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    The linearity is always an issue in a role-playing game because people encourage more variation of endings and levels. With the large amount of levels and the focus upon the single player option, System Shock 2 will need to complex for the gamers to like it.

    In Shock, you're not locked into any monolithic character path. A player who begins the game as a marine is free to develop as a hacker after his initial vector is chosen. We don't stick to a hard-line class system like some other games do. The psi-power (OSA) character is probably the most advanced character to play. Second would be the hacker-tech guy (Navy), followed by the weapons specialist (Marine). All are challenging, but playing as an OSA or Navy requires more thought.

    As Ken Levine says that System Shock 2 will only have one ending, but there will countless ways to get there. This gives the gamer a reason to replay System Shock 2 because of the many routes he can take to accomplish the gamer. The environment is based upon what the gamer does and wants to do and change accordingly. The main character is also non-linear and his development is based on the gamer's choice. Instead, there will not be any systems, the development and maturing of the character will be in the hands of the gamer. Irrational Games and Looking Glass Studios have partnered up to create an environment that is based on the gamer to make System Shock 2 more complex..

    As complexity and non-linearity are imperative for the modern role-playing game to have, music, graphics, and the interface must be strong to support this type of gameplay. After listening to several sound and music clips of System Shock 2, my foot began to tap, then my fingers on the mouse, and then I got into a groove. Even though, I did not play the game, I could imagine that these scores will be deftly used to create suspense, action, and horror at once. The sounds seems crisp, but the application of them have been not shown yet. In all, expect some great music that will convey suspense, fear, and solitude to the gamer.

    Controlling a first-person perspective role-playing game sounds simple, but System Shock had some problems when it came to controls. Rob Fermier, Lead Programmer at Irrational Games, has commented on the interface and the configuration options.

    There will almost certainly be key- and mouse- reconfiguration options. They have become a staple of modern games, and they're just really useful! know I always like to set my keyboard movement keys to the same configuration used in Underworld / Shock / Terra Nova since I have that hardwired into my brain. Our players out there have similar connections to their own favorite keyboard setups, and we wouldn't want to deny them the opportunity to set up just as they want.

    An interesting bit of trivia from the past -- we considered having a reconfigurable interface for the original System Shock. Ultimately we decided against it because we were worried enough about people learning our basic interface at all, an interface we spent a fair amount of time thinking about and making as ergonomic and efficient as possible. Heck, we were worried about people being able to navigate around a 3D world at all! The thought was that if people just reconfigured willy-nilly they would wind up with a bad interface layout, and then "blame" the game.

    Oops. In retrospect, we would have been a lot better off with a configurable interface, though I don't think it would have been enough to bring our interface-learnability up to where it ought to have been. Everybody makes mistakes, and that was definitely one of ours on the original game. Fortunately now there are tons of games out there with a wide variety of 3D navigation interfaces, and it is a metaphor that most of our gamers are very familiar with. We've learned our lesson... :-)

    Game developers learn from their mistakes, and System Shock's interface was a large problem. Even though Rob Fermier claims they have learned, gamers will decide that. However, it seems that many improvements will be made to make the control interface much easier for the gamer. By taking the typical first-person perspective, gamer will not be alienated from their home of the first-person shooter. Instead, System Shock 2 will only sport an extensive story and great characters instead of focusing on killing anything that moves. The control interface will be a greatly improved section from its predecessor.

    The Dark Engine will be the graphics engine used in the 3D-accelerated only System Shock. The Dark Engine has been known for its work in Thief: The Dark Project. However, System Shock 2 has made many improving tweaks to perfect the visuals. Throughout this game, the gamer will see visuals effects such as smoke or fog, shield flares, colored lighting, animated textures and 16-bit graphics. These are just some of the features the Dark Engine will support. Comparing the graphics to Thief's because of the similar engines, System Shock 2's visual effects will be a great addition to this 3D-accelerated role-playing game.

    Our engine has a great lighting system and we, as designers, are taking full advantage of it. Like everybody else, we have colored lighting. You have to keep up with the Jones, right? But we are very wary of overdoing colored lighting and I feel we're avoiding the pitfalls that other games have fallen into. Lighting can make or break a scene and we're all being careful to use lighting (colors and shadows) to accentuate the scene/mood. If a designer is unsure about lighting in a particular area, we ask for a few opinions before we finish the scene.

    System Shock 2's main focus is the lighting clearly saying from this quote. The lighting will improve the realism and futurism of this game. Look forward to a great lighting system that will improve System Shock 2's graphics.

    Along with this role-playing game sequel, it is probable that a map editor will come along with this game. Irrational Games commented about the map editor they are using currently to design the levels.

    The editor used for Shock 2 is incredibly powerful, and reasonably well documented at this point. I personally would love to see it get released out to the public, but I don't know how possible that is from the business side of things. The editor reads both Shock 2 and Thief maps, as well as presumably any other games done on the Dark engine, so that may further complicate matters.

    With this map editor, System Shock 2 will offer a great deal of variety in the multiplayer experience. Gamers will be able to create their own maps, distribute them, and use their imagination. So far, Irrational Games seems to have integrated all the necessary features in System Shock 2 to make a smash-hit. A great story, interesting characteres like SHODAN, some noteworthy graphics and music, and now possibly a map editor to allow the gamer some great variation and ability to create their own levels.

    System Shock 2 will sport a multiplayer game which the types of options have not been designated just yet. Most likely, there will be a type of deathmatch and a co-operative play with a maximum of four players in a game. Even though the great detiails of the multiplayer experience have not been described, the multiplay offers a great deal of entertainment.

    From System Shock's features, System Shock 2 is destined to be a great success. The improvement of the music, sounds, interface, and graphics will definitely help this game's story and characters. It is nice to see that SHODAN, one of the most sinister foes ever, is back and meaner than ever. The time between these two games will show a great technological difference, but still contain the same genuine story of a brilliant mind. Using the Dark Engine will provide a sufficient amount of eye candy for the gamer while the beautifully composed music will convey suspense, fear, and horror all at once.



    Looking Glass Studios
    Irrational Games

    Electronic Arts

    To Be Announced

    Expected Release:
    Quarter 3 of 1999


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