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System Shock *ONE*... Worth a LttP?

CZroeCZroe Registered User regular
edited September 2007 in Games and Technology
With all the BioShock buzz generating System Shock 2 buzz, you'd think there'd be a little mini-revival of the original System Shock too (ALSO!). Instead, it's all about System Shock 2. Indeed, SS2 seems to be synonymous with "System Shock" from threads referring to SS2 as simply "System Shock" to the Zero Punctuation BioShock video rant.

So, having never played System Shock or System Shock 2, I'd like to know: Should I even bother with System Shock 1? It certainly seems to be thoroughly ignored.

I'm sitting on all nine floppies boxed and I'm looking for the answer before I go way out of my way to get access to a floppy drive and configuirng DOSbox or a compatibility system.

Also, some coworker gave me this last year along with other gems like Rise of the Triad, Warcraft, etc and I owe him a favor. About how much do you think it's worth?

CZroe on
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Posts

  • RookRook Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Not unless you have the CD enhanced version with Voice acting and SVGA graphics. But SS1 is pretty much Bioshock, far more so than SS2 is from a gameplay perspective.

    Rook on
  • Target PracticeTarget Practice Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I think the main reason the first game is ignored is because it's so old. It came out in 1993 and its engine has sometimes been described as sub-Doom. That kind of thing is hard for a lot of people to deal with if there's no nostalgia factor; hell, I've heard people complain about SS2 in that regard.

    Target Practice on
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  • emnmnmeemnmnme Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I never played the original System Shock but the intro looks pretty swanky.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ID2BEXJ4IKc
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xap7JLlROSQ&mode=related&search=

    I think there's a diskette version and a CD version of the original System Shock, the CD version being better, obviously.

    emnmnme on
  • CZroeCZroe Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    So I've got the inferior version, but it's boxed and complete. That's gonna be great for my OCD. :( Thanks. It looks like I'm going to be on the lookout for the CD version then.

    Does SS2 stand alone? How does the SS1 story tie into SS2?

    CZroe on
  • EchoEcho ski-bap ba-dapModerator mod
    edited September 2007
    I think the main reason the first game is ignored is because it's so old. It came out in 1993 and its engine has sometimes been described as sub-Doom. That kind of thing is hard for a lot of people to deal with if there's no nostalgia factor; hell, I've heard people complain about SS2 in that regard.

    Well, it has full 3D and sloping surfaces, unlike the 2.5D of Doom.

    Echo on
  • XagarathXagarath Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I have the CD version.
    What really holds it back are the frustrating cyberspace sections. The rest of the game is fine.

    Xagarath on
  • CherrnCherrn Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    CZroe wrote: »
    Does SS2 stand alone? How does the SS1 story tie into SS2?

    It's a direct sequel. There are several references to the first game in SS2, like Citadel Station and SHODAN herself.

    I've tried playing SS1 on multiple occasions, but I just can't get into it. It's not the graphics, I just don't think it's very good.

    Cherrn on
    All creature will die and all the things will be broken. That's the law of samurai.
  • slash000slash000 Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Where are people buying SS1 and 2? Ebay?

    I went to see if I could dig it up at various stores that have older/reprinted games but it was of course futile.

    slash000 on
  • XagarathXagarath Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I found SS1 for something like $3 in New York a few years ago.

    It's much easier to come by than 2.

    Xagarath on
  • CZroeCZroe Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Xagarath wrote: »
    I found SS1 for something like $3 in New York a few years ago.

    It's much easier to come by than 2.

    I've had the opposite experience. Everyone I know has SS2 from retail, OEM hardware bundles, clearance bins, etc. I never saw an other copy of SS1 than this one.

    CZroe on
  • LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    CZroe wrote: »
    Xagarath wrote: »
    I found SS1 for something like $3 in New York a few years ago.

    It's much easier to come by than 2.

    I've had the opposite experience. Everyone I know has SS2 from retail, OEM hardware bundles, clearance bins, etc. I never saw an other copy of SS1 than this one.

    same in my experiance.

    LewieP on
  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo We are only now beginning to understand the full power and ramifications of sexual intercourse Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    SS1 was quite an annoying game experience at the time, I'm fairly sure that the problems were largely to do with the poorly thought out user interface. On the plus side the way that difficulty settings were handled still makes me giddy (example: there's a door that on lower settings you have to cock about to open, play on easy and you find a laser gun and just shoot the lock. Good times).

    And this thread adds fuel to the "Goddammit, where are my fucking System Shock CDs?". I've found my SS2 box but it's empty.

    Mojo_Jojo on
    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • RookRook Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    SS1 is also the only game to give me a headcahe, so I had to play it in 3-4 hour bursts then rest for a bit.

    Rook on
  • urahonkyurahonky Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    slash000 wrote: »
    Where are people buying SS1 and 2? Ebay?

    I went to see if I could dig it up at various stores that have older/reprinted games but it was of course futile.

    I bought my copy of SS2 on eBay for $45. Well worth it if you get it to work on XP.

    urahonky on
  • XagarathXagarath Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    CZroe wrote: »
    Xagarath wrote: »
    I found SS1 for something like $3 in New York a few years ago.

    It's much easier to come by than 2.

    I've had the opposite experience. Everyone I know has SS2 from retail, OEM hardware bundles, clearance bins, etc. I never saw an other copy of SS1 than this one.

    Lucky you.
    Personally, I can find 1 a lot cheaper online.

    Xagarath on
  • PancakePancake Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I don't know about prices or whatnot, but System Shock is really hard to play.

    The interface is like... like I don't even know what. It's basically the worst interface thought up by man to control a game. It gives you a lot of control over your body, but it comes at a huge price.

    It's really, really annoying to use and when first trying to figure it out, it can be confusing and make no sense at all.

    What I'm saying is there's a reason System Shock 2 is held up as the System Shock.

    Pancake on
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  • DartboyDartboy Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I bought System Shock 1, Ultima Underworld 1&2, and Starsiege Tribes on the same day. I was in a CompUSA looking to buy this neat multiplayer-only (gasp!) shooter I had read about, and saw these other games sitting in a bargain bin. The cover art for System Shock looked neat, and I had Ultima Underworld 1 on a floppy before, so I picked both those up.

    Tribes consumed my life for several solid months, so I didn't even think of the other games I bought that day. Fast Forward a couple years, and I heard people talking about this new game coming out, System Shock 2. Thinking that name sounded familiar, I dug through my PC games and found SS1 at the bottom. I had tried to install and play it when I bought it, but I could never get it working. With the second game apparently coming out, I thought I ought to try this first one.

    After much, much fiddling, I was finally able to get SS1 working. Maybe I had been spoiled by the constant Tribes, or maybe because the game was just so old and had such a cumbersome interface, but I could never get into it all that much. I played it through, and thought it was pretty cool, but I was more interested in the newer game.

    After playing SS2 and immediately falling in love, I just couldn't go back to the older one. I really think the reason the franchise is synonymous with System Shock 2 is because it's just a general improvement over the original in just about every way. Better graphics (duh), better world interaction, much better interface, and voice acting by default really meant that this is the definitive version of the formula that SS1 pioneered.

    Dartboy on
  • CherrnCherrn Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    It's funny, because I remember when System Shock 2 was released, everyone was up in arms about how the game was dumbed down, and that it wasn't anywhere near the quality of the first game. The hacking especially upset a lot of people.

    Cherrn on
    All creature will die and all the things will be broken. That's the law of samurai.
  • SteevLSteevL What can I do for you? Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Wow, after watching the video of System Shock gameplay, I now realize it's one of the first demos I ever played on my first PC. I had been using a Mac Plus for the last 7 years or so at the time, so I wanted to see what my new 486 could do. I probably downloaded it off a local BBS.

    I don't think I ever figured out how to play it properly, and didn't make it too far before trying something else. But it always stuck out in my memory as something very unique.

    SteevL on
  • BioHaz594BioHaz594 Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    The first System Shock I almost never played.
    I had purchased it as part of an Origin/EA 3-pack that contained Wing Commander III, BioForge, and System Shock CD Enhanced Ver. Fortunatly for me, I got over the horrendous box art of a guy with his head in a vice-thing which turned me off to it. Once I groked the awkward interface, it proved to be well worth it and probably the best game in the 3-pack. Graphically, it was a little hard to look at sometimes yet the level designs were much more intricate than Doom's thanks to sloped surfaces and other more advanced archetecture that we wouldnt see for a couple years. The story was enthralling and the voice acting amazing.

    In some ways, I actually prefered the first System Shock to it's sequel. I loved the full 3D cyberspace sequences that were dropped from 2.

    Yes Cherrn, I agree that SShock2 was dumbed down a bit from the first. There was more variety in the types of hacking puzzles, and having to complete certain hacking objectives in the 3D cyberspace levels made things much more interesting and complex. Not only was there a need to manage skills in meatspace, you had to manage skills specifically for cyberspace.

    BioHaz594 on
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  • LorkLork Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    The original System Shock has a sort of duality going on. On the one hand, it's a really interesting game with an open ended design, lots of cool little doodads and nuances that'll make you think "whoah... they did this in 1994?" and a great atmosphere. On the other hand, you'll never actually get to see any of that stuff because the game is completely unplayable due to really shitty controls.

    This game is screaming for a remake or a hacked version with some decent controls. If anything like that ever comes to pass, you should get right on that, but otherwise, don't bother.

    Lork on
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  • DavoidDavoid Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I tried to get into SS1, but, I ran into the same problem as I did with SS2. That is, both games scare the shit out of me, ha ha ha ha.

    Davoid on
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  • etoychestetoychest Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    There are some areas of SS1 that I like more than its sequel, though taken as a whole I think ss2 is the superior all around product. SS1 does scare the crap out of me at times..like when you are sneaking through the ducts and one of those bug robot things creeps up on you and makes that PC speaker shock noise.

    etoychest on
  • DavoidDavoid Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    It's the concept of the games, especially in SS1, that creeps me out. Human mutation and experimental testing, yadda yadda. Although, a mutagenic virus? That just doesn't make sense.

    Davoid on
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  • emnmnmeemnmnme Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    What are the odds that, 15 years from now, Bioshock will be as rare and sought after as System Shock?

    emnmnme on
  • DukiDuki Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Pretty poor, as BioShock seems to be selling pretty well, where as the System Shocks didn't.

    Duki on
  • emnmnmeemnmnme Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Duki wrote: »
    Pretty poor, as BioShock seems to be selling pretty well, where as the System Shocks didn't.

    Really? They already have numbers out for Bioshock? Which version is selling better, PC or XBOX?

    emnmnme on
  • LiquidatorLiquidator Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I've owned System Shock since shortly after it was released and yes the controls are not up to todays standards. I just completed another playthrough recently. If you keep at it, you can master the controls. You can aim your gun with the mouse but all leaning, looking up and down, has to be done with keys on the keyboard. I do believe you can play with close to a WASD setup but instead of S being move back, X is. Look up and down were something like R is up and F is down or something close to that. If you keep practicing it's very playable.

    Liquidator on
  • mirarantmirarant Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    SS1 is truly a great game and I'm not just being nostalgic ;-)

    There is a portable version of SS1 that works in XP but linking that would probably be ban worthy.

    mirarant on
  • DeusfauxDeusfaux Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    The only issue with SS I'd say is that it plays pretty slow compared to other contemporary shooters.

    But to say it has a sub-Doom engine is laughable considering all teh area in which it is superior.


    Also you WANT the CD version - it is absolutely the definitive vision of the game, and the developers wish they had waited the time there was between floppy and CD release to do it properly right off the bat because it makes for a much improved experience. Instead people were already off doing other games by the time they got the voice acted SVGA version out.

    SS is amazing and there was a reason it was like.. #4 on PC Gamers Best Games Ever list even back in the late 90's.

    Deusfaux on
  • hambonehambone Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    You also need to have a real beast of a system to get SS1 working smoothly at the highest graphics settings (640x480 I think) in DosBox.

    hambone on
    Just a bunch of intoxicated pigeons.
  • Bacon-BuTTyBacon-BuTTy Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    haha.

    dfss6.gif

    wow.

    Bacon-BuTTy on
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  • DeusfauxDeusfaux Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    and the game is scary.

    particularly the biodome levels (alpha through gamma I think), and level... 6 I think (the one all in darkness)

    fuck!

    Deusfaux on
  • RookRook Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    emnmnme wrote: »
    Duki wrote: »
    Pretty poor, as BioShock seems to be selling pretty well, where as the System Shocks didn't.

    Really? They already have numbers out for Bioshock? Which version is selling better, PC or XBOX?

    It was something like xbox was outselling the PC version by 4:1

    Rook on
  • CZroeCZroe Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    hambone wrote: »
    You also need to have a real beast of a system to get SS1 working smoothly at the highest graphics settings (640x480 I think) in DosBox.

    Quad-core 64bit machine with SLi, 2x1TB RAID0 and 4GB DDR2... I was assuming that I'd need DOSbox.
    mirarant wrote: »
    SS1 is truly a great game and I'm not just being nostalgic ;-)

    There is a portable version of SS1 that works in XP but linking that would probably be ban worthy.

    "Portable" as in "Thumb Drive Portable?" I assume that it includes DOSbox?

    CZroe on
  • RookRook Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    It works fine through Windows XP if you fiddle with some of the compatibility settings. And I think he's overexaggerating a bit. It runs super smooth on 5-6 year old machines.

    Rook on
  • TubeTube Registered User admin
    edited September 2007
    Davoid wrote: »
    It's the concept of the games, especially in SS1, that creeps me out. Human mutation and experimental testing, yadda yadda. Although, a mutagenic virus? That just doesn't make sense.

    How does that make any less sense than the rest of the game?

    Tube on
  • InzignaInzigna Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    haha.

    [image]

    wow.

    I didn't play any of the SSes, so... what's the joke here?

    I want to be funny!

    Inzigna on
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  • Bacon-BuTTyBacon-BuTTy Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Inzigna wrote: »
    haha.

    [image]

    wow.

    I didn't play any of the SSes, so... what's the joke here?

    I want to be funny!

    No joke really.

    It just looks more fantastically retro than i expected.

    Pretty good for 1994 though!

    Bacon-BuTTy on
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  • OrogogusOrogogus San DiegoRegistered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Inzigna wrote: »
    haha.

    [image]

    wow.

    I didn't play any of the SSes, so... what's the joke here?

    I want to be funny!

    No joke really.

    It just looks more fantastically retro than i expected.

    Pretty good for 1994 though!

    Yeah, you have to keep in mind that it was going up against DOOM II and Marathon, and had in its favor:

    - 3D levels instead of 2.5
    - Persistent levels that you go could go back to
    - Weapons and item inventory, plus stims and upgrades
    - 3 multi-function displays
    - In-game logs (rather than Marathon's terminals)
    - An assortment of difficulty settings
    - Physics (propelling yourself backwards on rollerskates using the recoil of a flechette gun for the win)
    - Lootable bad guys
    - An annotatable automap

    I'd include cyberspace if it were actually fun, but oh well. Nice in concept, I guess.

    I liked SS a lot better than SS2, honestly. The pacing and level design were a lot better in my opinion, and it was fun to have a huge assortment of guns, ammunition types, grenades and drugs without having to resort to the wrench (pipe) all the time. The controls are bad, but I don't think they're really that bad (Day of the Viper/Space Hulk controls). It's one of the only FPSes I've played where the environment felt complete and I didn't feel constrained into arbitrary levels, and where I felt I was exploring instead of soldiering in a linear fashion from one objective to the next.

    Orogogus on
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