Thief Review

Plundering the past is always a risky move. You’ll rarely find an audience who doesn’t wax lyrical about past gaming glories and clamour for a modern remake, but that same audience tends to take a lot more convincing to actually part with their money. Give them more of the same and you’re in danger of accusations of laziness. Change too much, and there’ll be hell to pay.

Eidos Montreal’s Thief sits somewhere between those two camps. This is a handsome offering, with fluid first-person stealth through a gorgeously-lit approximation of an 19th century English city called, imaginatively, The City. It’s a gloomy and restrictive pseudo open-world, like Dishonored’s Dunwall without the character, and is largely segregated into corridors and alleyways, shuffling hooded antihero Garrett between missions.

The missions – thefts, basically – are where the game harkens back to its roots, offering greater scope for varied approaches as you creep through purpose-built levels, searching for whichever glittering target you’ve been assigned. Almost every room offers a limited stealth-puzzle of sorts, with a flawless solution masked by the more obvious creep-up-and-whack possibilities that sneaky players have been doing since, well, the original Thief.

And therein lies the game’s real issue. Whereas Dishonored (which does feel like Thief’s more charismatic and popular older brother) and Mark of the Ninja have toyed with established hide-and-seek mechanics and shown that there are still ideas to mine in this genre, Thief just sticks to the shadows. You might chuck a bottle to distract someone or hide in a cupboard, but the inescapable feeling of déjà vu only hurts its cause.

To offset this, Eidos Montreal has tried to turn Thief into a kind of Call Of Snoop-y, thrusting set-pieces and copious cut-scenes into the action. In doing so, the developers have missed both audiences – it’s too dull for COD heads and too restrictive for the PC-bred brotherhood that loved it in the first place.

Version Tested: Xbox One. Played for 8 hours.

5 / 10

  • Visually atmospheric.
  • Solid stealth.
  • Lacking in freedom.
  • Dull and predictable.

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TarmacUnicorn's Avatar

TarmacUnicorn

Does anyone else have a problem turning wheels and such. like you go to turn it but it moves you away from it. or is it my settings? Sorry if it sounds silly.
Posted 04:54 on 04 March 2014
KamSage's Avatar

KamSage

To answer some queries.

The game doesn't take 8 hours to complete necessarily. The Main story probably takes 4-5 hours if you just do that, but you also have numerous side quests, The City hub world to explore and a challenge mode where you can customise the difficulty and restrictions of a variety of stealth levels. To do everything is around 15-20 hours, whilst collecting everything will most likely take you a lot longer. You'd probably get the whole feeling of it in 8 hours though. Also reviewers don't necessarily play ever section of the game to judge it, they play the most they can for the review deadline's time.

For those who think the first 30 minutes means its boring, I completely agree that the Prologue tutorial is massively restrictive and not representative of the whole game. However, once you're free of it after an hour, the game finally opens up and becomes a proper Thief game. I don't think you should judge it on that beginning alone honestly, though I couldn't blame you if you did. But if you've spent money on it already, invest some time and commitment on it, and you may end up not regretting your purchase.

If you're into big budget stealth games (rare as they are) i'd recommend buying it when the price comes down. And on the new gen if you can, the lighting effects are incredible for a game so early in these new console's life cycles. I don't regret my day one purchase at all.
Posted 08:41 on 02 March 2014
James11's Avatar

James11

After playing this game for about 30 minutes I'm ready to nod off! They compared it to splinter cell and Assassins creed but even the Splinter cells that were on the Playstation2 were better then this ***** on Xbox one! Don't waste your money! First thing you have to do is wait over an hour to load the game and then you have to wait another hour to get a 6GB update to the game. Once you finally start playing the controls are Horrible and it's not sandbox so you pretty much stuck taking one path to the objectives. Glad you're sneaking around so much because there's no way I win a fight if anyone spots me. This is just trash! Oh yah and the graphics are crap as well! $59 down the drain!
Posted 21:36 on 01 March 2014
DASHONFIRE's Avatar

DASHONFIRE

Actually it got Rambo! out of 10.
Posted 20:21 on 01 March 2014
chrishatton's Avatar

chrishatton@ RichRomano1

Yeah maybe. I don't think i am going to pick it up myself though.
Posted 12:50 on 28 February 2014
StarBright's Avatar

StarBright

Some even completed the game in 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Still, the reviews are written by two different persons.
Posted 05:51 on 28 February 2014
RichRomano1's Avatar

RichRomano1@ chrishatton

The thing is, many are playing this game. So, I would say that the negative reviews didn't deter gamers from buying the game. It's my guess that they'll sell enough copies to warrant another go at it.
Posted 20:57 on 27 February 2014
RichRomano1's Avatar

RichRomano1

From what I've seen from all the reviews, those listed on Metacritic anyway, all of them seem to agree on two things: the stealth is wicked fun and the atmosphere really draws you in. That should suffice for those on the fence. You'll have a lot of fun playing this game, apart from the various glitches, etc. I imagine there'll be a patch or two coming out soon to deal with those issues.
Posted 20:54 on 27 February 2014
RobotPi's Avatar

RobotPi

Played for 8 hours? Does this mean played and completed the game in 8 hours or played it for 8 hours and couldn't take any more!?!
Posted 19:03 on 27 February 2014
chrishatton's Avatar

chrishatton

I think its likely we will see another Dishonered game but I'm not sure this will sell as well making a follow up unlikely. Is there any DLC planned for Thief i wonder?
Posted 17:14 on 27 February 2014
rico_rico's Avatar

rico_rico@ chrishatton

yep and I think dishonored done everything they should never make thief I see very small difference between them its like a dlc -_' for dishonored
Posted 17:05 on 27 February 2014
chrishatton's Avatar

chrishatton

Must have been disheartening for developers to see Dishonered come out before this. Even looks the same.
Posted 15:39 on 27 February 2014

Game Stats

Thief
5
Out of 10
Thief
  • Visually atmospheric.
  • Solid stealth.
  • Lacking in freedom.
  • Dull and predictable.
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 28/02/2014
Platforms: Xbox One , PS4 , Xbox 360 , PS3 , PC
Developer: Eidos Montreal
Publisher: Square Enix
Genre: Stealth
Rating: PEGI 18+
Site Rank: 3,241 29
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