Doom 2 Was For Pansies

Yep, it’s a System Shock retrospective over at PC Gamer UK. Remembering the crazy ‘ol FPS scene of ’94, I say a few things about the game that somehow completely failed to define the spirit of the time:

The interface seems crude now, mostly because it is devoid of mouse-look. The visuals, too, are hard on modern eyes. But the powerful musculature of the beast remains: the story, with its perfect pacing and savage crescendo, still beats anything we can play today. If BioShock had retold System Shock’s tale, beat for beat, it would probably have earned even higher scores.

A couple of months later, of course, we were all playing Doom 2. The more things change, etc…


  1. Turin Turambar says:

    Doom II > *

    I said *.

  2. Crapknocker says:

    Maybe it’s wrong of me, but I enjoyed the hell out of both System Shock and Doom II. They’re for different audiences, like 28 Days Later and Transformers are different movies for different people.
    If games are going to be taken as seriously as movies or books as a medium, I think we’re all going to have to give up a little of this fanboyish favoritism. Not to say film or books doesn’t have their own cults, but I digress…

  3. Andrew Mayer says:

    System Shock and Ultima Underworld were so oddly advanced they seemed like broken chunks of future artifacts compared to the straightforward fast and furious action of Doom.

    And were they inspirational? Hell yes. Let’s just say I can still clearly remember a late night phone call from a friend of mine who would one day go on to make very influential modern first person shooter being in total “rapture” over Underworld.

  4. Chis says:

    Doom / Doom 2 != System Shock

    Both first person games; both have widely differing gameplay. ‘Tis pointless attempting to claim which is superior. Both series (well, lets forget Doom 3) are still highly playable today. Though preferably with source ports.

    Have a look at some of the art – and I did mean to say ART there – people are still making using a 14-year old engine

    … Although seeing as Andrew mentions it… there are days where I’m tempted to say Ultima Underworld kicks the crap out of ALL other RPGs, simply because the gameplay is immediately compelling, highly accessible, and doesn’t demand huge chunks of time just to “level up” and reach another slither of thinly-veiled plot. You hear me, Squeenix?

  5. Chis says:

    Sorry for the double post, having trouble with the a tag – the trailing href quote is left in the URL in the preview, but not (?) in the final post?

    Have a look at some of the art – and I did mean to say ART there – people are still making using a 14-year old engine

  6. Pidesco says:

    There aren’t a lot of FPV games that have been a step forward in non trivial ways from the original SS. I’d say SS2, Deus Ex and Thief. And the most recent of those is a 2000 game.

    Also, you forgot to mention the difference that playing SS with voices made to the game experience. It was amazing to play the CD version of System Shock for the first time.

  7. Jim Rossignol says:

    I jest, of course. I loved Doom 2 and played the fuck out of it.

  8. Schadenfreude says:

    le sigh. It’s a nice article all right. A very nice article. But as a subscriber to that particular magazine I’m still a little annoyed that they seem to print most of the articles I’m most interested in on the website about a day and a half after the mag finally reaches my postbox. Won’t be renewing my sub next month anyhoo.

    Off topic I know. But I’ve been drinking (a lot) and feel like venting.