We just got some delightful news: a new unofficial patch for System Shock 2 has surfaced! This is huge! The patch (along with a similar patch for Thief II) was announced by a mysterious user named 'Le Corbeau' on the French forum Ariane4ever. The list of changes introduced by this patch is simply amazing, making both games fully compatible with modern hardware and Windows releases, and opening new horizons for the modding community.
A small sample of changes and fixes (from the release notes):
- Added windowed mode
- Added single display mode option - no resolution change between menus and game
- Added ingame support for all common resolutions, including widescreen
- Added support for 32-bit color
- Textures can now be automatically promoted to 32-bit, improving quality and effectively eliminating the palette limit
- Added UI framerate cap option to avoid GPU fan spinning up in UI
- Added DDS/PNG image support
- Added full 24/32-bit TGA/BMP image support
- Increased the maximum number of frames allowed in animated textures from 20 to 99, and increased the allowable filename length for animated textures (before the underscore) to support more than 7
- Animated texture rate can now be specified via a material file for that texture
- Fixed a bug where Transparency property didn't (correctly) apply on objects that contain transparent polys
- Replaced video player lib with an FFMpeg based one to play cutscenes. LGVid.ax or other codecs are no longer required
- Option to use OpenAL (if available) instead of DirectSound. Includes support for audio effects in Windows 7 without an EAX-enabled driver (e.g. ALchemy)
- Added "head_bob" config var to control amount of head bob
- Added mousewheel support to options menu
- Fixed player ground contact tracking when walking off an object (caused footstep sounds to get "stuck" on previous material)
- Fixed sound cap per schema type bug and upped max sound channels to 48
- Changed screenshot output format to BMP and also added support for PNG screenshots
- Changed mouselook sensitivity to be resolution independent
- Added check to avoid trying to open files with reserved system name like com ports
- AIs now breathe from their head instead of their stomachs. They will no longer drown when up to their waist in water.
- Lowered player crouch height by a tiny fraction so he's less likely to get stuck on 4 unit tall spaces
- Added better support for binding actions to the mouse wheel (can bind wheel up and wheel down as separate actions, with modifier key support)
- Fixed star rendering
- Added "log_player_pos" command that dumps current player pos to log file (when enabled)
- Added the ability to detach from ladders by crouching
- Improved mantling a bit and added optional new mantling algorithm with lower failure rate
- And much, much more...
Join the discussion at our forums, where we have threads dedicated to both Thief and System Shock 2. There you will also find links to download the patches and respective demos.
We still don't know who is the author of this amazing work, but whoever you are, there aren't enough words to thank you for this!