Let’s be honest, who doesn’t get excited by a game solely based on sneaking around like a ninja? Thief is an action/adventure/strategy game developed by Eidos Montreal. This is the 4th game in its series, though I have never had the opportunity to play the other three. After playing Tomb Raider and Hitman, I was excited to play another title similar to them that was published by Square Enix. Though this game may have had some notable faults, it still had some other very good aspects.
The story takes place in a Victorian/steam punk era where the people of the city are beginning to revolt against “The Baron”. You play as Garrett, a master thief, who is trying to uncover the truth behind an event that took place one year ago and supposedly took the life of his thief companion, Erin. As the rebellion goes on, Garret soon finds that there is a dark secret behind the rebellion and spends the game following clues to save Erin if possible and uncover the truth of what really happened one year ago.
The story was very short and to the point with very little character development, though this may be due to the fact that it is the 4th installment of the series. I felt like they could have done a lot more with the story. The ending also left me a little disappointed, leaving me there scratching my head muttering “what?” Though it did flow together just fine and wasn’t just a random chain of events leading to some even more random ending.
The presentation was executed nicely with just a few minor things that need to be tweaked. The graphics were really good and on par with most of the other current gen titles. As far as the music goes, it played a very crucial role in the game, but also caused a problem throughout the game. The music aids in the suspense for the player as they sneak around picking locks and attempt to sneak around the heavily guarded city by shifting its intensity based on how close you are to getting spotted. I feel like the music was just like music in a suspenseful movie and at times it would leave my palms sweaty from the intensity. The downside to the music was that it would sometimes play over the dialogue and it forced me to have to adjust the audio settings in order to hear what was going on.
The dialogue had no issues and seemed to flow together nicely as the story unfolded. Even the NPC’s had their own dialogue that never seemed to repeat itself throughout the game, and trust me, it would have been a problem if it didn’t because you have to sit and listen to them talk quite often as you are sneaking around. The voices for all the main characters and some of the NPC’s varied distinctively as well. (that’s kind of funny, because I heard a hell of a lot of repeated dialogue in my playthrough lol)
After playing so many games that require no sort of indirect styles of play, Thief was good change up with its emphasis on sneaking your way to objectives. In the beginning of the game, there really is no way around being elusive, because the guards will beat you to death since there isn’t much depth to the hand to hand combat. However, as the game progresses, you can hold your own against enemies and use a variety of equipment to aid you, though I would still suggest being sly and concealing yourself in the shadows to make it easier.
Moving along the structures of the city is actually very fluid and it really only relies on the left trigger, making it even easier to move about. The focus mode also helps you find paths to get you around the city giving the player some freedom on what paths to take in order to execute their objective.
The combat system was very simple. The player can dodge and strike, though with the enemies being able to block, fighting is difficult and you can find yourself locked into combat for way too long as other guards begin to become alerted by your presence. Using the equipment and other weapons is relatively easy. The overall controls are pretty basic and don’t require any ridiculous combos or anything, and can be adapted quickly for any player.
The lock-picking and vault cracking was a little bit of a letdown. There really wasn’t any skill required to pick locks and no repercussion if you messed up (like breaking picks and running out). Even finding hidden buttons or books was very easy and I would have liked to see some more challenging puzzles. Even if it progressively became harder, it would have been better than the puzzles being repetitive throughout the game.
The Verdict: 7.0 out of 10.0
With everything taken into consideration, Thief wasn’t a bad game and would still be a recommended title of mine. The replay value can be high for gamers who enjoy uncovering all the hidden items and exploring the whole world, otherwise the replay value would be low and I would suggest at least renting it. Though there was a lot of skill required to sneak around, there wasn’t much effort put into the difficulty of puzzles or unlocking doors, chests and safes. The story flowed together nicely but it seemed to lack any real depth to it and ended abruptly. Overall, Thief had its ups and downs, but still had a good play through in the end.
Kendrick is a writer for MONG. You can follow him at Facebook