Speedy Shadows: Thief 3 ‘Gold’ Removes Loading Zones

With Square’s Thief causing a great many of the Looking Glass/Ion Storm faithful to adopt a bulldog chewing a wasp facial expression for the best part of a month (I’m kidding of course – they’ll retain that expression for at least twenty years), interest in Garret’s earlier tealeaf adventures has heightened. Even the series’ former red-headed stepchild, Deadly Shadows, has itself a new moment in the sun. Assorted fixes have long been available, but a newish and very appealing one is the removal of all loading screens from the game’s notoriously chopped-up missions.

Given that I haven’t followed the Thief 3 modding beyond the initial releases of the famous JohnP texture pack, I’d be lying if I said I was up to speed on what this Thief 3 Gold pack does that’s new, as opposed to anthologised.

I am up to speed on what this Thief 3 Gold pack does that’s new, as opposed to anthologised.


(The first one. Obviously. Hanlon’s razor, and all that).

Beleg Cuthalion’s ‘Gold’ pack is a companion piece to the existent, extensive Sneaky Upgrade, which itself plans to eventually encompass all the major mods – including the Minimalist Project and JohnP’s textures, as well as Gold.

Basically, you want to get everything, but for the sake of brevity alone I’m focusing on Thief 3 Gold here. Its headline news is a repackaging of the game’s levels so that there are no more loading zones in any of the main missions – in other words, bigger areas and a more seamless experience. Sadly The City hasn’t seem similar as yet, but hey, let’s be grateful for what we’ve got.

The Gold pack has a few other fixes, pasted below, and in time hopes to include the likes of briefing videos, hand-drawn maps and improved movement for Garrett, but right now its Public Beta Test is focused on ironing out its own bugs. If you fancy giving it a go, do report back with any findings in this forum thread.

Here’s the list of Gold features so far:

– No loading zones or blue fog in all nine proper missions (excl. the Inn tutorial)
– Re-designed transition zones (as faithful to the game as possible)
– Various fixes of broken/incomplete patrols, missing shadow-casting, un-ghostable AI positions
– Fixed Keeper enforcers, especially on HARD/EXPERT
– Reduced ambient fog
– Removed transition zone symbol from hand-drawn maps
– From the Sneaky Upgrade side the game was tweaked to allow slightly larger maps (content-wise) which was necessary for the Cradle and Museum maps

Haven’t had the chance to install all this stuff myself, so how does the old dear hold up? Let us know, taffer.


  1. Taidan says:

    Good lord, a perfect invitation to forget the many offences of the recent reboot and give the last game a replay.

    Tell me, is Deus Ex: Invisible War getting the same treatment?

    • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

      Was going to ask the exact same about Invisible War. Both these games were brilliant but let down by the tech at the time. Only shame is we”ll never know how cool the levels would have been if designed from the start free from the need for memory appeasing chunks.

    • WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

      Invisible War’s iffy writing and art direction, as well as bizarre design decisions like the awful UI, inventory and universal ammo, can never be fixed, but I agree that loading screens and cramped levels were one of the game’s chief problems. Fix those and I might try another replay, especially in the cramped city hubs.

      • roryok says:

        A UI can totally be fixed. Skyrim is proof of that. I’d also guess that with the right tools, universal ammo could be changed. There’s nowt can be done about the writing though

    • New Horizon says:

      That’s not possible. The level editor for Invisible War was never released, so the levels can not be stitched back together.

      • roryok says:

        far as I recall, IW ran on the unreal engine, so the files should at least be compatible with UnrealEd

        • New Horizon says:

          Invisible War, like Deadly Shadows, ran on a heavily modified version of UnrealEd. Unreal systems were stripped out and replaced with custom systems specific to the games. Maybe the geometry could be stitched together with an older version of UnrealEd, but the scripting and stim / response systems and heaven knows what else would be completely trashed.

          Like I said, what is being done with Deadly Shadows would only be possible if we had the Invisible War level editor. I’ve even attempted to load Invisible War Maps in T3Ed but so much is hard coded into the executable that you can’t do anything with it.

  2. Pich says:

    Awesome, now remove Thi4f.

  3. povu says:

    The loading times for this game are really fucking long, even on modern systems. Even if you’re just reloading to a save where you’re in the exact same area. It’s the same awful engine implementation as Invisible War.

    While all this sounds great, won’t the removal of loading zones make the loading times even worse?

    • Mman says:

      It probably won’t make much difference, if any; if a game this old still has problems with loading it’s probably an engine bottleneck rather than a hardware one.

    • Muzman says:

      A bizzare feature of this and Invisible War is that if you turn off v-sync you cut loading times in half. Why on earth that would be I have no idea. I would imagine the modders worked it out.

  4. Lemming says:

    I feel like a mod feature/spotlight/review article should be a regular thing. Am I alone in this?

    • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

      Personally, bunching mod reviews/updates into a weekly article leads me to skip past them, there’s too much chafe to get through to reach the bits I’m actually interested in. I actually prefer the full front and centre treatment RPS’ odd mod related news stories get. Trust RPS to find a highly readable Flare Path style meta article to wrap it all up in that”ll make me change my mind, mind.

      • Lemming says:

        Well, I didn’t mean bunching them up, any more than ‘wot i thinks’ are bunched up. I meant a catch-all title for the article as a regular feature, one mod per article.

      • Mechjaz says:

        Did you mean to write “chafe” (instead of chaff) as a pun playing off “bunching?”

        I mean, I’ve been around RPS for a while. A long while. Maybe too long.

        Trembling, Mechjaz sets down his cup of water and exhales deeply. He closes his laptop, and walks outside into the warm sunlight. He immediately receives a sunburn, scowls, and runs indoors, reinstalls Deadly Shadows and the new mod because this news is ace, really.

    • skyturnedred says:

      I read somewhere this is exactly what they’re starting to do. Could’ve been on twitter, or it could’ve been in a weird dream I had a while back.

    • GernauMorat says:

      I would love a regular mod roundup. + 1

    • TWChristine says:

      I could’ve sworn they used to do this and it just kind of fell by the wayside like Kickstarter Katchup.

  5. Geebs says:

    Thief 2 > Theif 3 > Thi4f > Theif 1. Fact.

    • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

      Someone needs to replay Theif 1 methinks.

      • Geebs says:

        Thief 1 made me question why the Thief series is so well respected (levels suck, lock picking is awful, ghosting is no fun, fricking Cragscleft and the Bonehoard, too much emphasis on combat), Thief 2 made me understand (open ended levels, lots to interact with, ghosting is fun, lock picking is still shit).

        • zylonbane says:

          The game is called “Thief”, not “Stealth”. The Looking Glass guys were heavily influenced by D&D, and in the first Thief you get up to the sort of things that a D&D thief gets up to– not just sneaking around people’s homes, but also raiding dungeons and dodging supernatural monsters. It also had a much more coherent plot, vs Thief 2’s where they literally came up with settings for missions first and then haphazardly tied them together, resulting in a story where Garrett comes across more as a secret agent than a thief. And geeze, all the level recycling, and that laborious final level, aka “Garrett’s Day at the Factory”.

          This isn’t to say Thief 2 wasn’t good, of course. It’s still one of the best games I’ve ever played. It’s just that The Dark Project was better.

        • Muzman says:

          Bonehoard and Cragscleft have the same emphasis on combat as any other level, Thief 1 or 2. And Thief 1 is by far the best written.

          • Geebs says:

            The Bonehoard’s emphasis is on a combination of running in circles in a series of corridors which have the same texture for walls, floor and ceiling, and falling off ladders onto a zombie. Even back in the bad old 2.5d days, designers made more effort to give the player some sort of visual cue as to which directions they were actually going in. If any game level ever made an argument in favour of totally boring linear level design, the Bonehoard is it.

            Cragscleft is under the impression that inching towards a guy who alternates between looking in your direction and staring at a wall every 5 seconds is somehow fun. It is also the best level in the original Thief for demonstrating that the much-lauded sound system is broken – you can move without making any sound by playing a trill on the movement keys such that Garrett floats along and never actually puts a foot down.

          • zylonbane says:

            Bonehoard, linear? Bwahahahaha…

          • Muzman says:

            The Bonehoard is about the only level I can think of that actually guides you through a complex space via sound. You might have to, y’know, use your head along the way though. So I can see why this would seem a grievous imposition to some people.
            Cragscleft is probably too tough for mission two, but other than that it’s fine. Most of these levels dare to think that if you hate one approach enough you’ll find another one. But there’s no accounting for people’s ability to but their head for hours against their own clumsy perception of the path of least resistance and hate it all the while. Designers of games with wide expressive possibilities will struggle with this forever I wager.
            Similarly, physics quirks never happen in other games either. Just in Thief. The emperor is truly naked.
            Tell us more about this ‘combat focused’ design too.

          • Geebs says:

            Hey now, trying to imply that I don’t like your particular sacred cow because I’m too stupid to get it is the behaviour of a bell-end. Don’t be a bell-end.

            If your idea of fun is sprinting past a zombie, then sprinting past them again in the other direction like the world’s most disoriented streaker, be my guest!

            Bonehoard, linear? Bwahahahaha…

            You misread; what I was saying was that navigating between a series of rotationally symmetrical, muddily textured rooms is so much the opposite of fun, it makes me wish for a shouty marine with the word “follow” floating above his head.

    • WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

      Thats an…unusual opinion. May I ask why you hold it?

      For me, Thief 1 > Thief 2 > Thief 3 > being repeatedly hit with a blunt instrument > ‘Thief’ 4. The stealthing was slightly better in 2 than 1, but I thought 1 had more variety and slightly more atmosperic level design in general. 3 was mechanically OK but limited by Xbox RAM constraints. 4 I find physically draining to play. The movement, emergence, sound design, art design, writing, worldbuilding and characterisation all suck to a truly impressive degree.

      • Faxmachinen says:

        “The movement, emergence, sound design, art design, writing, worldbuilding and characterisation all suck to a truly impressive degree.”

        This is a description of Thief 3.

        • WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

          Agreed, hence why I only put 3 one stage above 4. I just think they suck even worse in 4. This is a game that does not trust it’s player to do ANYTHING their own way.

        • Kaeoschassis says:

          Cannot disagree more. All of those elements are things I found brilliant and truly loved about Deadly Shadows. All of them. Yes, even level design.
          Yes, the levels being all chopped up breaks immersion, it’s an old argument and a perfectly valid one. But they’re still brilliant levels, and hey, this mod apparently fixes that problem.
          I loved all three Thiefs (Thieves?) pretty much equally, for much the same reasons. Haven’t played the new one yet. I will. I’m not expecting much but I will.

          • Muzman says:

            Even without the chopping part, Deadly Shadow’s levels are mostly tiny and simple compared to Thief 1 & 2.
            It’s ok to like them of course, but that’s still true sadly.

          • Kaeoschassis says:

            They’re not nearly as small as people tend to make them out to be. I guess you’re right, though.
            I still love them. They’re atmospheric, generally believable, they’re fun to explore. One or two of them are still scary as all hell. I stand by what I said, it’s a great game with great levels.
            Could have been a whole lot better had it been developed just for PC, yes, but that doesn’t change what it is.

          • Muzman says:

            The sad thing is, they’re not that small and simple these days because the contraction of typical FP level design had not yet reached its nadir and still hasn’t really bounced back (Dishonoured is not a particularly big and complex game).
            I’m mostly ok with them simplifying the earlier levels. That was often the problem for people in the earlier games; you are chucked right in the deep end and basically lost and blundering from the start. But, fragmented or not, there’s only really two or three missions that have the same sort of architectural sweep as the first two games. It could have used a couple more. And the Kurshok city is a joke. Some lost, and still living this time, civilisation is comprised of a couple of caverns.
            It’s a pity more than anything.

    • Faxmachinen says:

      Can’t tell if trolling.
      The correct order is Thief 2 > Thief 1 > Dark Mod > Thief 4 > Thief 3.

      • WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

        3 doesn’t have the same quality as the first 2, but 4 is an eldritch abomination.

      • Geebs says:

        I’ve tried to like the Dark Mod at several points in its development but never really managed it: I think that stealth games need to have a very skilfully worked out tipping point for player detection, so that the player has somewhere to lurk, can figure out the patrol routes reasonably quickly without just sitting around for ages, and then has space to ghost. I don’t think the Dark Mod quite gets that right and so I find it a slog.

        • noiseferatu says:

          Do you think it’s because of the level design or the underlying core gameplay mechanics? Honest question, I’m curious.

          • Geebs says:

            I wasn’t able to figure that out; I think it’s an interesting point but I don’t know whether it’s actually possible to separate the way the AI works from the environment design in a stealth game. I think that if anything, the AI is too good at spotting the player, and not good enough at losing them again; but I also think some of the fan-made missions suffer from the usual problem of becoming too hard because the developer got too good at beating their own level.

            I’m prepared to admit, though, that it’s always a bit painful to figure out the AI’s style in any new stealth game; I haven’t been able to enjoy S,YABH at all because I can’t figure out where they’re going with the detection thresholds.

    • geldonyetich says:

      Personally, I’d go with Thief 2 > Thief 1 > Thief 3 > Thief 4.

      Thief 2 was basically Thief 1, but better in just about every way.
      Thief 1 had to be good, why do you think it got so many sequels? But I’m reckoning in terms of considering the technology okay, because surely it’s dated by today’s standards (and Thief 2 and 3 would suffer if I did anyway).
      Thief 3 was not as great as the original duo, but it wasn’t terrible, either. After Invisible War, we were expecting it would be awful…
      Thief 4… lets be honest, I didn’t play Thief 4, but I’ve seen enough gameplay videos to know what I’m looking at here… another sacrifice on the altar of AAA mediocrity.

      • Faxmachinen says:

        “Thief 4… lets be honest, I didn’t play Thief 4, but I’ve seen enough gameplay videos to know what I’m looking at here… another sacrifice on the altar of AAA mediocrity.”

        You’re mistaken. Get it on the cheap.

      • WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

        You’re not mistaken. Don’t bother.

      • sinister agent says:

        Thifourf: Deadly Schroedingers

      • Jason Moyer says:

        Thief 2 is basically a “Life Of The Party” DLC for Thief 1. None of the other missions even hold a candle to Thief 1 (or most of Thief 3 and 4, for that matter).

        • Faxmachinen says:

          Oh bullshit. Framed, Ambush, Bank and Trust, Trail of Blood and Soulforge were all unique and immersive missions.

          And it’s not like TDP is without flaws. Strange Bedfellows is a re-run equivalent to Masks, the Lost City is equally present and equally dreary in both games, and The Maw is like the worst part of Trail of Blood stretched trebly.

          Not to mention that three of TDPs missions were so bad that they got cut from the game entirely (making TDP two missions short of TMA).

          That said, I would totally pay for DLC for both TDP and TMA.

    • Henke says:

      For me it’s 2>4>1>3. This is, incidentally, the same order as I rank the Alien movies in. I’m a weirdo.

      • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

        But 3 was the best one! (Talking Alien now)

    • Antistar says:

      Thief 1 = Thief 2 > Thief 3 > a kick in the balls > Thief 4, for me.

      I’ve never been able to decide which I like best out of the first two games. They really brought out the… something… in me. Right from the start, I’ve only ever played them in the dark, with the gamma set so that pitch black is just that, with surround speakers. With that sound design and that darkness… just amazing stuff. It felt like the already large environments were huge – stretching out into the darkness.

  6. Jabberslops says:

    This may be a good excuse to retry the game after I gave up when a game breaking bug corrupted every single one of my game saves when I reached about half way through the game. Every save I loaded up became corrupted.

    Although thinking about it now I think it was probably my evga 122ck nf68 a1 (such a garbage board…) since I later discovered a giant burn spot on the board that was part of the memory controller so I could only use 2 modules.

  7. Imbecile says:

    I really liked Thief 3. It wasnt quite in the same league as 1 and 2, but it was still great, felt thiefy, and had a kind of hub thing going on which was nice. Plus its the only thief game I’ve ever completed.

    Not tried thief 4 yet. I worry its going to be like dishonored,

    • WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

      If only. Dishonored was a visually interesting game with emergence-based design, but was (by common if not universal consensus) too short and too easy. Thief 4 is also too short and too easy, but it also completely changes the worldbuilding and factions of the series, is written in a juvenile and slapdash way, totally removes emergence from the design of the systems, makes the levels tightly wrapped and reliant on chokepoints so the designers can be sure where you are, and has very murky and un-evocative art direction (unlike Dishonored). It even ran like gravel on my PC until I discovered that it defaults to bordlerless window mode, after disabling that it ran marginally better but still stuttered a lot. It’s honestly one of the worst games I have ever played, and that’s in absolute terms and not by comparison to the stellar originals.

      • Imbecile says:

        I liked lots about dishonored except for the way it played. The main issue was that it was a stealth game, that was also a combat game. For me, the two rarely play well together. Wheres the tension of sneaking when you are basically a superhero. The levels were also a little too enclosed for my liking.

        Thief worked well because you were vulnerable, which forced you to sneak, but it always gave you multiple routes, and a great hand drawn map to even the odds. I fear that focus is viewed as a niche too far in todays market.

        • WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

          I don’t necessarily disagree RE: Dishonored, but

          ” For me, the two rarely play well together.”

          Deus Ex? (the original, of course)

          • Horg says:

            Key word; ”rarely”. it’s a tough act to do well.

          • Kaeoschassis says:

            Okay, I love Deus Ex to pieces, I really effing do. But are you seriously trying to tell me it had good combat?
            The stealth was… okay, most of the time, if you suspended your disbelief. But the combat?
            DX was one of the best games ever created because of its world, its depth, its open-ended-ness. Its stealth was okay, its combat was awful.

        • ResonanceCascade says:

          Thief 4 is much more focused on stealth than Dishonored is. Which is why it’s pretty puzzling that I enjoyed my stealth playthroughs of Dishonored way, way more than I enjoyed Thief. It’s just a clunky, poorly tuned stealth game.

    • Faxmachinen says:

      It should be mentioned that Thief 4 has an even nicer hub thing going on in it.

  8. demicanadian says:

    “Fiddle-dee dum and fiddle-dee dee, The old gray lady is after me…” – children’s rhyme, unknown origin

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      “Builder guide me! My sight hath GONE!” – Hammerite guard, versus flash bomb.

      • Horg says:

        ”buuRUUUUUUrrrppppp” – That Burrick in Ramirezs mansion.

  9. Low Life says:

    Well that’s certainly interesting, may have to go all out on mods and try to replay this. Never finished it back in the day.

  10. twaitsfan says:

    I’ve never understood the Thief 3 hate. Yes, it wasn’t as good as the second, but people flip out because of loading times? Really? Does anyone remember how long loading times in general were on games when Thief 1 came out? Further still, I can remember playing Police Quest on low density 3.5’s and having to switch disks out multiple times just to change rooms.

    Yes, loading times suck, but I don’t think they merit such hate. There were some other questionable decisions like the climbing gloves instead of the rope arrows but I thought they did a pretty respectable job on creating an open world for the Thief universe for the tech at the time.

    • Gonefornow says:

      It’s not about the loading times but loading screens in the middle of areas and missions.

      In Thief 1 & 2 you only have loading screens in between missions. Never inside one.
      In Thief 3 the main city area is broken into 5 or 6 different levels and most missions include at least one transition zone. That isn’t just annoying, it’s also immersion breaking, especially when taking the ghastly purple fog into consideration.

      To me this is THE thing I would have changed about the game if I had the know-how and I’m glad someone else did.

    • zylonbane says:

      The TDS hate isn’t because of the loading zones, though it didn’t exactly score points for that. It’s because TDS was egregiously “gamey” compared to T1/T2. These were games that relied heavily on their minimalistic presentation and simulationist design, yet TDS gave us a blindness-curing blackjack, loot glint, blue darkness, visible arrow trails, a clunky wrought-iron HUD, auto-everything, and various other more subtle dumbing-down “accessibility” changes. The entire game was clearly and deliberately tuned for the enjoyment of Joe Couchgamer. Oh and the movement in first person sucked.

      • Runs With Foxes says:

        All true, but it’s pretty funny that in its day Thief 3 attracted even more hatred (among fans) than Thief 4 has, considering Thief 4 is way further down this modern shitpath than Thief 3 was. Maybe people have grown to accept mediocrity.

  11. GameQB11 says:

    am i the only one annoyed by the writing style of this article? I am barely to make it through. Half of the content is nonsense trying to sound witty.

    Please author, more periods, less “clever” euphemisms.

    • sinister agent says:

      more periods

      What kind of monster are you?

    • hurr says:

      @ GameQB11

      You aren’t the only one. I used to read RPS religiously, but the awful humor and pointless rambling until they get to the point in all articles become so bad that now I only visit the site when an article like this pops up, mostly cause in comments of mod articles like these people can post info about mods and other links, etc.

      The worst part is their RSS feed, instead of knowing WTF the article or headline is about, there is some inane “witty” headline and para under it. So basically, you have to visit the f**n site to even know wtf the article in the feed is about. I stopped doing that long time ago as well (mostly cause I am subscribed to other sites which have feeds that tell you wtf the link will lead me to).

      • WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

        Yeah, I think Kieron did the tangents really well, but none of the current RPS staff do it in a way that I find meaningfully adds to the article. Cara is by far and away the worst for this, the nu-XCOM review that she did will forever remain seared into my retinas as tangential bilge almost from start to finish, but it is becoming a problem in my view. In all fairness, Jim’s extended Sir sabbatical and John’s unexplained tendency not to write too much any more (say what you will about his politics, he gets straight to the point on videogame articles) might explain this phenomenon.

      • roryok says:

        I’m not one to jump on bandwagons, but I too feel like the quality of the site has degraded. Every second article now is a bunch of lame jokes and then a regurgitated press release. In between those we get endless updates on whatever petty legal drama is currently doing the rounds. The edge trademark dispute was interesting (although milked to death), but zenimax threatening occulus really isn’t. The only posts I enjoy these days are reading about genuinely unique and interesting games (The Breakout, Kentucky Route Zero etc) and the “revisits” of older games. Not enough of that stuff.

        Also there are technical issues I’ve complained about which don’t get so much as a response, let alone a fix. When I click the “login to reply” button on any article, it takes me to a login screen which then dumps me back on the page instead of where I was. Spam comment prevention is a joke. Simple regex rules in the comment submission could eliminate all of that “earn $ working from home” crap. The only real change in the last 12 months has been to add that “more from the web” section under each article.

    • jjujubird says:

      Agreed. I like the occasional bit of RPS wit, but when they try to force it into every sentence it’s no longer readable or funny. These days I usually just glance at the title/article to catch the gist and then skip to the comments to see what people think, since deciphering what the author thinks usually takes too much effort.

      Still a nice site even if you don’t actually read the articles, since you can read people’s comments on gaming subjects that aren’t just limited to AAA, and said comments aren’t complete cancer like most places.

    • Frank says:

      It depends on the author’s sense of humor, I guess. This article sounded like a drunken ramble, but I usually find RPS’ unnecessary openings (there must be some French word for this…?) delightful.

  12. Sunjammer says:

    Thief 4 was totally okay. Get over yourselves.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      Okay at what? When I think back to my time with that game (and I stuck with it to the bitter end), only glaring flaws stick out:

      – broken contextual movement system

      – sloppy, uncommunicative A.I. that jumps between alert and unalert states seemingly at random

      – the plot is a string of cliches at best, and at worst it’s an incomprehensible jumble of story elements that never mesh together, including cutscenes that were obviously shorn from a previous build of the game and plopped into scenes where they don’t fit.

      – the characters, including Garrett, are not fleshed out and don’t seem to have any discernable motivation

      – the level design is cramped and tedious to navigate

      – it isn’t even fun.

      The graphics are really good though, so there’s that, I guess.

    • WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

      “Get over yourselves”? What, so anyone that disagrees with you is up their own arse, right? I’m not saying opinions that differ from the mainstream are not allowed or valuable (my own violent hatred of Skyrim will attest to that), but jeez don’t assume everyone is just being contrarian for its own sake. A lot of people really, genuinely, think Thief 4 is a terrible, terrible game, myself included. Your popping up with “no, it was was OK, get over yourself” ain’t gonna do diddly squat on that one.

      • roryok says:

        my own violent hatred of Skyrim will attest to that

        Jesus. What did that beautiful, open-world, endlessly moddable RPG ever do to you?

    • KenTWOu says:

      reply fail

  13. KenTWOu says:

    People who think that Thief 4 is better than Thief 3 or any other Thief game are mad men. Thief 4 is objectively the worst game in the series because of tons of things like contextual movements and scripted events with forced detections… But the lack of back tracking in level design is the main reason the game is awful as a Thief game. It doesn’t allow you to steal everything on each level because of that, doesn’t encourage you to fulfill its main goal. This is madness.

    • WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

      I agree entirely. Some games that I heartily dislike on a personal level (Bioshock: Infinite and Mass Effect 2 are examples that come to mind), I can still see why *other* people like them. For Infinite, for example, I concede that the art direction was excellent, and someone who is into that sort of thing might regard the whole game as a tour de force even if I regard it as a disaster.

      Thief, however, I regard as something utterly without redemption. It’s mediocre at a couple of things and terrible to the point of absurdity at everything else. Wherein lies the appeal? It’s a mystery to me. Perhaps someone would explain it to me, but since almost everyone who qualifies as a “defender” of Thief 4 seems to merely think it’s alright rather than terrible, stalwart defenders might not be immediately forthcoming.