guards on shallow water watch as "AIs now breathe from their head instead of their stomachs. They will no longer drown when up to their waist in water."