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Clutching At Shadows: Thief 4

If you starve a man he will gladly chew a button in order to create saliva, which he will then swallow in an attempt to fool his body into thinking it is being fed. This brief cry in the dark is my attempt to nourish myself with a lump of plastic or wood, it is the splinter in my tongue and the grumbling in my belly. This is what happens when they don’t tell me anything about Thief 4. I feast hungrily on scraps.

Along with the news from back in January that Thief 4 will almost certainly be an Unreal Engine game with possible multiplayer components, Eidos Montreal general manager Stephane D’Astous has spilled yet more magical hint-beans as to the direction the sequel to The Greatest Trilogy In Gaming will take. Speaking to OXM, D’Astous had the following to say.

“We have more international staff working on Thief, which brings a great flavour to the game. There are a lot of challenges to bringing back a great cult IP, but we consider it like a new IP and we are going to respect the spirit of the franchise like we did with Deus Ex. Deus Ex was the kick-start of this new series of great games, and Thief will be part of that. We don’t want to deliver the same each time. Our mandate is to bring new stuff to the table; games that we’ll be talking about for years.”

More international staff is good. Maybe The City will have French and Latin quarters now. Hmmmm. I can see it working, different styles of architecture leading to different layouts, both interior and exterior. Yes, that’s acceptable, so long as it’s all in keeping with “the spirit of the franchise”.

You’ll notice they also slip in a cryptic reference to the preferred method of funding. “Kick-start”. That word isn’t used idly, far from it, soon enough you’ll be able to pledge $16,000 to receive a lifesize statue of Garrett, or $20,000 to spend the night in a burned down asylum-orphanage. It’d actually be quite nice if I could pledge $5 just to make sure I never have to see this next image again.

NO NO NO NO NO NO

The game will, apparently, “bring more than just stealth”, presumably to the same “table” mentioned earlier. I don’t know much about that table but presumably it’ll be dimly lit at the very least. Maybe it’ll have a goblet on top of it. A goblet that will soon be in my swag bag. So, that’s the thieving part confirmed then, unless the table has an extensive brunch laid atop it. Fe4st?

In truth. there’s very little to take from such a vague quote. I’m sure some people will consider “more than just stealth” to be an admission that we’re going to be sobbing our way through a third person action game with a shoddy cover system. There’s absolutely no reason to be so pessimistic though. There’s also very little reason to try and read anything into any of this, but like I said at the start, I’m starving.

I’ve written a little about some of the reasons I love Thief before. Why do you love it and what do you hope for?

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Adam Smith

former Deputy Editor

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