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Yesterday's Scares

Yesterday, I finally caught up to 1999 and finished System Shock 2. Having earned a spot on any of the Internet's "top 10 scariest game" lists, System Shock 2 initially scared me away due to its deep psychological horror where Doom 3 and F.E.A.R. did not. However, after killing my 20th cyborg midwife with a rusty wrench, the horror factor of the game largely wore off, and in the end the permanent shock on the faces of the plethora of dead crew members was a source of amusement.

It makes me wonder what the point is of having horror in a game if you're just going to get desensitized to it anyway. It's just as well, I was there for the game play, which remains quite awesome even by 2007 standards (when I'm not getting stuck on walls) and not because I enjoy being scared. The end of System Shock 2 was actually not all that climatic, as my hybrid character with the best weapons, tech skills, and four out of the five tiers of Psi beat SHODAN in 30 seconds flat on my first try. The "heart of the many" was equally defused - it was simply a matter of having the patience to line up my shots.

Having fishing System Shock 2, I'm now ready for its spiritual successor (and likely better-in-every-way oppressor) BioShock. Currently, there are rumors flying around that there's a demo of the game to be released soon. Like, "sometime this week" soon. They originate from this German ratings board having rated a BioShock Demo. I remain unconvinced but, as the developers have taken a stance of neither confirming nor denying the existence of a demo, it stands to reason that they want that option. I guess we'll see. Worse case scenario, the full game is due to be released August 21st, which means it'll probably in most stores by the 23rd or 24th. A pity that my vacation (which just begun) ends the very same day the game is released.
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