The Thief franchise had three successful titles released in around the turn of the century but after the third game was release the franchise went quiet. That was until now. Ten years after Thief: Deadly Shadows was released we now have a franchise reboot. Simply titled Thief the game is heading to next-gen consoles in late February 2014 and we're pretty excited about the title.
Garrett, the Master Thief, steps out of the shadows into the City. In this treacherous place, where the Baronís Watch spreads a rising tide of fear and oppression, his skills are the only things he can trust. Even the most cautious citizens and their best-guarded possessions are not safe from his reach.
Sneaking around in Thief (2014).
As an uprising emerges, Garrett finds himself entangled in growing layers of conflict. Lead by Orion, the voice of the people, the tyrannized citizens will do everything they can to claim back the City from the Baronís grasp. The revolution is inevitable. If Garrett doesnít get involved, the streets will run red with blood and the City will tear itself apart.
Development of this game was officially announced way back in 2009 when the game was known as Thief 4 however the official unveiling wasn't until March 2013 at which time the developers announced the game simply as Thief. Not even a year on from there, and with the game only weeks away we finally know about the game which allows you to complete missions in several different ways. Go in killing enemies, or complete the game without killing a single person. As you progress through the game you will unlock new abilities and have a wider range of equipment available at your disposal. A "Focus" ability allows Garrett to discover treasures and items of interest throughout the game world.
Lighting, shadows and detail in Thief is exceptional.
As expected the game allows you, as Garrett, to use a wide range of weapons and objects withing the game world. Climb ladders to reach high vantage points, use a bow and arrow to take out enemies or, as seen in demos, fire a water bomb to extinguish a flame torch thereby drawing the guards, and of course lock picks will be pretty handy for a thief too. There are of course dozens more items and skills to master.
Some gamers may be disappointed to hear the this game lacks any multiplayer modes. The games director Nicolas Cantin commented that "Multiplayer didnít respect the DNA of a Thief game. Itís a single-player experience; Garrett is a loner, and ignoring that would be moving too far away from what our game should be." While we can understand the viewpoint we are disappointed by this as a competitive mode to see who can obtain the valuables first could have been pretty fun, even with only two or four players. Oh well...
Is that a Ninja!? Ermm, no.
Visually Thief is pretty spectacular as you can see in these surrounding next-gen screenshots. Somewhat surprisingly this game is powered by Unreal Engine 3 - and not the more recent Unreal Engine 4. Still the will allow the developers to use every trick in the book to ensure the PlayStation 4 and XBox One versions look great, but the game also ports well to the older PS3/XBox 360 consoles.
As you can see the game has a heavy emphasis on light and shadow with many scenes taking place at night time, within fog, or shadows giving the game a rather dark look, but one which Sony's console seems to handle quite well indeed.
Thief is one of the first non-launch titles on the PS4 and millions of gamers the world over will have a keen eye on the title to see how it compares to other titles on Sony's new console, but also if the game can reinvigorate the franchise which has been stagnant for over a decade now.
Below is the Thief 101 Trailer which details the game, and what players can expect from it. It's a great introduction to the franchise, and yes, quite impressive.
Below is a video just released by Square-Enix and Eidos Montreal showing off 17 minutes of gameplay from a mission in Thief. As you can imagine this contains some spoilers but gives a great look at what to expect from the game.