Thief Disappointment

I played the original Thief games when I was younger and since then they have been the standard that all other stealth games get measured by. When I heard that a new Thief game was being made I didn’t hold out a lot of hope that it would be as good as the originals, but it looked interesting enough to try anyway. I’m not very far in the game yet, only up to chapter 3, but I have several things that I wanted to talk about.

Garrett the ThiefDifficulty Customization

Originally, I decided to try playing the game as they had designed it. I picked the hardest difficulty and left every other setting at default. I got all the way up to chapter three before I could no longer take such a patronizing experience. For some reason it seems devs think modern gamers are incredibly inept at playing games and require giant waypoint arrows, visual meters that show the alert level of guards, and special vision modes that make everything intractable light up like a Christmas tree. Fortunately the game allows you to customize the difficulty options in an attempt to make the game feel like the originals. You can disable anywhere saving, the aiming reticle, the focus vision mode, etc. So after turning on essentially every limitation and disabling waypoint arrows, and pretty much everything else, I started over. Unfortunately, there’s a lot that is still same about the game. Even though the focus vision mode is turned off you will still see climbable spots glowing with an offensive blue tint and even though the reticle is turned off objects will still highlight when you aim at them, which essentially is the same thing.

Level Design

Like I mentioned earlier, I have only experienced the game up until chapter three. There’s always a chance that things will get a lot better but from what I’ve seen so far the levels aren’t that exciting. I remember a lot of the levels from the classic games were very large and offered a lot of approaches to them, however in this game the levels feel rather linear and scripted. Alternative paths so far seem to be mainly about unscrewing grates. There’s also several instances were things just don’t make sense. In the prologue, for example, you climb out a window and onto some scaffolding and in order to climb up to the roof you need a rope arrow. As luck would have it there is a small box right next to you that has a rope arrow in it. Why? How did it get there? Why is there a random box with a rope arrow on some roof in the middle of nowhere but right where I need it at that time? Talk about serendipitous.  Also, when I’m stealing stuff out of people’s houses why am I finding water arrows and gas arrows and other questionable paraphernalia? These tools being everywhere, especially in people’s homes, doesn’t make a lot of sense and just annoys me.

The City Between Levels

Between missions you get to run around a very small city area. It’s by no means an open-world experience, and could have been done better, but it is an interesting idea. My main complaint is that aside from a few guards and beggars on the street it feels dead. Obviously the game is perpetually night so it would make sense that there wouldn’t be people out on the street, especially when there’s also some kind of disease about, but that’s not the problem. Sometimes you come upon doors and windows that you can open and enter, letting you basically ransack people’s houses. For some reason there is never anybody home. Or if they are then you only hear voices and conversations through the walls as if they were in another room. The funny thing is that it’s always behind some door with no knob or behind a stack of boxes and other debris. That’s especially odd since I’m curious how people could stack all of this junk against the doors in their houses and yet till find a way out. Did they all jump out the windows? Out of curiosity I started whacking the walls with my blackjack and throwing glass around. Nobody seems to care but of course why would they? I’m just stealing all of their stuff and breaking the rest of it.

So is it bad?

Ehh… No, I don’t think it’s a bad game. Maybe a bad Thief game, but aside from that it’s just medicore to ‘okay’. I’m going to keep playing through despite my frustrations, and if anything changes I’ll let you know. There are a few other things I could go on about, but honestly I just don’t feel like thinking about this anymore.

  • “Ehh… No, I don’t think it’s a bad game. Maybe a bad Thief game, but aside from that it’s just medicore to ‘okay’.”

    That last paragraph say it all. I have not played the game but i was sure that the critics would be bad. I would love to read your review if the game name was not thief but something new and indifferent. Even if you say that the game is not bad and even if you try to think about it as a new game and forget the original, is inevitable that you will affect your judgement at the end…

    It happens everywhere. In games, in movies, the music…When a new movie pop up and going to check imdb for reviews and rating and I know that the movie is either a remake or an original book that someone tried to make a movie from it, I already know what I will read. 90% of bad reviews is like this “not like the origina;”, “the book was much better” or “they didn’t add that page of chapter x”.

    Doing a remake of a successful title is a double edge knife. The good part is that your new title will sell a lot due to original success. The bad part is that is very unlikely you will be judged “fair” and usually you need to produce x2 quality in order to even reach the rating of the original..

  • Sometimes they make a new version or sequel to a classic game and it comes out really good such as X-Com or Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Neither is ‘better’ then the originals but they are great games in their own right.

    Thief however is just not that solid of a game. It has some nice elements but overall I was underwhelmed and stopped playing it after a few hours. Just a combination of several factors and the fact that I had other things to play that were more appealing to me.

  • I have to say I absolutely loved this Thief reboot, it’s not perfect but I was willing to overlook the flaws.

  • i dont mind this new thief.. enjoyed it very much.. but im not what you call a hardcore gamer that consume games like locust.. it took me long time to finish fallout 3 / oblivion…

    as with your other review, i think your style of gaming (aka hardcore) influenced your review too much to be objective.. but heck who isnt biased today ?

    *as a side criticism, its unfair to review the game by the real world logic (why this rope near me when i needed it ???) every game exist have similar situation.. everything is just illusion of freedom… everything is tightly controlled ..

  • they think modern gamers are inept because they are. thank the wow kids. and people in ffxiv crying cause its “too hard”.

    silver spooners, they expect instant gratification and FUN! /rolls eyes. when did a challenge stop being fun?

    what a joke.