System Shock 3 -- The End of the Trilogy?


As the subject line says, this is something I’ve been wondering about. Should System Shock 3 be the last System Shock game, wrapping up every loose end as a trilogy of games?

Or should SS3 be a new entry in an ongoing series of games featuring cyberpunk themes in that universe, with no “final” game planned at this time?

It seems to me that the answer to this question would have a pretty major impact on the story of the upcoming game. Does that story feel more right if it has a definitive conclusion? Even if it does, should that be set aside because we’d like OtherSide to keep making more games in this setting?


SHODAN is unkillable. The series could continue ad infinitum without it wearing out.


I think it’s generally best to end on a high note and leave people wanting for more than to become formulaic and stale and wear out your welcome.

I’m personally not averse to Otherside doing more games in the cyberpunk genre, but I never was particularly attached to the setting.


System Shock could become a Final Fantasy of the Cyberpunk genre, with new games breaching out to new stories and maybe revisiting SHODAN one game or another. :stuck_out_tongue:




There ya go! Seems like a definitive answer to me!


The only way they’d become formulaic is if they cease to evolve the formula. Innovation, not copycatting, makes a successful sequel.


In a series or a franchise the drive towards preserving the status quo grows stronger and stronger. I would rather have stories with a definite end in mind rather than endless adventures with an implicit or explicit “to be continued” tag.

Of course, this is purely a matter of taste. I prefer Babylon 5 style evolving narrative arcs to mostly episodic Star Trek, but other people might like the complete opposite.


God no. It’s hugely risky as is to try to make a third SS without screwing it up but they kind of have to because they left SS2 begging for a conclusion and also I don’t think the time was right to pack it in just yet. The truth of the matter is, it’s been TOO long now. Had the 3rd installment come out in 2004/5, it would have a lower probability of sucking due to the gaming “climate” not being as awful as it is now. This era makes me not want to play games anymore.

Put a hero effort into SS3 to make it the jewel we know and love and then let it sleep for all eternity as a cornerstone of gaming history.


I don’t think it is too late at all to make system shock 3. reasoning is, that the industry is kinda starting to want games like these (Alien Isolation I think was a good start), where just shooting things isn’t enough, having a yearly release is enough. I mean it took the Witcher guys years to make the third one, and even longer for the cyberpunk game their are working on maybe even longer.

besides we kinda know nothing about the game other than it is being made. I think it will be interesting to see what will happen. I just hope the ending doesn’t end in “NAH” haha but then again…


Well, whatever they pull off I just hope it doesn’t end up spawning a long line of BS like many other good original games ended up doing.


Funny thing about Final Fantasy is it is not formulaic at all. Game systems, story, aesthetic and setting all change each game (or used to rather). And the spin offs were different things almost entirely, often to good results. Final Fantasy Tactics is one of Tim Stellmach’s favorite games, to appeal to authority. It wasn’t until Square merged with Enix that things became formulaic, generic, just plain forgettable.

Isn’t the Final Fantasy franchise basically Japan’s Ultima in that regard? There’s been a lot of main Ultimas and some spin offs (Underworld, Shroud of the Avatar) too. In fact Final Fantasy had more diversity in the canon from game to game, as Ultima kept the same setting (sosaria) and plot elements (Avatar, Lord British, Britannia) each game. Final Fantasy had entirely different settings and such each time. But hey, Ultima is the game series that started everything.


I gave the strange idea not just as a joke, but also because I like the setting of System Shock and would be sad to never have something like it anymore. Still, I have high hopes for Cyberpunk 2077, depending on the story, it may be a series of unconnected cyberpunk stories, just maintaining the setting, pretty much what I wanted for System Shock, which goes more hand-to-hand with Ultima than Final Fantasy.


Closest to Shock’s setting I’ve encountered aside from Dead Space is Martian Gothic: Unification. The game released just 7 months after Shock 2 and there’s a number of similarities. May be worth checking out if you are big into this type of setting, as well as gaming history. Pretty scary game, perhaps even more scary than Shock 2.

The first three minutes of this video will sum up the game well.


I don’t get what’s so remarkable about the SS setting. It seems to me like a pretty standard cyberpunk fare with just a smidge of Starship Troopers in SS2. Megacorporations, corporate espionage, rampant AI, hackers galore, etc.

I don't get what's so remarkable about the SS setting. It seems to me like a pretty standard cyberpunk fare with just a smidge of Starship Troopers in SS2. Megacorporations, corporate espionage, rampant AI, hackers galore, etc.

Remarkable, perhaps not. But what among what you listed isn’t totally awesome?
In the realm of video games it’s also a rare setting and has relatively deep lore. For Sci-Fi fans this is prime material. Either this or Mass Effect, and I know which I’d pick.


The game seems to have an interesting atmosphere, kind of the Resident Evil-System Shock. I like both, might as well check it out.

Pretty much what CyberP said and you noted, System Shock has the standard cyberpunk setting, and that’s extremely rare. I tend to see Mass Effect and Dead Space more akin to a different kind of Futurism, while Deus Ex and Shadowrun (even with the dragons :stuck_out_tongue: ) feel like really deep Cyberpunk settings, even though I still need to play Mass Effect to see exactly how it is.

To note, I prefer System Shock 1 in setting, which is pretty remarkable in my opinion, especially if compared with 2’s levels, that were too much alike.

I’m really looking forward to Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt Red is promising a lot, bigger than The Witcher 3! Imagine walking a Cyberpunk City without boundaries! System Shock is both Cyberpunk and Horror, so it’s also unique in its own way, would be good to have it around.


Would it feel enough like System Shock without SHODAN?


Don’t get me wrong, I like cyberpunk. The point is that there’s nothing about these things that makes them uniquely System Shock. Otherside could easily make a non-Shock cyberpunk game that had all these elements and more. Of course, whether they should develop a new cyberpunk game with a new setting is a separate question. SS has at least brand recognition and it might be better to play it safe.

I guess that’s what I was ultimately getting at.


Putting a little thought into this, I can say yes, it would be.

I don’t actually play System Shock because of SHODAN, even though she’s a strong point of the game, because of its character. In reality, what I percieve while playing System Shock is, first of all, its gameplay, which have good ideas in both games. Then I would put the genre, which isn’t just horror and isn’t just cyberpunk. It’s both. If you take away any of those, it stops being System Shock and becomes any other game. Not in the same spot as genre, but close to it, we can put atmosphere. You can play two medieval games, for instance, but each will have its own feeling, and you can say as much for a Cyberpunk game, and System Shock has its own atmosphere, and it’s really good, so good that it is considered one of the game’s strongest points. Of course, last, but not least, the universe, and by universe, I mean the story, so you could put SHODAN in this category, but she mustn’t be a major character in the game, she can just be part of the history of said universe, as well as the events that transpired to get to the actual game.

That’s my vision though, can vary depending on what someone wants in such game.