Thief: DS For £2.09?! And Other Bargains

By John Walker on July 2nd, 2010 at 11:52 am.

It's a steal!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm sorry.

The Steam summer sale thingamy is continuing to offer some ludicrously good prices, as it happens. I’ve just spotted some for which there’s only six hours left, which should fill in some vital gaps on your virtual shelf. There’s Thief: Deadly Shadows for £2.09, BioShock for £3.49, and Titan Quest Gold for £2.49. There’s also Dragon Age, about 80 hours of game, for £11.99.

I can’t get over Thief 3 for barely more than £2. This is one of those games that come 2014 we’ll be writing ten year retrospectives about. If you never did, you absolutely must right now. Just for the heck of it, I’ve pasted my review of the game from 2004 for PC Format.

Thief: Deadly Shadows

There was a time when a blackout curtain was a warning of troubles ahead. Now, it is a sign that the person within is trying to play Thief during daylight hours. Because nothing, not even the vast orb of hydrogen and helium at he centre of the universe, should be allowed to interfere.

There is going to be something of a dichotomy between those who haven’t played either of the first two Thief games and are wondering why there’s a fuss being made, and those who have been looking forward to part three with the anticipation of a tartrazine-enhanced seven year old at Christmas. And then in honour of Mr Venn, there will be a large group of both, a bit disconcerted by the luke-warm reception to Deus Ex: Invisible War. Let it be our job to unite all, into one throbbing mass of enthusiastic happiness.

That slightly unsettling notion aside, we must begin at the beginning. Continuing the peerless mastery of Looking Glass Studio’s catalogue, Thief introduced a brand new concept to gaming: the sneak-em-up. Now of course commonplace via the likes of Splinter Cell and Metal Gear Solid, in its day the notion of deliberately playing a first-person game as slowly and carefully as you could was thought to be the madness of a mercury-lined-hat-wearing man. In 1998, as games were embracing the logic of the ‘always run’ option, Thief bordered on ‘always crouch’.

Sects And The City

The eponymous burglar is Garrett, master thief. Trained by the city’s mysterious hooded Keepers, he left their academy to pursue a life of more profitable ways, disinterested in their conspiracies and prophecies. However, fate has a way of holding onto people it finds interesting, and Garrett’s pathway inevitably led him back into their tales. Part one told us of the Pagans, part two about the Hammerites, meaning everything is set in place for the culmination of the trilogy. This time about The Keepers themselves.

It’s been four years since the last Thief, and six since the first, so with such a detailed history already in place, Ion Storm have faced the perennial challenge of finding balance between beginning and continuing, introducing and welcoming back. Normally one side loses out. Deadly Shadows transcends this. Careful writing has ensured that the important back story is mentioned whenever appropriate, always in context, and never awkwardly. The finer details for the lifer, throwbacks to levels in previous games, sarcastic asides, and old faces, will go unnoticed by the new, but at no detriment to their experience.

If there is any assumption made, it is that the player will be in the frame of mind for the style of play. There’s a Way of Thief, and it’s not something that can be expressed in the excellent and contextual tutorial level. It’s something that must be learned. For the follower, this will all come rushing back in moments. For the new player, this may take a couple of missions to arrive – so persist through that uncomfortable feeling – it will all begin to feel natural very soon.

After the tutorial and opening mission, the game reveals its most important new feature – the City. Thief has always taken place here, but never before have you been able to roam freely about its streets, alleys and rooftops. Carefully opening up as you progress through the game, the ever-expanding town adds a sense of logic and reality that few other mission based games could boast. When you learn news that there is an important item hidden in a the Hammerite church, how more gratifying it is to recall where that was, and head over there yourself, than for the game to airlift you there behind a loading screen.

But it provides a lot more than this. Loot collected in the previous mission (or from any crime you’ve committed in the city) can be sold to fences, and then the cash gained used to buy equipment from the various stores. What was previously an options screen between missions has now become a device to pull you deeper into the game’s world. This also means that equipment found or unused in an earlier mission remains with you for the next. At first you won’t be able to afford everything you might want… Do you spend the money on water arrows or flashbombs? Noisemaker arrows or health potions? How you choose to approach the challenges will influence your choices, and in turn, your choices will influence how you approach the challenges. (By the later levels, when perhaps too much money is available, you’ll already be so set in your ways that this slight imbalance becomes mostly unimportant).

Under the Influence

This is what Thief: Deadly Shadows does. It /influences/ you. The first three missions are perfect prologues – a neutral mansion, a Hammerite church, and a Pagan lair. If you’d never met these peoples before, you are intimate after completing their introductions. Their language, their mannerisms, their motivations, and their anger, are all expressed and explained. So it is at this point you are given the option to favour one faction or the other. This new feature allows the city to become even more involving, as you can now choose to take on tasks for either side, thus increasing or decreasing your status within them. Become allied, and they will tolerate you. Upset them, and they will attack you on sight. There is no easy alliance however – questions are being asked about both sides throughout, and all the while you struggle with the sincerity of the Keepers’ instructions. This may sound familiar as one of the weaker elements of Invisible War, but here the ability to favour either side at will is more clearly justified and understood. You have no intention of becoming Pagan /or/ Hammerite. You are always Thief. But this doesn’t stop all around from trying to influence you.

However, this influential nature extends beyond the storyline, and leaks into the very design of the game itself. The Unreal engine means that presentation takes a dramatic step forward from the previous incarnations, and the effective HAVOC physics engine allows the world to become far more believable. But it is the level design itself that stands out most strongly. The map sizes are slightly smaller than in the previous games, and there are load points within missions, but this really takes nothing away. The majority of areas feel sprawling, always explorable, and when necessary, tightly claustrophobic. But most of all, this city feels real. Almost alive. As you progress, the semiotics of the design begin to play with you. It teaches you that an alcove might mean you need to hide. Alcoves begin to suggest danger. Until eventually the presence of a good hiding place can send shivers down your spine.

Thief is a series built on the strength of its shadowy spaces, and Deadly Shadows’ lighting takes this further than previously. Bright lights become agony to stand in, unbearable and hideously dangerous. The palpable sense of relief when crouching down in a darkened corner is remarkable. And Garrett’s other foe, sound, is also excruciatingly real. From the atmospheric ambience, to the varying footstep noises of different surfaces, your ears are just as vital as your eyes. Soon snuffing candles and closing doors will be as second nature to you as the most electricity-bill conscious dad.

Cradle Will Rock

There are a couple of issues with clipping and bugs, mostly when you reach the city area Audale. This small section has a slightly unfinished feel about it, less polished than the rest, and becomes the game’s sorest thumb. But it’s impossible to stay angry about this. You may have noticed how little is said of the story in these pages, and that’s entirely on purpose. It’s best this way, believe us. However, it cannot go unmentioned that Thief: DS contains a level more terrifying than anything we’ve ever encountered before. It’s toward the end, and it’s good. It’s so very good. If you played Thief, it’s better than Return To The Haunted Cathedral. Yes.

Here is a living, breathing city. A city with a past, and one in the grip of its future. How you live in it is up to you. Are you a murderer, or an unseen ghost? A fighter for balance, or a man merely out to fill your pockets? This is Thief.

BOXOUT: Guards! Guards!

The guard’s AI has been enormously improved upon. With the excellent use of real physics, clumsily knocking over a candle stick will make a suspicious sound. If a guard is nearby, maybe the other side of an open door, he’ll pop in to take a look. If you manage to make a louder noise, or worse, get seen, expect the response to be much more ferocious. And just hiding in the corner for a bit might not necessarily be enough, as an alerted guard can now rush off to get help or even organise a search. This new intelligence also allows responses to spotting dead bodies (rushing to get others to see and respond), lights going out, or doors being left open. Turn the difficulty for a mission up high enough, and they’ll even notice when their friend isn’t on his usual patrol route. But to match this hike in enemy brains, T:DS also provides means of escape far more interesting than reloading. Flashbombs temporarily blind opponents, providing vital time for escape to hide until all calms down again. All without the frame-breaking gap of hit Quickload.

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117 Comments »

  1. Malagate says:

    I’m glad I already got thief 3 ages ago on steam, also a physical copy of it as well 1 and 2 :3

    What really caught my eye in this steam summer sale is The Void for a fiver.

    £5.

    For The Void.

    Get-it, get-it, get-it now!

    • Aninhumer says:

      That was only yesterday.
      I was a bit miffed, since I bought it at the £10 discount earlier in the sale. :P

    • Malagate says:

      Do’h, yeah I forgot that the steam sales are 1 day only, good thing I happened to notice it on the one day of the week I happened to actually use my PC. I now feel both annoyed for potentially missing massive savings and relieved in that I haven’t blown a lot of cash on many games I might not have the time/PC power for.

      I really do love Thief 3 however, I may just gift it to a couple of mates and family as it’s cheaper than lunch…

    • Peter Radiator Full Pig says:

      Im suprised as well that Kings Bounty The Ledgend is avalible for about 2.50.
      It was talked about so much here, and is so excellent, i think it warrents a page much like this one.

    • bob_d says:

      @ Malagate:
      Yeah, be relieved: I’ve been looking at the sales every day, with the result being that I now have more games than I’ll ever play…

  2. neems says:

    Strange, I always remember Thief 3 as being an inferior knock off of the first two. I hadn’t realised it was so well regarded.

    • Adam Whitehead says:

      As far as I can gather, the reason for it being so well-regarded that an inferior knock-off of THIEF is still vastly superior to most other games ever released.

    • Fwiffo says:

      It tends to get Invisible War levels of scorn from “true fans”, but the rest of us normal people received it pretty well.

    • yaster says:

      Normal as in lacking taste?

    • Lars Westergren says:

      @yaster: “Normal as in lacking taste?”

      No, I think more normal as in: Even if not all parts of a game lived up to your expectations, it can still be enjoyed and not treated as a personal affront.

      Not saying you are like that yaster, but it is an annoying dark side common to fandom.

    • Gotem says:

      Well, the only thing I didn’t like were the ‘spiderman gloves’ wich made it too easy,
      and also the third person view, so you could see around the corners without Garret actually having to see around the corners

    • Demon Beaver says:

      When playing T:DS for the first time, my response was very negative… it felt clumsier than the first two, the physics seeming not to work properly, the levels being too small, and the constant loading times a bothering. In addition, I preferred the old simplistic graphics over the bloomicide of the Unreal engine. Replaying it 5 years later, it struck me as a lot better than initially perceived. Indeed, the AI was top notch, and it also seemed harder than the first two (all fans will agree that the more skill required, the better a Thief game is :P ). Thief 2 is still my favorite of the series, with huge levels you could spend hours in (Life of the Party, ahem!). But Deadly Shadows does have its rightful place in the Thief Pantheon. I only hope the designers of Thiaf will keep the series going as well as it went so far…
      Also, when can I finally buy Thief 1 and 2 on Steam?? My CD’s are long dead and zombified for my amusement…

  3. mlaskus says:

    This summer sale is crazy, I have never before bought so many games is so little time. I hate those guys, it was the middle of my exam session when they started this ridiculously great sale.

  4. Benjamin says:

    I bought the game but it ran excruciatingly slowly on my fairly-decent rig. I was told it was due to dual processing…would be interesting if Steam solved that.

    • Bobzer says:

      If your having trouble running it because of the dual core issue, start the game, ctrl-alt-delete into task manager, right click thief3 and click “go to process”, then right click the process and click “set affinity”, then just un-tick all the cpu’s apart from one.

  5. Sulkdodds says:

    God, I fucking love Thief: DS. And -

    “If you’d never met these peoples before, you are intimate after completing their introductions. Their language, their mannerisms, their motivations, and their anger, are all expressed and explained.”

    This is why I think the stealth game is one of the Best Game Genres Ever, if I was to ever get into a fanboy-style argument about it. Their slow pace (induced by the privilege given to slow, quiet movement) allows the player to observe the behaviour of enemies, and to pay more attention to the environment. I remember the totality of MGS in just about more detail than I remember Half-Life, even though I’ve played Half-Life many more times. It also means the devs can get away with smaller environments as long as they’re detailed and interesting. And there’s something delectable about the knife-edge tension between hunting and being hunted, states which chase each other and often intermingled: “I’m going to get him” versus “he’s going to get me”. SNEAKING.

  6. espy says:

    Almost bought Bioshock and Titan Quest, but alas, only the censored and dubbed German versions are availiable. Annoying.

    • Toyoch says:

      Signed. Valve still hasn’t managed to implement an age verification system to let us poor germans play games the way the developers intended to..

  7. groovychainsaw says:

    I had this on the xbox (don’t laugh) and always thought this would be good with a bit more graphical grunt and a better control system. For £2, I’m going to find out, even though I’m probably the most impatient FPS player, something in the thief games has always appealed to me (but I’ve never got past the third level in any of them ;-) )

  8. theleif says:

    Phew.
    Reading the title, i though for a moment that RPS has started to cover Nintendo stuff.

    Bought!

  9. Omroth says:

    Thief 3 was had nowhere near the immersion of 1 and 2, almost solely because the levels couldn’t be big thanks to the XBOX1′s lack of ram.

    And the Cradle level, while a great piece of design, is stupidly out of place in a Thief game. It’ll be a travesty if that’s all the series is remembered for in a decade’s time.

    It should be remembered for the Berricks!

    As a side note, I’ve named all the cuddly toys I’ve ever given my gf after weird things from Thief 1. She still doesn’t know.

  10. Isometric says:

    I’ve only been tempted once and shelled out for Bioshock 2. Nothing else has struck me as worthy of buying. I’ve either got it on Steam already or got it boxed. Great retro review John. I’m going to play Thief 1 & 2 again after such a long time…what do I need to get them running in this modern day?

    • nabeel says:

      Nice review, I had not read it at the time. I prefer a boxed copy of particular games such as this, but I couldn’t resist adding it to my Steam list at that price. Now if only they could get the first two games on Steam too.

      @Isometric:
      This thread at TTLG should answer most questions you may have about getting Thief 1, 2 and 3 running on modern machines.

    • Isometric says:

      Cheers nabeel, I knew there was something like this somewhere. Much appreciated.

    • YogSo says:

      The TTLG FAQ is still good and has helpful tidbits, but it’s not very updated. The only things you need nowadays to make Thief 1+2 work in modern computers (plus a bit of luck) are these:

      1. DDFix and the Resolution Patch (widescreen/non-standard resolutions).

      2. Alternative (and still work-in-progress) method only for Thief 2: Tafferpatcher – unofficial complete patch.

      3. It would be a pity to not take advantage of the HUGE and AMAZING library of Fan Missions that the community has lovingly crafted over the years, so it would be advisable to install DarkLoader, a very useful tool that simplifies the process of installing, playing and uninstalling any FM.

      4. And while we are talking about FMs, it’s important to mention Thief 2x: Shadows of the Metal Age.

      Finally, regarding Thief: Deadly Shadows. My personal recommendations are John P.’s High Resolution Textures (he also has a High Resolution Textures Pack for Deus Ex: Invisible War at his site) and, for anyone looking for a more “purist” (a.k.a. more similar) gameplay experience like in Thief 1-2, The Minimalist Project.

      Ah. There’s also The Dark Mod for Doom 3, of course. When it was released (and reviewed here at RPS) it consisted only in a training/tutorial mission plus 3 not very large FMs. Since then, there have been 2 patches released and a bunch of great missions; the list currently includes more than twenty FMs available to play, including an amazing three-mission mini-campaign. Very worth to check it out, IMO.

    • Urthman says:

      “Flesh Failed to Initialize” might be the most awesome error message in a game ever.

  11. Hunam says:

    I went through Thief 3 for the first time last year. Loved it. Can’t wait for the next one.

  12. Nallen says:

    I might buy this, so it can sit with Deus Ex and Zeno Clash, the other RPS raved about games I played for 10 minutes each!

  13. Mr Chug says:

    I always used to hate stealth games, since I spent far too much time shouting ‘HOW THE HELL DID HE SEE ME’ because I’d moved from one dark area to an arbitrarily less dark area and a guard acted as if I’d appeared from nowhere. However, playing through Deus Ex again with a ‘not killing anyone’ mandate recently gave me a new appreciation for the joy of proving that human ingenuity (rather than accuracy) can triumph over some lines of AI code with enough quicksaves. This is despite the fact that Deus Ex’s stealthing is pretty laughable- I found the most effective way of dealing with a group of guards was to sit in a doorway, tranquilise one of them, shut the door, and just close it every time one of them opened it until they decided I’d disappeared, then repeat.

  14. sfury says:

    Sold!

    Too bad there isn’t a pack with Thief 1 & 2 in Steam though, but I’ve been eying a boxed collection for a year now, this might push me in buying that too. Seeing how I’ve never completed any of the Thieves, though I loved what I played.

    I hit some show-stopping bug in Thief II and left it who knows why, Thief 3 made my 2-weeks-new video card die after 5 hours in the game – turned out there was some defect in the cooling and the heavy engine just sped it up, so while waiting for a replacement one I left that too…

    Whatashame.

  15. Dominic White says:

    I’ve tried convincing people to even TRY Thief 3, but a lot of folks apparently still suffer from Deus Ex 2-related PSTD, and kinda freak out at the thought of playing something from the same studio.

    Which is stupid, as it’s a great game. It has some technical issues, but mods and fan-tweaks fix pretty much everything worth complaining about. It’s a good’un.

    • Sulkdodds says:

      Mods and fan tweaks you say? How moddable is the Steam version?

      Thing is I’ve already got Thief DS on a CD somewhere, and I’m not worried about being able to find it, but I just like the idea of having it on steam and a +1 to my steam games total on my community profile. Either way, I’m going to replay it sometime, so I’d be grateful if you could recommend some key mods!

    • Andrew Dunn says:

      As usual I agree with Mr White. Thief 3 isn’t as good as Thief 2 but it’s a great game in its own right, with a lot of love lavished on it during production.

      My biggest problem with it is that the Pagans are neutered from being creepy nature-worshippers to Jar Jar Binks knock-offs, but I can excuse it for the general high quality elsewhere.

  16. Katsumoto says:

    Absolutely love this game. In fact, I think it’s the best of the Thief series. There, I said it. Try to restrain yourself!

    My main problem with Thief 1 was how few of the levels matched the first one – the “here’s a rich guy’s house: go in and steal shit” angle was enough to draw me in and it was disappointing that the majority of the levels deviated so much from that, introducing haunted lairs and zombies and so on. I mean the main reason I didn’t like this could be because i’m a wimp, but if i’m too scared to play i’m not playing and not enjoying!

    Thief 3 had exactly the right balance of “break in and steal shit” and “arghh zombies”, with the later levels few and far between enough to just provide a bit of a break. I would say “light relief”, but no, not quite!

    • PleasingFungus says:

      I was actually thinking about this the other day. The thing is, stealing from a rich guy’s manor is the most immediately appealing part of Thief, it’s the one you think of when you think of the games… but it’s easy. It’s an early-game challenge. Once you’ve got the hang of it, a few manors in, there’s not much human guards can do to intimidate you! Thief needed the later enemies, the zombies and ghosts and weird creatures, to give you something that would keep you on your toes.

  17. Batolemaeus says:

    How can you be mad at Valve’s drm when they give you dirt cheap all time classics all the time? :(

  18. Azazel says:

    Thief: DS is highly regarded by those who like a decent yarn and dismissed by those who haven’t played it and heard that it’s not as good as the first two.

    • Azazel says:

      Oh yeah – and by h4rdc0r3 nutters. You know – the kind that will still be playing Starcraft 1 and Quakeworld in 10 years time.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      The plot was very good, and was a very nice end to the series. I’ve always loved Thief’s setting (I would like to punch whoever is responsible for failing to develop it into an RPG setting) and Deadly Shadows was a very nice bit of setting- and plot-building.

  19. bill says:

    I greatly enjoyed Thief:DS (they should do a DS version of Thief btw) but I always felt it was a slightly disappointing ending to the trilogy.

    The first two were so masterful. That world they created was so rich, vibrant and believable. and I loved the main factions that the games centered around. However I found the Thief faction (watchers?) much less believable in the end than the Hammers and Builders. And the end was a little too predictable.

    The striping of rope arrows was a crime against gaming as well. But other than that (and some loading zones) it was pretty good. If they could have mixed the graphics and shadows and enhancements of DS with the open world levels, rope arrows and plot of Thief 2 then they’d have made the perfect game.

    Return to the haunted Cathedral blows away the Cradle though. :-p

  20. Dominus says:

    not as good as the first two but its still a great game that has some amazing moments, among the Cradle I also remember the horror from the sunken ship full of zombies..

  21. Taillefer says:

    I think Thief has the best design and implementation of any game. Every system (sound, light, AI, physics, etc) is there to enhance its core mechanic, stealth, and not just there superfluously, and each one reacts and interacts to the other. Even all your weapons and objects are designed in such a way to help or hinder stealth (subtly influencing how you play) and not just because they’d be cool (possibly with an exception or two). It’s this focus of everything contributing to the central idea that so many other games seem to fail at. All enhanced even further by level design which is second-to-none, great characterisation, and a memorable protagonist. I really love Thief.

    Deadly Shadows lacked a few things of its predecessors, but it’s still an excellent game. And everybody should play it.

    • Azazel says:

      I remember KG likening the design of Thief to a scalpel (as compared to Deus Ex’s swiss army knife).

      At least I think it was KG – mentioning Thief and Deus Ex (and knifes) in the same sentence – it probably was.

  22. DollarOfReactivity says:

    Oh, alright you sold me, Walker! I don’t think I ever finished the first Thief, but the stealth parts were fun. We’ll see if I don’t own all the games on Steam by July 4.

  23. little grilly says:

    i had trouble adjusting to the engine for thief 3 (which i played on the xbox); i had to completely re-learn how to bonk guards on the head, and the game seemed to be rejigged towards escaping from fluffed attempts rather than not making any mistakes with all its escape weapons (flash bombs et al); whenever i used them, i felt like i’d failed.

    i hated the massive mid-mission loading times, and was annoyed by having to sneak around the city, although it was pleasant to play a sandbox game where you’re not omnipotent. and the factions thing was hardly implemented.

    it’s not as good as thief 2, but it’s really thiefy, atmospheric, rewarding, and brilliant.

    • Ravenger says:

      There’s one really annoying glitch – the animations for the blackjack and the knockout animations aren’t synced. Whenever you blackjack someone they collapse just before you make contact! It really grates every time I see it.

      It’s a much easier game than the first two, and unlike the first two it doesn’t really discourage you from killing people, and in fact it actually gives you the ability to kill some unkillable enemies later in the game, which until that point were really scary.

      That said, it’s still a fine game, and works better on modern machines than the first two.

      One caveat though: One of the biggest issues with the Thief series is that they were designed for CRT monitors, and modern TN panel LCDs don’t do blacks or dark colours very well. The games can look very washed out, posterised or dithered due to the 6-bit colour too.

      I bought a new IPS panel monitor (which has much more accurate colour reproduction) to replay the Thief games because they looked so rubbish on my TN monitor.

    • Chaz says:

      My main problem with Thief 3 was the city part itself. I found it rather tedious having to sneak around the city all the time when I just wanted to get stuck into the main events. Especially in a game like Thief, where getting about can be a slow and painstaking business, and having to slowly pick your way down the same street past the same guards for about the 3rd time became very tiresome. It was the main reason I never got anywhere near finishing the game. If they do another one, I hope they drop the open world pretences and go back to dropping us at the objective.

      Also for what ever reason, it just didn’t manage to quite capture the atmosphere of the first 2, so Thief 2 still remains easily the best in the series.

      However for that price I’m willing to give it another try.

  24. DuckSauce says:

    Is it just me or is Dragon Age not as cheap as said, it’s €30,- here with a 40% discount… the expansion awakenings comes close with about €17,-

    I’m actually glad though, if it was around that prices I couldn’t resist to buy it and lose way too much time, I just got Thief though, looking forward to trying it.

  25. deejayem says:

    I loved Thief DS gameplay whilst feeling vaguely dissatisfied with the direction they’d taken the plot in UNTIL the last two or three levels when suddenly the whole things ties in with itself AND the first two games.

    That was one of those “wow” moments.

  26. Phinor says:

    Is Dragon Age really £11.99? 29.99€ in the Euro Steam, which is nice. It’s the exact same price I paid for the game on release day over half a year ago. Awakening in Steam costs more than the retail copy I was eyeing few days before the release.

    Oh this was a Thief topic? Uhh.. I don’t know, I mostly hate stealth. Except in the case of Deus Ex.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Dragon Age is thoroughly mediocre anyway.

      Also, you are absolutely, completely and categorically wrong for hating stealth games, especially Thief. You’re the wrongest of all wrong people, so wrong that you spiral off into the horizon of wrongness to be forever wrong in the sky of wrong.

      So yes, everyone should play Thief, and if you live in the UK you should buy this instead of buying Thief 3 from Steam.

  27. jarvoll says:

    Bought!

    Always heard that this was worse than the other two but “worse than Thief & Thief 2 is still better than most games” is hard logic to argue with. Thanks, RPS! Would have overlooked this otherwise.

  28. Zinic says:

    Incidently, I was wondering just yesterday whether or not I should buy this. RPS has given me the answer, and that now makes my list of Steam games number 139.

  29. Alexander Norris says:

    The saddest thing ever is seeing someone forced to describe Thief as “it’s like Splinter Cell, but medieval” to someone else. True story. :(

    • Dominus says:

      that person must be brought to justice!

    • Hidden_7 says:

      I can see that situation coming up a lot though. Splinter Cell is a much better known stealth touchstone for new gamers. It’s not really anyone’s fault at having to use a description like that.

      That being said, were it me if I were tasked with describing Thief quickly to someone who had never heard of it I’d probably say “Splinter Cell is like it, but futuristic.”

  30. Ed says:

    I would buy this, but as I’m going down t’ bear pits tomorrer I’ll be too busy.

  31. Gunnar says:

    I kinda liked Thief 3, having played the first 2 over and over… and then getting thief gold and playing that for another 2 times. The one thing that did put me off was the split levels, I did not like that at all. But the athmosphere of the city more than made up for this, and then there was the cradle… Man, the cradle… RTC had me on the edge of the seat, but the cradle genuinely scared me. You gotta love it :D

  32. ZamFear says:

    The Cradle is more terrifying than Return To The Haunted Cathedral?

    HA.

    The things in the Cradle are fluffy kittens compared to the cathedral’s haunts.

    • Hidden_7 says:

      First off, nah, they aren’t. The haunts are human guards with skeleton faces who gibber backwards latin. The puppets are twitching oddities that warp the environment simply by being around and, if they spot you, will SCREAM at you while they pummel you to death. The puppets were one of the few enemies in games that would cause me to physically defend myself from my screen when they caught me.

      Secondly, the Cradle wasn’t nearly as much about what was IN it, so much as what it was. An empty cradle would still be frightening.

    • ZamFear says:

      @Hidden_7:

      If the haunts are “human gaurds with skeleton faces” then the puppets are just zombies with faulty wiring.

      The main problem I have with them, was I never felt as though they were a credible threat. Not very alert, and just as easy to drop as a zombie. Haunts on the other hand, probably rank as the single most dangerous enemy in T1. Hyper alert, very tough, can easily outrun you (speed potions don’t help), and can nearly instantaneously cut you into bite-size morsels.

      It isn’t helped by the fact that T3 doesn’t limit your equipment the way T1 and T2 did. I started that mission very nearly maxed out on anti-undead gear. Enough to deal with all the puppets inside three times over.

      Creepy premises alone don’t do it for me. If there’s no threat to my (virtual) person, it isn’t scary. If the Cradle was empty it would be even less frightening.

  33. RC-1290'Dreadnought' says:

    Too bad paypal only allows me to purchase 3 things per year, before blocking my ability to buy stuff with my bank account, in stead of a credit card.

  34. Ricc says:

    When I saw the discount on Steam and realized that hadn’t played any Thief games yet, I promptly ordered “Thief: Complete Collection” for 10€ off Amazon…

    • Vinraith says:

      My reaction exactly. As discounts go the Thief one isn’t really anything spectacular. One has to be careful not to start buying things without checking alternate sources first. Just because Steam has it on sale doesn’t mean there isn’t a better bargain elsewhere.

  35. NieA7 says:

    I’ve yet to meet a stealth game or stealth level that I’ve not thoroughly hated, probably even more than platform games. A game could be the greatest sports sim of all time and I wouldn’t really be interested because I just don’t enjoy sports games – without every good game of the last 5 years being compared unfavorably with one Thief or another I would assume the same of stealth games.

    So -
    1) Is Thief 3 worth getting, given the huge pile of other games (Deus Ex! Sacrifice! Okami! The Void! Braid! Loads of Others I Can’t Remember Right Now!) I’ve got waiting to get through?
    2) If Thief 3 is worth getting should I instead get all three of the games, especially given the huge pile?

  36. Lars Westergren says:

    The audio in this game is so fantastic. The sounds the zombies make for instance…. like they are desperately trying to speak, but either they have forgotten how or their vocal cords have rotted away, and all that comes out are sobs and gurgles and swallowing noises. So incredibly creepy.

    On the lighter side, the physics engine does his hilarious thing very often when you knock someone unconscious from behind. They fall to their knees realistically, but then instead of falling to their sides like a real person would their torso folds backwards until their head is between their feet and you have this crotch-tastic pyramid in front of you.
    :)

  37. malkav11 says:

    I’ve never gotten far enough in the Thief games (several levels into the first at my furthest) to get to Deadly Shadows, but I do remember being disappointed that it lacks the first two games’ utterly brilliant cutscenes – some of the most gorgeous and stylish made for any game ever. (albeit annoyingly hard to get to play properly on even quasi-modern systems.)

  38. deadsexy says:

    There’s some high-res textures for Thief: DS
    http://www.john-p.com/textures/Thief-DS/index.shtml

    I don’t know if they’ll work with the Steam version, but I guess it shouldn’t be a problem

  39. kai says:

    I think I have three copies of Thief 3. Two were bundled with graphics cards and one was on a gaming mag’s cover DVD.

    Or wait, I could have four, since I recall getting two magazines with Thief 3 with it. Hrm.

    Yup, four copies.

  40. Walsh says:

    Thief 3 was better than Thief 1. Yea I said it, Thief 1 threw out sneaking around rich people’s places and stealing shit out the window half way through the game then it was stupid zombies and crap. God what the fuck were zombies doing in my stealth stealing shit game?

    • Ravenger says:

      Looking Glass weren’t sure if they could pull off an entire game based on stealth and stealing from city locations, which is why they put the tomb-raider style levels in. In retrospect that was a mistake, which is why Thief 2 had more city based stuff.

      I found those underground levels tedious to navigate and the graphics engine couldn’t really do irregular shapes like rocks and trees justice – it worked much better with buildings and city streets.

    • LukeE says:

      Most of those levels I gave up all pretence of stealth and just sprinted from end to end of the level, with a horde of zombies trailing behind me in my wake.

      They were awful. And unfortunately, those are probably what I remember most of Thief 1. 2 was much better.

  41. Alaric says:

    I just bought it yesterday and played through the tutorial mission. It’s nice. Even visually it’s real nice for a 6-year old game, but that could do with the fact that it’s real dark.

  42. Irish Al says:

    Thief:DS is worth it for The Cradle alone.

  43. Jason Moyer says:

    I liked Thief 3 more than 2, although it doesn’t really hold a candle to the first game. Also, while Robbing The Cradle was excellent, I think my favorite mission in the game was Widow Moira’s mansion. I still think it’s a shame there wasn’t a Lost City type level in either of the sequels, as that’s one of my favorite levels in a game period.

    • Hidden_7 says:

      What about the level set in the Lost City in the second game? Or do you mean more feel, since obviously things were different the second time you visited it.

  44. Urthman says:

    I just wish there were a good way to mod the game so that everything you interact with wasn’t screaming neon blue. It just makes the whole thing unnecessarily cartoonish.

    I’ve tried Myagi’s patch but it (1) ruins the 3rd person view by making Garrett glow, and (2) depending on how I set the values the highlight was either invisibly dim or just as bright as the default except even worse looking because it gave everything a flat, untextured glow, like a missing texture.

    It’s a shame because except for the highlighting, this is a really great looking game, especially given the age. Maybe one of the best uses of that era of the Unreal engine.

    • Hidden_7 says:

      There is. Use the high res texture pack listed here a couple of times already. There’s on option in there to have the highlight colour be a bit more of a neutral yellow/whiteish like from the first games, and it doesn’t ruin Garrett’s highlighting.

  45. oceanclub says:

    “I just wish there were a good way to mod the game so that everything you interact with wasn’t screaming neon blue.”

    Did you try the Thief 3 tweaker?

    http://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=84166

    On a tangent, there’s a handy tweak where WSAD is walk by default, and run when you hold down SHIFT (rather than vice versa):

    http://www.tweakguides.com/TDS_6.html

    “By default Garrett runs when you use the movement keys (W, A, S, D are the default movement keys), and walks only while you hold down the SHIFT key. This can’t be changed in-game, however if you want the more traditional default walk/SHIFT to run configuration, change the key assignments for movement to the values shown above, and this will halve the default movement speed, effectively making it the same as walking.

    Now to make the SHIFT key a run key, you need to go into the Default.ini file (See Default.ini section below), and under the [T3Settings] section of the file, change the following line:

    WalkMultiplier=1.0

    By changing the value from 0.5 to 1.0, the SHIFT key now works as a run key.”

    P.

    • Urthman says:

      The Thief Tweaker uses the Myagi patch that I referred to.

      But!

      I just tried the high-res texture pack that deadsexy linked to:

      http://www.john-p.com/textures/Thief-DS/index.shtml

      And while I’m not 100% sure about the textures (they are a lot better than most of these high-res texture packs I’ve seen done for older games), but it also has a re-done highlight shader that is much better than the default or Myagi’s. It’s not perfect — a little too dim in bright light — but it does conform to the shape of the object unlike Myagi’s, and it doesn’t screw up the 3rd person view, and much, much better at not breaking the immersion.

      I just wish they could have used the thing I’ve seen in other games where the highlighted object is just a little more brightly lit instead of glowing in a weird color.

      But that texture pack fix is a huge improvement. I’m definitely going with that. And it works just fine with the Steam version of the game.

  46. Tech says:

    “Because nothing, not even the vast orb of hydrogen and helium at he centre of the universe, should be allowed to interfere.”

    You must be talking about our solar system, not the universe, right?

  47. Rrrrraaaaasssssmmmmmuuuuusssss says:

    I flippin’ missed it by a nano second!

  48. torchedearth says:

    Yep, put it in the cart before tea. Had tea, came back from tea and it’s gone full price.

    Oh well, back to BFBC2 then.

  49. damian says:

    I ordered Titan Quest & the expantion from Play.com… The VERY next day, it’s on Steam for pitance!
    At least I finally own (or am licenced to play) a theif game. Yippoy!!

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