For Anyone playing System Shock 2 for the first time...

Dare to challenge a Perfect Immortal Machine. Insect.
This little post goes for anyone who has a copy of system shock 2 that has yet to take the plunge and start playing; Steam, GoG, GamersGate, someone managing to get the original CD from Ebay. Doesn't matter which version. It is something that must be said in such a way that it cannot be ignored. I apologize that this has to be so but after reading the Rock Paper Shotgun article going on about how unhelpful everything is and seeing that their 'first run' was OSA (Psionics... aka SciFi Magic) I kindof have to say it.

Do not play through as OSA for your first run.

Don't get me wrong. OSA can be played quite successfully but as a first play-through it's like kicking a baby off a rooftop and shout directions at them on the way down. It is simply too much to get used to along with everything else. Is this me apologizing for an old game? Yes I am. Look at SS2's contemporaries. Quake 3 Arena, Unreal Tournament and Wheel of Time.

Where system shock got things wrong, in my opinion, is they didn't do a good enough job at integrating Psionics into the game. Mind you I never went full OSA and only occasionally dabbled so maybe it's a matter of keybindings. However it always felt like pause pause fiddle with menus, select this widget, oh god I'm out of psi hypos gotta sacrifice health by smoking to generate more... oh frak I hear monkies. Where are they? WHERE ARE THEY?!

However the author does have a point that from the perspective of someone that just fires up the game and goes you're overwhelmed and have to hunt and hope for information in game, try things at random, go through tutorials that only give a few very basic things, and are occasionally left headscratching. This is how games were back then. You had phone book thick manuals. As in an actual paper book bound and included with the install media instead of a PDF flysheet reminding you what the controls are (if that.)

I am not judging one way or another. I merely state that things were different back then. Oh and before I go further if anyone needs the System Shock 2 Manual, there's a link for that. Need a more concise newbie guide? ZylonBane has your back.

If anyone needs a more complete walkthrough; one that goes over stats, analyzes each skill, power, weapon, and rates them on usefulness, offers strategies and tips? Banshee has you covered quite nicely. And if all else fails go to systemshock.org. Be polite. Search before you ask. And please try to remember several of these people have had credit for the work they've put in stolen from them by NightDive. Keep these things in mind and it really is a good solid community. Oh and if you're a steam user. Perform hotfixes before asking anything about why mods won't work.

Bloodshot pizza box. 
Caffiene overdrive sorrow. 
Embrace the chaos. 
System Shock End-credits Haiku by Bart, presumingly the Looking Glass Studios
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