Review: Thief

Content Warning:

Killing.  Thieving/Stealing.  Offensive language.  There is one level in this game (in a brothel) where it is impossible to not see nudity and acts of prostitution.

Story:

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I have never played a Thief game before and I was under the understanding that this was a reboot.  I had to go back and read up on past Thief games.  As far as I can tell, this game is part of canon.   It picks up a while after Thief 3.  You play as master thief Garrett.  In the beginning you are supposed to do a heist with Erin, who once was your apprentice.  The heist goes wrong and some bad things happen to Garrett and Erin.  Garrett wakes up a year later and now must set out to figure out what happened to Erin.  The story is a little thread bare but is entertaining non-the-less.  The guards around the city provide for some interesting eavesdropping.  But if you stay there long enough, the dialog does repeat.

Gameplay:

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The city is a mix of linear and open traversal.  While moving through the city you have many options on how to get by guards and through the city to you next objective.  The main mission are more linear with only one path through them.  There are a few exceptions in where there are large mansions.  In these missions you have a few points of entry and a few ways around the mansion while you are in there.

Your main tools are your lock pics, your blackjack (use to knock out guards) and your bow.  Your bow can have many arrows (water, fire, explosive, knock-out gas, rope).  By far you will use the water and rope arrows the most. You can use your water arrows to put out torches to darken the area around you.  Guards have a really hard time seeing you in the dark.   Rope arrows help you reach higher levels.  You will have to do a lot of lock picking to get into safes and doors to either steal or move around the environment.

This is a stealth game.  Garrett has can be in either crouch or standing.  Crouching will help you move around quietly.  You can move over obstacles but cannot jump unless it is over a gap or onto a rope.  You can climb onto crates only if the game has designated that crate as climbable.  The weird thing is how they show you that you can climb on those crates.  There is white on the crate and I don’t know if they meant this but it almost looks like bird poop.  There are white slashes on spots where you can grapple with you claw tool that you took from Erin.

Thief gets much easier when you start getting gear and upgrades for that gear.  You can get a knife to steal paintings, a pair of cutters to deactivate traps and a wrench to open grates.  Pro tip.  Get the wrench.  It opens up so much more options to get around guards or find secret areas.  The upgrades make some of the tools better.  For example the lock picks can get more sensitive so you can pick locks easier.  To me this is the only upgrade one should get.  You can upgrade to make your boots quieter or make it so you can fall further without getting hurt or make you bow stronger.  But non of that really help me play the game.

Garrett has a sense capability, which was given to him during the accident at the beginning of the game.  When activated, things that Garrett can interact with show up in blue.  This helps in finding things to steal, finding hidden switches, finding out if there is a trap or finding all the traversal options available to you in that area.

There are a couple gameplay things that bother me.  First and foremost is the constant button presses to interact with one thing.  You pick a lock but then have to press a button to open the lock you just picked.  You press a button to open a window but then have to mash that button repeatedly to slide the window open.  Second.  The PS4 touchpad sucks for selecting a weapon or health item.  It does not work half the time.

The map is pretty good but it would be nice to have buildings marked that you have already entered and stole everything from.

Graphics:

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I played this game on the PS4.  This is a great looking game.  I did have the problem of very noticeable frame rate drops during cutscenes with spoken words not matching mouths.  But this only happened once.  They must have patched the game between times I was playing this game because when I loaded up the game on my second day of playing the game ran very smoothly.

Now for the bad part.  Only small sections of the city load at a time.  The city does not seem any bigger than a large city in Assassin’s Creed.  But Assassin’s Creed can load the whole city in one shot so there is no need to load anything while you are in a certain area.  They were doing this even on the PS3.  I have no idea why they were unable to do this for Thief.  Loads between areas of the city are around 30 seconds long.  This sucks when you have to go clear across the city to get to your next objective.

The Bottom Line

 

Thief is a fun and beautiful game that is slightly held back by last generation gameplay. This is too be expected when the game was developed for the PS3 and Xbox 360 also. The game is definitely worth a play in-spite of this fact.

 

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Jonathan Klassen

Just a small city, Christian boy from the province of Saskatchewan in Canada. Go Riders Go! I have a wife (Andrea), a son (Ethan) and another one on the way.

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