As a thirty-year-old who’s been gaming since the second grade, I’m increasingly having the uncomfortable experience of telling somebody “Oh, it’s like [CLASSIC GAME FROM MY CHILDHOOD]” and hearing “Oh. Never heard of it.” It’s a little awkward to assume common background where none exists.
Fortunately, in one major case this is about to be averted.
This gap in knowledge happens a lot when discussing BioShock, and it’s not a surprise: BioShock arrived nearly a decade after System Shock 2, and System Shock 2 has suffered the fate of many twentieth-century games; updated software and hardware, combined with the march of publishing, has made the game impossible to find and difficult to play if you do happen to find it.
Which is a shame, because System Shock 2 is arguably one of the best games ever made for the PC. The mix of RPG and survival horror was well ahead of its time, and aside from being somewhat dated graphically, the game is still rock-solid to play: Intense, complex, and troubling. Also brain-bendingly hard in some areas, but hell, that’s part of the appeal.
Not helping was a complicated legal tangle that made even putting the game out legally for sale online a difficult proposition.
But, somehow, GOG has cleaved through the mess and the game will be released digitally on their site tomorrow. They used fan work to bring the game to modern systems, but improved on it to get the game running fluidly.
Even better, the GOG team went through and cleaned up the bugs you usually find in a game like this that Irrational and Looking Glass couldn’t quite repair, and all the mods you remember from 1999 will still work on the game.
You lose all your free time tomorrow.