Metacritic: 92/100
Release: Jul 1999
Reviewed on: PC

System Shock 2

Site Score
Good: Atmosphere – RPG features – Plenty of depth with classes, powers and more
Bad: Some clunky elements
User Score
(4 votes)
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System Shock 2 is a role playing horror game available for Windows and Mac that launched in 1999. The game uses hacking and psionic abilities as core elements alongside first person shooting. The game is often cited as influencing future games that combined FPS and RPG elements such as BioShock.


System Shock 2 is set in the future (2114) with players jumping into the boots of a soldier as they attempt to fight off a genetic outbreak that is taking control of a starship. Players will be able to explore the ship while developing a character that suits their preferred play style with a number of skills and abilities.

To start your System Shock 2 adventure players will choose from several careers for their soldier which changes your starting bonuses and skills. Future upgrades to skills are earned after completing missions and other objectives which also help to fill in the story of this dark game world.

Role playing elements also feature heavily in the inventory system where players can collect a number of weapons that each have their own strengths in combat and will degrade with use. Ammunition for each of these weapons also comes in a number of types allowing players to mix and match different ammo based on the situation at hand.

As you explore the ship and defeat enemies players will also gain nanites (the game currency). Players can use this currency in the various vending machines scattered around the game world for ammo and health packs. If players are feeling cheap they can attempt to hack the machine for reduced prices which requires the completion of a mini game to be successful.


Beyond hacking players can also engage in research by collect parts of their enemies and combining them with other chemicals to discover weaknesses to ultimately boost your damage in combat against them.

With so many great role playing elements woven into the core first person shooter experience it’s easy to see why System Shock 2 was so popular.


  • Obvious inspiration for the BioShock series.
  • Blends FPS and RPG together seamlessly.
  • Hack and research the world around you.
  • An impressive dark horror atmosphere.
  • Released in 1999 for Windows and Mac.

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System Shock 2, 9.5 out of 10 based on 4 ratings
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1 Comment

  1. Oroshii
    April 18, 2015

    This is the game that set the base for all the games I play now. I remember playing this game and being scared as a grown man. Looking Glass Studios was the best ever. Since then, all similar games such as Deus Ex, Bioshock, Thief, and Fallout, have been where I spend my money on games. Every game I buy is based on the similarities they have with System Shock.



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