Aug 17 2009
Looking Glass are now, sadly gone, although many members have gone on to other teams – Warren Spector producing the excellent, if derivative, Deus Ex for example.
But first they used the Thief engine for an update on a cult-classic.
Once again Looking Glass brought depth to the first person shooter. The character generation provides real buy-in from the player and this in turn is used to drive the narrative. The script is again superb and demonstrates once again that substance can triumph over style. Although SS2’s graphics are good, they are far from being the tour-de-force that Quake 3 showed off, textures tend to be flat, objects tend to be blocky.
Sound and lighting in SS2 play a huge part in how the game is played. Just as in Thief, enemies lurk in shadowed corners, waiting to ambush you. They can hear you coming and you can hear them, if you slow down to look around.
In another nod to Thief, Looking Glass have thoughtfully kept the ’round the corner’ look that came in useful for stealthy approaches.
Another title that didn’t get the sales but was actually one of the best games released at that time and is a worthy successor to System Shock.