Dishonored Among Thieves: Thief Trailer

By Adam Smith on December 9th, 2013 at 4:00 pm.

Another week, another Thief trailer. Maybe I should just stop watching them at this point. If the game does turn out to be at least half-decent, I’d like at least some of the surprises to be surprising when I play it. Previous videos haven’t revealed much beyond the basics of the City (it has a skyline with a clocktower, natch), and new-look Garrett, along with his dubious quips. The shiny new bauble below fell off the VGX Christmas tree over the weekend and it provides more plot to chew on, roll around it in the mouth and then spit back onto the plate. You know, like at a cheese-tasting session.

I’m confused and it’s not just because today is Monday and I haven’t had enough coffee yet. I’m confused because I didn’t expect Garrett to have a protégé. I thought the rebooted Garrett was younger, barely out of his thiefly apprenticeship, but maybe that’s not the case at all. There are spoilers for Thief: Deadly Shadows below, which is why you’ll find a sizeable buffer between these words and the next.

“It’s no easy thing to see a Keeper.”

There’s precedent for this. At the end of Deadly Shadows, Garrett’s story comes full circle. He is now the Keeper and he echoes his own ‘recruitment’ as he catches a young urchin goal by the wrist as she attempts to pick his pockets. This feels like a deliberate nod to that scene, a muddying of the connections between what came before and what is happening now. This is also the first time, as far as I can remember, that we’ve seen any overtly spiritual and supernatural occurrences in The (New) City. It’s all very frantic and bombastic, of course, because it’s happening in a trailer of a certain type.

My initial thought was that the ritual-gone-wrong must take place mid-way through the game, being the event that forces Garrett to risk his neck to save The City. Maybe not for the greater good but because, you know, it’s where he keeps his stuff. If the summoning happens mid-game though, does that mean Garrett’s companion will play a part in his adventures for a time?

I didn’t like that idea one bit. In Thief, solitude is the key (or rather lockpick) to my heart. I’m probably wrong though. The sequence in which Garrett returns to The City following an unexplained absence is most likely where the game begins, and it seems likely that the ritual is a flashback to something that happened during that period. He left with a partner and returned alone.

Poor Garrett. They’re giving him motivations. It could be fine, just as long as we don’t find out his parents were hacked down by a drunken guard in Law Alley, causing him to dedicate his life to committing crimes.

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112 Comments »

  1. mikmanner says:

    That music is quite depressing, the choir and orchestra is so boring and cliche, very un-Thief. Thief has an already established style which is slow, atmospheric and surreal – this game seems to have completely ignored that.

    Whenever I see footage of this game I keep thinking back to when I heard the devs saying, “This isn’t 1998 anymore.” No it isn’t, clearly.

    • TheRangenade says:

      The music may just be made for the trailer alone and may not be indicative of the soundtrack for the whole game . I don’t think passing judgement on the game’s soundtrack before it is released is fair.

      • mikmanner says:

        True, I am commenting on the trailer music, but still the music in the trailer is still a statement.

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    • Ich Will says:

      Well, thief 1 and thief 2 both had some pretty cool metal in their trailers, which were as far from “slow, atmospheric and surreal” as this trailer is.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGRVuWpZ9lE
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9C543B6uJ88

      Every time I see a forum discussing the new thief, I am reminded about the legions of fans moaning about the thief 3 trailer in a now infamous thread which featured “Garrett assassinating someone, he’s not an assassin he’s a thief and they are ruining my childhood”.

      They did shut up pretty sharpish when they were reminded that thief one and thief 2 trailers both contained Garrett killing someone. Except for that one guy, who literally argued that TTLG did not know what they were doing in their trailers because they were trying to make their game appeal to the lowest common denominator. Also, black jacking someone is knocking them out, it was not necessarily Garrett who dumps them in the river, killing them.

      Sigh. While I share all of the concerns, I wish I hadn’t been so vocal in my condemnation of thief 3 as it turned out to be a great game, different and inferior to the original 2(.5) but a great game in it’s own right.

      • Mokinokaro says:

        I’m hoping this is another DE:HE where the marketing presented the game as more of an action fest than it turned out to be.

      • Bassen_Hjertelos says:

        Although I’m inclined to agree with most of your post, as a music (and metal) lover it makes me sad that you refer to Thief’s music as metal. It’s clearly electronica and the music was ground breaking in gaming (and really quite good). It set the tone and was a nice addition to the atmosphere. The music in the new trailer is just regurgitated pompous Hollywood drivel and comparing it to the original Thief music is a bit, well, ridiculous.

        • Contrafibularity says:

          That’s the sad but brilliant thing about ambient music and electronica of this kind; people enjoy it immensely, without ever noticing it’s there.

          Metal ;’(

    • Flopper says:

      I’ll give it a try and reserve judgement until after I’ve played it. Unlike most of the turds in this comment box.

      • mikmanner says:

        There’s nothing wrong with speculating on what we have seen of the game so far, especially the gameplay footage. It COULD be good but from what we have seen, it has a very different vibe to what has come before, so it’s clearly going to cause controversy.

        If Gordon Freeman had a shave and started wearing contact lenses in HL3 people would go nuts

        • kament says:

          Funny you should say that. Dr. Freeman’s mostly imaginary beard and glasses is of no consequences for anything in HL whatsoever, but you’re right: ppl would definitely go nuts. Something like that is happening with the fans going nuts about Thief.

      • fish99 says:

        So you’re saying you’ll still buy it if the day one reviews are <50%?

        • mikmanner says:

          No I won’t buy it if it reviews badly.

        • Ich Will says:

          What does a score on a game review even mean and what kind of moron makes purchasing decisions on a complex product based on one?

          • mikmanner says:

            I’m not advocating review scores

          • fish99 says:

            For the record I was replying to Flopper and his comment about everyone who had already decided they don’t like how the new Thief is shaping up is a ‘turd’.

            As for the comment that only morons make purchase decisions based on review scores, while aggregated review scores aren’t the be all and end all, they do give a good idea of overall quality. Wonderful games do not average <50%. Neither do good games, or even mediocre ones. Chances are if a game has <50% it has design flaws or some serious bugs.

            Review scores are a guide, a starting point, an indicator, and they do that job just fine, especially when averaged. You then move on from that score to read some opinions and get a rounded impression to base your purchasing decision on.

    • Caiman says:

      All game trailers these days sound like those classic Old Spice ads.

    • ViktorBerg says:

      Because I think of the Lord of the Rings heroic theme when I am sneaking around and stealing keys from guards.

  2. Premium User Badge

    thedosbox says:

    “Poor Garrett. They’re giving him motivations. It could be fine, just as long as we don’t find out his parents were hacked down by a drunken guard in Law Alley, causing him to dedicate his life to committing crimes.”

    *Applause* – well done sir, well done.

    • jonahcutter says:

      Agreed. Excellent summation of how in the attempt to “flesh-out” the character, the character could be fundamentally misunderstood.

      Garrett is an instance where not knowing his specific history works in favor of the both him, and the story. He’s a character that works far better not knowing the motivation for his cynicism. Hell, maybe he doesn’t need motivation. Maybe he’s just a cynical bastard from birth. I’d almost prefer that to the murdered family/friend/lover trope. It’s not even that that itself is necessarily a bad character motivation. It’s that in this case, it’s just not necessary.

      Sometimes, the mystery of not knowing works far better than the explaining.

      • Premium User Badge

        Hidden_7 says:

        True generally, though I feel like in Garrett’s case we’ve actually got an answer to the mystery of Garrett and it’s a delightfully mundane one.

        He grew up an orphan on the streets of an unforgiving city, and saw the Keeper training through that lens of one can assume bitterness and too-young world-weariness. He lives in an ugly world, has had occasion to see its ugliness, and is pragmatic, cynical person because of it.

        It helps that (until seemingly this game, at least) Garrett has never had any grand ideals / code / what have you that would need some grand origin. He steals because he needs to get by somehow and that’s where his skill set is after all that Keeper training. He’s a “Master Thief” not out of any sort of statement of intent, but merely as a descriptor of his skills.

        Of course, you don’t need to pay rent if you live in a secret abandoned clock tower bat cave, so they’ve effectively nuked Garrett’s number one motivation for most of the previous games, so I suppose they need to saddle him with a different one, and a backstory to go with it.

        • jonahcutter says:

          Good point. Mundane isn’t necessarily boring. Garrett’s character is entertaining without some specific, deep, (melo)dramatic, emotional trauma. Just a slowly developed cynicism.

      • Faxmachinen says:

        Indeed. There are many games where the protagonist is a universal do-gooder with no explanation given as to why they are that way. There is absolutely no reason to explain or justify Garrett’s behaviour*, and any attempt at such is likely to ruin everything.

        (* Garrett putting his life on the line for something other than money could use some explaining though.)

    • kament says:

      Well, they did need to tie up a loose end with that child Garrett caught in the DS, didn’t they? Might as well add a little bit of drama to it.

  3. Ansob says:

    It was supposed to be a reboot rather than a sequel, but Garrett’s just returned to the City after a long absence and also had a lady apprentice at some point, and there’s a zombie at the end so the plague is probably being caused by undead in some way, and now I’m very confused as to whether this is a reboot or a sequel or maybe it’s a sequel but they were just pretending it was a reboot all along to fool us.

    They properly missed an opportunity to give us an older Garrett who’s been gone from the City for 15 years, though. That would have been good. Or even better, to make us play as Garrett’s incredibly caustic ex-apprentice when Garrett comes back to the City after having been missing for 15 years, and she gets really annoyed at having to save a stupid old man instead of stealing things.

    • thecommoncold says:

      A sequoot, maybe? Or perhaps a requel.

      In all seriousness, the appearance of supernatural stuff actually gives me a little MORE hope for this – it feels Theif-like, in a “consistency of tone and setting” sort of way. Followers… not so much… here’s hoping she’s an NPC. (Edit: as in, story only, doesn’t get involved in the levels themselves)

      Still, at this point, with Eidos Montreal actually responding (in some fashion) to complaints makes me hopefully that this will turn out at least a little better than much of RPS wants to believe. Of course, based on the general hivemind reaction, all it has to do is not shoot a water arrow into the inner workings of your PC for that to be the case.

      • Ansob says:

        I could’ve sworn Eidos said there wouldn’t be any supernatural in Thi4f, at some point. I wonder if they’ve gone back on that like they went back on the XP system, or if the entire marketing for the game so far has been one giant troll and we’re actually getting a Thief 4.

        It’s obviously the former, but I really wish it were the latter. :(

  4. Snidesworth says:

    Last I heard the apprentice gets fridged at the start of the game to motivate Garrett. Though having watched that trailer I reckon she’ll survive to become infused with unspeakable power and end up as the final boss.

    Also, bombastic music is exactly what a Thief trailer needs.

  5. leeblackwood says:

    Its like they have tried to copy Christopher Nolan’s Batman films.

  6. sventoby says:

    It’s getting harder to tell the difference between any of these AAA games.

  7. ulix says:

    I’ll just leave this here…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlmMu53tZw0

    In other words: trailers don’t worry me. Might still turn out good.

  8. Godwhacker says:

    “The Awakened”? Ugh.

    Getting rather sick of large homogenous groups of enemies called ‘The Something’

    • Ich Will says:

      The Hammerites?
      The Mechanists?
      The Pagans?

      • 12inchPlasticToy says:

        The Beatles, The Kinks, The Kooks, The Who, The Yard Birds, The Kaiser Chiefs, The Vines, The Jets, The Libertines, The Rolling Stones.
        …and last but not least: The The.

      • GepardenK says:

        The Thief nerd in me desperatly want to correct you, sorry :(

        The Hammerites: Hammerites is a slang for members of the Order of the Hammer. There is no “THE something”
        The Mechanists: This is a THE something :(
        The Pagans: This is not a faction or anything (except in T3). Some people are simply called pagans because they believe in the old gods. No “THE something”

        • Ich Will says:

          Mission II: Break from Cragscleft Prison

          Garrett: “I’d rather not have to do this job, but Cutty’s a reliable fence, and I don’t appreciate the Hammerites abducting him. And he owes me money for the Bafford job….”

          I know what you are saying, they don’t self identify as The Hammerites, but that doesn’t stop the phrase “The Hammerites” being used with aplomb through the games to describe a large, homogeneous group of enemies, particularly by the protagonist, the character you are playing.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      To be fair, though, that happens a lot, whether that group considers itself a group or has a different name for the group or no name at all. People like to think in boxes.

    • Premium User Badge

      Morlock says:

      The Tea Party

  9. webwielder says:

    I hate this game already. Everything coming from the devs, from their Poochy the Rappin’ Dog-esque comments about a hipper Garret, to their backtracking on stupid shit like XP for kills, says that they just do not Get It.

    • Premium User Badge

      Jackablade says:

      To be fair, all that annoying back-tracking did result in the removal of the more annoying XP system.

  10. reggiep says:

    It still looks like a much less interesting Dishonored.

    • Gamboni says:

      They even have a generic version of Granny Rags.

      Edit: Okay, that was unfair. For all I know, the character existed before Dishonored was even announced.

      • Opiniomania says:

        Not entirely unfair in my opinion. Even if they were unaware of the similarities between Thief and Dishonored they had the time to modify their concepts and designs after Dishonored’s release (October 2012?). This doesn’t only include the Granny Rags lady, but also the plague, the authoritarian government and everything we don’t know about yet…I still hope for the best though.

    • Premium User Badge

      Makariel says:

      Indeed, Dishonored looked fresh and interesting (until I actually played it), this just looks… meh… which I felt after playing Dishonored.

  11. Awesumo says:

    All that effort making kill animations and lethal weapons that I will never use. Such a waste.

    • pepperfez says:

      Oh, you’ll use them. They always use them in the end…

  12. RogerioFM says:

    These rants are really getting boring, I’m also an old time Thief fan and yes I’m disappointed by some things. But pointing the same thing over and over again is getting ridiculous, just get over it or wait for when the game is out, I understand its your job as a journalist to give your thoughts but this repetition is grating. I don’t have the right to tell you how to do your job I know, but oh man. Anyway, the Law Alley part was wonderful.

    • Adam Smith says:

      I wasn’t ranting!

      • 12inchPlasticToy says:

        Oh you so were.
        Like, that picture with the circular powerfluffer: so avant-garde yet so caustic.

        • Premium User Badge

          Jackablade says:

          That’s not a power fluffer, it’s a significant buffer.

      • KenTWOu says:

        Then make the next Thief news about UI/difficulty customization, Adam.

        • Adam Smith says:

          Lovely. I just might do that.

        • RogerioFM says:

          The ‘disable narrated hints’ seems good..

          • Premium User Badge

            phlebas says:

            Always assuming they remember to make the game actually playable without them.

        • Emeraude says:

          On the one hand I commend them for trying with those options, on the other I can’t think of any game that actually did this right, and what we’ve seen of the game so far doesn’t really inspire confidence in the designr’s ability to deliver.

          Wait and see I guess.

          Certainly not a day one buy. It’ll take a lot of good word of mouth form a lot of people whose opinion I respect.

          Never mind, just remembered yet again. Going to be Steamworks. No buy anyway.

          /sigh

          • KenTWOu says:

            To be fair, there are not enough stealth games that tried to do something similar. Off the top of my head Splinter Cell:Blacklist did it right to some extent, there was a huge difference between Rookie and Perfectionist difficulty, but unfortunately you can’t customize anything. Thief 4 will definitely push it further.

  13. karthink says:

    Aargh.

    You can smell the dank stench of the lazy writing from blocks away.

    • SillyWizard says:

      Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha Thief: The Dark Stench.

      “Do you…do you smell something?!”

  14. BD says:

    That sequence happens at the start of the game.

    The female thief likes to kill, and so Garret disowned her. But they meet up at that place at the start of the game, and then they both fall in, something happens to her, and Garret loses consciousness for a year.

    When he wakes up, the city has become dark and changed, and he gained the “SIGHT” power, which is the game mechanic which lets you see interactable objects, behind walls, etc. Deus Ex augmented sight.

    All of this was explained by the devs during the VGX interviews.

    I suggest reading up on stuff before you report on it. You shouldn’t speculate about crap there’s already answers to.

    • karthink says:

      What are the odds that she shows up near the end of the game as a boss with mystical powers whom you have to sneak around (or fight, because this is nuThief) and who blames Garrett for her accident?

    • kament says:

      Exactly.

      I personally kind of like their approach to the story. They could’ve dump the plot of the DS and start anew, but they didn’t and we got to actually continue where we left off. Sort of.

    • chargen says:

      I… I honestly thought you were doing satire right up till that last sentence.

      Dear god this looks atrocious.

  15. MykulJaxin says:

    Last week I went into Gamestop because I work for the city and they gave us a gift card to the local mall for Christmas. I purchased some new cables and saw an ad for the new Thief game. I asked the employee what he thought about all the negative hubbub and he said, basically, that 1. “Critics are just negative about everything” and 2. “Fans expect too much and if they just go into it knowing that developers are doing the best they can, it will be awesome.” Discuss?

    • SillyWizard says:

      No. Who cares what a flunky store clerk thinks about anything?

    • Snargelfargen says:

      An unfortunate result of naming a game “Thief” is that fans will expect something that resembles the previous games. This nicely illustrates the importance of managing expectations, as well as the risks involved in adapting an established IP.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      I think that’s a very easy way to dismiss criticism and misgivings. Of course, that’s not to say that the game can’t be any good, even if it strays from the tried and true. There are two points to look at here:

      1) What the developers intended to make, and whether the game lives up to those goals (even if the result doesn’t resonate well with the fanbase)

      and 2) Promises, marketing etc. towards the target audience (whatever that may be) and whether the people who buy the game based on that ‘information’ are of the opinion those promises and such were proven true.

      That doesn’t mean I think fans of the older titles have no reason to complain if they could’ve seen it coming.. the very fact that they use the Thief name is sufficient cause to be true to that series. Otherwise you might just as easily make the game under a different name altogether without the risk of fans being misled by the promises carried by the name itself.

  16. MrThingy says:

    Why is lip-synching in games (and trailers) so utterly dreadful these days?

  17. 12inchPlasticToy says:

    Adam, perhaps you meant “wine-tasting session”.
    Anybody who told you that you are meant to swirl a well-aged camembert inside your mouth is a terrible human being. Even we Frenchmen would not attempt this… there are safety measures, you know.

  18. skyturnedred says:

    Older Thieves felt more like simulations, everything I’ve seen of Thi4f feels very gamey.

  19. db1331 says:

    It still looks terrible, but at least it seems they got rid of that stupid black smoke that was appearing every time “Garrett” would pickpocket someone (1:11)

  20. Premium User Badge

    tigerfort says:

    I’m sure I’ve seen that “What’s yours is mine” tagline somewhere else recently. But obviously a major AAA developer wouldn’t feel the need to nick something like that from an indie game like Monaco, would they?

    • Premium User Badge

      LTK says:

      Monaco’s tagline was originally “Get in. Get out. Get rich.” but they changed it to “What’s yours is mine.” Eidos was okay with that.

      • Premium User Badge

        VelvetFistIronGlove says:

        Get in. Get out. Get rich. — I like that tagline much better. A pity Monaco changed it.

        “I want to get in, get on with it, get it over with, get out, and get rich. Get it?”

    • kament says:

      I find that strangely appropriate. I don’t really think that’s the case, though.

    • Emeraude says:

      Actually as misquote from the original game.

      We went from “What is yours can be mine” in the original to what’s yours is mine” in the not-reboot.

      I think from a mood standpoint the change perfectly sums up the loss in writing quality, which is what hit me the most watching that (and the previous) trailers.
      The music an montage I can live with, those are almost invariably awful, that’s par for the course. But the writing on display so far seems terrible.

  21. GepardenK says:

    Not buying this on launch :(

    -The original Thief was a game about exploring a mansion/castle/tomb that just happened to be lived in and guarded.

    -This Thief seems to be a game about sneaking past patrols and knocking people out, with a bit of exploring added as a bonus.

    There is a major difference there even though most of the mechanics are the same. I dont like the cartoony style either in T4, but in the end I can live with that. Its the “philosophical difference” explained above that is a deal-breaker to me.

  22. Mr Propellerhead says:

    “… I’d like at least some of the surprises to be surprising when I play it.”

    This is why I try to avoid the marketing hype (game, or otherwise) – so much is often ruined by the very people pushing the product. Case in point, Bioshock Infinite.

  23. fish99 says:

    Feels like we’ve had a story about this game every fortnight for about 6 months now, and it’s been discounted on Steam and elsewhere (for under £20) for ages too. Add in all the changes they’ve made, and I dunno, I’m just getting the impression the publishers aren’t confident about it.

  24. His Dudeness says:

    What was Schmeagol doing in the trailer?

  25. Grape Flavor says:

    Here’s an idea: why don’t you post some of the hopeful news that has been coming out regarding this game? It’s not like Eidos Montreal haven’t been trying to please people, but for some reason RPS doesn’t seem to want to cover any of the changes that have been made to the game at the fans’ bequest. It’s almost like RPS knows how much their readers love hating on things and is afraid that letting up on the negativity pedal will disappoint them.

    Here, from just a few days ago: http://www.shacknews.com/article/82250/thief-custom-difficulty-and-ui-options-detailed

    I’m guessing it’ll be about 30 seconds before someone jumps in with a counter-argument about how the fact that they’re making these adjustments is also proof that the game is rubbish, because good games don’t need to make these kind of changes in the first place blah blah whine moan.

    Frankly I’m dismayed with the treatment this game has gotten around here. Sure, maybe it’ll be bad, but we don’t know that for sure yet and after the good job EDM did with Human Revolution, you think they’d have earned a little bit of the benefit of the doubt. We went through this exact same epic bitch-fest with Deus Ex all the way to release and when it turned out to be vastly overblown you’d think people would have learned not to rush to judgement so quickly…

    • karthink says:

      If the writing in this game is anything short of terrible I will eat my hat.

      • Grape Flavor says:

        We shall see. To be honest though, if the quality of the writing is the paramount thing for you, video games were on the whole a bad choice of media to begin with. ;)

        • Opiniomania says:

          Yet another argument in the line ‘if you want a story read a book’. I presume much of the information in the game will be provided in the form of written or spoken word, and find the level of writing (or narrative, if you want) to be paramount to the feel of the game. If the gameplay is great, but every time an npc opens his mouth I hear nothing but ‘jersey shore meets ancient prophecy’ nonsense I will facepalm so hard I’ll need forehead transplant.

          • Grape Flavor says:

            No, I totally agree! I was just poking a bit of fun at how the average quality of the writing in video games still isn’t generally considered to be on the same level as in books or film. Even then it wasn’t meant in a serious derogatory manner. Hence the winky-face.

            I didn’t mean for it to come across as dismissive of the value of writing in games at all.

        • Opiniomania says:

          Oh alright, sorry, I might have gotten carried away myself :)

    • Jerykk says:

      What? Thief doesn’t have a “thing.” Nothing else matters. Being a good stealth game that’s also faithful to the tone, style and gameplay of the series? Not a thing. Where are the superpowers? Thief is like Dishonored without any superpowers.

      On a more serious note, I think Thief looks good. I like how much flexibility they’re giving the player when it comes to challenge. I like that you can get through the game without neutralizing anyone. I like that the focus of the game is still on stealing. But then, I like stealth games so good stealth gameplay is enough to make me happy.

    • fish99 says:

      RPS has covered many of the changes made to appease the fans, just not that particular one.

  26. friik says:

    It’s certainly a trend to bash this game now, wow. Pretty amazed on the lack on positive comments on this – compared to how Thief was looking a few months ago till now, I’m back on the boat heading to Happy-Anticipation-ville. :-)

    • hilltop says:

      I know. I get a little relieved when I finally find a couple of cautiously optimistic comments. Otherwise all I see is how this game is going to be terrible because they don’t know what Thief is, it is terrible because of design choices made early on, it is terrible because they listened to fan reaction and reversed some decisions, it is terrible because of the writing (from voice-overs in trailers), it is terrible because of music choices in short trailers, it is terrible because it doesn’t have a “thing”, it is terrible because it reminds people of Dishonored (which was awful), or it is terrible because it is not as good as Dishonored (which was excellent).

      Might be alright.

    • GepardenK says:

      I think its pretty simple, people who know Thief hate on it because it dosent look like a sequel they would like from the Thief series. Its like if Bohemia would make a sequel to Arma but it looked more like Battlefield instead. Might still be a good game, but that dosent mean its a good Thief game.

      This looks like a stealth game ala the original Splinter Cell, Commandos or maybe Deus ex. Thief was never a sneak-em-up in that sense, it focused more on exploration and loot collecting with the added threat of roaming guards. The guards made the game scary/moody, they were never supposed to be a part of the action in a “stealth puzzle” sense

      • kament says:

        As a Thief fan since 1873 2001 I totally disagree with that. The guards (and hostiles in general) were always paramount for a Thief game. You could, depending on the difficulty, ignore most of the loot, but not the guards. The iconic tool of the trade is water arrow, which has nothing to do with exploration and loot, but essential for sneak ‘em up. Hell, almost every item in Garrett’s equipment is for dealing with guards.

        • GepardenK says:

          Yeah, sure the enemies are paramount to the game but Thief is not a game ABOUT sneaking through mazes of patrols and knocking people out, even though that is a part of the game. Its a fundumental difference in the way the games are designed, regardless of similar mechanics and features.

          In the same way we can say that System Shock 2 has fully-featured shooter mechanics but its not a game ABOUT shooting things in the same way Doom or Half life are.

          • Emeraude says:

            Have you played the catastrophe that was the recently released DARK ?

            Not a good game, but a good example in a way of people totally misunderstanding the stealth genre. Basically a would-be-stealth game where your objective is to backstab EVERYONE. That’s the only meaningful interaction/verb of the game.
            It’s just… if you can find it for a euro, I’d advise playing it for the sheer wonder of it.

            Ironically enlightening in some respects.
            I’d love to know what the hell happened during development time.

          • kament says:

            I agree that Thief is not about knocking out enemies, it’s just an option. But I think that Thief is definitely about sneaking or, failing that, escaping. It’s not an option, you have to deal with threats somehow in order to achieve your goals. What matters is the variety of means at your disposal. In a Thief game you can avoid confrontation and even detection altogether but at the same time you have the tools to distract/incapacitate your enemies. From what I can tell, there’s nothing to worry about.

            But I think what you meant to say is that a Thief game shouldn’t be a sneaky roller coaster with alternate routes, like Splinter Cell. It should not be a maze of patrols to get through, it should be a maze of patrols to explore, get what you need and get back. Unnoticed, naturally.

            Again, I agree, and I sure hope they get it right. I just don’t see what is there to be disappointed about.

          • GepardenK says:

            Emeraude:
            I have not played DARK (although you are tempting me) but I feel your pain. The stealth genre is not anyomre was at least I would like it to be. As you also point out I feel that games missunderstand what makes sneaking fun. Constant hiding and taketown is just tedious and boring in the long run imo.

            kament:
            Yeah you described it better than me. Its “exploring a guarded castle” that should be the end-experience, not “taking out guards in a castle”

          • kament says:

            GepardenK:
            Or maybe I didn’t quite grasp your meaning. I was trying to say that it’s not so much about stealth and knockouts as about environments. The main difference is how nonlinear Thief compared to, say, Splinter Cell. In SC you move from point of entry to the point of exit, completing objectives as you go in any manner you want (knocking everyone out or ghosting past them), but you can’t just wander, you can’t turn back, you can’t even miss your objective. Thief is more open-ended than that, levels are more complex and no one is closing the doors behind you (mostly), so you can actually explore, retrace your steps and check if you missed anything and so forth.

            In this respect yes, Thief is a game about exploring. Moreso than SC anyway. And it seems to me that guys in Eidos know that, too.

      • fish99 says:

        Thief is very much about taking out the guards, i.e blackjacking them, and using your tools and your environment to get to a position where you *can* blackjack them. That’s the games core mechanic.

        Thief 1 had a certain amount of adventure. Thief 2 was much more focused on the stealth, and therefore a better game IMO.

        • GepardenK says:

          Fish99: No It wasnt. Thief was about exploring a maze and doing the required objectives without dying. Staying hidden was a big part of this. So was using your tools like water and moss arrows, or the blackjack. But Thief was never a game about taking out the guards. If you like to play it that way then good for you, but it was far from a core mechanic.

          • fish99 says:

            I’ve played both Thief and Thief 2 multiple times on most of the difficulties, and that’s how I’ve always played it, and from the discussions I’ve read over the years, that’s how most people play it. Would they have bothered putting the blackjack in, implementing a knock-out mechanic, and letting you pick up and hide unconscious bodies, and having guards sound the alarm when they find unconscious bodies, if they didn’t expect you to knock the guards out? It’s the most efficient way to play the game. If you leave them conscious you’ll just have to dodge around them again on your way out (and on expert you have to crisscross the level for literally hours looking for every last bit of loot, which would be unbearably tedious with the guards still active), and you also won’t have any space to run away into when discovered.

            Some missions even force you to blackjack a certain number of guards.

          • GepardenK says:

            fish99:
            You miss my point. I never said that you were not supposed to knock people out or kill them in Thief. What I said was that its not a game ABOUT doing that as the focus of the experience lies in exploration and survival.

            In the same way we can say that Starcraft 2 is not a game ABOUT killing units, even if you do that all the time. Instead its a game about using strategy to beat the opposing player (in multiplayer that is).

            Splinter cell, as opposed to Thief, is much more a game ABOUT using tools to take people out as the focus of the experience lies there.

          • fish99 says:

            The game isn’t really *about* thieving either. From very early on the idea that you’re just doing these missions for financial gain is abandoned in favour of other much more important objectives, and after that loot gathering is just a (somewhat enjoyable) check-box exercise.

            You can say the game isn’t about knocking people out, but mechanically it is about dealing with the guards in one way or another, whether that’s slipping past them, knocking them out or (on difficulties below expert) killing them. You spend as much time dealing with the threat of enemies as you do exploring, and the game would be no fun without them. So to me it’s a core mechanic. Anything that forms a big part of how you interact with the game world is a core mechanic.

            I haven’t played any Splinter Cell game btw, so I don’t completely get the distinction you’re making between the two games. I presume in Splinter Cell though you are also never there just to kill guards, you’re always there for some higher objective.

  27. Turkey says:

    Wait. I thought they dropped the original Thief lore because it was too fantastical or something, but now there’s like magic-time rituals complete with crazy particle effects.