System Shock 2 begins with you being unfrozen from a long cryogenic sleep aboard the Rickenbacker, a security spaceship assigned to tail the Von Braun on her maiden voyage. Apparently, the Von Braun has been infested by an unknown alien race and has converted the crew into relatively intelligent zombies. You must gather bits of audio clips along the way to figure out what happened to your crew and, more importantly, how you can rid the ship of the aliens. Rely on your skills training from either the Navy, Marines, or OSA to guide you on this difficult path. This 3D title offers unbelievable graphics, as the Thief engine is utilized to provide mouth-watering environments and character skins. The astounding graphics, varied RPG elements, and fluid action make this title worthwhile.
It has a nice, creepy atmosphere- but not many scary moments, and a nice RPG system; the story is well paced, and voice acting is pretty good for the time it was released.
But it's not perfect as some say: from a technical point, the game is average compared to it's contemporary engines (e.g. Half-Life or Unreal).
Monsters and people look too square-shaped, and while they may scare you with their sounds, their look washes away the fear. Sound is also average, some sounds (like the pistol) don't feel right. Gameplay wise, the game forces you, no matter which class you pick, to invest the in 'HACK' skill, because most ammo and health goodies -scarce and needed items- are inside locked crates which need to be hacked in order to be opened. Most PSI powers (magic-like) aren't really useful e.g. Why should I try to be invisible when I can destroy that security camera with a single attack?
Summary: it's creepy, it has one of the best villains (SHODAN), a great story and it's fun overrall, if you don't mind the negative spots mentioned above.
FPS, RPG, Sci-fi and survival all combined in a very good game. The magic thing is that these are combined, but are still as complete as in a pure FPS, a pure RPG or a pure survival game.
e.g. the RPG part of this game is even better than the one in Deus Ex, with possible upgrades on weapons and technical abilities, characteristics and all the psionic powers that can be compared to magic spells. You also have to identify items and of course to hack many systems.
The excellent atmosphere is the other top point of the game (think Alien). You really feel uncomfortable, nervous, claustrophobic. Also, the storyline being introduced via recordings that you'll find here and there is perfect.
But there are several bad points, the most important one being the enemies respawn system. In some places, enemies respawn at about 10 meters from you, 10 seconds after the previous enemy is killed, and no good reason is provided for that to happen. Pretty boring, and pretty bad way to increase the game duration IMO. Also, the two last fights are not that hard, once you know how to do them.
Still, a must-play for Deus Ex, Bioshock, Alien movies or Half-Life (especially the 1st) lovers.
One of my all time favorite games. Even though the graphic is a little outdated, the atmosphere of the game is superb. In my head one of the best created worlds in terms of atmosphere and dragging you 100% into the game world. A really great story and the fantastic hybrid of stealth, first person shooter and RPG game makes the gameplay unbelievable addictive. Just play this masterpiece, if you haven't already. Classic!