System Shock 2 and Thief 2 are regularly hailed as classics for a reason. They’re meticulously designed, tough but not unfair, and, well, they’ve been around for a gazillion years – at least, in gaming technology time. Unfortunately, our light-speed-traveling future machines take about as well to them as modern automobiles to giant stone Flintstones wheels. In other (pseudo) words, clunkity clunk clunk crash. But now – finally, wonderfully, mercifully – some kind soul’s seen fit to release unofficial patches that bring both games up to speed. And, according to early reports, they make some positively massive improvements.
Double Fine’s Chris Remo (via Kotaku) tweeted out word of the abruptly unearthed hunks of unofficial patching gold, pointing the way to a French forum called Ariane4ever. The original forum post came out of nowhere, and no one’s quite sure of the patches’ origins. That’s a shame, too, because this is what trophies, medals, and the Nobel Prize were made for – seeing as it used to be an enormous pain to get these games up and running on modern PCs in any sort of stable fashion.
But this works. Not only that, it’s relatively convenient. Users of the full games have reported huge gains in stability, performance, and graphical fidelity. Meanwhile, I did some fiddling with proof-of-concept demos of each, and seeing these games running smoothly in high resolutions is a total trip.
You can grab everything you need to apply the patches here. You’ll also find a gigantic changelog, if you’re in the mood for some refreshing Wednesday morning gawking. Enjoy!