SYSTEM SHOCK 2Reviewed By: Tom White
VOLUNTEER GUEST REVIEWER
Genre: Sci-Fi Shooter
If you're familiar with the “Alien” series of movies and have played the hit PC game "Deus Ex", you already have a good idea of what to expect. The game is an RPG/FPS hybrid, two genres that Christians often have trouble with. This game, unfortunately, will be no exception. Like the “Alien” movies which I enjoyed despite Hollywood's standard swearing and violence, this game contains a similarly moody feel but also has a lot of content Christians will find harder to stomach (I'll explain more later). The atmosphere portrayed within this game is incredibly tense and has a creepy, somewhat disturbing ambience to it. It's a much more sophisticated game than titles such as "Aliens vs Predator", "Resident Evil", "Hexen II", etc.
I will attempt to explain how the game's plot goes: you are a soldier of a futuristic military force known as the UNN, and accept a mission to go onboard the maiden flight of mankind's latest technological achievement: a starship called the 'Von Braun'. This starship is capable of travelling faster than the speed of light and is the first manned spacecraft to explore beyond our solar system. You are put into hypersleep for six months and while you're asleep, all hell breaks loose. Aliens take over, all the crew is slaughtered and the AI running the ship goes berserk (ala 2001: A Space Odyssey). You however are not discovered and upon waking must find out what happened, and destroy the responsible bad guys. In a nutshell: wake up, follow instructions, kill everything and solve the mystery.
As I mentioned earlier, Christians will have trouble with this game. I can list a few reasons: ghosts, blasphemy, suicide, swearing, extreme violence, drugs, decaying corpses lying all over the place are all depicted in detail. Which is a shame because the actual gameplay mechanics, like "Deus Ex", are brilliant for those of us that like games a bit more intellectually challenging than say “Unreal Tournament” or “Quake”. No sexual or occult activity is displayed, which is why I've given the game a Christian Rating of 2 rather than 1. The story line is presented brilliantly, and character development is unbelievably good for a computer game. This is a glimpse of how games of the future will likely be, or at least in my opinion should be. If you're a budding game developer, this game would be a great place to look for ideas and examples of a quality gaming experience.
In conclusion though, I can't really recommend this game to fellow Christians, maybe unless you're mature in your faith and are open minded, and that's a definite maybe. I personally found the game more offensive than “Quake” or “Unreal”, but not as much as any “Grand Theft Auto” game. A quality game hampered by some of its content and overtones
Swearing: Mild overall; not much in the game with the exception of a couple of cases.
Violence: Extreme. Blood, mutilation, torture abound, more so than most games, but not quite as violent as some R rated films.
Ambience: Heavy and dark. The atmosphere is one of death and hopelessness throughout, not unlike a horror movie. Suicide is often graphically depicted.
Originality: Incredible, not so much in the story as in the execution. If you though Half-Life was good, you haven't seen anything.
Gameplay: Excellent, incredible, fantastic. Lots of fun, it's essentially an intellectual's FPS. It's closest comparison is Deus Ex, after that the Thief series (or Ultima Underworld series if you're old enough to remember).
Occult: A fair bit I'm sorry to say. Basically a machine trying to play God, some reworked Biblical references, a church with an upside cross (blasphemous or not, considering how you see it).
Overall: Excellent gameplay for what it is, which is essentially a horrific nightmare turned into a PC game.Year of Release—1999
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