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Thief (PC) artwork

Thief (PC) review

"Doesnít try very hard to keep my attention."

I found it very difficult to find a review that wouldnít shut up about Thiefís superior predecessors, talking about how garbage it is compared to the previous incarnationsÖ

ÖOf which I never played. I am free from the shackles of nostalgia for this particular franchise. This made it all the more annoying when I could barely find an impartial review. One one side, thereís Zero Punctuation, a well known fan of the older Thief games who lambasted it for audio editing. On the other end of the spectrum there is Rock Paper Shotgun, who enjoyed the game despite its various flaws.

Iím the type of gamer who looks at franchises as a whole package. I enjoyed all of the Fable games for different reasons. I play all the Mass Effects despite 3 being my favorite. All serial media has its ups and downs and you sometimes have to take the good with the bad.

Frankly, I am inclined to agree with the RPS side of this thing. The game is not without flaws.

I will say, the game is neither difficult nor terribly exciting. Some of this is self-imposed, like setting the difficulty to its lowest which mostly translates to simpler AI behavior. Zero Punctuation actually hated this, complaining about how guards just tend to walk six feet, stare at a box for a few seconds, walk another ten feet and stare at a clearing for a few seconds. Iím inclined to agree with this rather boring method of patrol scanning. Each area only hosts a handful of guards.

There is the occasional exciting moment, like the end of Chapter 2 upon meeting the ďThief-Taker GeneralĒ who sounds an alarm and all the guards (again, just about three of them or so) are on permanent alert mode. That was probably the most fun Iíve had on the game so far, partially due to the fact that the alert status put them on unpredictable patrol paths, for the most part.

I will say the game is visually stunning. I find new desktops at least once per chapter or quest, and it has a great atmosphere that gives me a sort of Dishonored vibe, except even more dire. Dishonoredís situation was more grim story-wise but it was a more colorful game.

Every other odd complaint I have are merely petty grievances that donít sap too much away from the game.

Like having to press E three times to; 1) Activate the object, 2) lockpick the object, and 3) open the object with the occasional 4, 5, 6, and 7 of picking up silver forks and spoons. I just feel like there should be a catch-all, ESPECIALLY if Garrett is in full darkness at the time. I can understand if thereís a light source on you, and you donít want to be stuck in a big Ďopení animation but I didnít like having to slam E for stupid reasons, like just opening a damn window.

I also didnít like the cutscene every three steps during the tutorial. I found them unnecessary as it could have just let us follow the girl around without needing to stop every few steps. This generally goes away once you get into the game properly. The tutorial also failed to explain certain things like jumping off ledges or actually meleeing enemies when you do get caught. I found myself being pummeled by guards before I got angry enough to look in the key bindings.

The talk of hand-holding is present in reviews and I did notice this; this is the same company that made the new Tomb Raider games. At least in TR, you are generally more active when jumping around obstacles. Here, all I have to do is press a button that goes in the general direction of where Iím going and Garrett does all the work for me. I have mixed feeling on this, as it leaves less room for stupid, glitchy failure because we donít know when the game will mess with us and not detect a specific platform. (Took me ten minutes to do a simple puzzle in Tomb Raider for this very issue). On the other hand, itís not very engaging.

I think it was RPS who said this game is ďsafelyĒ good, as it doesnít do too much to challenge you, or current day standard stealth mechanics. It even has the usual fare of Detect-O vision that highlights things for you (Which again, you can choose not to use or disable entirely).

I admit I did want to continue playing but it doesnít try very hard to keep my attention and thatís a shame.

If you are as incapable of looking past a few petty flaws while wearing the nostalgia glasses like most reviewers then yes, I do not recommend this game. If youíre looking for a solid, if easy stealth game then thereís no real harm in nabbing it on sale. Or not, 30$ isnít terribly demanding. Neither is the game, really.


Zydrate's avatar
Community review by Zydrate (January 08, 2017)

Zydrate is most active on Steam and Tumblr.

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