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Box artwork for System Shock 2.
Box artwork for System Shock 2.
System Shock 2
Developer(s)Irrational Games, Looking Glass Studios
Publisher(s)Electronic Arts
Year released1999
System(s)Windows, macOS
Preceded bySystem Shock
SeriesSystem Shock
Designer(s)Ken Levine
Genre(s)Action RPG
ModesSingle player, Multiplayer
Rating(s)ESRB MatureELSPA Ages 15+OFLC Mature Accompanied & Restricted
Neoseeker Related Pages
LinksSystem Shock 2 at PCGamingWikiSystem Shock 2 ChannelSearchSearch

System Shock 2 (commonly abbreviated SS2 or Shock 2) is an action RPG, designed by Ken Levine for the personal computer. The title is a sequel to the 1994 PC game System Shock. It was originally co-developed as a separate game by Irrational Games and Looking Glass Studios. After Electronic Arts, who owned the Shock franchise rights, signed on to publish, the game became a sequel. System Shock 2 was released on August 11, 1999 by Electronic Arts.

System Shock 2 received positive reviews when released, but failed to meet commercial sales expectations. The game has since become a cult classic, and is widely regarded by critics as one of the greatest ever made.

In 2007, Irrational released a self-proclaimed spiritual successor to the System Shock series, entitled BioShock, to critical acclaim and strong sales.


The game takes place on board an adrift starship in a cyberpunk vision of 2114. The player assumes the role of a lone soldier trying to stem the outbreak of a genetic infection that has devastated the ship. Like System Shock, gameplay consists of first person shooting and exploration, while a role-playing system allows the player to develop unique abilities and traits.

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