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System Shock is a 1994 first-person action-adventure video game developed by LookingGlass Technologies and published by Origin Systems. It was directed by Doug Church with Warren Spector serving as producer. The game is set aboard a space station in a cyberpunk vision of the year 2072. Assuming the role of a nameless hacker, the player attempts to hinder the plans of a malevolent artificial intelligence called SHODAN.
System Shock's 3D engine, physics simulation and complex gameplay have been cited as both innovative and influential. The developers sought to build on the emergent gameplay and immersive environments of their previous games, Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss and Ultima Underworld II: Labyrinth of Worlds, by streamlining their mechanics into a more "integrated whole".
Critics praised System Shock and hailed it as a major breakthrough in its genre. It was later placed on multiple hall of fame lists. The game was a moderate commercial success, with sales exceeding 170,000 copies, but Looking Glass ultimately lost money on the project. A sequel, System Shock 2, was released by Looking Glass Studios and offshoot developer Irrational Games in 1999. The 2000 game Deus Ex (also produced by Spector) and the 2007 game BioShock are spiritual successors to the two games. A remade version of the original game by Night Dive Studios is scheduled for release in 2020.
System Shock takes place from a first-person perspective in a three-dimensional (3D) graphical environment. The game is set inside a large, multi-level space station, in which players explore, combat enemies and solve puzzles. Progress is largely non-linear and the game is designed to allow for emergent gameplay. As in Ultima Underworld, the player uses a freely movable mouse cursor to aim weapons, to interact with objects and to manipulate the heads-up display (HUD) interface. View and posture controls on the HUD allow the player to lean left or right, look up or down, crouch, and crawl. Practical uses for these actions include taking cover, retrieving items from beneath the player character and navigating small passages, respectively. The HUD also features three "Multi-Function Displays", which may be configured to display information such as weapon readouts, an automap and an inventory.
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System Shock System Requirements
- Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP
- Processor: 1.5 GHz Core i3
- RAM: 128 MB
- Video Card: 64 MB
- Hard disk space: 621 MB