September 27, 2020

BY CODY STEEVES

The stealth action game Thief was supposed to be the next big steal in stealth-oriented games, but was the heist worth the payout?

Thief is for next-gen consoles that allows the player to play as an actual thief set in the Middle Ages with advanced technologies. This release is the fourth instalment of the Thief series, however, the game’s title doesn’t reflect that fact nor is the story a continuation of the previous games.

The game takes you through many different adventures as a thief and although many of them are neat for the first couple of hours, you may eventually get bored of some of the base mechanics. Picking up every candlestick you find has that effect and rifling through drawers for a single coin makes the player feel like a common pickpocket rather than an over-the-top thief. The fighting mechanics are fairly underwhelming as well; you can complete an entire level by using nothing more than your trusty crossbow and you won’t come across any problems if you don’t run out of arrows.

Perhaps the most disappointing feature in this game was the stealth system itself. A game where the concept is based around being a thief, the players expect a fairly intricate stealth mode system where you can hide in shadows and dip in and out of corridors, and one mistake could cause your mission to fail. This is not the case. Apparently, reaching out and taking someone’s cup from the table beside him isn’t noticeable, not to mention the guards and their inability to turn their heads from left to right and only ever look directly down at their feet. Honestly, 10 feet in front of someone, even in dim lighting, you think you would be able to notice a shadowy figure leveling a crossbow at your head.

The majority of the game plays out like a first-person stealth game, where the player can use terrain and equipment to maneuver the city at will. This is definitely the highlight of Thief. The city holds many secrets and it is graphically impressive. The part that hurts the cityscape is when the developers force you to do extreme parkour near the end of the game. Throughout the last stretch of storyline your character has to make forced jumps from burning rooftops and Prince of Persia-styled flagpole swings, which sounds cool, however, feels clunky and unnecessary. There is no point in adding new game mechanics in the last 40 minutes of the game.

The storyline overall is interesting, but doesn’t really tie into the previous entries of the series, taking a more stand-alone approach. This is unfortunate as the previous games still have a lot of unanswered questions left and I was personally hoping to get them answered.

Overall, Thief is an OK game, but it did not meet the expectations that were set for it.

Riddled with errors and questionable decisions, Thief is one game that never truly stole my heart.

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