The next BioShock should return to the fundamentals posed by System Shock 2

Look along the top shelf of the lab stash on the Med/Sci deck of the Von Braun from System Shock 2, the faster-than-light ship named after the father of space travel, and you’ll find samples of various chemical elements, kept in jars the size of peanut butter jars. Lined up in rough alphabetical order are antimony, barium, californium, fermium, gallium, and iridium. And right at the end, you’ll find me, crouched tightly in the space between the shelf and the ceiling.

There are a few good reasons for this. First, here I have a better chance of dodging the visual and auditory sensors of the hulking security robot patrolling the adjacent hallway. Second, I’m in a good position to read labels and apply the correct item to the psionic monkey specimen I have in my inventory. This way I can figure out how the monkey’s brain works and know exactly where to hit his exposed brain with my wrench.

(Image credit: Nightdive Studios)

The thing is, I know I’ll end up here, hours later. I’m bound to find a viral weapon or a piece of annelid flesh that needs to be covered in Cf or Ir if I want to figure it out – and I probably won’t find all the same items on the Command deck, or Hydroponics, or Recreational. But there are too many jars here to put in my bag. So, when the time comes, I will embark on a major throwback exhibition. And in the process, the Von Braun will stop looking like a series of game levels and become a three-dimensional place in my memory.

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