The Banking Crisis: Thief

By Adam Smith on September 25th, 2013 at 7:00 pm.

Oh, Thief. First it giveth, then it taketh away. I suppose that’s better than most thieves, who aren’t too keen on the giving part, but I’d much rather Eidos Montreal’s reboot of my most beloved series would settle into a predictable pattern. Many people disagreed with my opinion that the previous trailer captured some of the City’s character, but I reckon it’s the best footage that has been publicly released so far. Nathan’s experience when he managed to put his hands all over the game wasn’t very positive though. The new trailer swings back toward the negative, with mention of multiplayer leaderboards and a…hnnnghh…exclusive…heeuurgh…preorder mission.

Taketh away.

Thief is out on February 25th so you have approximately four hundred years to consider and forget about that preorder opportunity.

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121 Comments »

  1. ResonanceCascade says:

    Please don’t suck. Please don’t suck. Please don’t suck.

    D’oh!

    • db1331 says:

      Spoiler alert: It’s going to suck

      • waltC says:

        In this trailer, I felt as though I was watching Max Payne’s son taking on a distinctly different career path than his father.

        • zain3000 says:

          I almost spat coffee all over my screen when I read this. Humor is a powerful weapon.. use it responsibly and think of all us coffee-drinkers reading the comments section on RPS before posting such things.

  2. Artist says:

    Must love it! People who pay the game when its released dont get the full game (- Bank Heist).

  3. Horg says:

    ”multiplayer leaderboards”

    Brb, finding some pictures of kittens before my rage meter fills up.

    • db1331 says:

      This reminds me of the time I almost choked while eating my breakfast and watching the gameplay trailer where the lead designer said something like, “I think we really preserved the spirit of the original games” while on screen the message “HEADSHOT +30 XP” popped up. It could not have been timed any better/worse.

    • KenTWOu says:

      Hey, old pals. What is the problem with leaderboards? It’s a really cool feature that allows you to create stealth challenges for your stealthy friends. At least it works exactly that way in the recent Splinter Cell:Blacklist. Hell, even Mark of the Ninja has leaderboards and that fact doesn’t make the game worse.

      • Sheng-ji says:

        Traditionally, when you finish a thief level you feel a sense of exhilaration – you feel like you, Garrett have just overcome a huge challenge completely alone and against all odds. You’ve seen things that no-one was mean’t to see and been places that no-one was meant to go and you have a stack of treasure to boot. Guess what really kills that moment:

        xxxXXXXXGRANDTHEFTAUTOPFANZZZZZZZXXXXXXXxxxxxxxxx completed that level 1 second quicker than you

        GrAnNnNnYMOLeStEr10984398453908340984 got 3 more gold than you

        It’s not about he idea of leaderboards per say, they have their place and could have a place in a thief game if you could play the entire experience without ever seeing them, but shoehorning social interaction where it is not wanted is crap. People play thief as a solitary experience. The ttlg forums are full of social interaction as it is – google the infamous lytha style of play where people set their own challenges but – and this is key – they were never competitive. You either completed the challenge or you screwed something up. A welcome announcement would have been customisable difficulty modes to support this notion. The strength of thief was always in how amazing a world it was, how you could overcome the threats with patience, stealth and your brain and the glimpse into a world you are not allowed to see. Leaderboards can only break the 4th wall and erode the strengths of the game.

        • KenTWOu says:

          Guess what really kills that moment…

          We’re living in the youtube era. So it will be another really hardcore walkthrough of this guy.

          By the way, that’s your problem if you have Steam friends like xxxXXXXXGRANDTHEFTAUTOPFANZZZZZZZXXXXXXXxxxxxxxxx and GrAnNnNnYMOLeStEr10984398453908340984. Don’t like leader boards? Turn your Steam client in offline mode. Problem solved!

  4. Lemming says:

    DOA…at least for Thief fans.

    NuGamers won’t know any different, and lap it up as ‘that game like Dishonored’.

    • dethtoll says:

      Maybe they’ll rediscover the classic Thief games!

      Oh right, TTLG’s Thief subforums would chase ‘em off.

      Too bad.

      • Guzzleguts says:

        the thing at TTLG that chases people away is, in fact, dethtoll

        • dethtoll says:

          Cute, but no. I don’t see you posting very much, Tenkahubu.

    • Spakkenkhrist says:

      “NuGamers”? Give me fucking strength.

    • Runs With Foxes says:

      I doubt they’ll ‘lap it up’. If they compare it to Dishonored, it won’t be a favourable comparison.

      Eidos’s problem is that they don’t know what kind of game they were trying to make, demonstrated by the developer turnover on the project. It moves a little bit toward Dishonored territory by making combat possible … but the combat looks like total shit. It still has some of its Thief ancestry, but it looks buried under all the new ‘modern’ rubbish like RPG elements and cutscenes and adrenaline-pumping escape sequences, and beyond that the game looks easy as hell anyway because of its half-blind NPCs. They’ve taken a series that was all about the simulation of a virtual environment, and all they seem to talk about is ‘Garrett’s complex character’, like anyone gives a fuck about a character journey in a Thief game. They took a series with a really interesting setting and world lore and ditched it all in favour of some old-hat plotline about some evil baron oppressing the people.

      • Muzman says:

        Garrett’s ‘narrative journey’ is a big part of what people liked about the old games. But it’s mostly done with such a light touch I suspect any contemporary tripleA studio focusing on that aspect like it’s a feature is guaranteed to screw it up.
        Instead of an enigmatic line or two here and there, clues and tid bits, where you’re forced to interpret the situation, it’ll probably be replaced with vastly expensive cinematics of slo mo stuff exploding, dear friends dieing horribly before your eyes, lots of declamatory dialogue about motivations and thoughts and backstory. Everything you need for a slow motion Mad World trailer.

      • Contrafibularity says:

        And it’s almost impossible now to distinguish marketing speak from facts, so even if it’s not going to suck, sqEidos-Enix management/marketing will probably do their best to obfuscate how good it is from Thief fans, much like they did with DXHR which was very good (save its weird faults like third-person nonsense and hand-holding, boss-fights, frequent cutscenes where none were needed, absence of first-person leaning etc. – some of which you could avoid) but if you watched the trailers beforehand you would be excused for thinking it would be a total disaster DX fans should avoid, which it’s not. It’s not as good as DX but it was as well as could be expected from a multi-platform prequel-reboot-cum-remake (sigh) with none of the original team involved, better even.

        I hope that the “MP leaderboards” thing is just some optional score/speedrun stats thing that doesn’t immediately yank you out of the game-world after every mission to remind you that the entire internet found more loot, faster and did so without knocking out fewer or no guards. That would suck. Please make that stuff optional so we can keep it out of the game like achievements or something (ie you can turn them off, or turn off the Steam overlay and its notifications during play).

        To be perfectly honest I’m just confused about where this game is heading now, it’s alternated between promising and terrible so many times now I’ll wait it out.

        Also does anyone know of the absence of colours is due to place-holders, or is this some “effect” they’re intentionally going for? It almost looks like a post-processing thing, and mostly unlike The City we know, unless it’s specific to a particular location. Weird.

        • jon_hill987 says:

          “DXHR … was very good (save its weird faults like third-person nonsense and hand-holding, boss-fights, frequent cutscenes where none were needed, absence of first-person leaning etc”

          Which ruined the game and made it unplayable even if they didn’t break the mouse support.

          • Wedge says:

            The what now? I don’t recall having any trouble playing the game with a mouse. Also rather liked the third person for stealth (but I’m a horrible person who liked Thief 3 because of that as well)… the ladders and magic falling explosion cushion, not so much.

        • Orageon says:

          I think we might have to think of this new gameplay direction (including the multi leaderboards) as coherent with what they did with Hitman, probably. They do the same with thief. I wasn’t a huge Thief player so I can’t judge much, but the new Hitman while a nice game in itself, was less entertaining to me that say BloodMoney, which I finished half a dozen times. But I fear they are taking the same kind of revamping scope.

          About DX:HR: I loved it, even if some design-choices were doubtful (can’t stun an unsuspecting enemy without energy, not free-jumping / less movement-based possibilities..). I have been playing DX and finished it a couple of times, including with revamp mods, and I also finished DX2. I loved DX but I also like DX:HR a lot, I think they captured the crucial elements of what makes a DX : large-levels with multiple routes relying on character specialization choices (at least in the beginning). It was a bit simplified though (that hacking mini-game was nice but come on, they used it for virtually everything ! Whereas DX had more variety in that domain (multitool, lockpicks ,etc). Also the bosses, as everyone noticed.
          But the ambiance was unique, the story had the mandatory conspiracy elements, gameplay-altering implants, across-the-globe levels, etc. So I enjoyed the trip very much.

  5. jonahcutter says:

    Content locked out unless you preorder?

    Never again.

  6. dethtoll says:

    It’s like, I want to be interested, but I’m not interested. I hate to even remotely look like I agree with the Thief fandom but this looks terrible.

    When’s DXHR Director’s Cut coming out again?

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      They really need to stick a release date on that. I am going to double dip and I don’t care.

  7. Tuor says:

    Eidos can go take a flying leap.

    If I buy this at all, it won’t be until after it has been reviewed by many different people and well after its release date.

    • Yglorba says:

      Just wait until you can buy the Game of the Year edition on sale for $5, which will doubtless include the “exclusive” preorder mission as well.

  8. SRTie4k says:

    I don’t care what anybody says, the reboot died when Steven Russell was passed over as Garrett. That crucial decision alone should have spelled out the direction the game was taking to everyone.

    • Henson says:

      The thing is, this decision would have worked just fine, had they decided not to make the Garrett the player character. Make Garrett a mentor figure for the player, someone who knows a lot about the city and keeps coy about what he tells the player, and maybe even someone who challenges you to steal a valuable item before he does. You don’t have to lose the player character’s detached snark to do it, either.

      Heck, the end of Thief 3 pretty much hints at this kind of situation for Garrett.

      • Cockles says:

        It’s been a long time since I played the 3rd one, but didn’t he catch a young girl trying to pick his pockets or something? If it was then it might be interesting to play as that character, who was their own person but with the cynical traits of Garrett showing in their personality. The fact that Garrett always reluctantly agreed to save the world always felt a little bit off and it could work better with a new character.

        I’d love a new “old-school” thief but that’s never going to happen so I’m keeping expectations low for this, just like with the new Deus Ex and Dishonoured, both of which I ended up enjoying in their own right. If this ends up being as good as those 2 games then I’ll enjoy it at a reduced price.

        • Sheng-ji says:

          That’s pretty much exactly what happened – it directly mirrored how he himself was caught pickpocketing the keeper at the start of the first one.

          • Wedge says:

            This was probably the original design for the game, but we all know female protagonists aren’t allowed in AAA budgets.

  9. brulleks says:

    …back towards the negative?!

    I have yet to see a single piece of publicity for it that seems positive.

  10. Freud says:

    Too much pre-order junk and a game goes straight into the wait-for-sub-$10-sale-pile.

    • Yglorba says:

      The thing is, everyone knows they’ll eventually release a GotY / ultimate edition / whatever with all DLC, including this.

      So by making it a preorder bonus, they’re really encouraging people to wait for that.

      • HadToLogin says:

        +1
        Only reason why I preordered Xcom instead of waiting for Winter Sale was that they never mentioned any DLC outside of “tiny nostalgia DLC” with old hair-style.

  11. GameCat says:

    Hah, pirates will laugh at these who didn’t pre-ordered. Again.

    • Guzzleguts says:

      I had the same thought. Their tactics might end up back-firing.

    • Wedge says:

      Pretty sure there will be tears just from realizing the time wasted downloading it.

  12. Turkey says:

    WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE
    A guy in a hood with a mask covering half his face.
    50 000 Steam Cogs

  13. Tallfeather says:

    Would pirating the preorder bonus get you on the leaderboard?

  14. Zogtee says:

    Just forget about it, Eidos. Can it, walk away, forget it ever happened, and save your monies.

  15. chiablo says:

    If they couldn’t get the voice actor from the previous Thief games, they could have at least gotten someone who sounds similar to Garret. He sounds less like a grizzled thief breaking into a bank and more like a teenager planning to shoplift from a gas station.

    • Gryz says:

      They didn’t want Stephen Russell. The reason ? “He’s too old. He wouldn’t be able to do the motion-capturing for the new action and fighting moves”.

      • aepervius says:

        Yeah because game are unlike film : you cannot have one spry young person for the move and another for the voice. The same person , MUST do both.

        /sarcasm

    • Rizlar says:

      That actually sounds like something interesting. Smarmy teenage main character who nicks stupid stuff just because he is bored and because he can. So much narrative potential!

      Don’t expect they will deliver this.

  16. pegolius says:

    I don’t care about MP leaderboards or preorder bo(g/n)us as long as the game itself is good. Or does the existence of a leaderboard automatically lower the quality of a game? Come on RPS, you can do better than that.

    I would agree with all the negativity if the game would release with the flaws as Nathan reported them some time ago. But this here looks more like posting negative news for the sake of it :(

    • Revisor says:

      Ok, where should we start?

      - XP system awarding the player for scoring headshots (for anything, really) + on-screen popups
      - one contextual button for “swooping” and jumping => no more jumping where you want because “it ruins the narrative”
      - contextual hotspots for the rope arrows instead of spots based on the material
      - one-key takedowns
      - slow motion in combat
      - focus mode / wallhack vision
      - QTEs
      - on-rails scenes
      - emo Garrett
      - voice actor change
      - discarding of much of the old lore (all factions and the language, among other)

      In the best case it will be something between AssCreed and the last Tomb Raider. It might still be a pretty passable game but it’s marred by what passes as vidyagame fun in AAA studios today.

    • The Laughing Owl says:

      He’s reporting on an obvious issues that must be adressed. If awarness isn’t raised and people don’t complain, they will just keep adding more stuff similar to this and before we realize there are tons of content that should be part of the main product.

      • aepervius says:

        For a release in end february it is pretty much too late by now. Even counting development hell, 5 month are nowhere near enough to completly change a system to remove what he mentionned (especially the context dependent stuff). The best they could probably do is an option in the menu “hide story help” to not show the context dependent cue , and not show the XP bonus popup thingy. But to remove them, by now it is way too late.

  17. suibhne says:

    Yep, that looks unengaging…but it sounds far worse. I dearly hope that voice acting, and especially the dialogue writing, isn’t indicative of the quality in the single-player experience.

  18. Turin Turambar says:

    The voice over really clashed on that trailer. Like… is he talking to someone or what?

  19. zin33 says:

    multiplayer leaderboards are a bad thing now?

  20. dogsolitude_uk says:

    Whereas pre-order bonuses are annoying, they won’t necessarily make the game worse. And having a Leaderboard for posting your level completion time doesn’t actually sound like a bad idea, providing you can happily ignore it.

    I was really sorry to hear that Stephen Russell won’t be doing the voiceovers, but I figure I can get over that. It won’t be the same, for sure, but, you know… If the game’s OK I can live with it.

    What *really* concerns me is the ‘xp’ stuff: Thief for me was always about *my* skill as a player, not having the behind-the-scenes game mathematics tweaked because I was wearing the Thargian Amulet of Silence or something silly like that. It’s where Thief differs from Deus Ex, Skyrim, and other action-rpg games, or action games with RPG elements or whatever you want to call them.

    Introducing XP smacks of fundamentally changing the game mechanics away from a game of pure skill – that, for me, may well be a deal breaker. The pre-order bonuses and leaderboard are neither here nor there as far as I’m concerned, just rather irritating missteps.

    • NathanH says:

      Yes, I think you’re right. I imagine they have included it mainly because it’s trendy to have some superficial xp progression system in your game these days, without stopping to determine whether it’s suitable for the game. XP systems tend to be suitable if
      1) You have a relatively open world, so the player is constantly meeting things above or below their character level;
      2) You have relatively abstract mechanics, rather than immersive mechanics, so the player has some collection of numbers to interact with and manipulate;
      3) You have relatively complicated mechanics and want to introduce them more slowly (you don’t need an xp system to do this but it can work quite well because it lets the player make some choices about the order of new mechanics); or
      4) You have several different equally-plausible playstyles and you want to give the player the opportunity to specialize in whichever they prefer.

      None of these seem really applicable to Thief.

  21. Artist says:

    “Pre-order now and unlock the feature to run screen resolutions of 1024×768 and higher!”

  22. emertonom says:

    “So, how’s the project coming? Our reboot of a series so beloved that fans will buy it at full price unless it’s absolutely, unequivocally terrible?”

    “Uh, yes, not the best news there, sir. The focus groups said it didn’t seem much like Thief, and was more like a few other games.”

    “What other games?”

    “One person said ‘Katamari Damacy.’ I’m not familiar with it myself, but we’re looking in to it.”

    “Hmm. So how are we estimating the reviews?”

    “Our projections now put it at a 67 on metacritic.”

    “67? That’s totally unacceptable! Pull half the developers off the project now, and deny bonuses to the rest. Wait, but there’s a rabid fanbase for the *series*, right? Well, we’ll just make some content that’s only for people who preorder. Then the fans are certain to pre-order, so they’ll have paid us before the review embargo is lifted. That still works, right? How much did Colonial Marines rake in? See whether we can get one of those cheap plastic figurines, too, but only for ‘gold level’ preorders. Yeah, we can make this work.”

    • fiendling says:

      lol, sadly and probably 100% spot on.

    • fish99 says:

      The funny thing is the bigger a Thief fan you are, and the more you understand what made Thief great, I think the less likely you are to buy this game. But it’ll still trade on the name I guess, selling to people who never played a Thief game but ‘heard they were cool’.

  23. VelvetFistIronGlove says:

    0:38 and 0:41 — security cameras. Nothing like Thief 2′s technomagical faces, but little rectangular boxes with a lens sticking out the front, rotating back and forth up in the corners of rooms.

    I bet you anything “focus mode” shows the camera’s vision cone too.

    • LTK says:

      Oh shit, you’re right. They actually put in security cameras. What in the fuck?

      • Yglorba says:

        There were security cameras in Thief II, at least in Mechanist strongholds. They were sort of steam-punkish, but I do distinctly recall them being there.

        I mean, there’s a lot of things to complain about here, but that isn’t one of them.

        • SwENSkE says:

          You’re absolutely right, in Thief 2 we had some sort of ‘security cam’. In fact they were some kind of motion detectors you could either destroy with fire arrows or deactivate somewhere – or just try to stay out of their line of sight.

          So nothing to see here – just move on, move on, move on, move on, move on

        • Stardreamer says:

          Actually, I think the original point was to complain about the cameras being unimaginative little boxes. Part of Thief’s enormous charm was the unorthodox approach they took to many real world problems and the designs of the world and its devices. Those baroque faces crafted by Mechanist artisans perfectly expressed what function they performed, as well as being awesome to look at. A rectangular box with a lens on it? Not even the real world is that unimaginative any more!

    • Josh W says:

      I was thinking that, the shape of the rooms was wrong too, too closed and boxy, Snaaaaake.

  24. Henson says:

    Actually, this seems like a pretty smart move to me. Eidos has already seen many people, both fans and the gaming press, express unease about the state of Thief 4; a lot of people seem inclined to wait for reviews rather than buy upfront. The best way for them to encourage preorders would be to include a mission in the one place you most want to steal from: a bank. it’s the ideal hook for playing as a master thief.

    • alw says:

      Would’ve been smarter to have just made the game the fans wanted, wouldn’t it? It’s hard to know how they’re managing to bollocks things up, it’s not like the fanbase isn’t vocal. I can understand they want to introduce more players to the franchise, but the Thief series (well, 1 and 2, at least) are already highly-regarded games, it’s not like they need to go changing loads of stuff for it to be a good game.

      • NathanH says:

        Presumably they are not satisfied with the thought of a good game and instead want a super smash hit game. It’s a dangerous game to play.

        • Rizlar says:

          I’m imagining someone standing over the devs in these situations with a big stick, saying ‘we want it more like this game’, ‘it needs to appeal to this age group’ etc. etc.

        • Baines says:

          Square Enix’s conservative estimated sales for the Tomb Raider reboot was 5-6 million in the first four weeks. It sold 3.4 million in that period. Their conservative estimate for Hitman Absolution was 4.5-5 million. (3.6 million) Sleeping Dogs was 2-2.5 million. (1.75 million)

          Square Enix is pretty disconnected from what their games actually sell, so maybe they aren’t that good at judging what “good” even is.

          Though they did admit to happily chasing expensive pretty graphics and looking into ways to exploit popular brands more. (One of their admitted goals was to get a brand that they could make money off of while the game was still in development. Which is part of why they are willing to spend so much chasing a “super smash hit.”)

      • LionsPhil says:

        How vocal a fanbase is is not the same as how large a fanbase is, and games are created to sell to many people and make money, not to be fine art for a select few.

        • SwENSkE says:

          And you’d do that by raping a well-known brand and getting the fanbase of said brand all up in arms about it?

          Seems like a smart move to me. You should get a job at Squeenix. Or maybe EA.

          • LionsPhil says:

            At the cost of the Internet trivializing rape again, you get a ton of free hype.

          • SwENSkE says:

            Thanks for not letting me down.
            I was expecting that kind of comment.

            Now care to explain where exactly I ‘trivialized rape’?

          • Mr.Snowy says:

            Well let’s see…

            From the Oxford online dictionary definition rape is “the crime, typically committed by a man, of forcing another person to have sexual intercourse with the offender against their will”.

            Not then the act of making a subpar sequel to an intellectual property.

            I think trivialised is a fair shout.

          • Midroc says:

            @lionsphil

            If SwENSkE would’ve written “And you’d do that by killing a well-known brand” would he be trivialising murder?

          • SwENSkE says:

            @ Mr. Snowy

            You’re aware of the fact that language is a living thing? Undergoing constant change? Or what it means to use a word as an analogy?

            Using the word ‘rape’ out of its usual meaning has nothing to do with trivializing the crime itself.

          • Emeraude says:

            rape 1 (r [[tfd.com]] p)
            n.
            1. The crime of forcing another person to submit to sex acts, especially sexual intercourse.
            2. The act of seizing and carrying off by force; abduction.
            3. Abusive or improper treatment.

            tr.v. raped, rap·ing, rapes
            1. To force (another person) to submit to sex acts, especially sexual intercourse; commit rape on.
            2. To seize and carry off by force.
            3. To plunder or pillage.

            Emphasis mine.
            If anything, the demand that rape only refers to sexual violence is the politically motivated act of language redefinition, not its proper use in other specific instances.

            I remember once being there for an interview where Tricky used the expression “raped and run” with rape clearly referring to the act of plunder (he was talking about sampling) the miscommunication, and the expression of the interviewer was priceless.

        • fish99 says:

          Which is why Looking Glass were so brilliant, and probably also why they went bust sadly.

  25. Yosharian says:

    In other words the game is utter trash and they want people to order it before the reviews hit

    yeah no thanks

  26. Stevostin says:

    I don’t think this trailer to be especially outrageous for the Thief fan that I am. I don’t care about that exclusive preorder stuff. Sure, I won’t have it bit OTOH if the game is any good I’ll buy it way cheaper at a steam sales, which is huge improvement over the past, and most possibly with that very DLC (that generally happen to be not that worthy anyway)

  27. TheBarringGaffner says:

    An encouragement to buy the game before reviews come in? Well that’s a good sign.

  28. captain nemo says:

    No thanks – barge pole engaged

  29. edwardoka says:

    Heh. It’s a preorder exclusive bank heist level. How pretentious can you get?

    • Rizlar says:

      They’ll be in and out with your money and you wont see a thing! Wait, the other way around…

  30. ziusudra says:

    So that’s the famous Garrett, huh? Guess he’s not as good looking as I’d heard

  31. S Jay says:

    Pre-order exclusive mission?! Go to hell.

  32. theloudestgeeks says:

    What a bunch of Taffers.

  33. Muzman says:

    Well, it’s not micro-payments…yet.
    (Oh bitterest irony. I wonder how they’d do that? Every time Garrett says ‘The rent is due’ you can just pay it and have a lie in?)

    Multiplayer isn’t a killer in itself People have been trying to figure out how that might work since the start. Nothing obvious seemed to stick. This sounds like speed runs, essentially. Maybe you can disrupt the other guy or whatever. Hmmm. Might be ok in specifically designed missions.

    Worth saying again; It’s all for nowt if the missions arent big and complicated! No, Dishonoured was often not big enough!

    • Yglorba says:

      Unfortunately, one of the worst symptoms of consolitis continues to be tiny levels.

      (It always confuses me, because there are console games that have huge sprawling levels, but for some reason whenever an entry in a series that originated on the PC gets an installment designed with consoles in mind, the levels become tiny or noticeably split up into subsections. I think the issue is that the basic ascetic of a game like GTA is designed around console hardware, whereas the ascetic of Thief or Hitman was designed around a PC, forcing level designers to compromise somewhere.)

      • Baines says:

        Look at the poor fate of EDF when it became a modern/Western PC game. When it was a Japanese console game, you had large open maps filled with enemies. Insect Armageddon blocked off the map, had you move from waypoint to waypoint to progress the mission, and only spawned enemies on top of you.

        It is like a worst of all worlds effect, but it isn’t just the combination of PC and console. It is also publishers and developers targeting some perceived mass audience. You can’t have a large open world unless you are a GTA clone, because you will lose part of your potential audience. Your dudebro shooter can’t have a woman on the cover, because you will lose part of your potential audience. Decisions come down not to what will make a better game, but what will appeal to the largest user base, and what will drive away the fewest people. Sometimes these decisions fall toward actually making a “worse” game, particularly when you have a dedicated base that are willing to stick it out regardless, and are courting a more fickle audience that may honestly not buy your game otherwise.

      • KenTWOu says:

        I think the issue is that the basic ascetic of a game like GTA is designed around console hardware, whereas the ascetic of Thief or Hitman was designed around a PC, forcing level designers to compromise somewhere.

        GTA doesn’t remember real consequences of your actions. In other words, everything disappears when you walk around the corner. So it has vast areas, but it doesn’t simulate anything at all outside of several meters in front of you. It’s all smoke and mirrors, that’s why it doesn’t count. While Thief and Hitman must remember every unconscious body you leave behind.

  34. CelticPixel says:

    I do want this game to be good, and I do intend to buy it unless it’s a massive mess, but this has to be the riskiest pre-order proposition of 2013.

  35. Danda says:

    Sorry, no.

  36. starclaws says:

    Advertise away EA. Except its unanimous that you lost every last original fan base to this franchise. Way to go. Call me when you want true gaming insight. Not what marketing and research suggests consumers want.

    • SwENSkE says:

      It’s Square Enix, not EA.
      Doesn’t make a big difference though ……

  37. Zekiel says:

    “The hardest safe to crack… is in the biggest bank”
    Am I the only one confused by this? I was expecting it to be something like
    “The hardest safe to crack… is the one inside your own head” (or something)

    But what they’ve written is just… lame? Am I missing something?

  38. edwardoka says:

    The Keepers were training me to be one of them, but I had other uses for their skills*.

    * Skills DLC sold separately

  39. KenTWOu says:

    Sophisticated and challenging AI could save this game.

  40. Josh W says:

    Hmm, this seems to be a prequel to pulp fiction as well, given that safe.