Thief – Revisiting an Old Love Affair

I was a huge fan of the original Thief, particularly the largely forgotten 3rd episode, Thief: Deadly Shadows, which I felt had a more coherent story and a more engaging vibe, reminiscent of survival horror,  than the first two. Now I’m well into the reboot of the Thief saga and enjoying what is a well-crafted and enthralling game, which to my mind is more reminiscent of Deadly Shadows than of Thief or Thief: Metal Age, although those two are again the only ones being mentioned. The atmopshere is good, the possibilities of loot and spying out secret areas are simply vast, and the AI is excellent. Crouch in a dark corner and the guard does not see you, move just a couple of centimetres and on his return from his circuit, he spots you straight away – I was flabbergasted but very impressed when that happened. The game is not perfect, the lack of a sword in your arsenal, which you had in the first games to defend yourself if you happened to be spied by guards, is keenly felt. Now I just find myself reloading when a guard spots me rather than fighting it out, which is not very satisfactory. Also the lack of a quick travel mechanism once you have opened up new maps is annoying, as to get back and forth between areas you have to travel considerable distances, dodging guards and watchmen all the way. This gets old very rapidly, after your 15th trip from Stonemarket to the South Quarter, where you get to know every wrretched stone along the way personally, for example. But these are minor tics in what is otherwise an excellent game. A great revisiting of an old friend – I hope Garrett keeps visiting us for a long time to come.

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