System Shock 2 on a MacBook Pro

In case there’s anyone else out there who wants to play this game, here’s how I got it working on my MacBook Pro running Boot Camp. Thanks to the various commenters who made suggestions and helped convince me to not give up. (1) Install from the CD. The cut-down version on the-underdogs isn’t good enough. The game is cheap. Buy it.

(2) You can install daemon tools and make a virtual disc image if you don’t want to keep the disc in the drive.

(3) Patch the game to version 2.3

(4) Apply the Windows NT fix.

(5) Put the line “safe_texture_manager” in shock.cfg

(6) Start the game.

(7) When you reach the main menu, alt-tab back to the desktop. Bring up the task manager. Click on “processes”, right-click on “SHOCK2.EXE”, and choose “set affinity”. Set the game to run on only one CPU. There is a “multithreading patch” that people claim solves this same problem, but it didn’t work for me.

It’s that last step that seems to make the big difference.

Once you’ve got it up and running well, consider applying some of the texture map enhancements to improve the graphics.

For any other game, I’d say this wasn’t worth the hassle. I’ll explain later in the week why it’s worth it for this one.