Show #140: Ten Inches, Ten PLUS

Download the Show: (right click, save as)
Visit Our Forum!

This Episode Also Known As “Hubris, You Paid the Price For It”

Send comments, questions, or criticisms to

In this episode Joel and I are masturbatorily obsessed with System Shock 2!

Opener: System Shock 2 – Engineering 1
System Shock 2 – Sample Track 1

This show is about:

Alien Worms

Halfling Ninjas

Mr. M. Night

  • That magic-based FPS title you were thinking of is Heretic.

    I’m not sure if I like the original Deus Ex more than System Shock 2 or not, even though it came out shortly afterwards. On the one hand, System Shock 2 has officially supported cooperative play. On the other hand, if someone drops connection (which happens often since the entire netcode and coop mode were added in a patch) you have to restore a previous save to keep going. Also, “if you know how to play the game, weapon maintenance is no big deal” is somewhat of an understatement. Weapon degradation in conjunction with the usage prequisites is THE biggest detriment to System Shock 2, bar none. Zombies are smart enough to know how to use a shotgun, but I’m not because I’m not skilled enough? I spent a large portion of SS2 running around with the wrench.

    The problem with OSI is that not only does it suck, but you have to specialize only in OSI skills and nothing else at all if you want to even stand a chance at being remotely effective. You can’t be playing OSI and putting skills into Maintenance since OSI shouldn’t be using anything that requires maintenance in the first place. Overall, System Shock 2 has a lot more useless skills than Deus Ex. I think Thief is scarier though, since at least in System Shock you stand a good chance of fighting back.

    Thief 1 through 3, System Shock 1 and 2 (though part 1 is very hard to control and even harder to get running), and Deus Ex are among my all-time favorite first person titles, and they all have some sort of Warren Spector/Looking Glass Studios/Irrational Games involvement. I don’t think I’d consider them pure “shooters” though. As far as proper FPS titles, Monolith Productions is king in my book: Blood, Shogo, No One Lives Forever 1 and 2, Tron 2.0, and F.E.A.R. are all awesome.

    I didn’t even bother to play DOOM 3 or Quake 4.

  • It wasn’t Heretic. Heretic was post-Doom.

    I was actually thinking of Catacomb 3D which I guess is more maze-like than I remember it being, but is more FPS-ish than Wolfenstein 3D.

  • Don’t forget Ultima Underworld, also made by Looking Glass, which came out slightly before Wolf3d and was way more technically advanced, both in gameplay and 3d engine. In fact I believe an enhanced version of its engine was used in the first System Shock. It’s far more RPG than FPS, but still has a lot of the same appeal and immersion the System Shock games had.