Rise & Stream: Watch Us Chatter Over Thief, Resident Evil 4

It’s that time of week again, the strange, giddy twilight between the new week and the old. It gives me strength, allowing me to briefly evolve from my larval news slave form into a full-blown human being with thoughts and feelings and a face. “What should I do with this incredible yet oh-so-fleeting window of opportunity?” I wonder aloud. “Fight crime? Raise money for good causes? Escape from RPS’ dank news basement and finally start a family?” But usually, I just end up playing videogames with a camera on my face. Yes, we’re rather late with this week’s episode due to various complicating factors, but shhhhh, shhhh, it’s all going to be OK now.

This time, Floorlord Hayden Dingman and I are going to jump between Thief, Resident Evil 4 HD, and maybe a little Warehouse and Logistics Simulator because I don’t even know why. We’ll kick off at 6 PM PT/2 AM GMT. Tune in below!

Update: we’re done! You can watch a recording of the whole thing below. Sadly, there was not time for Warehouses or Logistics, but we will venture down that unknowable rabbit hole in the future.

Watch live video from NathanGrayson on TwitchTV

And here’s a wholesome, gluten-free YouTube alternative.


  1. Heliocentric says:

    Wow… Thief is actually ‘bad’ with capital letters, exclamation marks and bold.

    • toxic avenger says:

      What is bad about it where other games aren’t bad in the same way? Admittedly, I only watched the first video, but you can make the same criticisms about many games, and they aren’t capital B-A-D; the videos just seemed like two guys making jokes about the stereotypical logic that exists only in imagined, digital worlds.

      Nobody really thought we were going to get a Thief game like the original…did they? Look around at most other gaming websites and their comment sections: like it or not, those are the idiots game manufacturers are pandering to. Just so happens in this generation, gamers seem to want more of an attraction park ride than an actual game that Thief fans remember from the original: multiple ways of engaging a problem that aren’t just broken down into “this path is for melee” and “this path is for sneaking.”

      • Heliocentric says:

        Woah there, I never suggested hyphens!

        It’s just after DXHR, (apart from the boss battles) the standard was pretty high. I was expecting good things, John “Cries” Walkers WIT made me sure there was merit here, his WIT in no was corroborates what I saw during that video. And what I saw was genuine effort spent on parts but corners cut. Assassins Creed level “do what you are told” applied to a series of corridors with QTE and recycled assets and a plot/themeatics that makes me roll me eyes when only a few years ago I first played Thief 1 I was shocked by the symbolism and nuance. In all fairness, DXHR impressed me with its plot elements too, if not so much the ending.

        I will but it because STEALTH but I’ll wait for a sale.

  2. RPSRSVP says:

    Speaking of technical issues, DO NOT INSTALL THIEF ON EXTERNAL DRIVES! Quite a few games have issues, especially Ubisoft games but this one takes the cake because unlike others, it will install, it will start, it will give you the full illusion that everything is ok but you will notice sound issues early or the latest when you try to leave Erin’s hideout, the trigger to exit that (claustrophobic) level is missing.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Well, i didn’t think people would even consider that option in the first place, you always learn something new every day!

  3. Lars Westergren says:

    I bought Thief after John’s review, and I’m happy to say I think he was right, it IS a really good game. If you play on hard and disable loot glint, focus powers, objective markers etc, it plays very much like the classic Thief games I loved. I’ve played 8.5 hours so far, and have just completed chapter 2. Characters and writing are distinctly “meh” though.

    • MajorManiac says:

      Sounds like the exact kind of flawed-gem that goes into my ‘get in a Steam sale’ list when its dirt-cheap and most the issues have been ironed out.

    • ChrisGWaine says:

      I’m playing in a similar way, but finding it disappointing. It’s not terrible, but I’m not enjoying it enough to feel like I particularly want to keep going.

    • Morlock says:

      Also enjoying it so far. Yes, it is a shame that Deadly Shadows, and not Thief 1 or 2, was the model for the new game. And yes, contextual actions are a detriment. But taken on its own this is a functioning, atmospheric stealth game.

      I think people are moslty upset because of the wasted potential. Here are two points that I don’t see raised very often:

      1) The world is so void of history and spirituality, regardless of the plot. There is almost no religious symbolism: no hammers, no cogs, no pagan eyes, and nothing that’s equivalent. This is very strange for a Thief game. This makes places lose substance, in my opinion.

      2) The segmented level design hurts my sense of place – I do not get a feeling how larger buildings are designed, how it all comes together. This sensation of seeing a location as one entity was very important in some Thief levels (Craigsleft Prison, Return to the Cathedral, the bank, the Cradle).

      • toxic avenger says:

        Concerning 1, it’s my cynical side that thinks that the developers didn’t want to offend atheist’s delicate sensibilities, presenting a world where customs and cultural differences are non-existent OR if cultural differences were included, they most necessarily would be the real reason why “teh bad guyz” are “teh bad guyz” rather than just being horrible people to begin with.

      • zarnywoop says:

        I agree. The the game in itself is not that bad (currently on third mission). What I find a missed opportunity is all those windows and doors off “The City” that you break into only to find it a single empty room with a couple of trinkets. For a city at night (on lock down) I would expect to find someone asleep in a bed, so I have to sneak past them etc. It would all add to the character of “the city”, it just feels so hollow at present.

        The “past the point of no return” factor. I used to like getting the main objective then going back through and tidying up any loot I missed. This game pushes you down a rail, so that once you get to a certain point the game doesnt let you go back.

        I also finding the odd area where a guard is stood right opposite some loot, in full light refusing to move/patrol. There is no way to ghost this without i) raising suspicion with a distraction or ii) knocking them out. or iii) ignoring the loot. There also appears to be a case where a game trigger occurs and the guards shift position making it impossible to pass for the same reasons.

        I am sick of hearing the same barks from ai, especially when they overlap at the same time.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      I have to agree, the writing is so bad that the story sections are as bad as ass creeds sci fi bits, only nowhere near as annoying, it limits itself to reasonably rare cutscenes. However, the game starts to shine when you turn difficulty up and dig into the custom options.

      Some annoyances:

      You can’t get to places that you really should be able to, but let’s not forget that every thief title has these areas – remember in cragscleft, trying to mantle up the rock wall and onto that beam, that in any other area you just could; but there trying to get over just tips you all the way back down to the bottom again?

      Enemies change their patrol based on where you are in the level. Easiest example, the two guards who patrol the well lit area below your clocktower, as you go under the arch where they turn around, they patrol up past the arch into the new area. I really enjoyed dishonored with enemies taking up patrols of fallen enemies, though it was a little too predictable imho, this is just silly and can only be because they can only have limited enemies loaded into memory at once, combined with weak level design.

      Some levels are corridors complete with single door choke points.

      When you spend so much time in crouch, Garretts hands get increasingly annoying, and it especially grates when you catch his shadow and see them sticking up like he’s a loony tunes character sneaking up on tiptoes.

      Not being able to rope arrow into any wooden surface. Again the first games did this too – foot thick metal roof on wooden buildings for example but a modicum more thought into how to maintain the levels integrity without changing rope arrows would have been nice.

      Having to needlessly and repeatedly tap e to open windows is crap. Why? just… why?

      Guards see you through doors and walls in some places. Light from mobile light sources can carry through walls, guards can hit you through walls. Movement seems a bit wobbly and jittery, both your own and the AI’s. Bugs that probably will never be sorted.

      The good:

      The game looks good enough (as long as you don’t get too close to the textures) – thief was always the ugly duckling but this game, while no dishonored has a charm to the graphics. A different charm, but charm nonetheless.

      The sound is great. It still loads cells of sound a little too close to your character – rain outside windows is a classic, but in general, the sound both provides fantastic clues and feedback and also disorients you when it should. Swearing and repetitive guard chatter is crap though (There’s plenty of variation but a particular patrol will have the same conversation every time – I think the older titles did this exact same thing though, but still)

      Plenty of exploration, even in the corridor type levels, and every* corner has something interesting to see that tells a little fragment of a story about the world and the level (* Well, not every, but you know what I mean, enough that you never need to search too hard)

      It has those scary moments. I’m at the same place as Lars, I wonder if he found the same room in chapter 2 where Garret says “Someone’s been here recently”…. the (censored) sitting in the light with the loot on the table next to it…. imho a classic thief scary moment!

      It feels like thief. I play through the thief series pretty much once a year, including a whole slew of the fan created content, so I know thief when I play it. This is why people are enjoying the game in spite of all the problems, well the people who haven’t got themselves all worked up on the internet. Everything combines to create a thief game. Not the best in the series for sure and I am early in the game but it has made a good account of itself, and honestly, it’s fun. If it continues the same way, I would put it on a par with thief 3, which is no bad place to be.

      • Lars Westergren says:

        > I’m at the same place as Lars, I wonder if he found the same room in chapter 2

        I did! That was a great moment. Did you find and open the safe? I think the finding and stealing the unique loot, and the rare collectibles is a great new addition, and I like that these are beautiful and have backstories. The “Court of Montonessi” series of disturbing paintings is a good example. I was proud when I found the one of the courtesan with the goat head. “There is a worm in my brain. It is you”

        I also noticed the guards changing their route. Shame about the empty streets, the city is big and full of nice little secrets, I wish it had some more life in it though.

        Thanks for long post, agree with all you said.

        • Sheng-ji says:

          I did not find the safe! When I got to the end of that level, I thought I had given the place a thorough going over, I was shocked to find my loot total was only 60%. I also love the collectable loot, it’s well placed, telegraphed through the game in overheard conversations and manuscripts and very well implemented – as well implemented as any collectables are in any game.

      • derbefrier says:

        so now that my nerd rage has died down I have a question. I think i may have judged the game a little prematurely. does the contextual jumping not feel so limiting after the first mission? In my frustration i didn’t stop to think about the the first mission was made so linear on purpose. If it is more forgiving in later levels I may give it another shot. I did like what i saw until i tried to start wondering off the path.

        and you are right about the story its cringe worthy.

        • Sheng-ji says:

          It has moments where it really is a problem – the worst example I have found so far is on some pipes above a room, you can freely climb onto the pipes and move along them but in a particular corner, they shift up a level. You can’t climb onto them at all, even though it’s like a foot in height. That being said, that moment is notable because it is the only example of it I have found so far.

          There are plenty of places where you can clearly see that you are not supposed to be able to climb up and if the game gave you free reign to do so, you could probably glitch your way along – piles of rubbish and unevenly stacked crates mostly however, these are the places that older thief titles would have disabled mantling for no discernible reason, so once you get to understanding where you can jump, which is onto any (neck height) surface with a reasonable flat top and there are grates which you can grab onto with your hook thing to let you climb up high walls, and other places are telegraphed with scratches on the wall or white paint and the like, you’ll get to recognise the locations pretty quickly.

          So, honestly, it’s mostly OK, but there will be moments of frustration. Also, you have to be square enough to the surface to get onto it – and this changes from surface to surface. For example, a crate in the middle of the room, you could hit at a 45 degree angle, directly onto the corner and get on. A crate against a wall may not let you get on if you scrape along the wall towards it, you may have to come out a bit.

          This stuff never seems to affect gameplay, I’ve not yet been caught because I had to pull out from a wall into the light for example, nor have I tried to climb and ended up swooshing somewhere I didn’t want to go so it’s context sensitivity seems to work a treat, but it seems needless – why not have a button for jump and climb and another button to swoosh? I actually miss being able to jump on a surface to attract attention too, it’s a staple of how I play the other games – attract attention then not be there when the guards are searching. Of course you can still make noise other ways, but not for free!

          tltr: It is a negative point about the game, but way more minor than you’d think, you get used to it and it causes issues but no more than mantling bugs in the old games.

          The tutorial level is bad though, so restrictive compared to regular levels – ask your friend to let you play in the city section – this gives you a much better idea of how you will be able to move through the levels.

          • Hidden_7 says:

            I’ll add that pressure plates will (if you’re anything like me) drive you absolutely insane. Whereas in the original Thiefs floor traps were more a challenge of paying attention to your surroundings rather than an obstacle that, once spotted, requires much to overcome, here it seems that the level designers didn’t get the memo to not call too much attention to the no-jumping thing. There are a few instances I’ve come across where the “puzzle” I was faced with was how to get past/shutdown a pressure plate that was maybe 2 feet wide. I could have hopped over it from a stop. But the Second Garrett can’t seem to muster the wherewithall to jump unless there’s a gap in the way. There are legitimately rather complex navigation puzzles in the game that only exist because of the lack of jump, and it is infuriating.

            Which is a shame, because overall I’d say the game is fairly solid. I’d say it’s a solid 7/10, 7.5 in its good moments. Which really isn’t bad! I’ve played and thoroughly enjoyed plenty of 7/10s. It’s only a shame when you consider the series it’s a part of was firmly in the 9/10, 10/10 territory. But it feels good to play generally, and it has a lot of genuinely good ideas (the grasping hands and thorough searching of desks adds so much satisfaction to the core kleptomania, which is as it should be for a Thief title. You want that pavlovian response when you steal something), but they’re usually also buttressed up against really unfortunately terrible ideas that so easily could have been avoided.

            Overall I’d say the best praise I can give it is I hope they get a shot at a sequel, because I’d love to see what this team can do if they take the criticism on board and learn from their mistakes. Smart, talented people made this game, they just made a lot of bad calls while doing it.

          • Morlock says:

            Fully agree with regards to pressure plates. What a ridiculous design. I still haven’t even started mission 4, but played the bank heist which has a ridiculous pressure plate puzzle that, if Garrett could jump of his own volition, could be solved in two seconds.

    • derbefrier says:

      I couldn’t get past the no jumping thing. Didn’t expect it to bother so much but man did it. It just felt way too limiting. good thing i didn’t buy it and tried it at a friends first cause i was going to.

  4. bill says:

    So, this version of RE4 is based on the PS2 version without half the graphical effects right?

    And is buggy too?

    • TwoLines says:

      It’s based on the GC version (well, it is based on the Xbox360 port which was based on the GC version) and has HD textures. It’s also 60FPS. But yeah, some people (including me) are experiencing weird slowdowns at 60FPS.

      • subedii says:

        The gamecube version had much better lighting, which surprisingly, I don’t think any of the subsequent ports have had, even to latter generation platforms.

        It’s a real shame, it really does have a pretty evident effect on the visuals, especially at night.

      • bill says:

        I thought this was based on the 360 port, which was based on the PS2 port, which didn’t have the decent lighting or water effects, etc…

        It’s interesting that I haven’t seen ONE review mention that fact… so I’m wondering if it is unimportant, or if people’s memories are playing tricks on them. Or maybe it is based on the GC version (but I don’t think so)… yet no review has mentioned it.

        The Wii port is supposed to be based on the GC port.

        • TwoLines says:

          I saw screenshot comparisons of the Xbox360 version, the PS2 version and the GC version. PS2 had lower poly count (mainly the trees and environment) and yes, worse lighting. The Xbox360 version and the GC version were indistinguishable.

          Capcom also said that indeed, the Xbox360 version is based on the GC version with Ada content added on. That is why the Ada cutscenes are shit, because they are the only thing taken from the PS2 version.

          And this version is pretty much the Xbox360 one with 60FPS and HD textures. And the lighting is pretty good, I have played the PS2 version recently (a couple months ago) and I can confirm this version has more effects.

          Now I’m not saying this is the perfect port- I’m having weird slowdowns and cutscenes audio desynchronization when playing the game at 60FPS, which should NOT happen since my rig can take AC IV on ultra. They did promise a patch, but this is Capcom. I’m not expecting a fix.

          So to sum up- stop bashing the wrong thing. For god’s sakes, maybe you remember the GC version looking like next gen stuff, but it’s pretty much how it looked like. Hell, the PS2 version wasn’t that far behind. The technical stuff though? That’s just bad.

          • bill says:

            Not bashing, asking.

            I haven’t found any reviews or official comments that addressed which version it was based on, but I’ve read several comments from players that said it was based on the PS2 version and didn’t have the good lighting. (the original PC port was).

            If it is indeed based on the GC/Wii port then excellent, and I shall buy it once the bugs get worked out. And I’ll be a happy bunny.

          • bill says:

            Just incase anyone is reading… what i’ve found out seems to be:

            The new PC HD version is based on the PS3/360 versions that seem to be mostly based on the GC/Wii version.
            But they lose a couple of effects (Depth of Field and some specular highlights (and maybe slime effects)). People say the lighting/shadows isn’t the original either, but it’s a good approximation. (the PS2 version lacked all the effects and dynamic lighting/shadows).
            It gains 60fps and cutscenes that are rendered in-engine (although not for the expansion pack missions).

            Seems like we don’t lose too much, and gain a fair bit. I think I’ll pick it up if the bugs get squashed

        • Stemot says:

          The PC version is based on the 360 which in turn is based on the GC/Wii version NOT the PS2 version.

  5. CookPassBabtridge says:

    Hi Nathan, please can you get John to carve you off a slab of gold from Castle Shotgun’s gold bar room so you can bribe the overlords at Twitch to give your videos more bandwidth? Rather than your scything humour and gaming insight, I keep getting a small rotating circle every few moments. Unless its possible to download the video? Is that a thing that is doable?

    • Jackablade says:

      They uploaded the last ones to Youtube once they were finished. Perhaps they’d be so kind as to do so again.

  6. Guvornator says:

    Is Nathan related to Harry Enfield’s scousers in any way? link to i.dailymail.co.uk

  7. CookPassBabtridge says:

    37 minutes-ish, the part about poor loot implementation, very much agree with this. STALKER was one of the very best games for loot, in fact I find myself going back to it just for that sometimes. Seeing an abandoned train and thinking “I bet there’s something good in there”, and messing about with timed jumps or avoiding anomalies until you spot a little toolbox or backpack, which you open to find some new artifact. Or you just straight up find a sniper rifle sitting on the roof, the kind that would cost ridiculous amounts of rubles otherwise, or one of the finest suits in the game because you figured out a way into that radioactive house.

    Yeah sometimes it would just be health packs and a can of tuna, but that was the point: You never knew what might turn up, and it was always useful. It wasn’t just this ‘placeholder’ loot that increased some stat, or, as in Far Cry 3, existed only so you could say you ‘found’ it (if following a map prompt can be seen as discovery).

    • Cleave says:

      Well, the game is called Thief… You can surely expect to be thieving things

      • WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

        The game being called ‘Thief’ is a big part of the problem. Although I seem to be in a minority here in thinking it’s a legitimately godawful game even aside from the name it bears, I think a lot of people’s opinions would be significantly less frosty if it were called, say, ‘Primal’.

  8. LordDamien says:

    it’s: Quidquid latine dictum sit*, altum videtur

    Also, always these quotes in the rps front make me crack, specially during the saga campaign.

  9. bill says:

    Thief looked pretty bad here. Is that because it’s the tutorial, or is it all like that? (ie, one route, one solution, very directed, lots of pop up messages telling you what to do and what key to press, etc…)?

    Stealth games don’t really seem to suit joking around on Twitch with a friend and not getting into the atmosphere… but even so, I found the streaming of Thief 1 a few weeks back to be much more interesting… simply because you could go where you wanted and do what you wanted.
    (and simple things like sneaking past guards became more complex in Thief 1 where you had to pay attention to the floor surfaces. Do the arrows arc like in Thief 1? )

    • Cleave says:

      You can turn off as much of the interface as you want, very thorough options. It’s pretty linear most of the time but still great moment to moment gameplay. I compare it to Hitman Absolution, great presentation and they got a lot of the mechanics right but lacking the open sandbox level design.

  10. Myrdinn says:

    The biggest problem I have with this game is the fact that I feel so friggin enclosed all the time (almost no large open area’s) and that they put in a ridiculous amount of animations for trivial stuff. At least make an option to take multiple pieces of loot because stealing is somewhat of a drag now. I just skip the story sequences.

  11. Setheran says:

    Thief has its problems to be sure, but it seems kind of unfair to moan about a game’s on-rails tutorial while simultaneously getting frustrated by the mechanics because you weren’t paying attention to what it was trying to teach you. As boring as that linear, follow-me style gameplay is, the game has to teach you somehow, and as tutorials go I think they did a decent enough job.

    • WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

      I know it’s unfair to use Deus Ex as a stick to beat other games with, but I always thought it had a marvellous tutorial. You can’t *die*, but you can sure as hell fail. The characters in the tutorial later grow to be major parts of the story (two of whom you even kill), and their writing and instruction is consistent with their characters. Even from the start of the game, you’re taught to distrust these people, even if what they are saying is mechanically correct and useful. In short: the PC is immersed in the world.

      Thief’s problems are twofold, I think: its gameplay is too badly designed and linear to act as a hook to immerse the player in the world, and even if it were not the world itself is incredibly low, base and bland. Dishonored did a much better job, and its levels were just as confined. Thief feels like it was written by a twelve year old who had some vague idea of socialism but had read none of the boring wordy stuff, and designed by a committee of people who had never actually played a stealth game, but had heard one described. This is not a happy combination.