I still remember when people came out in droves and rubbished on Bioshock because they were like, “Nah, it’s just a weaker version of System Shock 2?” And then when System Shock 2 was finally re-released digitally, everyone realised how absurdly good it was.
If you haven’t played it, now’s your opportunity — because Good Old Games are giving it away for free.
The giveaway is part of GOG’s latest sale, and there are plenty of decent bargains on the front page if you’re curious. But the best giveaway is one involving System Shock 2: because it’s free.
There’s a catch, of course. You’ll have to download the site’s GOG Galaxy middleware to get Looking Glass’s FPS thriller, although that’s not such a raw deal. GOG Galaxy’s one of the better clients as far as digital marketplaces go, especially with the greater management for backups and its hassle-free offline functionality.
Once you’ve fired up GOG Galaxy and logged into your account, scroll down on the store page and you’ll see the following:
If you haven’t claimed it (like I did), you’ll see a button to add it to your account. Click it and that’s it — you can enjoy SS2 until your PC explodes. Or something.
Once you’ve got SS2 installed, you should absolutely download the SS2Tool fan-made patcher. SS2Tool also comes with the SHTUP (Shock Texture Upgrade Project) mod and the NewDark fan patch, both of which completely revamp the original game for modern systems.
The SS2 Community Patch is also highly recommended, and if you want to play around with multiple mods this handy guide (written by the creator of SS2Tool) will sort you out.