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Thief - Spoiler-free Review

    • 1483 posts
    June 17, 2015 4:03 PM EDT

    OK, so after finally getting it I was playing Thief non-stop for the last week and here is my review!

    I try to cover some things I consider highs and lows of this game and hope this review will help you decide on whether to get or to pass this game.


    The game offers huge amount of customization allowing the player to tune the game to his liking. Custom difficulty modifiers can be applied over base difficulty creating more challenge and giving better rewards in return. Game HUD can be completely turned off (which I did, except one option, more on that later) and it doesn't hinder you to the point of being unplayable, which some games do. Turning off lockpicking helper allows the player to concentrate on subtler hand movements instead, resulting in a much more immersive gameplay. The only option I left on was the frame searcher helper, because the devs made it so the only indicator other than that is the vibration from the controller which I don't use. Everything else was turned off and I never found myself requiring any HUD option. In case you do want to play with the HUD on, it was quite subtle and should not have much impact on the field of view and immersion. Speaking of immersion, full body awareness in first person is just great. You really feel like you're the Garrett sneaking through the city streets, robbing people of their valuables! I also want to point out that the responsiveness of the character is executed greatly - I never had Garrett to do something other than what I intended.

    The City hub area is amazing! I was lost there a few times and it is riddled with secret passages, loot and interesting small stories for the player to discover. The City has thematically different districts with different layouts, some more complex than the others and each part is very big. No fast travel means you have to make your way past guards between missions and it adds to the feeling of being a wanted man.

    Storyline is quite straightforward, to be honest, but with all of that it surprised me quite a few times and kept me glued to the screen up until the end. The different theme of the missions also adds to the variety of gameplay and does a great job with keeping you on your toes.

    Last thing I want to mention is the complete absence of bugs (I played with latest patches) and that's something that I respect and applaud the developers for.

    Guard AI is something that defines stealth games and it was very well done. Guards include the location of previous disturbances, send one partner to investigate while guarding their post, have very good perception (but not to the point of being broken).


    There were few of those, at least for me, but I want to address them anyway. First, the sounds. The score and environmental sounds are great but the dialogue of guards and civilians is sometimes too loud, sometimes too low and in some cases doesn't match the subtitles which I was forced to turn on not to miss out those little bits of the information. Second, a few forced "rush" areas, where you have to move fast to not to die. There were about two-three such sequences and it broke the mood of slow methodical approach that I prefer. Third, a little weird way of calculating final mission score. Let me explain, at the end of each mission there is a breakdown that tells you which style of play you preferred - Ghost (leaving no trace behind), Opportunist (uses environment to avoid or knock out enemies), Predator (silent killer). Those have no impact on the amount of points you receive, but for people trying to play pure Ghosts it is quite annoying to get Opportunist no matter what. That said, I think water and rope arrows count towards Opportunist so that might've been the reason for those scores.

    I'm a big fan of original Thief series, played them countless times and they are in top three of my all-time favorite games list and I'd enjoy more emphasis of the old City and old Thief universe, my favorite mission was Chapter 3. That said, some things from the older games I'd prefer not to see again (Burricks...).

    However it's important to remember that it's not a Thief 4 but a new Thief game with changed universe, protagonist personality, environment etc. This game has its own unique approach and executed it perfectly.


    In the end I give this game 90 of 100, it could have been slightly better in story department and in ambient dialogue but it was great fun, I enjoyed every minute of it and recommend it to any stealth game fan.