Thief is one of those games that over the years i’ve heard plenty about, but never actually played, predominantly because it’s been exclusive to PC, until now, so when it was announced that it’s fourth installment was coming to Xbox One i was quite excited! I think it was a great choice of release date by Eidos, two weeks before Titanfall and three before Infamous hit the shelves here in the UK. i’m almost seeing it as something of a filler, something that can keep me busy until Titanfall launches on the 14th, because as we all know, there’s not a lot of choice on the next gen consoles right now, but hopefully in the next couple of months that will change with Titanfall and Infamous Second Son both imminent on their respective consoles, nevertheless until then Thief is a very welcome break from the consoles launch titles, don’t let that mislead you though, Thief is still a top game in it’s on right.
Thief, as the name suggests, follows the story of Garrett as he pickpockets and steals his way through a dark, wet, grim looking city which it seems is based around London at the time of the plague, or as it’s referred to in the game, the “Gloom” A time when the people on the streets are struggling to survive, i think Thief gets this across really well, you almost feel like a part of their struggle. The tone of the game matches this, the game is dark, the City is a pretty miserable place to behold, but take nothing away from the graphics, they’re very good, and the lighting effects are fantastic, the shadow casting is superb, something you’d expect though as the game involves a lot of sneaking around in them.
The game offers two very contrasting settings, one minute you will find yourself sneaking through the poverty stricken streets, and then after sneaking in through a window or a secret passage you find yourself transported to the other side of the city, the grand palaces of the rich, artwork on the walls and fine goods everywhere, as a player when i enter these places i almost feel warmer, there is a lot to admire about these places, from Garretts point of view you really do envy the rich, it’s a different world.
When you’re out in the streets you still have to watch your back with guards seemingly around every corner, at first i thought this might become a bit frustrating, but i found that i genuinely enjoyed sneaking around them, i’ve almost now got my set routes through certain parts of the city, as mad as it may sound you get used to the guards shift patterns, to me that’s all part of the fun, taking your time and scouting out areas to plot your way from point a to point b, but i do understand that this process could prove to be a bit annoying if stealth isn’t your thing.
As well as the slow sneaking around side of the game when you do get caught and need to escape there is a free running engine that allows you to fly through the streets, it’s no where near the level of Assassins Creed or Mirrors Edge, but despite being a bit clunky at times it’s still enough to feel exciting and rewarding when you carve out a quick escape, after one particular mission you have to escape after being caught red handed stealing, you are put into what looks like a pretty set route to make your escape, but it still felt and looked fantastic as you slide down rooftops and jump across alleys,to make your escape.
(Thief Gameplay Trailer)
Video from Youtube User: THIEF
I personally play on the Thief difficulty level which is the equivalent of “Normal” but i did have a play around at the start and i think that what they have done with the difficulty levels is great. You have your easy, obviously the most forgiving level, followed by Thief, where you can still see the status of the guards, but they are not as forgiving, and as you creep up the difficulty all the markers on screen start to vanish, making a much more difficult, but a much more pure game for the more hardcore Thief players out there. I thought this was a nice touch, it showed that they were not neglecting their original fans that have took them to this point. I have to say though even on Thief difficulty the guards could sometimes have the tendency to be quite idiotic, on a couple of occasions they have failed to spot me even right under their noses, literally, but this is something that i think most stealth games struggle with and isn’t a problem that occurs a lot.
Weapons wise it is what you would expect from the time period, with your arsenal mainly revolving around the traditional bow and arrow, with many different types of ammunition such as a water arrow, great for putting out sources of light, rope arrows, good for making a path where there sometimes isn’t one, and of course your standard shoot to kill arrows, all this being said you are able to go through the entire game without entering into any combat, something which i am just not patient enough to have achieved..
One thing that i will add is that despite Thief coming long time before it it, many have compared this game to Dishonoured, a game that i have unfortunately not had the pleasure of playing, but having seen bits and bobs i can see what they mean, but the general consensus is that even though Thief is next gen and in my opinion a solid game, Dishonoured is better in most areas and has effectively beaten it to the punch.
On the whole i think Thief is a good game, as well as being a great introduction to the Thief series to a newcomer like myself i’d like to think it also pleases the more old school Thief fans. The atmosphere in the game is fantastic, it does have it’s little flaws here and there with the at times poor AI and the free running although decent, could definitely have been better, but on these flaws aren’t enough to ruin the overall experience of what is a very solid game.
+Rewarding Stealth Gameplay
– Could Get Frustrating
– AI aren’t the best
– Free Running Engine could have been a lot better