Wednesday, December 16, 2015

System Shock 3 confirmed, hints at VR functionality

Behold, SHODAN:
A malevolent AI that makes GLaDOS look like Big Bird.


It's coming.

The sequel to the venerated PC shooter "System Shock 2", considered the spiritual predecessor of "Bioshock", has begun crowdfunded development by Otherside Entertainment.

To anyone under the age of 30, "System Shock 2" may seem esoteric, even antiquated. That is, if you've even heard of it.

Let me quickly bring you up to speed: in SS2, you are a newly-trained soldier aboard a space station that's getting its shit pushed in by an unknown alien organism. Depending on the class you choose, you are either a space marine, engineer, or psychic soldier (essentially warrior, thief and mage classes, but in future space). That means, depending on your gameplay style, you can hack things and sneak around, use psychic powers to solve obstacles, or just shoot your way through the game. There are RPG elements in the old-fashioned PC RPG way; you can't use certain weapons until you have put enough skill slots in them, even if it's something straightforward like a shotgun. If you multiclass, you're destined for mediocrity. If you put all your dots into one thing, you're a fucking demigod.

Speaking of godhood, it's a good thing your character has so many ways to kick their adversaries in the dick...because they're all tougher than you. They include delusional genetically engineered parasites functioning under a hivemind, a rogue security AI, and (spoiler alert) SHODAN, a sentient computer virus so powerful she believes herself to be a god...and with good reason, because she created the parasites.




"Little ones need lots of meat to grow up big and strong."
- Actual quote from the above Robo-NOPE.


For the first half of SS2, you take orders from Polito, one of the only surviving officers aboard the space station upon which you're trapped. For the rest of it...let's just say that at a certain point, SHODAN takes over where Polito left off. It's at this junction that SHODAN becomes both your greatest adversary and your greatest ally.






Otherside left hints that SS3 may be VR-compatible. With the option to sign up for a newsletter for updates on the project, a short survey is included. One of the questions asks for your level of interest in VR technology, on a scale of 1 to 10.

Currently little more than a sparse website with a short teaser, a voice recording of SHODAN's mocking voice, exist, so it's hard to tell what the gameplay will entail for sure. The last game ended with SHODAN, having become so powerful she could literally warp pockets of time and space into the digital realm, Once defeated, it seemed she was gone for good...until the final cutscene revealed she'd managed to transfer herself into the physical body of a nearby human, just as she escaped the station with another survivor.

This doesn't constitute an official leak, but one theory published by Rock, Paper Shotgun's Kieron Gillen is that, for the story to remain interesting, SHODAN needs to appear depleted (having been beaten twice, hard), yet evolved: "In passing, my solution to the diminishing of SHODAN in a System Shock 3 would be a simple one. You play as SHODAN."

Interesting theory, but only time will tell. If it is true, it would be a step up...a glorious digital god is preferable In eVERy waY...to thAt offfff An INssssecttttttttt...

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