Given my mention of Bioshock earlier in the week, and the fact that I’ve repeatedly talked about how System Shock 2 is one of my all-time favorite games, I thought this little recipe for getting System Shock 2 upgraded and running on a modern windows box might be of interest. It includes instructions and links to patches and graphical, gameplay, and sound updates for the original game. If you haven’t played it, even without any of this it remains a superb game and has aged much better than other games of that era (I’m thinking of you, Deus Ex). It also has online co-op which I’ve tried and failed to really interest any of my friends in, though Nick gave it a shot one winter weekend long ago.
You can score System Shock 2 cheaply off of ebay, where it shows up periodically, or via the home of the underdogs, where there are links of questionable legality available to download a copy.
Most long time PC gamers would agree that System Shock 2 is one of those games that belongs in the gaming canon – a classic that any game lover should play, even if just to get a sense of how its design choices informed the games that came after it. I’ve played all the way through it twice, the only non-strategy game I’ve ever done that with, and have replayed portions of it, especially the beginning, dozens of times. It’s really that good. Give it a shot, it’s well worth it.