The modding communities for Thief 2 and System Shock 2 have been around for quite awhile, but the development on both those games has faced a variety of challenges due to the ancient graphics engines the titles are built upon.
Without proper support from the game’s now defunct developer, even new releases of the titles on sites like GOG.com and Steam have been unable to provide gamers with solid experiences on current generation hardware.
That has all changed with the release of two unofficial patches from a mystery developer going by “Le Corbeau”, or The Raven.
The patches, which bring Thief 2: The Metal Age up to v1.19 and System Shock 2 up to v2.4, add a host of optimizations for the games, allowing them to run smoothly on modern hardware. Among many other improvements, the new patches add windowed mode to the games, 32-bit color, widescreen support, better framerate, a new cutscene renderer, mousewheel support, OpenAL, and a plethora of bug fixes and tweaks for the game.
The patches contain numerous optimizations to allow modders to simply do more with the existing games by adding image support for DDS/PNG and raising various engine limitations. Interestingly enough, the patches even add Steam Overlay support.
The modding community for the games at TTLG appears to be completely clueless about the identity of the mystery developer or how he or she managed to fix the games to this extent. The patches went live yesterday on a French-speaking forum, which leads us to speculate that it may have been unofficially released by folks at Eidos Montreal, where Thief 4 is currently in development.
Now please excuse me while I reinstall Thief 2.