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    Default What Is A Thought, Compared To A Mind? Let's Play System Shock 2



    Well, hello there, didn't see you coming in over my self pity over being sick and at home...

    Well, what is there to say? I'm sick, I can't hog ALL of Domo's time (although I try, believe me), and I had an unbelievable itch to finally play one of my favourite games of all time:

    System Shock 2


    "Finally play"?
    That's right, it's one of my faves, and yet I've never played it. Through, that is. I played about half way through in coop, but I never managed to get to crew quarters or further on on my own, mostly because of the atmosphere this game has.


    What's this game you're babbling about, anyway?
    Ah, well, I'll let Wikipedia answer that for you:
    Quote Originally Posted by wikipedia
    System Shock 2 is a 1999 first-person action role-playing video game for Microsoft Windows. The title was designed by Ken Levine and co-developed by Irrational Games and Looking Glass Studios.
    [...]
    The game takes place on board a starship in a cyberpunk depiction of 2114. The player assumes the role of a lone soldier trying to stem the outbreak of a genetic infection that has devastated the ship. Like System Shock, gameplay consists of first person shooting and exploration. It also incorporates role-playing system elements, in which the player can develop unique skills and traits, such as hacking and psionic abilities.
    So, Cyberpunk FPS/ActionRPG hybrid, and spiritual prequel to a little game called BioShock that you may have heard of.

    OK, but what can I expect to see here?
    • Me playing through this game on normal. For the first time. I've seen LPs of it, but that's it, and that's been a while.
    • I'll edit some too tedious parts out if they occur.
    • An irregular update schedule, since this is really just me wasting my time when I've got nothing better to do.
    • Dual Audio: First track (and the one that gets played on the website) Is me commenting, Second track is pure game audio. Download the file to get them.
    • Spoiler policy: Everything not featured by the videos.The original System Shock is fair game, though, as long as it doesn't touch upon events in SS2 which we haven't seen yet.



    With that being said, here goes nothing:

    {table="head"] Title | Videolink :: Mirror | Download Link
    {colsp=3}
    Episode 01 - Tour Of Duty | Our Site :: Blip.tv | Download
    {colsp=3}
    02 - A Great Gnashing Of Teeth | Our Site :: Blip.tv | Download
    {colsp=3}
    Episode 03 - Screw That Monkey | Our Site :: Blip.tv | Download
    {colsp=3}
    Episode 04 - Do The Brobot | Our Site :: Blip.tv | Download
    {colsp=3}
    Episode 05 - Progress Bar | Our Site :: Blip.tv | Download
    {colsp=3}
    Episode 06 - Elevator Ride | Our Site :: Blip.tv | Download
    {colsp=3}
    Episode 07 - Dehydration | Our Site :: Blip.tv | Download
    {colsp=3}
    Episode 08 - Insssect | Our Site :: Blip.tv | Download
    {colsp=3}
    Episode 09 - OoopsErations | Our Site :: Blip.tv | Download
    {colsp=3}
    Episode 10 - Desecrating Recreation | Our Site :: Blip.tv | Download
    {colsp=3}
    Episode 11 - Balls To The Wall | Our Site :: Blip.tv | Download
    {colsp=3}
    Episode 13 - Piggybacker | Our Site :: Blip.tv | Download
    {colsp=3}
    Episode 14 - Spiders! | Our Site :: Blip.tv | Download
    {colsp=3}
    Episode 15 - All Flesh Must Be Eaten | Our Site :: Blip.tv | Download
    {colsp=3}
    Episode 16 - The Book Of More Flesh | Our Site :: Blip.tv | Download
    {colsp=3}
    Episode 17 - Final Destination | Our Site :: Blip.tv | Download[/table]

    Update/Stream Notifications:
    Twitter: @frozengrowl

    LP is finished!
    Last edited by Whoracle; 2012-11-20 at 03:33 AM. Reason: New Episode





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    Default Re: What Is A Thought, Compared To A Mind? Let's Play System Shock 2

    Oooooh, I remember this one. Good memories, good memories. I hope you'll enjoy the game. I can't really look at the vids - too ****ty net for that at the moment - but I'll be sure to remember to look 'em up later when I can.

    One hint - if you didn't do it already look up SHTUP at the very least. It's a mod of sorts that takes the original re-does them in higher resolution. The people behind it worked hard to be true to the orginal ones so it's a very reccomended addition to the game.
    Three are the paths of soul:
    One out - roam across the plain,
    One back - dwell with the tribe and tent,
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    Default Re: What Is A Thought, Compared To A Mind? Let's Play System Shock 2

    I'm playing with SHTUP and the latest surprise patch (2.4) that came out a few weeks ago. Got Rebirth installed, too, but for now it's inactive. I'll see if I want to use Rebirth later on.

    Just realized: There's no sound. Gotta recode the thing. Gimme an hour.
    Done. Video can has sound nao!
    Last edited by Whoracle; 2012-10-22 at 08:21 AM.





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    Default Re: What Is A Thought, Compared To A Mind? Let's Play System Shock 2

    {table]{colsp=3}
    Episode 02 - And There Was A Great Gnashing Of Teeth | Our Site :: Blip.tv | Download[/table]

    I lost my initial run through Medical Labs due to me being stupid and my PC acting up, so this will be quite more streamlined. I finish Medical and Crew Quarters for now and manage to get to the Maintenance Shaft.

    As always, feedback is welcome.





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    Default Re: What Is A Thought, Compared To A Mind? Let's Play System Shock 2

    {table]{colsp=3}
    Episode 03 - Screw That Monkey | Our Site :: Blip.tv | Download[/table]

    In which I get killed a lot.
    By Monkeys.
    Seriously, screw those little...





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    Default Re: What Is A Thought, Compared To A Mind? Let's Play System Shock 2

    Quote Originally Posted by Whoracle View Post
    "Finally play"?
    That's right, it's one of my faves, and yet I've never played it. Through, that is. I played about half way through in coop, but I never managed to get to crew quarters or further on on my own, mostly because of the atmosphere this game has.
    I will never understand this. System Shock 2 (and by proxy its prequel) always felt too silly to take seriously. Hell, your first weapon is a monkey wrench and you beat zombies and monkeys to death with it.

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    Default Re: What Is A Thought, Compared To A Mind? Let's Play System Shock 2

    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroNumerous View Post
    Hell, your first weapon is a monkey wrench and you beat zombies and monkeys to death with it.
    And your first weapon in Half-Life is a crowbar--does that make it too silly to take seriously, too?

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    Default Re: What Is A Thought, Compared To A Mind? Let's Play System Shock 2

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    And your first weapon in Half-Life is a crowbar--does that make it too silly to take seriously, too?
    Yup. You're wandering around as a guy with a Ph.D in theoretical physics bashing things called headcrabs with a crowbar. How is that not amusing?

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    Default Re: What Is A Thought, Compared To A Mind? Let's Play System Shock 2

    Well, going by that train of though, pretty much no "horror" game (except maybe for Amnesia) can be taken seriously, since in pretty much all of them you're some bloke that's bashing things with something, which he shouldn't do. Amnesia gets along without combat, but (almost?) all other games don't.

    As for System Shock 2: Well, you're supposed to be a soldier, so hand-to-hand is a given. And all of that doesn't detract from the overall atmosphere the game creates, even though I can bash the enemies' head in.

    I guess you're just not willing/capable of* bringing the right amount of suspension of disbelief for these kind of games.

    *Don't worry, for me it's the same with sports and racing games. I just can't get into the mindset required for those.





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    Default Re: What Is A Thought, Compared To A Mind? Let's Play System Shock 2

    Quote Originally Posted by Whoracle View Post
    Well, going by that train of though, pretty much no "horror" game (except maybe for Amnesia) can be taken seriously, since in pretty much all of them you're some bloke that's bashing things with something, which he shouldn't do. Amnesia gets along without combat, but (almost?) all other games don't.
    Yup. I find the majority of horror games comical rather than serious, because they give you weapons and expect you to be scared.

    Quote Originally Posted by Whoracle View Post
    As for System Shock 2: Well, you're supposed to be a soldier, so hand-to-hand is a given. And all of that doesn't detract from the overall atmosphere the game creates, even though I can bash the enemies' head in.
    It deeply detracts from the atmosphere for me, because there's no reason to be afraid knowing I can just kill whatever is out there. SS2 even makes the hilarious mistake of giving you tons and tons of ammunition, and it becomes trivial to just shoot your way through whatever steps out of the darkness.

    To me, it feels like playing Doom.

    Quote Originally Posted by Whoracle View Post
    I guess you're just not willing/capable of* bringing the right amount of suspension of disbelief for these kind of games.
    Maybe, maybe not.

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    Default Re: What Is A Thought, Compared To A Mind? Let's Play System Shock 2

    {table]{colsp=3}
    Episode 04 - Do The Brobot | Our Site :: Blip.tv | Download[/table]

    Slowly creeping through the cargo bays.





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    Default Re: What Is A Thought, Compared To A Mind? Let's Play System Shock 2

    Quote Originally Posted by Whoracle View Post
    So, Cyberpunk FPS/ActionRPG hybrid, and spiritual sequel to a little game called BioShock that you may have heard of.
    [nitpick]

    SS2 is the Prequel. Bioshock is the sequel to System Shock, because it came later.
    Imagine if all real-world conversations were like internet D&D conversations...
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    Default Re: What Is A Thought, Compared To A Mind? Let's Play System Shock 2

    Ah, System Shock 2.

    Invisible spiders, man.

    Invisible.
    Spiders.
    Master of Orion II: Let's Play! Of Klackons and Gnolams

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    Default Re: What Is A Thought, Compared To A Mind? Let's Play System Shock 2

    Quote Originally Posted by Arbane View Post
    [nitpick]

    SS2 is the Prequel. Bioshock is the sequel to System Shock, because it came later.
    Uh, drat, sorry. Fixed that. You're of course right.





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    Default Re: What Is A Thought, Compared To A Mind? Let's Play System Shock 2

    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroNumerous View Post
    It deeply detracts from the atmosphere for me, because there's no reason to be afraid knowing I can just kill whatever is out there. SS2 even makes the hilarious mistake of giving you tons and tons of ammunition, and it becomes trivial to just shoot your way through whatever steps out of the darkness.
    I haven't played these myself, so this is just me parroting second-hand accounts, but apparently Silent Hill 2 managed this very well? You do have access to weapons, but their ammo count/applications were very limited.

    This might be a question of skill-level, though. My twitch-reflexes are pretty poor, so I rarely find survival to be a trivial undertaking in any FPS. (Even Doom.)

    EDIT: Yeah, by the looks of things, Whoracle is spending a lot of time whacking foes with a pipewrench to conserve ammo, and doesn't always have full health.
    Last edited by Carry2; 2012-10-28 at 04:56 PM.

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    Default Re: What Is A Thought, Compared To A Mind? Let's Play System Shock 2

    {table]{colsp=3}
    Episode 05 - Progress Bar | Our Site :: Blip.tv | Download[/table]

    We're finally making progress in Engineering.

    Also, on the whole "Horror" issue: I don't find System Shock (either one) to be a horror game. What it has in spades, though, is atmosphere. And through that atmosphere it creates not horror, but tension. I'm a guy who is deeply susceptible to tension, which is why I can't really play such games for great lengths at a time, even though I love them.
    In addition to that the enemies in SS have a nasty habit of creeping up to me and surprising me, which does the rest.

    And yes, I try to conserve ammo, because, as you can see, neither my weapons nor my shooting skills are up to scratch for more than a few enemies at a time.





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    Default Re: What Is A Thought, Compared To A Mind? Let's Play System Shock 2

    .....So? Atmosphere is like...The core of horror.

    It may not be fully "RUN AWAY" mode, but atmosphere is one of the hardest and most important things to achieve.

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    Default Re: What Is A Thought, Compared To A Mind? Let's Play System Shock 2

    Of course it is, but I keep hearing (not just here) how having a weapon and being able to fight back to a degree destroys the horror. Which is true, for a very narrow definition of horror, IMHO. Hence the above post.

    I don't categorize SS as "horror", per se, not if we're talking horror in the Amnesia sense. What it is, though, is a horrifying, atmospherical and tense game.

    Alternatively, I'm just a big wimp





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    Default Re: What Is A Thought, Compared To A Mind? Let's Play System Shock 2

    Nah, while I agree it's not pure horror per se, it is a pretty tense game and it manage a good genral ambiance.
    Also it manage to be at moment maybe not so scarry per se as very creepy (ech, hydroponics...that vision and those logs)

    In my opinion it was the weirdest and most ridiculous enemies that learned to fear the most. Probably because they were so unexpected and they complelty took me by surprise first time i met them, so it make a lasting impression. I mean zombies, you get in many games but psychic monkeys ?

    (That and they hurt like hell too. At the start of the game, it's the silliest nemeis that hurt the most, the damn monkeys and the horrible servant droids])

    what kind of video format do you use though ? it seems to be pretty heavy. Am I the only one for wich those videos take ages to load ?
    Last edited by smuchmuch; 2012-11-02 at 07:16 AM.
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    Default Re: What Is A Thought, Compared To A Mind? Let's Play System Shock 2

    Quote Originally Posted by Whoracle View Post
    Of course it is, but I keep hearing (not just here) how having a weapon and being able to fight back to a degree destroys the horror.
    Thing is, the weapons in SS2 are apparently made from plastic and flour glue--leastways, you have to assume that from how rapidly they break --so you still have the potential for losing your main weapon halfway through a fight and having to wing it!

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    Default Re: What Is A Thought, Compared To A Mind? Let's Play System Shock 2

    Quote Originally Posted by smuchmuch View Post
    what kind of video format do you use though ? it seems to be pretty heavy. Am I the only one for wich those videos take ages to load ?
    It's x264 / AAC in an mp4 container, full resolution (1680x1050). One video is about 550MB per 30 minutes.

    Does the page take ages to load or the video? Because I'm experience page load slowdowns myself, but Domo tells me it loads fine for him.

    And what's your connection speed, roughly?

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    Thing is, the weapons in SS2 are apparently made from plastic and flour glue--leastways, you have to assume that from how rapidly they break --so you still have the potential for losing your main weapon halfway through a fight and having to wing it!
    Hey, I'm not the one arguing that SS2 isn't creepy, or that games where you're armed are by default not horrifying
    Last edited by Whoracle; 2012-11-02 at 07:41 AM.





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    Default Re: What Is A Thought, Compared To A Mind? Let's Play System Shock 2

    Might be my connection who is crappy. had some serious trouble with my rpovider lately.


    Also may I give a small gameplay advice ?
    I'll put it in spoilers as it's slightly (but not too much) spoilery

    Spoiler
    Show
    Don't bother with energy weapons unless you want to make abuild really centralized on it.

    Sure the laser rapier looks cool but it's only the thrid best melle weapon int he game...wich given the fact that there are only four melle weapon in the game really isn't that impressive )
    and frankly while the laser pistol is okay, enrgy weapon as w hole aren't too great.
    Last edited by smuchmuch; 2012-11-02 at 08:30 AM.
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    Default Re: What Is A Thought, Compared To A Mind? Let's Play System Shock 2

    Quote Originally Posted by smuchmuch View Post
    Also may I give a small gameplay advice ?
    Nice try, but since I'm 3 episodes ahead, that boat has sailed :)

    We'll see what I'll skill afterwards, though. I'm a bit split between heavy and standard. Or maybe even exotic, but that'll have to wait, I fear.





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    Default Re: What Is A Thought, Compared To A Mind? Let's Play System Shock 2

    Triple Feature Friday!
    Since my Backlog is growing, I decided to release a few more episodes today. Next one'll be up on monday.

    {table]{colsp=3}
    Episode 06 - Elevator Ride | Our Site :: Blip.tv | Download[/table]

    Finally, out of Engineering!


    {table]{colsp=3}
    Episode 07 - Dehydration | Our Site :: Blip.tv | Download[/table]

    Once again I screwed myself over with the first recording of this level, which is why this right there is a rerun. On the plus side:

    Rebirth Mod
    Some new weapon models
    The whole rest of Hydroponics in one sitting.

    Enjoy!





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    Default Re: What Is A Thought, Compared To A Mind? Let's Play System Shock 2

    {table]{colsp=3}
    Episode 08 - Insssect | Our Site :: Blip.tv | Download[/table]

    New Episode!

    And we're out of Hydroponics! We'll meet Dr. Polito, the only person alive on this damned ship except for us...
    Last edited by Whoracle; 2012-11-07 at 06:20 AM.





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    Default Re: What Is A Thought, Compared To A Mind? Let's Play System Shock 2

    Question Time:
    Since I don't use different Weapons or Psi Powers all that much, should I do a bonus episode showing off everything? Every Psi Power, every weapon? What do you think?





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    Default Re: What Is A Thought, Compared To A Mind? Let's Play System Shock 2

    Sure. Why not?

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    Default Re: What Is A Thought, Compared To A Mind? Let's Play System Shock 2

    Is there even much of a difference between the stuff? I'd rather not have you stretch yourself thin with your EXP-equivalent.

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    Default Re: What Is A Thought, Compared To A Mind? Let's Play System Shock 2

    well, there are differences. and I wouldn't stretch myself thin. by now I'm swimming in modules, and I've got a savegame whith over 90 left. I'd simply buy stuff, get some footage of me killing things, then reload. rinse, repeat. would take slightly longer to edit, but not that much. the question is: do people want to see this? and since I've got no viewer counter and have to guess how many distinct viewers there are by counting hits on the thread for a day after releasing an episode, I'll just say: if three people want to see it, I'll do it.

    also: please excuse any typos. I can't type on these darn cellphones to save my life...





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    Default Re: What Is A Thought, Compared To A Mind? Let's Play System Shock 2

    The thing that make the msot difference is psy powers, they cost a lot becasue they are organised in 5 levels and you need to buy for a level before you cna buy the power themselves thus making a "pure psy" run very modules costly and because there are very little directly damging powers, they kinda force in a somewhat different style of gameplay (less shooting, a lot more sneaking involved in my memory and hitting things in mellee while boosting yourself with powers)

    Also, Whoracle, you don't alway need toback down and switch to the energy gun everytime you meet a security robot up close. Taking down robots and cyborgs in mellee is exactly what the laser rapier is for.

    I don't know how much videos you are in advance now but while you are in operations, i'll say there is one kind of object you cna get intot he replicators t(may need hacking to get it, don't remember) that can make your life a whiole lot easier
    Last edited by smuchmuch; 2012-11-07 at 06:34 AM.
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