Aroused by rumours of questionable experiments being conducted by the Troptimum corporation aboard their "Citadel" space station, you hack into their corporate mainframe. But it seems ... See full summary »


Cast overview:
Terri Brosius ...
Shodan (voice)
Helen Dunsmoir ...
Rebecca Lansing (voice)
Austin Grossman ...
Edward Diego (voice)

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Aroused by rumours of questionable experiments being conducted by the Troptimum corporation aboard their "Citadel" space station, you hack into their corporate mainframe. But it seems you're not the hotshot you thought you were; Trioptimum security personnel apprehend you and drag you off for detention and interrogation on Citadel. However, your actions have piqued the curiousity of Triop Executive Edward Diego. He offers to overlook your earlier transgressions if you help him disable some troublesome security features on Citadel's controlling Artificial Intelligence: the Sentient Hyper-Optimized Data Access Network, or SHODAN. In addition to clearing your name, he'll kit you out with a Military Grade Neural Interface, a classically cyberpunk device that allows you to plug your brain directly into cyberspace, as well as equip yourself with a variety of cybernetic devices. How could you say no? You easily remove the ethical constraints that have prevented SHODAN from allowing Diego to ... Written by Trapper

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26 March 1994 (USA)  »

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[first lines]
Shodan: Welcome back to Citadel Station. We hope your somnolent healing stage went well. Today is the 6th day of November, year 2072.
Shodan: We hope you have a pleasant stay on Citadel Station.
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User Reviews

A leap forward in spite of obvious stumbling
29 October 2014 | by See all my reviews

The year is 2072. Location: a big city. You're caught hacking into Citadel: the large, multilevel space station, with everything it needs, including Maintenance, Medical and Engineering, all distinct from each other, albeit the confusing layouts take some away from the organic, "lived-in" feel. Know where you're going, or if that's not an option, use process of elimination. You'll be moving between them in both directions, since you can't always complete one the first time you're there. This is done via elevators, complete with the cheesy music, one example of the humor, and it not taking away from the creepy tone. You're offered a deal: no jail time, provided you alter the on-board AI, SHODAN(Brosius, haunting, creepy) to remove ethical constraints. When you wake up from a coma 6 months later, having recovered from the implantation of a neuro-interface which was part of the offer, something has clearly gone wrong. In the half a year, the computer, seeing herself as a deity, used the large corporation TriOptimum's on-board genetics research and weaponry to mold the human and animal life that were crew and test subjects, respectively, into hideous mutants and cyborgs, which you can often hear and thus recognize before you see them, and that may die with a brutal, pained roar. You were not targeted since you were just an anonymous guest, who didn't know the area and didn't put up a fight. However, now you're the only hope… she already shot down one shuttle on approach, and is threatening Earth.

This is a haunted house in space. You are alone, everything you find that's alive is out to kill you. The echoing sound of a blast door closing behind you, the endless stars visible through the window, and your lack of knowledge about the place build an effective atmosphere. This is similar to its peer Doom… dark sci-fi, enemies are scary or even grotesque, some of them spider-like. That is more accessible and less complex, when really, only the latter had to be true. This is highly influential and groundbreaking, with a lot of things that we take for granted today. Unfortunately, some of these things were not sufficiently streamlined, and we end up with many elements that work well on their own, most of them great here and leading to more than the sum of their parts, but with a few highly frustrating issues. One is the counterintuitive controls which involves too many keys and several of which crucially go against WSAD/directional arrows with Ctrl/Alt. The other is the HUD which is too complicated, and simultaneously does things it thinks you want, and not always things you ask for. It is unreasonable to expect this to be as well-done as its successors, both spiritual ones such as Bioshock and Deus Ex, and the actual sequel. However, these aspects should have been worked out during development. A major thing is that a lot of the aforementioned would be fine if this were turn-based, but do not allow for comfortable, real-time play.

The mouse is used to interact, albeit it needs more clicking and fiddling around than it should, and it doesn't allow the smooth, 360 degree camera that the engine has… that, you have to do with the keyboard, or slowly. And some of the things require contortions of the fingers and hands, including the movements that this has which not all, in some case not many, of its peers does: strafing, jumping, looking up and down, leaning, and going crouch and prone. Not all readouts are required… fatigue can be almost entirely avoided, such as by not running much, for example. The dexterity of the menus puts too much information in front of you… there are those that will give up on this mere minutes in. Simultaneously, they may change or fully remove some of these on a whim. The inventory has too many separate and similar areas. This doesn't allow for selective customizing and upgrading, if you find it you can probably use it. In some ways this is straightforward even if you don't do D&D, in others it's hard even for those who engage in such.

You can use 7 different grenades, some of them timed, you choosing between 1 and 57 seconds, some mines, etc. 7 different Dermal Patches can either heal, make your melee stronger(so you can save on the sparse ammo), etc., but also lead to negative effects, so use them well. There are 16 weapons, and you can only carry 7 at a time, so choose carefully. They and their ammo types have specific uses… EMP takes down machines, and Gas easily neutralizes life-forms. Pistols, assault rifles, SMGs, and Energy Guns. That last one allows you to adjust how "hot" the projectiles are, the higher ones doing more damage, faster overheating the firearm and costing the Energy(which can be restored with Batteries and stationary Rechargers) that also power your Hardware. Those include a Shield, a Lantern, Nightvision, etc. All of these force you to not only explore to find them lest you suddenly find yourself facing foes you can't take out, but think about what to keep, when and how to use it. This is challenging right from the start, even on the lower of the 4 difficulty settings, which allow separately adjusting Combat, Mission(on the highest, it puts a 7 hour time-limit on it! For comparison, this took me 24 hours), Cyber and Puzzle. That last one includes a Minesweeper one, connecting lines and rewiring something by direct and diagonal lines. And yes, you can enter Cyberspace in this, and it's visually represented, straight out of a William Gibson book! It plays like a flight simulator, and in the simple-colored, geometric 3D corridors and rooms, you can unlock real-life doors, find codes for keypads and the like.

There is bloody, gory, violent and disturbing content in this. I recommend it to any fan of FPS, action, adventure, and RPGs, as well as of hybrids of them. 8/10

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