System Shock 2 on Unreal 5

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Spalls Hurgenson

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Jul 26, 2022, 11:36:31 AMJul 26
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What the topic says: somebody (incompletely) ported/remade Looking
Glass's classic game, "System Shock 2", to the Unreal 5 engine

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J50PoYzgd1Y

(The AI and some features haven't been implemented but its enough to
give you a taste. Alas, no download to try it yourself)

None of the assets have been altered; it seems a fairly straight port
with the original low-res textures and low-poly models from 1999.
Still, the bounce lighting and emissive textures really help add to
the game's atmosphere. Visually the demo isn't going to blow you away,
but it still looks quite good considering its art is over two decades
old at this point.

I always felt that "System Shock 2" was the better of the two games of
the franchise; the original may have been more innovative (having
helped to create the 'sandbox action/rpg genre') but SS2 was just more
polished. It wasn't without its flaws - its somewhat clumsy controls
and disappointing third act being foremost - but it is still a
tremendously satisfying game. Unfortunately, while the first game has
been getting a lot of love - with a number of enhanced versions
released and a remake in the works - the second game hasn't received
the same consideration. So I'm delighted to see this proof-of-concept
since it gives me hope that maybe someday we'll see a remaster of this
old classic.

Unfortunately, this particular demo is the work of a single individual
who is merely experimenting with it as a means to improve his own
skills with Unreal Engine 5 rather than fully intending to remake the
game. Still, credit to him for his efforts so far and hopefully this
will inspire others to take the next step. I adore the original game,
but its aging visuals and creaky engine make it harder and harder to
enjoy as the years pass.



Mike S.

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Jul 26, 2022, 2:06:29 PMJul 26
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On Tue, 26 Jul 2022 11:36:20 -0400, Spalls Hurgenson
<spallsh...@gmail.com> wrote:

>I always felt that "System Shock 2" was the better of the two games

I agree. I played the original twice. I played System Shock 2 so many
times that I have many of the audio logs memorized because I let them
play each time I play the game. I play mostly RPGs and strategy games.
I should not like this action game as much as I do.

If there was just ONE game that I would like to see a remake of... it
is Might & Magic 1. But if there was just TWO games... the second
would be System Shock 2.

As for your link, it looked too much like the base game for me to
bother with it if it ever is downloadable and playable. But based on
what you said, remaking the game was not this person's intent.

Spalls Hurgenson

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Jul 26, 2022, 3:26:41 PMJul 26
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On Tue, 26 Jul 2022 14:06:27 -0400, Mike S. <Mik...@nowhere.com>
wrote:

>If there was just ONE game that I would like to see a remake of... it
>is Might & Magic 1. But if there was just TWO games... the second
>would be System Shock 2.

I dunno if "Might & Magic 1" would top my list of must-have remakes...
but I sure wouldn't mind it if it happened. Or rather, I'd like a
remaster; I don't think the core game is really strong enough to stand
on its own were it fully remade unless they also significantly added
extra content (M&M1 - like many games of its era - was largely a game
about navigating labyrinthine dungeons* and fighting large hordes of
faceless monsters.

Still, I have some really fond memories of wandering the world of
VARN, exploring its forests and deserts to discover its numerous
cities and dungeons. Its world felt far more alive than its
competitors (e.g., "Bards Tale" and "Dungeon Master"), which seemed
little more than monster-factories you mindlessly plundered for their
loot. VARN seemed to have a vitality all its own.

I'm trying to imagine a remaster. As I said, I don't think the game
would benefit from being completely revamped; you'd either wind up
with an unsatisfying old game with modern visuals or something almost
completely unrecognizable when compared to its origins.

Improved controls, though; that'd be a must. Slightly improved visuals
to a degree; honestly, a slightly longer view distance and a bigger
"3D view" window would suffice as far as I'm concerned. Improvements
to the interface; the original was surprisingly text-based. Improved
sound is a must (largely since the original had almost no sound and no
music at all). I'd personally also like the levels tweaked to be
slightly /less/ maze-like and make the combat a bit less repetitive
(lessen the respawn rate, that's for certain) but I'm sure that would
anger a lot of other fans.

I'm actually somewhat surprised that nothing of the sort has ever been
attempted, but a quick Google search doesn't reveal anything. Why has
the Might & Magic series languished when other games of its era have
been lavished so much love, I wonder?






-------------------------
* even the outdoors were essentially just dungeons with multiple
entrances and a pretty blue skybox

Dimensional Traveler

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Jul 26, 2022, 4:14:49 PMJul 26
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On 7/26/2022 11:06 AM, Mike S. wrote:
> On Tue, 26 Jul 2022 11:36:20 -0400, Spalls Hurgenson
> <spallsh...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> I always felt that "System Shock 2" was the better of the two games
>
> I agree. I played the original twice. I played System Shock 2 so many
> times that I have many of the audio logs memorized because I let them
> play each time I play the game. I play mostly RPGs and strategy games.
> I should not like this action game as much as I do.
>
> If there was just ONE game that I would like to see a remake of... it
> is Might & Magic 1. But if there was just TWO games... the second
> would be System Shock 2.
>
My one game would be Sim Life! :D


--
I've done good in this world. Now I'm tired and just want to be a cranky
dirty old man.

Spalls Hurgenson

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Jul 26, 2022, 6:46:40 PMJul 26
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On Tue, 26 Jul 2022 13:14:49 -0700, Dimensional Traveler
<dtr...@sonic.net> wrote:
>On 7/26/2022 11:06 AM, Mike S. wrote:

>> If there was just ONE game that I would like to see a remake of... it
>> is Might & Magic 1. But if there was just TWO games... the second
>> would be System Shock 2.

>My one game would be Sim Life! :D

Have you tried the remastered version? I hear everybody's playing it
now. The graphics are amazing and the open-world is /huge/ (and
there's so much room for extra expansions; the game universe is like
99.999% empty space just waiting for new stuff to be added!). I don't
like how they removed save-points though, and they've revamped the
game's setting to be so fantastically unbelievable - I mean, like that
weirdo mayor of London becoming PM for a few years? Like that'd
happen! - that they had to remove the "sim" moniker.

You can still drown people in swimming pools though. Not that I tried
that myself.


Dimensional Traveler

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Jul 26, 2022, 7:23:24 PMJul 26
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I think you are talking about 'The Sims', not 'Sim Life'.

Mike S.

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Jul 27, 2022, 8:27:52 AMJul 27
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On Tue, 26 Jul 2022 15:26:29 -0400, Spalls Hurgenson
<spallsh...@gmail.com> wrote:

>I dunno if "Might & Magic 1" would top my list of must-have remakes...

It probably would not for many, even RPG fans. But I like this type of
game and Might & Magic does it best.

>but I sure wouldn't mind it if it happened. Or rather, I'd like a
>remaster; I don't think the core game is really strong enough to stand
>on its own were it fully remade unless they also significantly added
>extra content (M&M1 - like many games of its era - was largely a game
>about navigating labyrinthine dungeons* and fighting large hordes of
>faceless monsters.

Yes it was and I like it that way. Dungeon Crawlers these are called.
Or Blobbers in some parts of the world.

Although, perhaps not so labyrinthine. Every location was only 16x16
squares in the first two games.

>Still, I have some really fond memories of wandering the world of
>VARN, exploring its forests and deserts to discover its numerous
>cities and dungeons. Its world felt far more alive than its
>competitors (e.g., "Bards Tale" and "Dungeon Master"), which seemed
>little more than monster-factories you mindlessly plundered for their
>loot. VARN seemed to have a vitality all its own.

Yeah, it left an impression on me when I first played it back in the
day on my C64. It might be my favorite game on that system.

>I'm trying to imagine a remaster. As I said, I don't think the game
>would benefit from being completely revamped; you'd either wind up
>with an unsatisfying old game with modern visuals or something almost
>completely unrecognizable when compared to its origins.

Bard's Tale was remade. Something (exactly actually) like that is all
I want. Updated visuals, sound and controls and an automap. I do NOT
want them changing the gameplay.

>I'm actually somewhat surprised that nothing of the sort has ever been
>attempted, but a quick Google search doesn't reveal anything. Why has
>the Might & Magic series languished when other games of its era have
>been lavished so much love, I wonder?

There was a time when there was something called The Big Three(tm).
The big three were Ultima, Wizardry and Might & Magic. They all need
remasters.

Spalls Hurgenson

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Jul 27, 2022, 1:55:58 PMJul 27
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On Tue, 26 Jul 2022 16:23:25 -0700, Dimensional Traveler
<dtr...@sonic.net> wrote:

>On 7/26/2022 3:46 PM, Spalls Hurgenson wrote:
>> On Tue, 26 Jul 2022 13:14:49 -0700, Dimensional Traveler
>> <dtr...@sonic.net> wrote:
>>> On 7/26/2022 11:06 AM, Mike S. wrote:
>>
>>>> If there was just ONE game that I would like to see a remake of... it
>>>> is Might & Magic 1. But if there was just TWO games... the second
>>>> would be System Shock 2.
>>
>>> My one game would be Sim Life! :D
>>
>> Have you tried the remastered version? I hear everybody's playing it
>> now. The graphics are amazing and the open-world is /huge/ (and
>> there's so much room for extra expansions; the game universe is like
>> 99.999% empty space just waiting for new stuff to be added!). I don't
>> like how they removed save-points though, and they've revamped the
>> game's setting to be so fantastically unbelievable - I mean, like that
>> weirdo mayor of London becoming PM for a few years? Like that'd
>> happen! - that they had to remove the "sim" moniker.
>>
>> You can still drown people in swimming pools though. Not that I tried
>> that myself.
>>
>I think you are talking about 'The Sims', not 'Sim Life'.

Ohmigosh, you're right. I blame... um... too much alcohol? Sure, let's
go with that.

I never got into "SimLife", mostly because it was - by and large - a
rehash of "SimEarth". The biggest difference was that "SimLife"
allowed you to tinker with the "genetics" of the various life forms
but it was so limited in scope that it I found it actually
uninteresting.

Maxis later took the concept of "SimEarth" and "SimLife" when they
created "Spore" and added a lot more visual pizzazz (they added a
splash of "Impossible Creatures" too). Unfortunately, they then
wrapped it up in an arcade/RTS and changed the entire feel of the
series. But that's pretty much as close to a remake of the concept as
you are likely to ever see. The idea was innovative, but never really
caught on with gamers.

Myself, I found "SimEarth" interesting on a technical level, and
impressive for the scale and scope of its simulation ("SimLife" too,
but - as mentioned - I got a lot of 'been there, done that' feel from
that game, which made it less memorable to me). But it wasn't a game I
spent an inordinate amount of time with.





Dimensional Traveler

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Jul 27, 2022, 3:49:53 PMJul 27
to
I used to leave SimLife running overnight and would see what had evolved
while I slept. ;) I grant from a "I'm playing a game" point of view it
wasn't much but I really liked the concept. I'd be happy with someone
just taking the basic concept and running with it as a serious
simulation/game. A _REAL_ God game. :D
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