We were really excited with the build-up to this game and we’re a bit let down with the fact that Thief is a game that fails to step into the shoes of its predecessor in some ways. It is a game that lands on your console full of potential, but loses its steam midway. There are good things about this game, and they bear mentioning. This is the long-awaited follow-up to the classic Thief series, which is given a lot of credit for inventing the modern stealth game. So all you guys who have love stealth games, you should be excited 🙂
A visual update has been made which makes the game look wonderful when it’s running, though we have not checked out the first version of the game since it was release quite a long time back. The movement of the main character Garret, looks and feels great, and he moves through the environments with grace. One awesome feature is called a “swoop” move, where Garrets ducks down through the shadows.
It’s similar to the problem in last year’s Hitman: Absolution, where only a small fraction of levels actually involved any assassination. A lot of times it becomes unclear in the story why Garret needs to sneak around some guards, find his way in, and steal expensive things. We did find ourselves hung up sometimes on a nonsensical plot and unsatisfying missions, all the while catching occasional glimpses of what may have once been a good game.
The level design is found wanting at a lot of places. In Thief we mostly found ourselves on rails for most of it, navigating long stretches of empty environment before dodging around a guard or two and then picking a lock. At a lot of times we felt a good build up was happening and then the level ends and you’re back in the hub world which is a bit difficult to navigate.
It is not all doom and gloom when it comes to Thief. The core gameplay is quite solid. Garrett must make use of shadows and his tools, relying on wit to tackle problems rather than brute force. While a single guard is easy enough to tackle alerting multiple opponents will usually send you back to the last checkpoint. This increases your need to be stealthy rather than brash. Finding your way through tricky pattern of patrols is still quite satisfying and fun.
The levels themselves, lean on predefined routes and paths.Being a true master thief and avoiding everyone is certainly a worthy challenge, but it does leave a lot of guards wandering and patrolling the map. Whereas if you more brashly take them out you’re going to need to hide the bodies so they can’t be found a bit like Hitman 🙂
Exploring has some good incentives with lots of shiny loot to burgle. It’s almost a little silly how Garrett is limited to a certain number of arrows, but can somehow carry a dozen paintings and and lots more to fill in a grand ball room 😉 It’s still fun, and very thief-like, to find and break into some secret hidden vault and make off with the treasure after cracking the locks in a little mini-game or puzzle. Most of your loot is simply turned in for gold to purchase equipment and upgrades, though there are special selections, collectibles, which Garrett chooses to keep for himself and display in his hideout.
Though we could not grab the original Thief: The Dark Project, it was popular as a genre defining title when it release more than a decade back. It was one of the first to combine light and shadow stealth with a first person viewpoint. Thief is a reboot from the previous games with only the main character, Garrett and the setting of The City which have been retained. So overall Thief has a lot of right elements but suffers from a rather weak story overall.
Publisher: Square Enix | Developer: Eidos Montreal | Platform: Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS4, PS3, PC.
Note of Thanks: We thank e-Xpress Games for sending across a review copy of the game. The game has been reviewed on Xbox 360. Videos to be out soon!