• October 30, 2014

Coming soon: Thief

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Posted: Thursday, January 16, 2014 8:00 am

Take the title of this article with a small grain of salt. When I say “Coming Soon” on this game, I mean it’s coming out in late February. Cut me some slack! Q1 2014 is taking its sweet time coughing up the good titles.

However, now’s as good a time as any to talk about Thief. Here’s why you could be excited for it, and why I’m not really sure if I can be.                                             

I bought the original Thief trilogy last year. Though they were older games, they were supposed to be classics. I unwittingly became a test subject for the games’ longevity. They pass every test!

You play as Garrett, World’s Greatest Thief and Snarkmaster General. Navigate big, complicated maps with all the tools of your trade. From water arrows to douse torches, a blackjack to make the oafish guards go night-night, and the visibility gem, which is a flawless device to let you know just how visible you are to enemies; Thief did almost everything right. Games like Assassin’s Creed and Dishonored have been playing catch-up ever since.

Now the series is being rebooted. Well, I’m not opposed. I adore Garrett, and the steampunk world of Thief is one I think can be explored a bit more. This could go somewhere interesting.

Here’s the catch: It will only be interesting if it retains the original’s distinct charms. It doesn’t have to be a copy-paste with pretty graphics, but it just won’t be Thief without certain elements:

Minimal combat. This will come as a shock to desensitized players, but, if you kill anyone in Thief, you’re doing it wrong. Garrett is a master crook, and he’s capable of sneaking in and out without needing to kill anyone.

Distinctive words. Hey, what is a taffer, anyway? This will help to retain the original atmosphere.

Garrett’s voice. You’ll think me petty for this one, and I already know it’s not going to stay around. Garrett was one of the few characters to have the perfect voice actor, in this case Stephen Russell in a dry baritone. He’s been replaced by Romano Orzari, who I know from Assassin’s Creed: Lineage. I like Orzari, but that doesn’t mean I’m not disappointed.

Thief is coming out in late February for PC, Playstations and Xboxes. One final note: The developer is Eidos Montreal, the company behind Deus Ex: Human Revolution. They managed to make that game, a new take on a classic, work very well. Let’s hope they can do it again.

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