I'm alone. Outnumbered. Under-equipped, though that's my fault. In fact, I'm barely even prepared. I see movement ahead and I freeze. I'm afraid. I can't be seen... and then it hits me - I cannot be seen.

I have not been seen.

They have not seen me.

And I strike; with a 'thwack' of my blackjack the guard is unconscious - I could have stabbed him with my sword, such is the level of choice here, but I've chosen to let him live another guarding day.

The treasure is mine. I am successful. I've spent the last half an hour skulking around in the shadows, but it's all been worth it.

And boy can you see how worth it it is! Thief really does push your 3DFX hardware to its limits - though you can still play it fine without the additional hardware (you will need at least a P200 chip without the 3D card, mind you).

This means that all of those awesome crimes you commit through Thief: The Dark Project's 12 levels look as brilliant as you could hope - this is a game where all the walls, doors, tables and chairs are there to be checked out, looked at and taken in. Though you can't steal all of them!

Thief is a kind of Doom-clone we haven't seen much of before, meaning you have a level of freedom when you take on its levels. It's not like Star Wars: Dark Forces where you just go from start to the finish - it has more in common with Duke Nukem 3D, as you're allowed to explore.

Though there are less nudie birds in Thief, unfortunately - sorry lads!

With Half-Life coming out recently and showing us one way the post-Quake world is heading, it's brilliant to see something like Thief showing us there is another for computer games to go. Here's hoping for a bright future of Doom, Quake, Rise of the Triad - and now Half-Life and Thief - clones!

Played for 15 years. We're still waiting for Square Enix to send us Thief review code...