Review – Thief (2014)

By: Robert Randall

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I want the stealth, the whole stealth, and nothing but the stealth!

Thief (2014) is a game 10 years in the waiting for a lot of stealth obsessed gamers. Released by Looking Glass Studios in 1998, and powered by their own in-house developed Dark Engine, Thief: The Dark Project was in many ways a revolutionary title. Since revolutionizing the stealth genre, there have been two other sequels, Thief II: The Metal Age, and Thief: Deadly Shadows. All three of the original games were moderately successful, but never broke out as big blockbuster hits as the genre just hadn’t developed to the point that it is today.

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The main tactic of Thief is to avoid fights and instead sneak around the enemies. Thief is sometimes described as either a “first-person sneaker”, “sneak-em-up” or a “first-person looter” to emphasize this difference. Classification of the game has been slow coming, as three-dimensional stealth games, such as Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell and Assassin’s Creed, only became more common years after the first Thief.

Through the use of clues and spoils you find throughout the game, you come to find out that this version is set several hundred years after the events in the original series. You start as a “Master Thief” named Garrett who basically just wants to steal his way to retirement. Without revealing too much, I will say Garrett acquires certain magical powers as well as trick arrows and tools to help him along the way as a thief. Figuring out which tool or magical power to use at which given moment is always fun and can get you into trouble if you use the wrong strategy.

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This iteration of the Thief series has been a much bigger hit than the previous three and for good reasons. The graphics are among the best I have ever seen, the AI is very intelligent at times, and the game can be played several times through using completely different strategies each time. There are, however, downfalls to games like Thief: It becomes very repetitive to sneak up on people over and over. While the AI is very intelligent at times, there are instances where they are chasing you and you go around a corner and they lose all interest in you. The fact that you can just stand in a shadow and be basically invisible RIGHT next to someone is laughable. Worst of all when you do get caught, and you do get caught at some point, the fighting is completely ridiculous. The combat system is not intuitive and you are basically screwed if you get caught. I understand you are not supposed to get caught all the time, and they want to discourage people from just fighting their way through the game, but it is just not good.

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All in all, this game was very interesting, forced you to think outside the box, was a very original concept, and had amazing graphics. Unfortunately, the game could get very frustrating at times, the characters were very boring and the overall story was just eh…

7

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