Quote Originally Posted by fiddlesticks View Post
System Shock 2's graphics haven't aged well (and honestly, it didn't look all that good in 1998 either), but it somewhat makes up for it with its excellent art direction. And its sound design is still unrivaled to this day. The mechanical noises of the ship, the moaning of the creatures, the voice-acting, the soundtrack, it's simply incredible. Atmosphere is something that so many games, especially survival-horror titles, get wrong, but SS2 is one of the rare examples that truly succeeds in creating a desperate and chilling environment.
Exactly. Graphical patching (except for the enemy models which is slightly better) really doesn't change this either. It makes them sharper but that doesn't change the fact that the textures are very flat and were never detailed to begin with. Despite that, SS2 is one of the greatest games ever made IMO, and it comes down to atmosphere and pacing. It's perfect. You never quite feel safe but you still get time to explore and you're not fatigued by constant combat. Also I totally agree on the sound, particularly the audio logs - it's the only game that really managed to get it right with appropriate background sounds as opposed to "Hey, this is an audio log, I'm just in a sound booth..." or "Here's an audio log from 5 minutes ago where I expose some of the story in a totally unnecessary way."