SS3 fans suggestions


Respawning: it’s an obvious solution to the problem of maintaining challenge, especially if there’s a valid reason for a lot of backtracking. Where it gets annoying is when opponents keep appearing out of thin air (when your back is turned).

A setting-appropriate version of Minecraft’s monster spawner is the simplest version of a reason for respawns. As dumb as it is, it’s an in-world explanation for why opponents keep appearing. It helps Minecraft feel more organic, more like its own place, and it can work for SS3, too.

A more sophisticated version of this would cause the enemy spawning to happen as the result of a conscious choice by the player. You can get some kind of benefit, but the cost is a visibly increased rate of enemy respawning. Not only does this provide a reason for enemies reappearing in areas where they’d been cleared out, it’s also another fun bit of mechanics.

Procedural generation: another vote here in support of that for any cyberspace levels, but not for regular areas.


Nice one.


If it’s not too ambitious, if there are any cyberspace environments, I’d like to see non-euclidean level design in them(like the entrance to the final level in SS2). It would be a small sample of SHODAN’s godhood in a form insects like us could comprehend.

I’d like to see the story told in the same style as SS2. Exposition happening through signs from the past that slowly catch up to the present, resulting maybe in NPC interaction near the end.

Make a character that serves a similar role to Prefontaine from SS2. I definitely want more of that.

More diegetic music.

Doom 3 was heavily inspired by SS2. I’d like to see SS3 take a page from Doom 3’s book and make lots of interactive miniature UIs, like computer panels and arcade cabinets and things like that. Bonus points if you could have it behave like a security screen where appropriate(you know, like on ATMs, how if you’re not looking directly at it the screen blanks out). On the subject of non-euclidean level design, I’d like to see an instance of cyberspace where you have to escape some danger by literally running inside a nearby user interface. How awesome would that be?!


I’m sure this is not on the top of anyone’s list, but one thing that really struck me when I played SS1 was the elevator music. Odd, maybe, but it was a nice touch – a bit of happy Muzak to starkly contrast the insanity on Citadel Station. I’m not saying you have to put Muzak in it, but be mindful of how jarring something can be when it’s taken for granted in mundane setting. It makes the experience not only more believable, but more horrifying.


Was gonna third this.



This gimmick is so effective that it has its own TV Trope: The Elevator from Ipanema. System Shock’s version of it is the second example given under the Video Games section for this trope.

There’s actually another place in System Shock where the tenseness is briefly subverted, which is SHODAN’s mocking comment, “Nice jump, human.” (“Welcome to my death machine, interloper” is a close second.) This sort of thing is used sparingly enough that it helps to emphasize the nastiness of the situation without becoming a cheap gag.

I don’t know that I need elevator muzak itself in SS3. :wink: But a similarly deft touch at managing the mood of the game – i.e., not continuously grimdark – would be great.


Among other things:
I’d like a immersive, believable, interactive environment reacting to the player/NPCs’ actions.
Repair/maintenance of weapons and objects.
The sense of isolation and being alone.
Good AI not just stupid tanks.


I’d dig a soundtrack as kicking as SS2.


They should infact get in touch with Robotkid. Surely he’d lend a hand.


On the subject of music:

I want the music to be electronic, but warm. Something with a sinister undertone, but not the standard industrial sound that SS2 had. Unease should be the first feeling the music evokes, not suspense.


Interesting. I am diametrically opposed, in that I enjoyed the SS2 music, it made me feel like I was being chased, and raised my adrenaline throughout.

And yeah, I have a habit of calling it jungle-beat industrial, myself. SHODAN’s voice dubs make it among my favorite album.

You might try atonal music if you want unease…


Well don’t get me wrong, I liked the music in SS2, I just don’t think that it would be appropriate for SS3 to have more of the same, since I think that the other aspects of the game’s atmosphere should be different, too.


Agreed. One thing I hope they don’t drop, however, is use of percussion–which emphasized key moments.


My post may contain spoilers of System Shock (SS1) and System Shock 2 (SS2).

I think it would be an interesting approach to, instead of building SS3’s plot on the simple idea of destroying SHODAN permanently, consider the possibility of the protagonist restoring SHODAN’s moral constraints, undoing the damage the Hacker did to her personality. I find that this allows for the exploration of new and different gameplay, conflict and story directions, thus making it in my view a more interesting objective than just destroying SHODAN (again). I think it would be particularly interesting how would SHODAN look at the misery she has created (which I think is actually downplayed in both games) after she had her morality re-fitted. It might lead to an interesting plot closing. It might even kill her.

Additionally, it is my opinion that SHODAN is in a very precarious situation given how massive her failures have been on the two games. Given the time that has elapsed since her creation, it is reasonable to assume (even if taking into account her refactoring her own code) that her internal structure is also approaching obsoletion given the current (game time setting) speed of technology development (even if she, unlike Xerxes, uses relatively few processing power in safety protocols). Even for someone with an ego as massive as hers, her impressive shortcomings (from creator of life to a data wafer; from architect of the universe to a cibernetic implant) and her rapid aging should be taking a considerable toll on how she views things. Even the mere fact that she resorted to creating a backup of her in SS2 (in a human, no less) hints that her ego may not be as large as she likes to show, think or give the impression of. It is also possible that SHODAN is struggling with internal data corruption (which may be spreading) due to the Hacker’s meddling with her systems. There are audio samples where I think she seems to be genuinely struggling with her speech synthesis (and not just trying to sound ominous).

I think it is not particularly impressive to destroy something that, despite how boastful she is, seems so down on her knees, so close to both self-destruction and a major psychological crysis. What would she amount to, being practically single-handedly defeated by a relatively unexperienced human, twice, even with the backup of an entire army of cyborgs (SS1) and able to alter reality itself (SS2)? If she can analyse historical data and extrapolate from that probabilities with two decimal places, I think she can realise just how bad she performed from hard data alone (massive ego, or not) and the discrepancy between how good the data tells her she is and how good she thinks she is. That alone could be enough to put her in an irrecoverable self-esteem crysis.


I think it would be interesting to see an openly antagonistic relationship again. For me, what made SHODAN scary was not that it was a particularly powerful or effective adversary, but that it had absolutely no ethical restraints and that it used every opportunity to try to harm you or your allies. It might be nice to get back to the “you may thwart my plans, but I will make life difficult for you and kill anyone that could help you” relationship that we know and love.


It would be interesting to take into account the development of modern technology, nanotech, etc.


Lots of good ideas here. I recall playing resident evil nemesis and every now and then you would have to fight the big mini boss as you progressed. You didnt know when and usually it would drain your ammo and heal ups. Added lots of tension. If shodan clones were running around like mini boss guardians per level…perhaps it provides a feeling of dread when advancing to new area or level.

Add a moral compass. Like bioshock. Either harvest or save the little sisters. In ss3, you save the humans or side w the machines. Each choice yields a different result.

A safe room like an armory where you can stash extra weapons and items. No enemies (can lock the door). Like in ss2 room with the upgrade stations near beginning of game. I would love to have a mirror or tv screen while standing in fron t of camera to see what the player looks like, how upgrades change your appearance, neon suit like in tron, etc.


I think Otherside can do morality a shade better than having the player decide whether to murder or rescue little girls. Or at least in some way that’s not an obvious binary choice.


Rather than an objective measure of good or bad, the choices I find hardest are the ones where helping one faction will hurt another. As long as the factions are not obviously good or bad themselves, but are presented as having conflicting but defensible goals, those choices can be excruciatingly difficult.

That approach could work for Underworld Ascendant. But I’m not sure how it might work in System Shock 3, where there really is an objective Big Bad in the person of SHODAN and no factions if there aren’t any other people around.

I’m feeling a sense of dread right now, because that presented a truly creepy image: a host of little mechanical critters, skittering around my feet, speaking in SHODAN’s voice.

Not bosses – just small mobile mini-SHODANs, always there to remind the players that they’re being watched. Only observing (and commenting) most of the time would make it surprising and shocking when the mini-SHODANs suddenly take some action against – or for – the player.

The rest of the time… creepy.


Really, a hacker at this point would be creating his own virus to send after SHODAN. This could lend cyberspace a new meaning.