Released in a manner that would make spies envious, new patches are now available for the seminal Looking Glass Studios titles: Thief 2: Metal Age and System Shock 2. These patches extensively modify and fix the Dark engine powering the games and its functionality within both titles.
Updates include removing or relaxing hardcoded limits, enabling widescreen support, interface scaling, optimizing performance and generally introducing a metric ton of other changes that update the classics, so that they can be enjoyed on modern hardware. Through The Looking Glass has compiled a list of sources, from which the patches and showcase demos can be downloaded.
The patch also updates the DromEd and ShockEd modding tools for Thief 2 and System Shock 2 respectively, enabling new functionality, optimizing the packing process for finished levels and increasing the maximum number of visible on-screen terrain polies from 1024 to 20480, among a host of other alterations.
These patches were originally posted by a user named Le Corbeau on a French forum Ariane4Ever. The account used for the release was freshly registered, with no details available on the person or persons responsible for the patch. The extent and depth of changes imply that they were done by someone who had access to the source code for Thief 2 and System Shock 2. Developer files for the unreleased Dreamcast port of System Shock 2 were found and released two years ago, but it is unknown if they are in any way related.
What is known, however, is that the patches make System Shock 2 and Thief 2 truly compatible with modern systems. Now there is no excuse for ignoring these classics if they have escaped your attention thus far.