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"I never actually thought SS2 would look as good as it did, screenshots simply don’t do the graphics justice."

Despite SS2’s levels seeming cramped they are so realistically that it doesn’t detract from the gameplay. Half the game revolves around looking for important items just like an adventure game, finding your way around security systems by hacking or shooting cameras and trying all the time to avoid being killed by mindless beasts that have taken over the rest of the crew for their own purposes. From time to time the computer that is running everything ‘Zersis’ speaks out in a deep deep hellish voice that pounds the sole of even the most fright less player. Often saying things like, “Why do you try to stop us…. You cannot hope to understand how small your puny individuality is…. Join us…”. ‘Zersis’ is either trying to be a member of the government who orders the Evil Monkeys around, or he’s somehow been taken over by a strange artificial intelligence discovered alongside a parasite on an unusual planet, just a guess.

Smooth texturing for all!
SS2 is modelled on the Thief engine and as such I never actually thought SS2 would look as good as it did, screenshots simply don’t do the graphics justice. Unlike many, I personally thought Thief’s engine and the game itself to be a little third rate, clever though it was; it remained rather outdated in my eyes. SS2 has improved upon it, higher quality textures, coloured lighting and an amazing amount of level detail makes the whole thing truly stunning. So true that my mind couldn’t help but think how good SS2 would have been when placed in HR Gigers Alien universe. The textures are not your, rock, stone or Quake3Arena style, instead they are smooth and fit perfectly to the environment, this allows them to be small yet extremely high quality, no bump mapping needed in this game. Coloured Lights glow and really are perfectly done as they illuminate the sides of corridors with rotating red alert lights and from plooms of green radiation, the light simply blends perfectly into everything. Never to strong, never to dull; always just right. Screenshot’s can’t do SS2 any justice what so ever.


The only area SS2 is let down on is the actual effects of weapons and explosions. When you shoot a gun it just clonk clonks or phut phuts and is followed by a rather fake muzzle flash which resembles somebody cutting a star out of an A4 page and then using crayons to colour it orange and red and quickly flash it in-front of your gun. Not good looking. As for explosions, more of the same and you can’t seem to blow limbs off or shoot people when they are down, not to mention the lack of lighting effects from any of the items/weapons you use. It’s clear that SS2’s newer version of the Thief engine needed a little more in the way of Heretic2 style particle effects instead of paper and crayon style rubbish that looks like a Childs drawing of an explosion or muzzle flash. Thankfully this doesn’t detract from the game and this is attested to the fact that SS2 will play on nearly every 3D Accelerator and every system pretty well, vastly better than Half-Life in that respect. For best looks a card like a G400 with it’s VCQ (Vibrant Colour quality) or TNT2 with improved lighting instructions are perfect for seeing the games beauty in the best light.

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