I start out searching for artwork and the missing athletics keycard. I find the keycard on a body that I’d somehow managed to miss in the crew quarters first time around.
I head for the athletics area and see a huge fleshy creature in the middle of basketball court. For some reason it doesn’t move at all and I bludgeon it to death with impunity.
Through the next area is a swimming pool complete with a floating body.
In a small room off here is a spot for a power cell. As luck would have it I’m carrying one of these around so I use it here but I have no idea what this achieves.
I find the transmitter soon afterwards but I’ve not seen any more artwork yet. I must have missed some so this means trawling around the level again looking for pictures.
Much later I find this in the crew quarters – just one more to find.
The final one is in an art shop in the mall. It’s on the second level which is why I missed it first time around.
I head back for the transmitter. I’ve only got two possible orders to try the numbers in and the first one works out.
Shodan still can’t manage to wipe out the infestation and wants me to help her gain complete control over the ship. She activates the lift I saw earlier to the command deck and sends me up there.
The command deck has a simple tram system that carries me between 3 stops.
When I get to the end of the tram journey I see two survivors trying to get to the one remaining escape pod. They are chased away before I can get off the tram.
I follow after them and arrive just in time to see their pod escape. They have left behind a bridge access security card.
I use this card to access the bridge elevator where I’m greeted by another giant mech.
Once through the mech, its straight to the bridge. This place looks a lot more advanced than most of the rest of the ship.
I find the password breaking gadget I’m looking for behind some smashable glass.
I then trot off and use this in the right place to give Shodan complete control to the ship. She decides that she will be unable to wipe out her children as they have infested every corner of the ship. We are going to have to blow up the Von Braun then evacuate to its support ship the Rickenbacker.
This next stage of the game involves me being sent all over the ship to carry out tasks. First off, I have to go to the engine core to start the self destruct for the ship.
Shodan gives me the code to do this and thats stage 1 done.
This opens up a new area for shuttle access on the command deck so I head up there. I need to stop the infestation escaping from here by blowing up the shuttles. When I arrive a midwife is tampering with some sensitive equipment which doesn’t look good.
There are two shuttle bays here. The damaged equipment would have dropped the shield of one of them. I can still destroy the second shuttle at least and it only takes a few shots to blow it up.
I need to destroy the shield generator for the first shuttle. Shodan tells me to hack the nearest replicator to produce a gadget which will do the job.
I do this then run away as quickly as possible while it does its work.
A few seconds later and the second shuttle is destroyed.
I need to get to the umbilical leading to the Rickenbacker. I’m told to go to the middle tram stop but when I get there my passage is blocked and I get a message to go and meet up with one of the aliens on the bridge. This doesn’t sound like a trap at all……
When I arrive on the bridge, we don’t even go through the formalities of a chat before I’m attacked. I’m expecting something of a boss fight but it turns out to be really easy. I just hide behind a console and lob a few grenades out until its dead. This opens up my route to the Rickenbacker.
This route is well guarded and I have to carefully edge past a load of turrets.
My first task in the Rickenbacker is to destroy 15 eggs containing some new sort of super-mutant. These eggs are spread all over the base and will take a bit of finding.
I do a lot of searching around taking out any eggs I find. I also discover this gravity reversal switch. Throwing it seems like a good idea and nets me 20 modules but it doesn’t affect my immediate area.
I explore for a while taking out eggs. There are more defenses than ever but nothing much new. There is one area of the ship with a hull breach and I also have a puzzle involving raising and lowering missiles to create a path. The difficult bit here is jumping onto the first missile. There seems to be a problem in the engine at times with jumping and it takes a few attempts.
I find my final egg and head for the next part of the Rickenbacker.
This is where the gravity has been reversed. I walk into a church which now has an upside-down cross.
I find some potentially useful alien armour but I need to research it before I can use it. I’ve no idea if I’ll see any more chemical rooms or if I should go back but decide to press on.
When I get deep enough into the Rickenbacker, Shodan tells me that the infection has spread and now surrounds the ship. I have to head right into it for all that. She also seems to almost be getting fond of me and how I am becoming closer to her as I improve my cybernetics. I don’t entirely like where this is going – I was expecting her to turn on me before now and I’m not sure I expect a happy ending.
The infection is surrounding the windows here in a giant fleshy mass. I notice now in this screenshot that there was another permanent upgrade panel which I didn’t take advantage of.
This is due to being attacked on all sides.
In the end I take the easy option and run for the escape pod and launch myself into the fleshy mass.
I must be nearing the conclusion of the game now but I have to explore this place first and figure out how to destroy it.
Shodan can no longer maintain contact so I’m on my own. A lot of the tunnels are under water which is radioactive. My first first attempt at exploration leads to fatal poisoning. I was really tempted at this point to push on to finish the game but I decided to leave it for another night rather than rushing through.
When I’ve been playing this game, I’ve often thought how similar it was to Doom 3, with its email logs, sound design and the like. Now I even get a fleshy infestation taking over the station. I know Doom came first but it’s probably got less in common with its sequel than SS2 does – it’s similar enough that Doom 3 feels like a bit of a rip-off now. I’m actually quite a fan of Doom 3. While clearly being a technology showcase, it was still a game that generated a fantastically scary atmosphere. Years earlier SS2 has managed the same thing only with a far more interesting storyline and a load of RPG elements and gameplay options thrown into the mix.
SS2 is a game that would really justify another play through. The storyline isn’t always easy to follow as it comes at me in short emails in a somewhat random order. I do like this system for all that – the only snag is when one message gets cut off by another or if a monster attacks I tend to miss whats being said. It’s not always that quick or easy to find the email you missed so I do feel like I’ve missed elements of the story on the way through. Having the interface in a resolution it was never designed for probably doesn’t help matters here.
Aside from the story there are whole areas of abilities that I’ve ignored while playing this. I’ve not upgraded psi-powers at all instead concentrating on tech, weapons and combat skill. Even at this late stage in the game I’m a long way from maxing out most my stats even in these areas although I am clearly much more powerful than in the early game.
I’m curious to know where things are going at this stage, its still got me guessing. Clearly I’ll be attempting to destroy the infestation but Shodan will still be alive. I’m half expecting to end up being controlled by her due to my ever upgraded implants. An entirely happy and conclusive ending looks really unlikely.