Sunday, March 2, 2014

Thief (pc/xbox/playstation)

Ok so I pre-ordered this game about four days before it hit shelves. And like all other pre-order folk we read launch evening reviews and winced. The initial reviews just aren't that good to be honest and most of us chalked this one up as a loss. It happens, sometimes a pre-order bites you in the rear because you just had to have that extra special whatever that it came with.

Until we started playing it.

What is thief? Thief is a stealth action game that simply put has you moving across stages with many ways of approaching the goal which is almost always to steal something. Along the way you will steal everything that glitters, pick pocket everyone not looking in your direction, knock out every guard that gets in your way and listen to all sorts of lore oozing banter between npcs. Inbetween actual missions you'll be admiring your loft's collection of loot and exploring many sections of the city finding new ways to use all your shiney gadgets to get to all the hard stuff everywhere.

Why is it compared to dishonored? Its compared to dishonored because that game can be played exactly the same way as Thief if you want. In dishonored you can challenge yourself to kill no one, loot everything, sneak all over the place and... well be a thief. Now, alot of folks compare the two as some sort of put down on Thief. I don't understand this. Dishonored is about an assassin who is framed for the murder of an empress and using god like powers to teleport around stages, mind control rats and set people on fire he goes about avenging the empress usually through the use of his dagger in various villians throats. Thief is a more modern mystical tale about Garret, a thief for hire who finds himself in a bad situation that he works through with much more mundane equipment such as lock picks, bows and bully clubs. Dishonored's stages are larger and more sprawling, but thats because the protagonist of the game can teleport literally anywhere he wants. Thief feels more gritty, back alleys, sewers, you name it. The games in my opinion are 'loosely' similar and thats about it.

How does thief play? Thief's controls are adequate enough to get the job done though they do at times feel clunky. I suspect its a mouse/keyboard issue though, on the keyboard things are spread out and sometimes annoying to reach. I'll get around to plugging in my xbox controller, see how it compares.

Hows the AI? Pretty standard, nothing spectacular at all. The guards walk around, talk it up, when they notice you it gets hectic. A complaint the game has received is that its too easy, true enough... on easy difficulty. Folks looking for the legendary challenge of former thief titles, kick your difficulty up.

Whats there to do? Ok, during jobs you will have one mandatory target. Job complete once the required item is pilfered and your out of harms way. Along the way however are entire stages of locks to be picked, guards to be pickpocked and shiney stuff everywhere waiting for you to pilfer. There are always multiple ways of approaching any area of the job, and you can easily backtrack and take all three approaches if your going out of your way to make sure you get everything. Along with valuables you'll be collecting lore heavy documents that also often hint at ways of doing things near them such as how to figure out the combination on a safe.

Inbetween stages there are sections of the city to explore, fences to work with, talent's to improve, equipment to buy, you name it. These areas actually remind me of Wolfenstein. In that game you could also run around city areas making a mess for the local guards, looting, etc.

Inbetween stages you can also return to your loft, admire your collection, sort out your backpack, prepare for additional work, etc.

Hows it look? Looks great, always night time naturally. Decent animations, solid voice overs, good cutscenes, its really an enjoyable game to be honest. There are bugs here and there, but nothing game breaking so far.

Will continue to banter as I go further in to the game, just completed my first job in chapter 2.

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