By TheAcidSkull 24 Comments
I've had my eyes on THIEF for quite a long time now, but considering I've been interested in other games I decided to hold myself from buying it, in case something better appeared or I lost interest(which can happen), but a few days ago I decided to give it a go and buy it because despite the negative/mixed reception, It still looked promising. Plus I rarely trust reviewers on youtube, so I still wanted to try it. Now having finished the game, I would like to say that THIEF is the sort of game that deserves mixed receptions, meaning that there are certain aspects about it that are really amazing, and others that just don't simple compare or come close, so essentially it depends on why you buy the game, if it's for gameplay, then you'll get your moneys worth, but if it's for story ONLY, then you're gonna be disappointed.
Anyways, lets talk about some on the weaker aspects so we could end on a high note. From my understanding, this is a reboot, so it has nothing to do with the previous THIEF games, which is perfect for a newcomer like myself, but I have to say that the story was really weak, which is a shame because it did have some pretty interesting concepts. It's not the supernatural elements that bothered me, it's not the PREMISE itself that irked me, but the way they really executed it. What I mean is, the events that take place within the game seem inconsequential, and the fact that I'm saying something like that seems completely baffling because there are some big things that happen in this game, it's just that the characters make it unappealing and dull. So Garrett is sent on a mission, on which he meets up with his ruthless apprentice/"sister", and during the mission they encounter some kind of mystic ritual and as expected shit hits the fan and things quickly go south. Garrett wakes a year later, with his apprentice Erin( believed to be) dead,and tries to understand and find out what the heck has been happening around him. Seems pretty simple right? Well it is, except, you as the player don't seem to care about any of this, because Garret doesn't care either. Now look, I'm not going to bash on the voice actor because he did a pretty good job, it's just that the writing was poor, and it made Garrett's performance dull as a result. Thing is, if this is a reboot we have no idea if Garrett has ever faced anything remotely close to what he is confronted in the game, so when he seems to be completely unfazed by the fact that he can stop time or the fact that he stumbles across some deformed monster zombies, it kind makes you wonder if Garrett actually cares about anything at all.
I understand that he is a patient master thief, but goddammit show some damn emotion. I'm not saying that he should scream on top of his lungs with pain, but when Erin, someone who is supposed to be Garrett's "Sister", dies, it would be nice to see him actually feel guilty or angry or even sad over it. What I'm saying is that things move to quickly so in turn there is no time left to explore the main character, and he comes off as someone who just doesn't give a crap about anything. Moreover, I'm still considering if the game has an actual villain. The Thief-Taker General came close, but he was basically a Hound who kept chasing you, and that's basically the very limit to which his character is explored. He was just A BAD GUY who understood how Garrett operates because....well... because he's a Thief-Taker, and that's basically it. But that's not really a problem because he wasn't the main antagonist as it turns out, Orion is, who was supposed to save the city from destruction( lol nope). Now see, the problem with this picture is yet again the fact that they choose not to explore what was given. Orion is a pretty boring and flat character, with no depth or development. He's just a villain because the game needs one, which is a damn shame, because the idea that the guy who wanted to SAVE the city actually caused it's destruction is a pretty good one, despite the fact that it wouldn't be the first time this concept would be used. And man, the game has some serious bugs, I don't know if this was just my copy, but the sound/ Audio was completely screwed. I heard multiple guards talking simultaneously, and sometimes they even said that same damn thing. Also, the sound didn't match the performance, either it was really delayed or really early, which made things way worse, obviously.
On the other hand tho, since that is out of he way, lets talk about some of the good parts of the video game, which essentially were enough to make the experience worthwhile. I've heard a lot of people criticize Theif for not having diverse environments(not kidding), however I can't seem to agree on that front. THIEF is a game about stealth and the exploitation of darkness, so you need a fitting place for that, and I can safely say that the game does a very good job of making an intense and gloomy environment which really creates a dark and gothic atmosphere. Besides, if you were to look over the story and the events taking place within the game, you'd understand that the house accommodates the owner. Also, I understand that LOOK wise the rooms and environments are similar, but the level design is pretty great, because it allows you to plan and keep watch of everyones movement. Speaking of which, the gameplay, as mentioned before is pretty damn amazing. This is at it's core a stealth game and on that front it doesn't disappoint at all. If we were to set aside all the fun little toys you get in the game, you'll see that you'll have to use your brain and wits to actually outsmart and direct the enemy into the the position you want him to be in. The game gives you control, which is actually pretty damn great, because while you aren't invincible, you still feel as if you are steering the whole sequence. Also, as frustrating as it was at times, I'm glad the enemy was too powerful for you. Seriously, if you encountered more than ONE enemy, it was an instant death warrant. That's not to say, however, that the game is unfair, because you had a lot of perks to keep everything balanced. Like for one thing, because of the ritual mentioned above, Garret gets some supernatural powers(one, at the vert least), he can slow down time and actually see the enemies weak points, which allows you to deal with more than one man. However, this doesn't mean that you can barge in like an idiot with waving fists, not at all; this perk is limited, and once you run out of it and find yourself in a circle of three guards, you'll get your nuts rocked.
Furthermore, the game is very rewarding, and the more risks you take, the more you'll get out of it. For example, in Thief you have three choices, to be Ghost, an Opportunist, and A Predator. As Ghost, you'll usually escape your enemies and just slip away, as an opportunist, you'll use the environment to your advantage, and as a predator, you'll take enemies down so you can take their money and then buy more gadgets and upgrades. Well most of the time, you can't be one of these classes without crossing into at least one separate territory, because for instance, in order to be a ghost, you'll have to turn of the candles os the enemy won't see you, or you can snap a chandeliers rope and smash it over your enemies head. Suffice to say that Thief as a good game system. As for the gadgets, they are pretty useful in all situations. The game doesn't depend on it tho, you can still get through your opponents if you wait long enough, but truth be told, it's much simpler to put an arrow in a mans head rather than slipping between his legs.
In conclusion, as I said in the beginning, it all depends on why you are interested in THEIF. If it's for the gameplay, which is completely stealth based , then you should love it because it's awesome, however, if it's for the story and characters, then I'm not sure what to tell you, because I, in all honesty, was really disappointed on that aspect. But hey, you might like it more than I did, who knows, right? All I know is that Thief isn't as bad as people say it is, but it's not too good either.