SS3: Return to Cyberspace?


The original System Shock featured a wireframe “cyberspace” mode. You’d fly around the inside of cages and tubes fighting cyber-enemies, collecting data and games, and unlocking locations.

It made sense in the day as a way to visually and mechanically represent the inspirational ideas of cyberpunk. It also provided an alternative style of play… and it was the mode in which the game’s final challenge took place.

But it got cut for the sequel. Some people missed cyberspace; most seemed to think doing away with it was an improvement.

Well. Now that it seems System Shock 3 is a thin that might actually happen, maybe it’s time to revisit this question.

What do you think? Did you enjoy cyberspace in System Shock, or were you relieved that it wasn’t required in System Shock 2?

With today’s technology, how would you feel about some form of cyberspace gameplay appearing in System Shock 3? If included, what should it look like, and how should it feel to play it?

Also, while I’m skeptical of the value of VR, would a cyberspace gameplay mode in SS3 create actual value for implementing a VR interface?


I’d like to see some version of cyberspace return, even if it is optional. Some folks tended to think that having to learn both systems made the first game too difficult, and appreciated not needing it for the second. Others felt that the second was diminished because of the lack.

I’m still leery of VR. The GearVR is the first decent version I’ve seen (since I can’t afford an Oculus), but I hate playing games on it. Not being able to see anything but the screen makes it all but impossible to navigate and use controllers. The approach of AR like Microsoft’s HoloLens looks much better for the PC game space, and I think cyberspace as an AR interface would rock. But I suppose that all comes down to which technology takes off, and which dies a horrible, horrible death.


A cyberspace mode actually would be a natural for something like the VIVE, where you have 360 degree VR but a limited area of movement.

Id love to help to design and build that :slight_smile:


I enjoyed every second in cyberspace in SS1 :slight_smile:

Hope it will returns in some similar form, with more convoluted labirints. And if we are talking of VR, cyberspace from SS1 is a perfect place where to put goggles on


But one of my favourite parts of SS2 was actually the cyberspace segment at the end, that all-too-brief blend of Citadel Station and Gibsonian geometry. Granted it was more the sense of being on the precipice of a new, terrifying dimension and the escalation of madness and horror from one potential, bodily reality to something at once familiar and even more removed from human comprehension. It was just really cool in every regard.

As for the SS1 iteration, it was a very neat idea if a product of its time but if jettisoning it like a certain fateful grove meant there was a more robust, layered and consequential level-wide A.I. response system to player detection, I really won’t mourn its passing. Of course, that being said if there’s an idea that’s beyond a very simple yet necessarily constrained six-axis shooter, that is arresting visually and is more consequential for meat-space…

I’d much rather visit some surreal landscape that requires skilful player locomotion or talk to a deceased NPC’s virtual companion to find a password or uncover narrative threads or open exploded-view schematics to find an architectural weakness to access an elevator; you have carte blanche for any setting, setpiece and story-telling idea with unlimited utility… instead of a perilous and frightening file-manager. {There still should be some kind of sophisticated and thorough computer-interaction system to extent one could even turn up the volume and play a sound file to attract certain A.I.}


I am 100% in favor of a return to cyberverse.


Cyberspace, yes please.


Yeah, sure. Didn’t miss it in SS2, SS2 had gamepig games and all sorts to substitute it, but it was unique and it can be fully realized and made much more fun today so I’m all for it.

Anyhow, congrats to Otherside, and thumbs up to NightDive for returning the IP to where it belongs.


I’d really like to see SS1’s cyberspace return, combined with the ability to walk in it which SS2’s ‘cyberspace’ had.

SS1 also had a ton of content which never made it in cyberspace, which would completely change it’s gameplay:

Some of the unused content here sounds really interesting. Who knows, a combination of this and the existing cyberspace could be really fun!


A picture for people who haven’t played the first System Shock.


I’d like cyberspace to be like it is in SS1 with more options possibly.
System Shock was (and is) a collection of cyberpunk references and citations, cyberspace is one of them and I think it edfineitely should be in.

For a second I imagined Descent levels turned into cyberspace ones: mind = blown.



Didn’t play SS1 but idea seems solid: I’d like to explore it as a kind of parallel dimension which blends reality with computer software. When you get attuned to it you are able to stay in it for longer even hiding your physical body from enemies and transporting it to other areas. Maybe that’s exactly what SS1 did?

Having DIFFERENT movement etc. for that area would make sense to realize its potential and make it really feel distinct: maybe you float around instead of walking, or gravity is based on the nearest polygon.


Unfortunately, I didn’t have the pleasure of playing SS1, but I think it would benefit the game to be included, if only to get away from the modern hacking minigames of “connect 3” or “link the two points together with an assortment of pipes”. You could control how difficult hacks are by making the cyberspace in those areas increasingly hard, including having super high security systems that are complete suicide runs, lest you pull of some god-tier cyber run (which could be enforced by disabling saving during hacking, if the game has old school manual saving/quicksaving).


I don’t think anyone connected these two dots, but cyberspace + vr support = mind blown.


Cyberspace was nice. It would be nice to see it again. The feel of controlling can be very similar. There can exists some serum etc. for making controlling better or some stats…

The way of opening boxes in SS2 was great especially for another replay of game as it changed way of developing character and new gameplay.

And about VR. There can be VR but VR should not affect any way of gameplay respectively PC keyboard and mouse should be priority.
But for sure please implement 3D Vision. This technology is fantastic and for survival horror ideal imho.

Some tips: There can be even some attacks on Cyberspace device if u do not destroys camera. Or Cyberspace can be accessed only after some time (even whole 80% of game: to open box u need level 4 skill > inside box u find key for Cyberspace software version x.y or implant > so u can now enter Cyberspace and open some doors, get software, update, email or whatever. Some emails from Cyberspace can show hidden items or says to shoot in some hidden place in wall to open something etc.


Bring it back. Give it non-euclidean geometry. I want that very much, and I’ve never played SS1.


I came here to post the exact same sentiment. Cyberspace is our chance to really mess around with the kinds of 2d & 3d problem solving that so many other games throw at us. Giving us problems to solve that go beyond our normal spatial and temporal understanding is a really interesting process, and i’m really excited for the possibilities that come from being able to shed the ordinary laws of physics and create game systems that flaunt reality rather than emulate it.

Cyberspace is also an excellent chance to add a significant amount of VR-enabled content into the game without limiting the visual fidelity of normal play to extremely low levels. We are at a technological point now where VR hardware is getting ready to be pumped out into the consumer space, but the strategies we have learned to use for rendering “3D” scenes will not work properly for a true VR experience. Obviously this means that until efficient ways of rendering 3D scenes in VR are developed (or GPUs are able to throw enough raw power at the scene to render it “conventionally”) VR content just won’t be as pretty or detailed as we are used to in our games.

Because we have cyberspace to fall back on, we can have our cake and eat it too! We can have the majority of the game play out in traditional first person with conventional rendering, and in cyberspace we can have highly stylized visuals in order to support a true VR experience, all without taking a hit to the immersion factor for the player. If there is any franchise more ripe for VR support I don’t know of it. This is a great chance to embrace the new technology and create something unique and amazing, and Otherside are the right guys to do that.

I’m really excited for the possibilities!


Cyberspace is a must. Loved the wire frame. But i like the polygonal graphics that was in the supernes version of starfox. Also reminds me of the computer villain in superman 3 movie.


With me, shades of Tron.


SS1 style cyberspace was one of the best features of the game. Without it, you’d have a muscle car with a V6. SS2 cyberspace was admittedly dumbed down but somehow managed to retain some of the charm without being completely ass. In SS3 I would love to see SS1 cyberspace make a return, even if it wasn’t mandatory to use it. It could always be used as a tool to achieve mission objectives or side goals in an alternative fashion.

As for how it looks 20+ years later, one of the great things about cyberspace is that it’s a virtual reality so it doesn’t have to look any better than it did in 1994. It’s supposed to contain symbolic representations of things, not photo-realistic versions of them. One thing NOT to do is what Tron Legacy did, which was to take a perfectly good computer world and ruin it with BS like storm clouds and smoke and fancy curved surfaces when the simple clean design of the first system was just fine and merely needed a splash of paint to make it look like it wasn’t made in the 80s.

Also, I would like to request staying away from fancy stylized art that has a highly individual appeal. I will never forgive Bioshock for its pastel-colored clown faces which look just awful. Somebody liked it for it to make its way into the game but it was completely unnecessary and is equally unwelcome in SS3 cyberspace or any other part of the game for that matter. Stick with the “style” we’re already accustomed to or something that isn’t a huge departure from it unless you’re damn sure it’s going to be a winner.


On the topic of Tron, malware and viruses were depicted as ‘enemies’ in the excellent Tron 2.0 game by Monolith. If you can forgive the light cycle racing, please play it. It is at least 8/10.