Ian S Vogel, writer, video game designer and malcontent

System Shock 2

The Shining In Space

It’s one of gaming’s most terrifying introductions. You awake in a cryotube on the medical deck of the spaceship Von Braun. Illegal cybernetics have been implanted into your brain, and your memory has been wiped like a hard-drive. You’re contacted by Dr. Janice Polito, who summarizes the situation. Nearly everyone on the ship is either dead, or infected with a strange organism that mutates them and turns them hostile. There’s an explosion, and Polito tells you to get out of cryobay, because soon there’ll be another explosion, and then everything in the area will be sucked into space.

The particular nature of the horror in The Shining – a malevolent presence that doesn’t simply attack but manipulates and infects over time – was the lynchpin in the atmosphere that Vogel and the team were grasping at.

– Rick Lake for Eurogamer

You rush to the airlock, crawling through a hamster run of corridors and access tunnels as you’re given a brief rundown of how to play. No sooner have you made it through the airlock when you’re attacked by a malformed crewmember, begging you to kill him. All you’ve got to hand is a wrench. If you’re lucky, you’ll bludgeon him to death. He’ll be the first of many.