Review: Thief – Steal to Survive, Survive to Steal

 

A game of Ghosts, Opportunists and Predators… The path is your choosing.

Platform(s):  PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Publisher(s):  
Square Enix
Developers(s):  
Eidos Montreal
Release Date:  
25 February 2014 (NA), 27 February 2014 (AU), 28 February 2014 (EU)
Price:
£19.99 (PC), £29.99 (Console)

Ghosts, the definition of the unseen, but still striking fear into those weak of heart. Opportunists, those who will take the high road (or roof in this game) and make it through with their bags full. Predators, dark bringers of death that can dispatch a target without even showing where they came from, or where they went. Thief, a game of many options and routes to appease those dastardly deeds of yours.

The Story

Now trying not to spoil the story (Surprisingly, it’s quite in depth, something I didn’t expect) you take on the role of Garrett, a master thief who’s trying to make his living the only way he knows, stealing from those that live in a land of golden plated toilet seats. All jokes aside, Garrett happens to come across an old student of his named Erin. They join together to embrace the days of old they shared together on a mission set by Basso. Things seem to be going well until Erin kills a guard, something Garrett is completely against unless it’s truly required. The heat rises and Garrett steals Erin’s new high tech device, wait for it… A blackjack with spikes attached. After some swooping past guards and any other threats, Erin and Garrett regroup on-top of a church (Just so happens to have a glass roof.) Garrett reveals that he had stolen Erin’s handy black jack and a little fight goes on, which leads to Erin falling through the glass roof onto a ritual, dragging Garrett down with her. A big explosion happens and Garrett is left unconscious by the great power of light (I would be too if I didn’t see daylight for that long.) Awaking a while later, he finds that he has an extra ‘eye’ for gold and all sorts of nifty tricks (You’ll get what I mean later.) A year passes, and Garrett gets sent on a task to steal a book… Visions of Erin start to swarm his head, and he sets out to find clues on why this is happening, but not before filling his pockets with as much gold as he can find.

Use your tools to master the environment and trick those unsightly guards into thinking ghosts really exist

 

The Gameplay

The gameplay is actually very simple, you use a plethora of tools to get you from place to place. However, it’s that simple gameplay combined with the open mind of a player that really gives Thief that awesome feel of doing whatever the hell you want, when you want. If the opening paragraph didn’t give you a good enough clue on the three main ways to go about things, then the next few lines will. Thief gives you the option to get through a mission unnoticed, wealthy or blood-stained… Or if you’re really good, all at once (My favorite option.) Ghost is going through a mission completely and utterly undetected, like seriously, knock a bottle or something and someone hears it, your cover is blown (Sort of annoys me, but that’s what I get for swooping around everywhere… Seriously I love that ability!) Opportunist is the title given to those who have gone through an area, and literally stolen everything these poor diseased people have (How does he carry all of this without making a noise… Forget that, how does he even heft all of that stuff?!) Predator, which happens to be my favorite, is gaining knockouts or kills on threats. The game is very difficult when you’re trying to fight off 3 guards at once with another in the background filling you up with crossbow bolts, but it’s not that which makes me love it… It’s using the environment around you to gain an advantage. If those three guards came up to me, I sure as hell planned that barrel of oil to be there and made sure I had one fire arrow just for them. The thing is, it’s so simple to set up if you put your mind to it, and all it takes is a few clicks on your gamepad or keyboard.

The paths are before you. Which will you take, Master of Thieves?


The Controls

Y’know, there’s not a lot I can really cover here because the controls are they simple, you scroll through your tools and can use them whenever required (So simple, I love it.) Then there’s movement, which I only have a problem with every now and then, and I’m not even sure if that’s just down to me missing a jump because I was a little off. Everything is very fluid and it keeps the feel of the game running so smooth, it adds to the immersion and feel of the game, and from something like this… It’s the perfect touch (Now if only I had that when picking peoples pockets.)

The Graphics & Sound
Ahhh the graphics, the graphics are amazing, lovely water effects, great character models… And then there’s the darkness. The darkness of Thief really makes you feel like you are there, stalking prey (I’m talking about guards, not coins, those coins are going nowhere but my pockets.) and generally just the night itself. But it’s also the darkness of the game that kind of ruins it for me, it’s so dark I can hardly see where I’m going. Now I know people will tell me “Oh why don’t you just turn the brightness up.” But I won’t, simply because I like to have immersion over gameplay. I’ve missed many a good opportunity to snag a few coin or notice a stealthy guard standing in the dark and it really bugs me that such a good game makes it difficult to pick between completion and immersion. That aside, the music, the music gives me the chills, it’s like sitting through a horror movie waiting for something to pounce at you, but lucky for us, the only thing out there causing mayhem and terror is us.

When dark comes, the thieves come out to play

The Verdict

Summary

Getting straight to the point here, this game is absolutely awesome. The developers did a great job of immersing you into a world where what’s theirs is yours and the fact that the controls are so simple, yet can give you so many options makes this game a must have. I would recommend this game to anyone, (Of age, does contain explicit content.) even if it’s not their sort of style.

Game On!

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About The Author

Keith Mitchell
Editor-in-chief and all-around good guy!

Keith Mitchell is the Founder and Editor in Chief of The Outerhaven. A grizzled IT professional during the day, but a passionate lover of video games after his 9-5 grid. Loves playing the Dark Souls series and has been gaming since he was 6 years old. You can find him on Twitter as @Shadowhaxor or you can email her at keith.mitchell@theouterhaven.net.