Studio debuts in-game player creation system

For off-duty gamers who are frustrated to find that bending real-life forks with brain waves or repairing their rocket launchers with a safety pin isn't a reality, Looking Glass Studios this week announced details about a new game title that might become one more reason to stay home nights in front of their computer. The company's forthcoming science fiction/horror role-playing game, System Shock 2, is the first role-playing game to feature an in-engine character generation system.

For off-duty gamers who are frustrated to find that bending real-life forks with brain waves or repairing their rocket launchers with a safety pin isn't a reality, Looking Glass Studios this week announced details about a new game title that might become one more reason to stay home nights in front of their computer.

The company's forthcoming science fiction/horror role-playing game, System Shock 2, is the first role-playing game to feature an in-engine character generation system. Players determine the initial abilities, traits and skills of their character by making active decisions in the first-person 3D environment, which are then developed throughout the course of the game with the player focusing on one, or any combination of three main powers.

Among those three powers are Psionic Skills, which allow characters to alter the world around them using telekinesis. Players can also work on their Cyber-Tech Skills, which are abilities that allow players to hack into security systems, and they could also develop useful Weapons Skills -- abilities that allow players to modify, configure and repair weapons and select from a wide variety of ammunition types.

Co-developed by Looking Glass Studios and Irrational Games, a development studio comprising former Looking Glass Studios employees and members of the original System Shock development team, System Shock 2 is being co-published by Looking Glass Studios and Electronic Arts.

A similar character generation system appeared in 1997's Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, where the player's actions helped determine what kind of Force powers that players could use against opponents in the game.

Looking Glass Studios latest technology is more involved than that found in LucasArts' Jedi game in that it offers a greater combination of elements in one character, making the gaming experience that much more unique each time the player goes through the game.

With headquarters located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Looking Glass Studios is reachable on the Web at http://www.lglass.com/ or at +1-617-441-6333. Irrational Games, also in Cambridge, can be found at http://www.irrational-games.com. Electronic Arts, located in San Mateo, California, is on the web at http://www.ea.com.

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