Eidos Montreal To Make Thief 4?

By Kieron Gillen on April 4th, 2008 at 11:33 pm.

Taffers, etc.
Okay, this is an interesting one. A couple of days ago Eidos Montreal lobbed up a notice they were now recruiting staff to work on their new game. To quote the statement from their site: “Eidos-Montréal is proud to announce the recruitment for our 2nd “AAA” project. … A hint! The title begins with the letter “ T”.” Which doesn’t mean much until you notice – as a forumite of theirs did – the previously existing line on their site here: “The first two games we develop will revive successful franchises.” With the Montreal Studio already at work on Deus Ex 3, it’s an easy leap to the further adventures of Mr Stealy rather than the further adventures of the-also-Eidos-Owned-Terracide. Or, less facetiously, they could be Tomb Raider… but that franchise doesn’t need reviving. Let’s be honest: It’s almost certainly Thief. They wouldn’t have said the teasing “T” otherwise.

[Thanks to Comrade Larington for the heads up]

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67 Comments »

  1. Larington says:

    Ooh, the idea of it being Terracide appeals to me too, its been FAR too long since we had a game like descent to frag each other in.

    Crossed fingers methinks. Hoping this time that sneaky sneaky is an option on easy, not a life or death necessity.

    And calling me a genius, may not be good for my ego. ;-)

  2. Kieron Gillen says:

    RPS is all about the unjustifiable Ego.

    KG

  3. Mike Russo says:

    > Hoping this time that sneaky sneaky is an option on easy, not a life or death necessity.

    Not sure I understand this comment — Thief is all about the sneaky sneaky. If that’s only an option, rather than the foundational building block of gameplay, I’m not sure why one would want to play it (I suppose the comeback is “it’s still a fun, slow-paced medieval-punk action adventure.” Which is fair enough, but: it says “Thief” right there on the tin).

    In fact, that encapsulates my major complaint about Thief 3, and therefore my primary fear about Thief 4 (because like all people who love an old game to death, I greet this news with more dread than hope. Ah, we gamers are a pusillanimous crew) was the difficulty level. Anti-console snobbery was rife and generally off the mark in its usual small-minded way at the time of release, but the fact remains that Thief 3 was far too easy. Admittedly I’ve spent more time playing Thief games than is likely healthy, but I’m by no means of the scary-good “ghosting” caliber, and yet I literally sprinted through most of the Thief 3 missions. I can recall dozens of hair-pullingly difficult setpieces in the first two games, but there’s only one bit of the third one that gave me any trouble (albeit that was a fun one — rapelling down a balcony in the museum).

    This by no means made Thief 3 un-fun — Shalebridge etc. — and I’m not advocating for player-punishing mechanics. In fact some method allowing for quicker travel through already-traversed portions of a level that might still have upright guards would be a nice thing to put in. But the great endorphin-bursts I get from Thief are basically the same as I get from a puzzle game — figuring out I need to walk over here, throw a crate yonder, mantle up to that shadow, ambush guard 1 as he walks by, slip past guard 2′s route, and creep up on guard 3 via this convenient bit of carpet. If the sneaking itself is insufficiently difficult, you don’t get that “aha!” of figuring out how to solve the problem, and rather just get the straight fun of rushing by and clobbering people in the back of the head (not to diminish the appeal of this latter by any means).

  4. Larington says:

    Actually now that you mention it, I wonder if I mention that aspect not out of personal regard for it being a preference but because I’ve read that complaint too many times. Thinking back, I didn’t find sword fighting difficult, well, possibly except at first where you’re learning how the game treats swordfighting.

    Perhaps its fortunate then that that decision isn’t up to me. I quite enjoyed T3, aside from one crash bug when you opened a certain chest (Damn strange) I didn’t feel that the game was particularly consolified. Perhaps because there wasn’t quite as much of the core gameplay cut out as with DX2…

    On the otherhand I mentioned on the easiest mode, the idea being that if a player doesn’t want to be too tied down, well they don’t have to be. The hardest modes should carry the difficulty of the original two, certainly… But, I’m rambling again, aren’t I? Shutting up.

    I seem to have developed a nasty habit of using the Edit button, I really must stop doing that.

  5. MisterBritish says:

    If they get rope arrows in I’ll buy it. It’s really that easy to please me.

  6. Acosta says:

    Wonder how it’s for Eidos Montreal being responsible of the sequels for both of the two most beloved and gameplay advanced series ever made (with none of the people that made them brilliant in first place). Probably is a heaven/hell scenario depending the type of person they have.

  7. Cycle says:

    Ahh, I’m not sure about this! Deus Ex 3? I could deal with that since the second game was dissapointing. But all three thief games were great! I don’t want anyone to tarnish the series! I’m really not sure how I feel about this at all! Oh, the conflicting emotions!

  8. Larington says:

    I’ve heard similar said of Bethesda working on Fallout 3… “Don’t screw up!” say the gamers.

    So much potential… So much risk of upset gamers.

  9. Will Tomas says:

    Isn’t it interesting that they’ve picked up both the big Ion Storm properties in one fell swoop? The last two games in these franchises were made in one go (Deus Ex 2 and Thief: DS used the same engine after all…) and the same’s happening again.

  10. lungfish says:

    The amount of want i have for these two titles is unquantifiable, now just to keep on praying that Eidos don’t screw them up.
    Cross your appendages and hope.
    I too found Deadly Shadows to be far easier than the previous games, but it was still y’know, very good. Both it and DX2 were in some ways regressions from the previous, but that’s where most of the complaints seem to come from, fans of the series who are disappointed in the direction they have taken. They’re both perfectly good games, and i’d definitely say are among my favorite games of the past few years.
    Anyway what i’m trying to say is that, if they were not following from games that had received nothing less than almost universal praise and spawned a obscenely loyal fanbase, then they would most likely have been better received.

  11. Chris Evans says:

    Wow, I had all but given up on the prospect of a new Thief game. This though is like :D

    Hope it is Thief 4 :D

  12. Jonathan Strange says:

    Mixed feelings. On one hand I’m not so sure I’d want another Thief game. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan. Thief 2: The Metal Age is easily one of my all time favourite games… however despite its faults, Deadly Shadows did a nice job plot-wise of finishing up the series. I’m just worried if the series lasts too long it might end up losing its identity and what made the original games so unique in the first place. That some higher up exec will get the bright idea to make Garrett into some sort of killing machine instead of the cynical creeping bastard that he is in hopes of ‘atracting a wider audience’ and the like. That or some other ridiculous idea!

    With that in mind I’ve also got to admit Assasins Creed style gameplay in the Thief universe would be amazing, presuming they ditch the monologues every time to shank a bugger that is and make the player actually capable of entering and robbing the houses instead of just milling around outside all the time.

  13. Mike Russo says:

    I’d assume after T3 any sequel would have to have a new protagonist, no? Garrett is one of my all-time favorites, but (avoiding spoilers) given how things got left, it’d be hard to have a game entitled “Thief” starring him, I’d thing. His arc feels quite done, but I think the world’s still more than robust enough to support further exploration.

    Of course, finding a protagonist able to emerge from Garrett’s shadow is a tall order indeed, but I still think it’d be the right call.

  14. Pseudonym says:

    If they get Stephen Russell to be in it, I’m in. I’m even easier to please than MisterBritish.

  15. Joe says:

    I just spooged myself a little at this news.

  16. kenoxite says:

    As long as The Cradle guy is in I’m buying it.

  17. John P (Katsumoto) says:

    The reason I dismiss so much of the DX2 criticism is because quite often the same people dismiss T3. It may have been released for console, but I genuinely didn’t see any sign whatsoever of the dreaded “dumbing down”. To people who said “OMG BUT YOU CAN PLAY IN THIRD PERSON LOL” I said “You don’t have to”. Anyway, I thought it was the best in the series (though I loved them all).

    As with DX3 though I’ve no idea whether or not to be excited at this prospect.

  18. Sören Höglund says:

    “I’d assume after T3 any sequel would have to have a new protagonist, no? Garrett is one of my all-time favorites, but (avoiding spoilers) given how things got left, it’d be hard to have a game entitled “Thief” starring him, I’d thing. His arc feels quite done, but I think the world’s still more than robust enough to support further exploration.

    Of course, finding a protagonist able to emerge from Garrett’s shadow is a tall order indeed, but I still think it’d be the right call.”

    Agreed, Garrett’s arc is done. He could still feature as a peripheral character, but a direct continuation would be a bad idea.

    How unlikely is it that they’d contract Terri Brosius to do some writing? That’s the bit I’m really worried about. Thief’s gameplay core is razor sharp, and you’d have to be pretty obstuse to mess that up too seriously…

  19. Butler` says:

    I’m well into my stealth/assassin games (from Hitman to Oblivion’s great guild quests) – and thoroughly enjoyed the first few Thief games – so add me to the fingers crossed list.

  20. Pseudonym says:

    Here’s what I’m really hoping to see in the third game: a proper conclusion to the themes from the first and second games.

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I loved Deadly Shadows, and I think that the Cradle is the second best mission in the series (Life of the Party is better, in my opinion), but the plot of the game was wrong for my pattern loving mind.
    (Here come spoilers for all three games).

    The first two games were about how taking one of the three philosophies that control the City to an extreme can endanger the world, Constantine was going to destroy the City to make the place more chaotic, and Karras was going to destroy all organic life and nature to make the place more ordered. So when I finished the second game, I expected the third to show how the Keeper’s obsession with balance could be dangerous when taken to extremes.
    For example, I thought it might be about a Keeper finding some sort of apocalyptic prohecy and either doing everything in his power to make it happen, because “it is written” or going to extremes to prevent it from happening, possibly killing many innocents in the process.

    Instead, what the third game gave us was a threat coming from the Keepers, but not really connected to their philosophy, rather an outside force pretending to be a Keeper. For this reason, I feel that the arc still has places to go, though possibly not with Garrett as the protagonist, but maybe as some sort of mentor (a title he will probably really hate).

    Yes, I have given this series way too much thought.

  21. Pete says:

    No. Please. Just no. Some imperfections aside, Thief 3 tied things up brilliantly, especially with the ending. I do not want some fresh team, none of whom worked on the others by the sounds of it, to now fuck this up. Dear Eidos – just leave well alone and try and new franchise that doesn’t suck, for crying out loud. It just smacks of “Yeah, both our designers and management are out of ideas”

  22. Chris Evans says:

    Hmm I think I shall have to make the effort to actually finish Thief 3 :O

  23. J says:

    Comrade Larington?
    Not a communist zombie by any chance?

  24. Homunculus says:

    Can’t say I’ve any objection to continuing a tradition of simultaneous Thief and Deus Ex development. As long as they turn out more Deadly Shadows and less Invisible War.

  25. Sören Höglund says:

    Eidos doesn’t have the rights to Terra Nova, I don’t think. It was self-published by Looking Glass.

  26. Kieron Gillen says:

    Hmm. I honestly can’t remember the complete rights situation – it *was* self published by them, but when Looking Glass went down, I believe Eidos bought all their rights. Which means that abstractly Eidos own it, if I’m following it correctly. And I may not be.

    That said, it’s not Terra Nova because they said successful franchise. Terra Nova was not a successful franchise, mores the pity.

    KG

  27. Arnulf says:

    Actually I would really like a Thief 4. Not as a continuation of the story, … more a mission pack so to speak. Some of the highlights of Garrett’s past carreer. Or his successor, whatever.

    I also very much liked the atmosphere of the first 2 installments. The mission briefings with Garrett as voice in the off.

    I remember when I was done with downloading the demo for the first game. And it was late in the night. I was so completely immersed after I grasped what was the game about. When I entered the room where Bafford kept his sceptre for the first time. (“Ha! A throne room! How pretentious can you get?”)

    Looking Glass completely took me by surprise with that one. I expected some medieval sort of System Shock, or a reenactment of Ultima Underworld.

    I was pleasantly surprised.

  28. K says:

    I believe Thief was planned as a trilogy. Then Thief 4 was going to be some modern/possibly futuristic setting if it was happening at all.

    Maybe it could be an alternate reality, more contemporary, but progression from the Thief universe. And it could refer back to times past, on Garrett’s actions and such. Maybe you’re somebody fascinated with this historical Garrett figure, and consider yourself a modern day version. The protagonist could have his own research notes, books and such, slowly revealing What Garrett Did Next. I wouldn’t have him as a descendant or such, but maybe he’d just want to believe he was.

    I think this way it could both separate itself, yet still have links to the old games.

    Let’s see if they’re confident enough in their new game to open the first mission with “I have a simple job planned for tonight…”

  29. Twist says:

    Just in case anyone had any doubts that this was in fact Thief, go to the Facebook profile of Stephane D’Astous, Eidos Montreal’s General Manager. His avatar pic is clearly a graphical T cropped from the iconic Thief title text.

  30. Larington says:

    Stephane D’Astous appears to be a bit of a tease, not that thats a bad thing of course. ;-)

  31. Mike Russo says:

    > How about..
    >
    > .. Terra Nova: Strike Force Centauri?

    Sign me up! Though only if they bring back Bald Turncoat British Guy. Man, he was great.

    Seriously, though, I think I’m going to go digging to see if I can find the CD and do some dosboxing. My single-player jump-jetting fix really hasn’t been scratched since… Giants, I think? Far too long, anyway.

  32. Janto says:

    Yeah, Thief 3 did kind of kill off the logic for a direct sequel.

    I actually quite liked the basic idea behind the Keeper plot in Deadly Shadows, and how it related to the Keeper rune magic being misused. But frankly, the whole ‘insert object of power into landscape feature’ idea was… crap. Absolute, utter nonsense, especially by the standards of the previous two games’ endings. Thief I’s final level is one of my favourites for unexpected warped vistas, and the idea of stealing from a god was a great one. Thief II’s end mission was an epic tactical beast that took me around 4 hours, not counting reloads.

  33. Hermes says:

    If this is Thief 4 I would be ecstatic. I recently reinstalled Thief Gold and I’m going through on expert, just passed the Mage Towers on to the Lost City. No game since has come close to the sound design and overall atmosphere of the first two Thief games.

    I’ll second that idea of this new one continuing with Garret, as prequel to the series or re-imagining some of the classic missions. Unlikely as that might be Thief wouldn’t be the same without Garret’s distinctive narration. Aside from the one exceptionally hammy delivery: “The lost city…not lost anymore!”

    I really hope they employ the guy who did the original cutscenes.

  34. Arnulf says:

    The original cutscenes/briefings are Art. Even the music has its own distinctive style. I’m so glad that I can just pop in the cd and watch and listen to them just for kicks.

    I still get shudders when Garrett brings back the eye.

  35. Belo says:

    What if they don’t have Garret? What if they do a ‘customize your own Thief character’ for a open ended non-linear styled game?

    I think I could live with that too.

  36. Willy359 says:

    I don’t agree that there’s no path to a direct sequel. How about this? Garrett becomes disillusioned with his position of authority and withdraws from city life. Without the guidance of their books, the Keepers splinter into factions. Shadow civil war breaks out in the city. Garrett is drawn back reluctantly to clean up the mess. Add a behind-the-scenes puppetmaster for that classic Thief plotline. This is just me scrambling to keep Garrett as the protagonist, because without him it’s just another sneaker.

  37. wcaypahwat says:

    Well, the thief2X mod was rather nice, I thought. So we know it can still be a good game, even without Garrett as the the star.

    But still….just wouldn’t be the same.

  38. Bobsy says:

    I’d assume that the lead would be that girl that Garrett caught in the nicely-tieing-everything-up-neatly-in-a-big-loop cutscene at the end of Deadly Shadows.

    On DS, it had its ups and downs. There was a certain consoleyness about it all, but it also featured some of the best moments of the entire series. We all remember the Cradle (I still refuse to go back there) but the following level in the museum was also a bit of a star.

    However! The “open” city idea was a complete failiure. The Unreal engine at the time just couldn’t cope with it, and while it looked pretty, it was all far too enclosed and narrow to be believable. I mean, yes, Garrett’s natural habitat should be the dark, narrow alleyway, but you needed a contrast to appreciate this.

  39. Arnulf says:

    However! The “open” city idea was a complete failiure. The Unreal engine at the time just couldn’t cope with it, and while it looked pretty, it was all far too enclosed and narrow to be believable. I mean, yes, Garrett’s natural habitat should be the dark, narrow alleyway, but you needed a contrast to appreciate this.

    Assassin’s Creed shows how to do this now. The technology is all there. It can be done.

  40. K says:

    The open city was always the plan in Thief 3. But the unreal engine wasn’t, obviously.

    I’ve yet to play Assassin’s Creed.
    Can you enter most of the buildings (complete with no loading)? Or is the city just something to dance around?

  41. Jockie says:

    The latter K.

    I think i need to go back and reevaluate the Thief series, i never really got in to them. The Zombie sections in Thief 1 turned me off completely.

  42. Kieron Gillen says:

    Jockie: The Bonehoard is a bit rubbish, but it’s worth getting past. The thing with the Zombies is – I basically paraphrase from assorted people – that when people saw Zombies, immediately they got into a “Ah – must kill the zombie” mode. When in fact, you should just treat them as guards. That all the “It must be rats” style barks were hidden beneath moans made it more obscure.

    KG

  43. Phil says:

    My favourite Thief moment is a little bizarre, but in thief 3 I spent two minutes trying to close a hut door on a prowling guard, who kept trying to open it, so we ending up batting the door back and forth, slapstick style.

    I was waiting for the AI to go to another loop, but in the end I just let him in, he clearly wanted it more.

    Hopefully the new game will be similarly determined.

  44. Frosty840 says:

    I had a really bad reaction to the undead in Thief:TDP. Whenever I saw them, I was utterly paralysed with fear.
    This made my performance in the game rather suck.
    Oddly, I had the exact same reaction to the robots in Thief 2, which meant that the only Thief I ever got anywhere in was 3, and You and your ranting on about The Cradle made me too scared to even enter the level.
    I did get past the ship full of zombies, though. Even though I pretty much nearly died of horror, and it took me three hours.

  45. Larington says:

    I found it really refreshing encountering the zombies in the Thief series as they weren’t super easy to knock out or otherwise defeat. Even with the availability of holy water vials/font. Same goes for the metal beasts in Metal Age.

  46. Viv says:

    If/when it comes out, I bet anyone a trillion monies that the dark mod pisses all over its face. And that its third person.

  47. K says:

    Zombies were so slow, it seemed like a waste of time treating them as guards. Just stroll by, giving a quick nod of acknowledgement in their direction, as though you were passing by exhausted marathon runners when on a scooter. Moaning, undead, marathon runners.

    But, yeah. Thief really is excellent. It changed the way I view and play other games; I started to question every kill, shake my head at ammo pick-ups in the middle of the floor, wonder how enemies knew exactly where I was, and ask myself the dreaded question: “I wonder if it’s possible to get up there…”

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