Reinstall: System Shock 2

The editors at PC Gamer have penned what amounts to a short retrospective for System Shock 2, and it goes a long way in serving its purpose to convince me to reinstall the classic survival horror-themed FPS/RPG.
First-person games often make your viewpoint lower than it realistically would be, to avoid environments feeling claustrophobic when viewed through the small window of your monitor. Shock 2 has a very different feel, and it comes out in your movement too. You don't burst into a full-blown sprint the moment you touch the forward key, you build up to it smoothly. And you come to a stop smoothly too, which screws you up the first time you try to do some fiddly jumping. You also have no air control: the moment your feet leave the ground, your trajectory to hit it again is completely predetermined. Perfectly realistic, but again, most shooters cheat to help you out.

The result is a game where you feel weighty, real, even a tiny bit cumbersome. But you have a sense of yourself in this place. You're not just a camera zooming around to the next thing to shoot. That's partly why it's frightening: it's hard not to associate yourself with this fragile body lurching around the corridors of the Von Braun, being bludgeoned with lead pipes and frazzled by green laser pips.