Thief has been out for a few weeks and has received mixed reviews on all the platforms for which it is available. Fans of the beloved series tend to be harsher on the game than those who are newbies. On the day of release, while I was reinstalling the game after a botched pre-order install a reviewer friend referred to the game as “dreadful.” However, I had to try it for myself, even if I was amongst those who had never played before, and have never been hugely into stealth titles.
So, then why in the heck am I so bloody annoyed that they have ripped the stealth out of this version and made it so damn lame? You would imagine a modern Thief to be an amalgam of Deus Ex: HR, Dishonored with a touch of Assassin’s Creed. Sadly, the game is none of those things and it is possible to argue that when it does ape those successful franchises, it picks their worst aspects.
It is not an open world game and the areas in which you operate are tiny. There is a very little room to maneuver, and you have to look for special bits that “allow” you to climb up. The combat, such as it is and which it is hard to avoid entirely, is bloody awful and clunky. Movement is just as clunky. The storyline is a poor pastiche of Dishonored’s plot with none of its charm or interesting characters. The side missions are mostly uninspired and are there merely for you to steal a few bits and bobs to get the right kit for your next real mission.
What is worse, is that it throws up one of the most annoying out of place sequences in any AAA game I can remember for a very long time. You spend your entire time figuring out, with the game’s limitations, on how to sneak around guards, lights and alarms only then to have a deadly chase sequence. What is worse is that you have to keep moving in the chase sequence or you die for no apparent reason and there are no damn checkpoints along the way. Unlike almost every other bit of the game, there is no alternative route either, so you have to trial and error find you way dying (and repeating the lame cut-scene). It is as if one of the devs. was playing Mirror’s Edge and decided to shove a bit in for laughs. The bit is completely out of place, frustrating and a complete immersion breaker.
The game is complete style over substance, paying more attention to loads of bells and whistles at the expense of game-play. It looks gorgeous and suitably gloomy. It also has to be said the music can be annoying and sound assets don’t work they way they should. Yes, the game has probably the most diverse set of tweaks on it for game-play, ambience, immersion, and UI of any game going, but if the actual game is so dull and annoying who cares? Instead of putting a smile on your face, it seems to be more about clever ways of frustrating the player.
Thief should have been a game that you would want to play to the end and then play again on a harder setting or to get all the stuff you missed. Instead it is a game that finishing is a task and unless it is tweaked heavily with a DLC, have no interest in playing ever again.
It is certainly not worth anywhere near full release price and I would urge you wait until it is deep discounted in a sale. In fact, in general, I would avoid this game like the plague.
Thief is rated M (Mature) by the ESRB Blood, Nudity, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs, Violence. This game can also be found on: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Xbox 360.Powered by Sidelines