Stealing A Glimpse Of Thief IV

By Alec Meer on January 17th, 2012 at 11:53 am.

Nonononononononononononononoooooooooo

Right, Deus Ex is back on its feet and looking hale and hearty, whether it asked for this or not. What vintage PC game shall the electro-paddles be applied to next? Why, it’s Thief IV, a game about which we currently know all but nothing other than that Eidos Montreal are pulling the strings again and, I am 99.99% sure, it’ll have some sort of funny subitle rather than a number in the name. Well, anything’s better than ‘Thi4f’, right?

An industrious fellow on Neogaf has done a spot of digging around the quiet info-goldmine that is LinkedIn, and turned up a couple of starting, tantalising facts. Let’s have a look, and then hear what assorted Thief fans want to see from the new game.

First the facts, as gleaned from the LinkedIn posts:

Number one! The next Thief will be using the Unreal engine, instead of Crystal Dynamics’ Tomb Raider engine, as was the case for Human Revolution. This suggests a far prettier game than the slightly dated-looking DXHR, and hopefully one that makes the best of light and shadow.

Number two! A mention of ‘networking’ and ‘online tools.’ Multiplayer Thief? That’s an idea – a stealth-race for a prize could be a ton of panicky fun. Or does this just refer to just Xbox Live/Steam Achievementy kinda stuff?

Number three! “The City.” Hardly a surprise, but it suggests something open-worldy to me, rather than a series of missions. That’s what we want.

Number four! “shops, escape gates, public zones.” … “the game’s hub…” ” “extreme situations”; memorable scripted sequences with altered controls, camera and/or gameplay rules.” This from the online resume of one of the game’s designers. Supports the idea of an open world, but also suggests open action sequences. It’s tempting to read far too much into that based on almost no information, so I won’t.

And that’s it, at least for now. I’m expecting a big reveal at GDC or E3 (or at least on the cover of an American magazine that gets given these things by default because it has a monstrous stranglehold on US game retail), but given we’ve seen so little so far, I expect a 2012 release is highly unlikely. Boo! On the other hand, that means boldly stating what we want to see from a new Thief game may not yet be entirely futile. Earlier today, I ask the Twitters to make some suggestions, as a no doubt welcome break from your regularly-scheduled Meer Holds Forth About Something Or Other Yet Again. Let’s see what what the good folk of social networking want…

@ianhardingham (of Frozen Synapse fame)” large, freeform levels that all feel like mini-open worlds.”

@griddleoctopus (of RPS contributor and professional contrarian fame): “multiplayer console team-oriented shooter?” Yes haha.

@edwardo_ka: “No loot glint, proper darkness as opposed to blue, and proper cheek spikes for the bears as I’m gans doon t’bear pits tomorrer.” I not entirely sure what he means by the last bit, other than trying to sound like a Yorkshireman.

@seniath: “Stephen Russell and illustrated cutscenes. That is all.”

@mrcraigL (of GamingDaily fame): “unlike a lot of recent stealth games, it has to let me fail. It needs to be a thief sim, not a follow the checkpoints game.”

@sinisteragent: “Can we play as femgarret please?”

@zoombapup: “Would like to see more stealth options, a bit like the recent batman games. Allow a thief to be a bit more stealthy and lithe.”

@imperialcreed: “I’d rather not play as Garrett this time around. I want to see what they can do with a new character, after seeing Jensen in DX:HR.”

@themanko: Fighting system that makes it almost impossible to win. Every enemy should be terrifying. The sword fight system needs depth. Thief 3 didn’t and that sucked. Should be more like 1 and 2 there. Eric Brosius needs to be hired/kidnapped to work on the audio for the game. He’s the best audio guy in all of human history.

@garethnn: Don’t change the perspective. Don’t make him an action/acrobat. Keep it that you win through patience and careful observation.

@nachimir (of Bit of Alright/Word of Love fame): “All the character names in subtitles to take a similarly ridiculous form to “THI4F”.”

@jedesler: “A heart-pounding sense of fear and vulnerability. It’s the tension of playing Thief that I remember more than anything else.”

@jamiedewhirst: “I don’t ask for much, but for the love of God please do not let it be called “Thi4f”. I’d almost not buy it out of principle alone.”

Everyone, ever: Rope Arrows.

@griddleoctopus, trying to redeem himself: “seriously, just 1000s of rope arrows. A whole alchemy kit of make your own poisons. Basically, the Dark Brotherhood from Oblivion without killing.”

@dsoveof: “Stealing shit.”

Of those, the last one we can at least be sure of. OR CAN WE?

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120 Comments »

  1. VelvetFistIronGlove says:

    More Benny! It’s not Thief without Benny.

    “If I see a bad guy, I’ll just point my sword at him. And saaaaaay “HEY! Bad guy! You’re not s’pposed to be here! Go home or I’ll stick you with my sword…’til you go…’Ouch I’m dead!’ Ahahahah (hic)”

    • Prime says:

      He’s such a taffer!

      I found it ironic that Stephen Russell’s mage character in Skyrim (the dodgy bloke in Winterhold, forget his name) was the only one I heard who did the full-on proper Garrett voice (and then only the once), while all his actual thieves were vocally somewhere between Garrett and Benny.

  2. Khemm says:

    I really don’t think they should make another one. The trilogy was great and closed the story arc.
    Deadly Shadows suffered from slight consolitis – the levels were tiny and the game much easier, but it retained its predecessors’ magic and feeling of freedom/multiple ways to approach target.

    I really fear they’ll turn Thief into something actiony with setpiece moments, something linear.

    • Prime says:

      “memorable scripted sequences with altered controls, camera and/or gameplay rules”

      That sentence terrified the life out of me. It reeks of all the ‘press Y to do awesome thing’ awfulness ever found in modern games. Then again, done right, and with a bit of inventive flair, they could be amazing. All how you look at it, really. But should we really be listening to the gnarly, whimpering fear voice? How about the grinning, air-punching voice that tells you this could be spectacularly awesome?

    • Lars Westergren says:

      >I really don’t think they should make another one. The trilogy was great and closed the story arc.

      Agreed, but nothing says they can’t make a new story with new characters set in the same world.

      >Deadly Shadows suffered from slight consolitis – the levels were tiny and the game much easier, but it retained its predecessors’ magic and feeling of freedom/multiple ways to approach target.

      Agreed that D3 was slightly consolised, I still think it was good game though. The worst thing was the tiny levels broken up by load screens, but that game was designed with the memory limitations of the original XBox in mind, things are better now.

      Anyway, after DX:HR I’m confident this studio understand what is great about PC classics so I’m not worried at all that it will turn into a GoW-with-bows as some suggested. After viewing a single blurry unconfirmed leaked screenshot from E3 a year or two ago.

    • greenbananas says:

      “That sentence terrified the life out of me.”

      You and me both. I so don’t want Thief 4 to end up like Uncharted, it bloody hurts. What the heck happened to setting a couple of base rules and then presenting the player with a level and leaving it up to him to figure it out on his own? Do you people designing games really think that everybody wants to be led by the nose through some idiotic, over-the-top set-piece they can barely interact with apart from the one way you thought of?

    • Wulf says:

      Uh-huh. Totally ridden with consolitis, despite having the most memorable and atmospheric area of all the Thief games – The Cradle. Geez. :| The people who own consoles must read this site and think ‘what a bunch of pricks,’ and I wouldn’t blame them.

    • vecordae says:

      @Prime:

      It need not be scary. Some thematically appropriate examples of “memorable scripted sequences with altered controls, camera and/or gameplay rules” could include:

      1) Your character having to make their way through a pitch-black cellar. Your character can’t see, but in this sequence your can move your mouse about and “feel” whatever is nearby. Move the mouse too quickly and you might knock something over. Success requires you to be slow and careful as you navigate the area. Probably not something you’d want to overdue as it would get tedious.

      2) A mission might require your character to operate in plain sight. He’s disguised as a noble or something and is at a fancy party. Your normal combat and stealth controls might be temporarily replaced with appropriate social gestures that can aid you in manipulating the other party-goers so you can obtain needed information or get past the otherwise solid security at the place.

      3) While not as drastic, many of those skills would be appropriate for a mission that involves getting in a small paddle-boat and sneaking up to a moored ship during a foggy night. The entire boat will move with the waves and the crew will have scripted interactions that will give you opportunities to sneak past them provided you are willing to watch, wait, and listen.

      So, there you go. Not entirely horrifying.

    • Prime says:

      Thanks, vecordae!

      While I do try to keep positive during agonising waits like this one, having some concrete examples of how awesome it could be really do help to boot those whimpering fears back into their cupboards! Much obliged!

    • Josh W says:

      They could do that, but they should do it in a way that blurs smoothly into the rest of the game; perhaps you have a stick that you can move about to stop yourself bumping into stuff, and it uses the same collision rules as normal, and the audio feedback or whatever that allows you to navigate is then chucked into the rest of the game as a freebee, not particularly supported but left so you can use it if you want to.

      Thinking back to some of the original thief’s levels, when you create a really different experience using the same mechanics, it’s much more unnerving, because instead of knowing you can just fall back into the scripted patterns, go along with them, you have to reorient yourself to how the once familiar mechanics have changed. That kind of thing is like a signature of the thief games, and copping out on it would be a real shame.

  3. sonofsanta says:

    What do we all reckon of a Deus Ex: HR style cover system though? Y’know, all the third person swooshing and stuff. It would seem out of character, but it did work well in DXHR… and I reckon it seems likely, given the same developer and general happy reception that system got

    • The Sombrero Kid says:

      I’d give all my limbs to not have it in, but i’d bet all my limbs it’ll be in there, if they thought it was appropriate for dx you can be sure they think it’s appropriate for thief.

    • airtekh says:

      That’s actually how I played Thief 3.

      First person for movement, and then used the ’3rd person camera’ button whenever I hugged a wall, so I could get a good look around.

      It wouldn’t bother me at all.

    • Prime says:

      @airtekh

      Heretic! First person is integral to the Thief games! The ‘from your eyes’ human perspective keeps the tension high and forces you to rely on the audio cues the designers sweated blood putting into the game. Being able to look around from an un-human, floating-camera perspective is cheating. ;)

  4. Theodoric says:

    Thialf, isn’t that some ice rink in Frisia?

  5. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    Minor heresy: You know, after playing Assassin’s Creed 2, I’m not sure what a Thief game can do to rival or even surpass Ubisoft’s – arguably – better AC title. Unless, that is, Thief 4 does what Nintendo did with the Wii, initially at least: don’t compete and go with your own groove.

    All suggestions are nice enough, though I wonder what’s the series’ true power. As in, Deus Ex is a wonderful game because there’s proper choice and consequence, and the game world is appealing on more than its cyberpunkishness – the game space and tools work not just because they’re neat on their own but because they usually relate to the grander themes. I think this also applies to Thief and Thief 2, but not as much about Thief 3. Thief isn’t just about stealing – stealing is just a metaphor for prying into the secrets of the old age, and discoveries of the new one, and how an organization will try to preserve those at all costs. So yes, rope arrows would nice but it’s a play mechanic that can be replaced by anything else as long as it serves to highlight the setting and mood. In fact, most of Garrett’s tools aren’t about superiority – they’re about covering up for his vulnerability. Do players want these to be present because they understand this or because “it’s cool and damnit, Thief is about X and Y stuff”?

    Anyway, roll on the next game. More Cradle-like levels, plz.

    • SirDimos says:

      Honestly, I hope they take some of the climbing aspects from AC, and maybe a little bit of the open world structure – but I really hope that this stays a Thief game.

      By that, I mean I want the emphasis to be on stealth. I want enemies to be challenging to kill/escape from once they’ve seen you. I want to have to plan my route through a level, carefully prioritizing targets, resources, and cover, instead of running through a bunch of guards and playing “hit A to counter-kill” like you would in AC.

      I really hope the devs resist the temptation to “better” a series by advertising more action and killing when the original never relied on that to begin with.

    • Diogo Ribeiro says:

      I’m not too miffed about “hit A to whatever”, though I agree it doesn’t need to be that obvious. That’s predominantly the problem with QTEs and similar play mechanics – they’re just play mechanics. If a player knows them, he shouldn’t have to be spoonfed their uses. Really, it’s as nonsensical as telling players “UP ON D-PAD” with every step they took.

    • BigJonno says:

      I agree with SirDimos that there is a lot they can take from AC, but the two franchises seem like opposite ends of the stealth spectrum to me. AC is about being powerful and using stealth as a weapon. It’s a much more cinematic approach, relying on surprise and agility to get the drop on enemies. Thief is about vulnerability. You’re a great thief, but not much of a fighter, so you’re trying to avoid detection at all costs. You’re not hiding to get the drop on someone, you’re hiding to survive. You’re also using a completely different stealth toolset; light and sound instead of speed and acrobatics.

    • Khemm says:

      I don’t want Thief to become another AC. Garrett wasn’t a superhuman capable of climbing buildings and jumping across rooftops like a monkey, he relied on his tools and stealth skills to get the job done. Purely third person perspective would suck in Thief imo, it was fine as something optional in Deadly Shadows, but I never ever felt the need to use it.

      AC is boring, the assassination missions are linear as hell, you have no freedom in how to handle objectives at all, there’s nothing to do there but grind in the cities, stealth is not fleshed out enough or often not a viable option. In fact, AC is about running up to the target and stabbing it.

    • Dachannien says:

      Well, for one, it wouldn’t be published by Ubisoft….

    • Diogo Ribeiro says:

      @Khemm:

      Ezio wasn’t a superhuman either. In fact, that’s one of the better parts of AC2: character development wasn’t just a matter of cutscenes, it was ingrained in gameplay. Players became better at the game along with Ezio. These things converged.

      “Linearity”, eff. Seriously? If linearity functioned as criticism on its own, Half-Life 2 would be trash and we’d tear Ion Storm a new one because many objectives in Deus Ex were simply “run up to a guy/gal and press Action button”. What wasn’t linear about Thief is how to get to an objective; solving them wasn’t rocket science. The same applies to AC2.

    • The Sombrero Kid says:

      lol assassins creed is arcade brainless fun, thief is an immersive sim, it’s like saying dead space is better than system shock.

    • Diogo Ribeiro says:

      I can play Deus Ex as an arcade game. Load up on guns, speed aug, remote detonation aug, etc., and blast everyone to bits. Your point?

      Arcade vs. simulation is a pretty pedantic point to try and make. You’re not better than anyone else because you prefer Thief to Assassin’s Creed. See, Outrun 2006 is an arcade racer and looks, plays and feels much better to me than Gran Turismo 5. My point? None, because I’m not trying to be elitist.

      It’s like saying cars with sliding doors are for casual passengers.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      The protaganist(s) of the AC games aren’t superhuman? You can completely avoid stealth for the most part in any of the games and just swordfight everyone because it’s easy as hell. Block/counter/one-hit kill/repeat. Somehow you can use that strategy with the hidden blade instead of a proper sword too, which is bizarre.

    • The Sombrero Kid says:

      I like assassins creed like I like mcdonalds, I would never try and suggest mcdonalds is better than food i’d had that was considered a work of art unless i didn’t like that food, by saying assassins creed is better you’re saying thief failed at what it was trying to be, i can respect that though a lot of people do think that.

    • NathanH says:

      In the first two Thief games, it was entirely possible to fight every guard in the level at the same time with your sword, so complaints about superhumanness need to be tempered. On the other hand, that wasn’t an intention, whereas being able to kill everyone easily in AC seems to be intentional.

    • Diogo Ribeiro says:

      You’re conflating superhuman with a wide range of abilities. Thief has plenty of abilities, and they all work so well because guard AI is mostly atrocious. This isn’t negative criticism – it’s just the way the game works. Stealth in Thief is “easy as hell”, which doesn’t mean Thief is about being a superhuman bloke.

      But don’t let that get in the way of the fact anyone can also break down Thief into “extinguish light source/create audio diversion/slither/repeat”. I wouldn’t do it, because it’s a disservice to break it down in such binaries, and it’s also the reason why describing AC the same way is petty and short-sighted.

      Yes, I get it, it’s a “console game for tards”. Good on you.

    • Diogo Ribeiro says:

      @the sombrero kid:

      “by saying assassins creed is better you’re saying thief failed at what it was trying to be”

      lol wut? I never said this. I said I felt it would be hard for a new Thief game to rival or surpass AC2, which is probably a concern for the studio working on it. Which is why I said Thief should do its own thing. I wouldn’t mind T4 looking at AC for inspiration but I wouldn’t it to slavishly copy everything and try to beat it at its own game. It can’t. What it can do is do the same Human Revolution – keeping in mind the core of the original game but not being insufferably insular to the point where it’s only source of inspiration is navel-gazing.

    • Hulk Handsome says:

      The further Thief 4 is from AC the better, in my opinion. I’ve always found the AC games a total bore and unfulfilling.

      To be honest, I don’t see how anyone can really compare the two games anyway. They play completely different, unless the most recent instalment is radically different from the others (I haven’t played it).

    • The Sombrero Kid says:

      I read “Ubisoft’s – arguably – better AC title” as you thought assassins creed 2 was a better game than thief, i now see you meant it as being better than the other ac games which i agree with, although i still fail to see any connection between the 2 type of games except that they are games, they don’t share any themes or mechanics to my mind. I suppose you could say they both contain melee combat, but i still don’t see why you’d hold up assassins creed as an example of melee combat, I’d probably go with riddick or zeno clash or if was willing to consider third person games arkham asylum.

    • Pathetic Phallacy says:

      @Diogo Ribeiro

      Yeah, I think you’re right; however, I’m wondering if Thief 4 can rival MLB The Show 12. I mean, the game is looking very good thus far and I’m not sure if Thief can surpass the new pitching system. Both games will rely on simulation, but I really think MLB will come out on top. Although, I really have high hopes that the stealing in Thief will be better than the stealing in MLB, I’ve always been a little troubled by the stealing mechanics in The Show.

      I have my doubts.

    • Sparvy says:

      Yeah, I chime in with another “as far away from AC as possible” vote.

      The AC-games isn’t bad per say but they never made me feel scared or clever, and I think the constant fluctuation between those two is what made Thief so great for me.

      Nah, AC had some great moments but what with the way they moved you around in cutscenes and took control of the camera away whenever something interesting was happening you never felt like you had much of a choice in how to complete missions.

      That coupled with a rather tedious combat system and that annoying love of context sensitive controls made for a game that in no way should inspire a Thief game.

      Really, the comparison between AC and Thief shouldn’t have been made at all. AC and GTA are much more closely related.

    • Velvetmeds says:

      AC sucks.

    • ulix says:

      I don’t even know how you can compare AC and Thief. Two completely different gameplay experiences.

      While I like the AC series (AC1 was boring as shit though), I can also only hope that Thief 4 will be completely different.

    • ObiDamnKenobi says:

      I haven’t played AC, only seen video, but I have done some rock climbing and what that guy does is stupid. I’ve never seen the worlds best climbers every do anything like what he does 5 times in a row up a wall.
      Sure, it’s a game blah blah, but for some reason in annoys me with it’s retardedness. The fact that he’s superhuman somehow makes it less cool. Personally I feel better taking someone out while staying inside the laws of physics

    • Diogo Ribeiro says:

      @The Sombrero Kid:

      I’m thinking mostly in terms of themes, and how they are built into gameplay. See, Bonanza Brothers is a game about stealing but I wouldn’t compare it with T4, as the themes and mechanics are converging into something else – BB is a joyfull sidescroller where two brothers try to bring down the evils of corporations while getting rich. It’s more of a two-player game of pranks and antics than it is about stealing as T4 interprets it.

      Which is to say, the commonalities I feel exist between T4 and AC2 are largely down to the game world and game space. You brought up simulation – but I don’t think this is apt, or rather telling of everything. There are plenty of arcade games that try and simulate something, while many simulators usually have one or two very simple mechanics among a sea of depth. Behaviourism is simulation, but the Sims can be broken down into “press buttons to do this”. It’s not just a case of mechanics, it’s how they are connected to the rest.

      In that sense, T4 and AC2 simulate (as in looking at, and implementing key aspects of) breathing worlds from different angles; in T4 it’s the setting and how it influences level design and narrative; in AC2 it’s literally an open world. Both are also reactive – much more personally in T4 (the guards, for instance), and more broadly in AC (the crowds). These are born out of the same intention but take place in different places of the spectrum. The same applies to mechanics, with Thief having bone-headed guards and environmental touches that help the player feel Garrett is a master thief and sneakbastard, and AC does the very same thing, and on a broader sense too – nearly everything in that particular gameworld is meant to reflect Ezio’s abilities. Thief and AC are also very much about exploration, not just in the level-to-level or rooftop-to-rooftop sense: as I said before, stealing is just a metaphor. I’ve played Thief 2 countless times and I don’t remember any of the minor treasures I stole along the levels. What I do remember is Garrett’s physicality (for lack of a better word), a game world that was entirely subordinate to my abilities, the abilities that conveyed Garrett’s physical weakness but intelectual superiority, and exploring those themes through gameplay. Which is the same effect AC2 has on me. I can’t remember one single name of Ezio’s adversaries. What I do remember are the rooftop combats or the mad escapes in search of relative safety, and the character’s physical presence. The only thing I ever feel like I’m stealing in either game is the knowledge of their abilities, discovering nuances in their moves every time I play again. What I do remember is thoroughly enjoying how both games, apparently oh-so-different, reappropriate open world game design and, while similarly different, convey the same things through gameplay.

      That AC is mostly out on the open and in daylight doesn’t matter much, as neither does the faux-parkour. But then, it also doesn’t matter that Thief is played in dark corridors. That’s not the point. Movement is movement; scaling a wall can be as delicious as leaning (almost no game does either as well, which is unfortunate). Both games are about manipulating the oppositions’ senses through subterfuge, coming up with contingencies to deal with the opposition, and possibly getting a kick out of their reactions.

      Which I find much more interesting a concept than simply stealing or getting atop a cathedral. Stealing is only pressing a button in front of a candlestick; climbing a building is pressing the same buttons until you’re there. They’re as dull as predefined objectives. In fact, stealing and killing are mechanically the same – all it takes is a touch of a button. Again, as far as I’m concerned, these are not the point. I don’t play survival horror for the inventory management, and I don’t play Thief to steal shinies, nor do I play AC to kill tanned people. Although when I’m playing these games, I sure am “pressing buttons to do this and that”, and can even rationalize them in the same binaries people love to use when trying to criticize a game.

      I guess what really annoys most people is that in AC, the lead character isn’t stunted in combat. But that’s taking the piss, surely, because Ezio goes down fairly quickly if he takes heavy blows. Which is to say, a sense of vulnerability doesn’t have to be exclusive to poor swordsmanship. I mean, look at Ezio’s abilities: he’s better at killing in a stealthy way than he is killing out in the open, in the same way Garrett is better at bumping blokes in the front than he is in the front.

      So really, my comparison, if any, is not made on the idea that these games are exactly the same, or that the mechanics are exactly the same (again, everything can be broken down into “press button to act” – telling me Thief and AC are “different gameplay experiences” only works if you’re adamant about distinguishing the exact button presses required for Garrett and Ezio to use swords). It also helps that both employ stealth and a vigorous exploration of surroundings to get their jobs done.

      Still, those damn pesky QTEs.

    • Diogo Ribeiro says:

      @ulix

      AC and GTA are much more closely related.

      Yeah, I love carjacking a Templar and ride that bitch across Jerusalem. Holler if you want me to pimp your crusade!

    • InternetBatman says:

      I think you’re missing the point; Assassin’s Creed is really more of an open-world brawler with marginal stealth capabilities and platforming elements, Thief is a pure stealth game. If you don’t like the genre, you don’t like it, but they have very different play styles for a reason.

      Thief 4 can do many things better. One is stealth. The Assassin’s Creed games have a pretty lax stealth system. Another is vulnerability. Enzio is more vulnerable than Altair, but both are easily capable of wiping out ten attackers at once, you run more because they’re an annoyance than a threat. Garret has a very hard time taking on two baddies at once, let alone the numbers presented in Assassin’s Creed, which gives the game a lot more genuine suspense. In AC they try to cover up the lack of consequences if your cover is blown by a ton of instant fail levels; that’s hamfisted. Another is realistic climbing. Climbing in AC is virtually running up walls. Climbing in Thief is much more visceral and fraught with peril. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Thief 4 can present a better story than Assassin’s Creed and avoid strip-mining the franchise. Altair was boring, and Enzio’s actions at the end of AC2 made no sense.

      Also, the Cradle wasn’t that great. It relied on a lot of setpieces and trope. A dead orphanage with screaming ghosts is easy to make scary. It’s hard to make a castle with twenty guards scary, or to make a relatively new type of creature, like the ratmen, that scares the pants off of people.

    • Diogo Ribeiro says:

      @internetbatman (not related to the Goddamn Batman, I presume?):

      “Thief is a pure stealth game”

      What’s “pure stealth”? I’m only asking as you seem to suggest AC is less of a stealth game because it includes combat and platforming, but then describe Thief has having the same – or very similar – elements. Unless we’re talking degrees of difficulty in interacting through said elements, or elements which are purposedly stunted in order to create a sense of frailty (which is entirely predicated on the idea that players will appreciate being stunded in order to enforce a theme; not all do).

      Which is to say, I can appreciate underpowered characters as a means to convey frailty (Thief is an example, the first Resident Evils were an example) but I can also appreciate that frailty does not have to apply to the same game mechanics. This seems like the same notion that contributed to the near extinction of point and click adventure games: designers and players absolutely demanded horrid puzzle design in their adventure games, otherwise they’d be classified as something else. But The Longest Journey isn’t particularly taxing on my observation skills as related to pixel hunting, and yet it feels pretty adventurous to me. Resident Evil not once stopped being tense for me even after all the “lol action” accusations after some mechanics were revised (conversely, RE3, Zero and Code Veronica were absolute awful even when adhering to conventions).

      By the way, let’s not get into the false assumption that someone does not appreciate a genre because they are not in entire agreement with everyone else, yes?

      Also, Thief 4 can do many things better as it can do many things worse. Not really an issue. If you care to scroll up a bit, I explicity stated it should do it’s own thing. My comment was how T4 could rival AC in the context of what industry and players expect after Assassin’s Creed. It was only until people went gaga over my non-comparison with Thief 4 that I explained in what context I’d make a comparison.

      And double also, I don’t care about realism. I know, it’s one of your main points and it really shows you put some effort in it, but I don’t play Thief nor AC for realistic climbing, and it’s not a point I’ve addressed elsewhere in the discussion because, really. What matters is how climbing is done in the context of things. Thief’s climbing is no more or less arduous than in AC, specially when enemies in AC activelly attack you when climbing as well. Neither is realistic in the slightest.

      RE: Cradle. But setpieces and tropes are fine things when used well, which is a lot more important than, say, novely. I don’t discount Planescape Torment because it hinges on accepting the tropes of amnesia, death and rebirth, or journeys that come full circle. Doing so would be a crime, or close enough. It’s true – it takes a lot more effort to present a series of tense situations using nothing but several guards and a standard castle. Which doesn’t mean that’s all the game has to do.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      “Yeah, I love carjacking a Templar and ride that bitch across Jerusalem. Holler if you want me to pimp your crusade! ”

      I wonder if you’re being purposely obtuse or if you really missed the point. It’s true, the AC games are much closer to Prince of Persia crossed with Rockstar’s open world mentality than they are to Thief. Thief is a first person immersive sim that is completely and utterly focused on its stealth mechanics. AC is nothing like it.

      And yeah, it might be POSSIBLE to go in swords a-blazin’ in Thief, but you’re actively fighting against the core game mechanics if you do so. It’s also probably possible to play Half-Life without killing most of the enemies; that doesn’t make it a stealth game.

    • Diogo Ribeiro says:

      I wonder if you’re being purposely obtuse or if you really missed the point.

      No more obtuse than people going ape because only they are privvy to some universal truth, therefore excluding any kind of comparisons made by subjective experience *not* made by catch all terms like “immersive” and “sim”. Weird: weren’t people reading RPS because we don’t talk about games in absolutes?

      But whatever floats people’s boats. I’ve already explained time and again my first comments, in the context of what T4 is up against a public much more receptive to AC, and how the comparison between both games was forced by people that assumed that I had done a comparison in the first place. But feel free to keep coming back for more, mate.

    • InternetBatman says:

      For a game to be a sneaker / stealth game there has to be a reason to sneak. Hard rules in the game, like dying when you fall in the water or instant fail if you get noticed aren’t really good reasons. Assassin’s Creed isn’t really a stealth game, because there is no real penalty for failing. The only penalties are the draconian if you get noticed you have to start over; they’re external to gameplay and arguably harsher than the penalties in a sneaker.

      Also, the character in Thief isn’t stunted, he makes sense in context of the game world. The Assassin’s Creed characters are largely more powerful through mobility, weaponry, and uncanny parry ability than anyone else in the gameworld. The enemies can only effectively attack them in cutscenes, and combat is frequently unavoidable.

      Also, not everyone has to appreciate the subtleties of a genre for its conventions to be valid. I hate fighting games like Street Fighter, but it would be foolish for me to suggest that they move away from their strengths because I don’t appreciate how the mechanics work. Mechanics in every game don’t have to converge to be more popular.

      Finally, there’s a difference between thematic similarities and similarities in the way things are executed and atmosphere is created. One of the reasons Planescape Torment is great is because its execution creates a wildly different atmosphere from virtually anything anything else. Haunted orphanages with screaming children and poltergeists are just not that unusual in the greater body of collected works.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      “No more obtuse than people going ape because only they are privvy to some universal truth, therefore excluding any kind of comparisons made by subjective experience *not* made by catch all terms like “immersive” and “sim”.”

      Oh hi there giant straw man. No one said only they are privy to some universal truth. And those aren’t “catch all” terms. They’re just ‘terms.’ They describe a specific kind of gameplay, and they’re also perfectly subjective. So I’m not really sure what you’re on about.

      Also, I’ve only seen people civilly disagreeing and expressing their opinion. You’re the one going ape.

    • irongamer says:

      Going to have go with the vote of “as far away from AC as possible” as well. AC was a fun, roof top flying, dagger sticking, wall climbing game. But, I never felt the immersion that the Thief tiles offered. It will be interesting to see where the developers go with 4.

    • Chandos says:

      What I’ve gathered from this thread is that Diogo Ribeiro really loves his assassins.

      But yeah, it takes some willful effort to not get the core difference between AC and Thief and what people expect from the latter. I find it kinda similar to how some people don’t get the difference between James Bond and Jason Bourne.

    • Diogo Ribeiro says:

      @internetbatman:

      1) Again, I’ll have to ask a similar question – what’s a “real penalty for failing”? How is a “real penalty” a defining element of a stealth game. Note that this is an honest question, because I’m interested in your opinion insofar as it’s your opinion. See, if I fail in Deus Ex, this mostly has two outcomes – I screwed up a mission objective and there will be future consequences – or I screw up in the “Game Over” sense. Yes, I’d prefer if failure was accounted for in a more organic way, but I wouldn’t arbitrarily choose any method as “bad” or as defeating the purpose of a genre (actually, I might do that depending on genre or a designer’s intention regarding theme, but this is contextual and the discussion is already off on several tangents, most of them imagined).

      2) But Garrett is stunted, he has to be. That’s the context: a thief, not Duke Nukem. The way the designers came up to highlight this noteworthy theme was to have Garrett be less than stellar in some play mechanics, chiefly, combat. Otherwise it would betray precisely what you seem to agree defines the game in terms of context. If he isn’t handicaped in that particular play mechanic, then combat risks becoming at least as valid an option as stealth. It’s a constraint made to favor that which the designers want the player to spend more time with.

      3) True, mechanics don’t have to converge. They also don’t have to insular. Again, this hasn’t got anything to do with whether I like (which I do) or dislike the genre.

      4) Unusual has no bearing on whether it’s well executed or not, which the Cradle very much was. It wasn’t a fresh approach, but that’s hardly a reason to criticize it.

    • Diogo Ribeiro says:

      @ResonanceCascade:

      They describe a specific kind of gameplay, and they’re also perfectly subjective. So I’m not really sure what you’re on about.

      What “specific” gameplay does “immersive” describe? Does anyone think of a specific genre or game when saying immersive? Again, perfectly subjective, but it seems only you can be subjective. Of course you’re not sure “what I’m on about” – because to you, Thief is that thing, over there, which is “immersive and a simulator”. Talking about it in any other terms can only be the work of a person that is “dense”, and “missing the point”.

      You also can’t be serious about “simulation” describing gameplay, because what it describes are not the play mechanics, but the extent to which play mechanics are used. Which is why trying to describe The Sims, Deus Ex, Nascar 2, Sim City, Thief, ARMA and Street Cleaning Simulation as simulators does bugger all to actually pinpoint what they are and how they’re played and what they are actually simulating.

      Also, I’ve only seen people civilly disagreeing and expressing their opinion. You’re the one going ape.

      I wasn’t throwing fits over a non-existant comparison. Your “civil people” were. Those “lol AC” comments up there? The ones begging the game to be “as far away from AC as possible” when I explicitly stated I didn’t want T4 to be a carbon copy? Yeah, those aren’t mine, unless I’ve developed MPD. Do give a read before jumping to conclusions, yeah?

    • Diogo Ribeiro says:

      @Chandos:

      What I’ve gathered from this thread is that Diogo Ribeiro really loves his assassins.

      True that! I also enjoy going out for coffee and smokes, but I better leave it at that before people start accusing me of saying that coffee and smokes are better than Thief 4 or Thief 4 needs to be just like caffeine and nicotine.

      I mean, I can only take so much abuse for things I don’t say, really!

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      Yikes. Again, you’re being obtuse. ‘Immersive sim’ (not ‘immersive’ and a ‘sim’, you silly billy) isn’t some phrase I just made up for this discussion. It has a long history of describing a certain type of first person game that relies on a combination of simulation (as opposed to heavy scripting) and emergent gameplay. Thief. Deus Ex. Ultima Underworld. I thought that went without saying, but I guess you’re hellbent on being pedantic, so there you go.

    • Sparvy says:

      So from your later comments am I supposed to understand that you brought AC up by accident? That you are not comparing the two and do not want Thief to be inspired by it?

      May I then ask, why you didn’t mention say Splinter Cell, Elder Scrolls, Riddick or any other game that at least share some game mechanics with the Thief series? Which I would argue AC does not, unless you would use terms so general they would lose all meaning.

      Why would Thief 4 have the AC series as a rival at all.

      As for your snark about my GTA – AC comparison; no I have not hijacked any templar but I have definitely hijacked a few gondolas and horses.

    • Diogo Ribeiro says:

      @Resonance:

      Yes, I know the term and the context of “immersive sim” but that’s why I decided to split it open. It has a long history of describing things which it doesn’t really do justice, and all it takes is to separate both words to see why. Of course, I’m being silly: “immersive sim” is only applied to a very specific strain of games which are not meant to describe anything outside of them. But its use is predicated on the player knowing what either term is, what it applies to, and what the context is. Like any other ad hoc genre, it attempts to convey one or other element the designers focused on without fully considering what it said about the game itself. I mean, I know the term, and it never crosses my mind when playing Thief.

      That’s my point, kinda sorta, and why I find it disparaging that you are fine with someone talking about, or rationalizing, Thief in the context of immersive (which may not be to some) sim (when it’s only simulating very finite and specific things), but anything other than that, like I did when I decided (in light of people missing the point, wrongly) to explain what commonalities I saw in both games, is cavespeak.

      I’m glad I didn’t write that RPS article about Mirror’s Edge being a racing game, otherwise I’d be drowning in hate mail or something.

    • Diogo Ribeiro says:

      @Sparvy:

      So from your later comments am I supposed to understand that you brought AC up by accident?

      Last time I’ll recap:

      +I said after playing AC2, I had a hard time imagining Thief catching up to in popularity and public awareness on the same level, on account of the game’s similarities (in fact, when you ask “why would it be a rival at all?” is a pre-answer to that; I saw many people and even some reviewers drawing comparisons).
      +Someone assumed I mentioned AC2 was better than Thief, then recanted after he realized I didn’t, but still couldn’t understand why anyone in their right mind would draw comparisions.
      +Other than repeating myself on the first point, I went on to explain what commonalities I found between both games.+
      Enter deluge of “lol AC is arcade trash for console tards why should it be anything like that” (not verbatim, but I’m a romantic at heart and prefer to capture the mood of things).
      +Enter me trying, in vain, to redirect people to the first posts I made where I said it’s fine if T4 takes some inspiration from AC but it should still very much do its own thing.
      +Enter your comment and my snark (it was a pretty cute snark, though, eh?).

      I did not mention Splinter Cell, Elder Scrolls or Riddick because after playing those games, I wasn’t reminded of Thief. Simple as that. That’s why I compared both later on, to placate people going “lol wut”. Which I’m fine with people disagreeing, really; I don’t talk about videogames to convert people to what I think, nor to preach to the choir. But it was a discussion so why not… Discuss?

    • Hulk Handsome says:

      Will you please stop with your obnoxious “lol ur a bunch of elitists who hate console” crap. It’s insulting and makes you look just as bad as the “elitists”, and there was only like one person who actually said anything like that. I’m sure most people here actually play console games just as much if not more than PC games these days, I know I do.

      The original point is that we think it’s silly to compare the two games because we feel they’re incredibly different in most ways. Though I appreciate that you tried to explain your position, I found your comparisons entirely unconvincing (they could be applied to basically any game). I still feel the similarities are far too minor for any real comparison. At no point did AC remind me of Thief, if anything it reminded me of Hitman without the open-endness despite a vastly larger world.

      Too bad no other discussion is going to happen since everything has taken a ridiculous, obfuscated turn.

    • Diogo Ribeiro says:

      Hullo there, Hulk Handsome (Batman and the Hulk? I’m sensing a theme here).

      Yes, the quip wasn’t made in the context of a verbatim set of quotes, but on the basis of their reactions. As I’m sure you like to read, you can probably waste less than a minute reading the smaller posts above – they should get you started.

      Yes, you’ve all (mostly) made your points about how “incredibly different” it sounds to you. And? I didn’t even drag the topic back until one person (one person) decided to discuss it in further detail, and I obliged. I’m sure all else was pretty much me being “obnoxious” to the otherwise fine gents who in no way were being “insulting” themselves.

      At no point did AC remind me of Thief, if anything it reminded me of Hitman without the open-endness despite a vastly larger world.

      Can’t help you there, sorry. For one, I didn’t ask you what it reminded you of. Second, I don’t find your opinion more or less valid than mine, just different. Third, good luck. You’ll either get pounced because you’re not making the Right Subjective Analysis Thing, or you’ll be hailed for discovering a point of view more in line with others’ own views. Either way, you’re on the internet. Heads up!

  6. Hidden_7 says:

    If they can recapture the feeling of Life of the Party, either through particular missions, or through an open world that blends missions into it, then I will consider it a success.

  7. MuscleHorse says:

    Oh my loving christ, please don’t screw this up.
    Thief 2 is a game I still return to and, partly thanks to the still alive modding community, still get huge enjoyment from. The atmosphere, world and ball-numbing challenge of Expert mode is unmatched. Thief 3 was something of a disappointment, losing the huge free-form levels but wasn’t a huge disaster I suppose. Just make sure killing someone is a Game Over!

  8. Stuart Walton says:

    Brosius, Brosius and Brosius, at least two of which need to be Eric flavoured.

    Garret (or whoever the new thief is) needs to learn how to swim again, but he should leave wet footprints for a bit.

    Rope arrows need to come back but I like the claws too.

    Garret seemed resigned to his fate as a Keeper at the end of DS. That needs to be addressed, are all missions going to be no-kill missions?

    Wouldn’t mind seeing some of DE:HR’s cover to cover movement thrown in.

    Force players to the the Dark Mod method for lockpicking on the hardest difficulty.

    Play Yakkety Sax when multiple factions in an area have members who are aggrivated… Stonemarket Plaza was hilarious at times. I just sat in the dark and watched the madness (helped by a few tossed oil flasks).

  9. Pemptus says:

    Obligatory plug: there is still an active community making missions for Thief Gold and Thief 2, many with custom assets, and many surpassing the original campaigns in a lot of different ways. Not sure what to do with your life? Check out the appropriate section of the ttlg forums.

  10. BigJonno says:

    One thing they need to get absolutely right is consequences for being detected. I don’t want to have to quick save every five seconds and reload if I hear a patrolling guard so much as pause, but neither do I want recovering from detection being so easy that there is no real need to develop my skills.

    • edwardoka says:

      Hell yeah. A hardcore mode (no on-the-job saving) would be great. That’s how I played the first two Thief games, but the third one didn’t really suit that style of play.

  11. iwem.xo says:

    @edwardo_ka was referring to a conversation in the first level of Thief 1.

    • edwardoka says:

      Indeed I was. Slightly messed up the transliteration of Benny’s somewhat distinct accent, though.

  12. The Dark One says:

    So, you want a realistic, down-to-earth game… that’s completely off-the-wall and swarming with magic robots?

  13. MrNice says:

    I’m not convinced on the multi player theif race, I like the idea but I don’t see how it can really work, some starting position will always be better than other, guards AI will randomize the game and after a while it will be more like speedrun than a real hiding game

    • NathanH says:

      If you died in the race, you’d just lose rather than respawn, so being careful would not be a bad idea.

      If I was doing a multiplayer Thief I’d have a bunch of thieves in a fairly large area, no main loot prize but certain significant loots scattered over the level, some aspect of randomization, and no time limit apart from other thieves stealing all the stuff. If you return to your start location you can leave the mission and the loot you escape with counts as your score. If you die you score zero and all your loot vanishes.

      It would be an odd sort of multiplayer game, but Thief is a fairly odd sort of single player game, so that oughtn’t necessarily be a bad thing.

  14. Text_Fish says:

    I want it to be difficult.
    I want battle to be the last possible resort.
    I want the guards to say things like “Wot did oi perchance to ‘ear over ‘yond ‘yonder crate oi wonder?”.
    I want it to be first person only (it won’t be, I know).
    Open worlds are fine, but I don’t want open worlds at the expense of intelligently and lovingly designed “inside bits” which is so often an endemic problem with open world games.

    • Khemm says:

      I think the hub-based City like in Deadly Shadows worked really well. Open world would lead to a grindy style of gameplay. “Collect x flags, steal x purses of gold”.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      How about having one or a couple of fairly big hub maps in between missions, and then have the closed maps while you are on a mission? You get to select missions to go on – new possible instances appears on your map as you overhear conversations or purchase targets+maps from a fence. You can only go on one mission every night, and time is tight. Do you pursue the story missions, or do you risk taking a night off to hit a good target so you can afford better equipment? Do you take a low risk-low reward mission, or go for broke? Missions also disappear as you progress through the story – the party at the Count’s castle is only a single night, if you missed it, it’s gone.

      That could be a nice compromise between open world and the unique locations, and make it feel less linear than T3 (which started down that road with choosing to offend/befriend Hammerites or Pagans by doing things in the hub world, but kept the main missions linear)

  15. The Sombrero Kid says:

    I will put money on it that Thief 4 will be using the luminous engine & not unreal 3, which is why i expect the linkdin profile is a fraud.

    • The Sombrero Kid says:

      the reason i think this is dxhr (dxhr doesn’t really use the crystal engine it’s largely new & i suspect the basis for the luminous engine) & the luminous engine use a deffered lighting system which is perfect for a game like thief 4 whereas unreal 3 uses a dated traditional forward renderer which cannot hope to support anywhere near as much light sources.

    • iwem.xo says:

      Wasn’t one of Unreal’s selling points the ability to rip out and replace parts? I think they could replace/modify the renderer. They did it for Deus Ex: Invisible War at least (not the best example of that actually working great though)

    • The Sombrero Kid says:

      It is possible they could be using the unreal engine, but i strongly believe the reason dxhr has a deferred lighting system is so they could use the engine for a thief game.

      I would say that if it does have multiplayer & an unreal 3 renderer, imo, it’s because sales of dxhr disappointed them in a way that they think a multiplayer component would fix (i.e. people traded it in, rented it etc) & the unreal licence is about getting hold of the networking tech, that would almost certainly have delayed the whole game with a switch to a new engine (we know it was initially being developed with the dxhr tech) all for a multiplayer component no one wants and will not serve it’s purpose, people don’t keep bioshock 2 or dead space 2 around to play their multiplayers.

      That’s why I’m more prone to believe the linkedin page is false, because the alternative is that Eidos Montreal are botching it, all this is pure speculation though obv.

  16. amorpheous says:

    I’m still trying to figure out how to pronounce it. I’m currently going with “THI-AF!” as it sounds like two thirds of a dragon shout.

    • NathanH says:

      Level one shout: THIEF!
      Level two shout: THIIII-AF!
      Level three shout: THIIII-FOUR EFF!

  17. Seboss says:

    “Proper cheek spikes for the bears as I’m gans doon t’bear pits tomorrer.” I not entirely sure what he means by the last bit, other than trying to sound like a Yorkshireman.

    Awww come on, that’s from one of the first glimpse of conversation you catch from guards in Thief I.

    EDIT: sorry, iwem.xo got that right first.

  18. Metonymy says:

    I can never process these kinds of games. My brain is hard-wired to believe that the appropriate way to dodge incoming damage is to run.

    Any other activity seems almost trite by comparison. OH WERE GOING TO HIDE BEHIND SOLID OBJECTS. THE DARKNESS WILL PROTECT US. PRESS THE BLOCK BUTTON.

    • sinister agent says:

      Running away is the default strategy at any point in the thief games if you screw up (ie: are discovered). Even most of the weapons are best used to cover a retreat.

    • Metonymy says:

      Hmm, I walked into that. I shouldn’t have removed the ‘left and right.’

  19. Thiefsie says:

    This makes me happy.

  20. DickSocrates says:

    Call it ‘Feef’ and set it in 17th century London.

  21. Bluepixie says:

    I still vividly remember a full page ad in PC Format back in the day for Thief: The Dark Project. The line was:

    “Your weapons are deadly, your I.Q. is lethal”

    I hope they can work the game mechanics around that idea. Out smarting the levels by discovering and executing your own plans is what made the game so invovling and tense. When you screwed it up, you only ever had yourself to blame.

    Fingers crossed the success of games like Dark Souls will encourage them to make a game that is all about valuing player skill and intelligence.

    • Okami says:

      As much as I enjoy Dark Souls, the game seems to be more about grinding the Undead Parish (or whichever grind friendly location you happen to be at the moment) than player skill or intelligence….

    • Bluepixie says:

      Well, I guess the Dark Souls respawning areas can be used to grind (and as I understand it you have to on new game+ ) which is mindless computer game RPG stat nonsense.

      However, it’s possible to complete the game without any grinding and it comes down to player skill and knowledge of the systems in the enemies and environment. True Thief can’t be ‘grinded’ but equally it never did any hand-holding or treated it’s player like an idiot as most modern AAA titles do.

  22. Bluerps says:

    Were does that logo even come from? I mean, the game is not really called “Thifourf”, is it?

    • John P says:

      It’s on the Thief 4 website …

      So yes, someone at Eidos actually designed that, and someone else at Eidos actually approved it.

      And despite widespread disbelief and scorn it’s remained there for over a year.

      Boggles the mind.

    • Bluerps says:

      Ugh. I had hoped that it was a joke of some kind…

  23. airtekh says:

    This is sitting mightily atop my ‘games I’m looking forward to’ list.

    I would be apprehensive, but Eidos Montreal did such a great job with Human Revolution that I can’t imagine them screwing this up.

    • John P says:

      Depends on what you think constitutes ‘screwing it up’. They turned Deus Ex into a Metal Gear Solid game, so I’m not confident they’ll respect the Thief series. I’m expecting an MGS/Assassin’s Creed/Splinter Cell hybrid of some kind.

      This is being made by a totally different team than HR, though, so that’s something.

  24. Cooper says:

    “memorable scripted sequences with altered controls, camera and/or gameplay rules.”

    Gonna do that tempting thing…

    QTEs, obv…

  25. BobbleHat says:

    I still don’t think it’d feel like a Thief game unless Garrett was in it, either playable or as a main character. He’s too awesome to leave out. Also, it’s a long shot but the gorgeous painterly cutscenes helped set the tone for the whole game, and no amount of near photo-realistic cgi from Squeenix could ever capture that tone.

    The rest of it goes without saying; every enemy encounter to be potentially game ruining; huge, sprawling layouts that allow for a wide variety of different routes, and Benny. Of course Benny.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I wouldn’t mind if it was

      *really old spoilers*

      the girl he found at the end of the third game, and he was the mentor.

  26. Hulk Handsome says:

    “Number three! “The City.” Hardly a surprise, but it suggests something open-worldy to me, rather than a series of missions. That’s what we want. ”

    Speak for yourself, good sir! The open world of Thief 3 was the worst part of the game, and I definitely don’t want a soulless playground as in AC. I really want the same highly detailed, honed mission design that were present in the first three games. Every mission had its own personality and soul, and I want more of that.

    A hub? Would be acceptable if it’s better than the one in Thief 3, I suppose. Let me go on rooftops for one thing. Hopping across rooftops in Life of the Party was one of the best moments in the second game.

    Really, there were only two things I ever wanted in the Thief games that stopped the series from being perfect for me (apart from sloppy design here and there):

    LIMITED SAVES: I’m sure they could work it into the fiction. The Thief series is a huge victim of quicksave whoring, which always took out a lot of the tension. I’d rather ration my saves so if I fuck up and someone finds me, I’ll have to run and hide or fight to the death instead of just quickloading after seeing where the guard wanders off to.

    I wonder if this game will have checkpoint saving…

    REPORTS ON YOUR ADVENTURES: Thief 3 had this a little bit, but I’d really like to see something like what was seen in Hitman: Blood Money. The fewer traces you leave behind, the less the law has on you. I want my performance reflected in the world! If I kill everyone, make it clear they’re hunting a killer, not a thief!

  27. Tyrone Slothrop. says:

    Massive, Thief 2-style levels.
    Rope arrows.

    Everything else is pretty negotiable in my eyes, can’t fucking wait to see what Eidos-Montreal have done, especially since DX:HR became my favourite game overnight practically. I’m supremely confident in Thief 4, particularly after hearing a sample of the ‘generative audio’ in the game; completely dynamic soundscapes, dynamically mixing ambient chords, instruments and effects. It may sound somewhat awkward but the final product I heard was definitively Thief and then some; dark, enigmatic, tense, ethereal yet industrial. The link is somewhere on the official forums from last year’s GDC.

    What I wouldn’t give to see some footage.

  28. Metalhead9806 says:

    Lets hope they don’t outsource the games boss content like they did with Deus Ex:HR.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Let’s hope it has as little bosses as possible. Every guard is a miniboss in the Thief series.

  29. Lars Westergren says:

    I want the non-precise handdrawn maps from the earlier games, obviously created by someone bribing a servant in advance. That way you have to carefully observe the environments for landmarks to figure out where you are and where to go. Not a full 3d map with flashing objective markers and “go here” compass arrows.

    I’m not sure how to implement it, but it would also be nice if they made the takedowns more dynamic and challenging. In many stealth games today, the only challenge is figuring out movement patterns of NPCs and how to get close to them without being spotted. Once that has happened, the only thing left is to press the “win” button. This gets repetetive since you have to do it 30 times per level or more.

    I would like a second player-skill based challenge once you are close – for instance selecting different tools for different armored enemies, targeting different body parts or choosing which angle to attack from for max efficiency. In Thief 3 you could whack a guard with a full helmet on from behind with your blackjack and he would always pass out. It would be nice if with helmeted enemies you had to press a different button to do a choke-hold on those instead, which could fail. Or use clorophome+rags, which would always work, but it would deplete with each use and be very expensive to replenish. And a few more take down variations like that.

  30. wodin says:

    Sounds awfully like AssCreed.

  31. Sparvy says:

    I wish they stay away from too many hud elements for a start; no minimap, no outlined enemies and no objective markers.

    I’d prefer if it was entirely first person too, sneaking up to a corner and leaning out is much more exciting than rotating the camera so I can watch the guard walking around around with no fear of being discovered.

    Don’t feel the need to add too many RPG elements (I’m talking about upgrades, weapons, levels or skills or what have you) unless they really work with the game and philosophy you are going with. A good core game and good story trumps any need for progression

  32. ZX k1cka55 48K says:

    I’m skipping everything that has numbers for letters in it. Those things never turn out good…
    (how can you expect someone who cant even write properly to do any decent work?heh?)

    p.s.
    Yes, i know, im not too great at it either, but
    A) English isn’t my native language
    B) im not trying to sell you stuff with numbers for letters in it
    so please be4r with me.

    • Llewyn says:

      Since this is RPS, surely it should be “be∞r with me”.

  33. ziusudra says:

    Iam hopefull, with things like Thief2x and Cosas, and the dark mod, if they let modders touch the new Thief game, we will have another excellent thief experience, trust me. Such an amazing community only a masterpiece like Thief1 and 2 could do that.

  34. rapier17 says:

    I want them to do a ‘Cradle’ level but…at the same time I don’t. The ‘Cradle’ was so perfect, the best part of Thief III, that if they attempted to do something like it again it could be dreadful. But I’d still love it. Well hate it, actually, as that level scared me rigid.

    I also want rope arrows back. They were very great.

  35. GiantRaven says:

    I think there’s something wrong with the world if a good looking game that came out mere months ago can be described as ‘dated-looking’. It’s utter madness.

  36. Muzman says:

    None of that Third Person cover balderdash thank you.
    First Person Immersive Sim is what this is.
    Don’t care if market research says hedge your bets on third person. Have some damn stones. Halo and Call of Duty et al don’t have to compromise. The case for First Person being fundamental to the experience in Thief is better than for any FPS.

    • John P says:

      Agreed, third person would singlehandedly ruin the Thief feel. It will be third person though, either all the time or in combination with sticky cover. I guarantee Eidos and their sycophants will justify it by saying ‘third person allows you to see more of your environment and plan your approach more easily’. The moment they say that, they’ll reveal their ignorance of Thief. The first person camera is absolutely fundamental.

      Thief is about NOT knowing what’s around the next corner. Thief is about NOT knowing what’s behind your back once you leave the safety of a shadowed corner. Thief is about that pervasive sense of danger and unease at all times, and it’s created in large part by the limited first person perspective. (Which also, importantly, forces you to rely on your EARS as much as your eyes.) That’s precisely what will be lost with a third person camera.

      Don’t expect an immersive sim either. If they rejected that term for Human Revolution, I can’t see them embracing it here.

    • Prime says:

      Couldn’t agree more, Muzman, John P. Beautifully said. Deadly Shadows was savvy enough about their third-person perspective to allow gamers the choice between that and First-person; this new game HAS to offer at least the same choice or they’ve failed to make a Thief game.

    • Dave L. says:

      What I hope EM keeps in mind is that Thief is just as much a horror game as it is a stealth game, and limiting PoV is key to horror. The static camera angles of the Resident Evil series (excluding 4 and 5) and Alone in the Dark, the predominantly cramped corridors of the Ishimura in Dead Space, first person only in Amnesia, all choices made to limit what the player can see in order to make them more vulnerable.

      The third person worked (though was still unnecessary) in DX:HR because the player isn’t supposed to feel vulnerable as Jensen, they’re supposed to feel like a heavily augmented badass. Garrett is supposed to feel vulnerable. The limited PoV of first person is necessary to enforce that the player needs to be really fucking careful, and to listen to their surroundings, just as much, or even more, as they look.

  37. Ultra Superior says:

    “Alchemy kit to make poisons ….. without killing.”

    Some alchemist you are, mr. octopus

  38. Wulf says:

    Let’s see, test…

  39. Turkey says:

    The simulation aspect is the key thing for me. I’m sure levels like the bank in Thief 2 is viewed as bad game design these days, though.

  40. petya says:

    Looking at some of the posts here and elsewhere, I would have one single advice to the dev group that is working on this, whoever they are: for the love of god DON’T LISTEN TO ANY FAN OPINION, ADVICE OR REQUEST. Just don’t read any forums or emails or anything, turn off your internet, focus on what made the previous games great, and make the goddamned game! This is the only way it doesn’t turn out to be the sort of market research-driven, horribly diluted and unfocused jack-of-all-trades desperately wanting to please every single gamer in existence that’s been cropping up all too often recently.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      >DON’T LISTEN TO ANY FAN OPINION, ADVICE OR REQUEST

      Does that include the advice/request you just gave them? “The Cretans are always liars”….

  41. Nihilexistentialist says:

    Unreal Engine, huh? I can’t wait for every single surface to be shiny.

  42. Saerek says:

    Honestly, in most of the thief games, I killed all the guards and baddies. Took me a while, but a little slash and run /repeat did the job.