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System Shock 2
Box artwork for System Shock 2.
Developer(s)Irrational Games, Looking Glass Studios
Publisher(s)Electronic Arts
Designer(s)Ken Levine
Release date(s)
Windows icon.png
Mac OS icon.png
Mac OS
Genre(s)Action-adventure, RPG
System(s)Windows, Mac OS X
Mode(s)Single player, Multiplayer
ESRB: ESRB M.png Mature
ELSPA: Ages 15+
OFLC: OFLC MA15.svg Mature Accompanied & Restricted
Preceded bySystem Shock
SeriesSystem Shock
Neoseeker Related Pages
TwitchSystem Shock 2 Channel
YouTube GamingSystem Shock 2 Channel

System Shock 2 (commonly abbreviated SS2 or Shock 2) is an action role-playing game, designed by Ken Levine for the personal computer (PC). 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.


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.

Sequel and successor[edit]

In 2007, Irrational released a self-proclaimed spiritual successor to the System Shock series, entitled BioShock, to critical acclaim and strong sales. In January 2006, Computer and Video Games magazine reported System Shock 3 was under development; as of January 2016, official news state that the game is still under development.

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