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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.
Surprise! Out of almost thin air, a pair of unofficial patches have been released for PC classics System Shock 2 and Thief 2 that not only allow the games to be safely played on modern hardware (and operating systems), but look great while they're doing it.
Their origins are a bit of a mystery; they turned up yesterday on French forum Ariane4ever, uploaded by "Le Corbeau". Their benefits, though, are tremendous. I've spent the morning wheeling through System Shock 2 and, while it's obviously a little spartan, the smooth, and more importantly stable 1920 × 1080 visuals are something to behold.
There are two files available for each game; patches for those who already own them, and demos for those who don't (and just want to see the improvements to visuals and performance).