Thief – Game Analysis and Review
By Dan Maurer
Developers: Eidos Montreal, Nixxes Software BV
Publisher: Square Enix
Director: Nicolas Cantin
Composer: Luc St. Pierre
Engine: Unreal Engine 3
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Release Date: February 25, 2014
After having high hopes for this game when it was announced, I finally got to have a chance to play the game. Unfortunately for me, instead of excitement I was met with disappointment. Besides frustration over a bland and predictable story, it just never reached out and grabbed me to keep my attention. Share in my experience with the game below if you would please.
The new Thief sticks with original character Garrett who lives inside of the City, which is reminiscent of a town from the old days, only with far more advanced technology. The City is overwhelmed by a mysterious plague and ruled by a greedy Baron. As the story unfolds, Garrett goes from a robber swiping high priced treasures to assisting the people in trying to overthrow the Baron and his legions of guards. Thief is a classic stealth video game in its purest form. Players use light and shadows to carefully navigate alleys or buildings, avoiding guards at every corner. A circle in the lower left corner of the screen turns from light to dark, indicating when Garrett is under safe cover of the shadows.
Along with sneaking and sprinting, players can perform a nifty move where they can quickly move and duck between spaces and avoid detection. In the prologue, Garrett stumbles across an arcane ritual and gets knocked unconscious. Fast forward a year, and he can’t remember a thing. Garrett’s ability to sneak into the Baron’s heavily guarded fortresses may be the only thing that can stop the City from descending into complete anarchy. Garrett begins with a few essential tools: a blackjack for knocking out nosy guards, a claw for climbing walls, a bow and a quiver of arrows. Water and fire arrows let Garrett douse and relight torches while rope arrows, which can be shot into hanging beams, help him climb onto rooftops.
As far as the visuals go, Thief is a very good looking game. The cities and backgrounds definitely pop out at you and the PS4/Xbox One versions have gotten a definite graphical overall from their PS3/360 counterparts. Character models themselves are also very detailed and colored, with again the PS4/Xbox One versions shining through the most. My only real complaint with the graphic portion of the game would be the constant screen tearing I endured during my 8+ hour playthrough of the PS4 version of the game. Overall, its a visually pleasuring experience to the eyes.
The biggest flaw that sticks out in the presentation is that Stephen Russell is no longer providing the voice for title character Garrett. This in my opinion takes away from the overall experience of the game as Stephen Russell is a fantastic voice talent and he gave character and style to Thief’s title character Garrett. Although, the suspense sounds made famous in the Thief series make a return to this new version of the classic series, which sets the mood and overall experience perfectly. But another complaint is the constant loading screens you have to sit through and endure during the campaign which at times makes you want to pull your hair out. Once you get into the story missions, kiss your freedom goodbye. You’ll start a mission at point A, and you’ll have one or maybe two routes available to get you to point B. If you didn’t pick up the wrench (an item you can buy early on to open vent covers), you might find one of those possible options closed off to you. It’s a very linear experience, with only minimal diversions to be had. The classic Thief games offered multiple routes to complete each mission, and it’s a crying shame that that only happens occasionally in this installment.
If you are looking for a stealth game to hold you over until the next big game comes out for the next generation consoles, then I would tell you to give Thief a chance. If you have a backlog of games and are looking to add to it, might wanna hold off and wait until this game drops in price to justify the purchase.
PunchDrunkGamer.com Final Score: 6.5 out of 10
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