Right, Deus Ex is back on its feet and looking hale and hearty, whether it asked for this or not. What vintage PC game shall the electro-paddles be applied to next? Why, it's Thief IV, a game about which we currently know all but nothing other than that Eidos Montreal are pulling the strings again and, I am 99.99% sure, it'll have some sort of funny subitle rather than a number in the name. Well, anything's better than 'Thi4f', right?
An industrious fellow on Neogaf has done a spot of digging around the quiet info-goldmine that is LinkedIn, and turned up a couple of starting, tantalising facts. Let's have a look, and then hear what assorted Thief fans want to see from the new game.
First the facts, as gleaned from the LinkedIn posts:
Number one! The next Thief will be using the Unreal engine, instead of Crystal Dynamics' Tomb Raider engine, as was the case for Human Revolution. This suggests a far prettier game than the slightly dated-looking DXHR, and hopefully one that makes the best of light and shadow.
Number two! A mention of 'networking' and 'online tools.' Multiplayer Thief? That's an idea - a stealth-race for a prize could be a ton of panicky fun. Or does this just refer to just Xbox Live/Steam Achievementy kinda stuff?
Number three! "The City." Hardly a surprise, but it suggests something open-worldy to me, rather than a series of missions. That's what we want.
Number four! "shops, escape gates, public zones." ... "the game's hub..." " “extreme situations”; memorable scripted sequences with altered controls, camera and/or gameplay rules." This from the online resume of one of the game's designers. Supports the idea of an open world, but also suggests open action sequences. It's tempting to read far too much into that based on almost no information, so I won't.
And that's it, at least for now. I'm expecting a big reveal at GDC or E3 (or at least on the cover of an American magazine that gets given these things by default because it has a monstrous stranglehold on US game retail), but given we've seen so little so far, I expect a 2012 release is highly unlikely. Boo! On the other hand, that means boldly stating what we want to see from a new Thief game may not yet be entirely futile. Earlier today, I ask the Twitters to make some suggestions, as a no doubt welcome break from your regularly-scheduled Meer Holds Forth About Something Or Other Yet Again. Let's see what what the good folk of social networking want...
@ianhardingham (of Frozen Synapse fame)" large, freeform levels that all feel like mini-open worlds."
@griddleoctopus (of RPS contributor and professional contrarian fame): "multiplayer console team-oriented shooter?" Yes haha.
@edwardo_ka: "No loot glint, proper darkness as opposed to blue, and proper cheek spikes for the bears as I'm gans doon t'bear pits tomorrer." I not entirely sure what he means by the last bit, other than trying to sound like a Yorkshireman.
@seniath: "Stephen Russell and illustrated cutscenes. That is all."
@mrcraigL (of GamingDaily fame): "unlike a lot of recent stealth games, it has to let me fail. It needs to be a thief sim, not a follow the checkpoints game."
@sinisteragent: "Can we play as femgarret please?"
@zoombapup: "Would like to see more stealth options, a bit like the recent batman games. Allow a thief to be a bit more stealthy and lithe."
@imperialcreed: "I'd rather not play as Garrett this time around. I want to see what they can do with a new character, after seeing Jensen in DX:HR."
@themanko: Fighting system that makes it almost impossible to win. Every enemy should be terrifying. The sword fight system needs depth. Thief 3 didn't and that sucked. Should be more like 1 and 2 there. Eric Brosius needs to be hired/kidnapped to work on the audio for the game. He's the best audio guy in all of human history.
@garethnn: Don't change the perspective. Don't make him an action/acrobat. Keep it that you win through patience and careful observation.
@nachimir (of Bit of Alright/Word of Love fame): "All the character names in subtitles to take a similarly ridiculous form to "THI4F"."
@jedesler: "A heart-pounding sense of fear and vulnerability. It's the tension of playing Thief that I remember more than anything else."
@jamiedewhirst: "I don't ask for much, but for the love of God please do not let it be called "Thi4f". I'd almost not buy it out of principle alone."
Everyone, ever: Rope Arrows.
@griddleoctopus, trying to redeem himself: "seriously, just 1000s of rope arrows. A whole alchemy kit of make your own poisons. Basically, the Dark Brotherhood from Oblivion without killing."
@dsoveof: "Stealing shit."
Of those, the last one we can at least be sure of. OR CAN WE?