Back from the Shadows
Times have changed since the Thief series reigned supreme in the stealth genre. Almost ten years have gone by since the most recent title, Deadly Shadows, was released, leaving the genre to be redefined by an entire generation’s worth of games, including the more action-oriented likes of Assassin’s Creed and Dishonored. With the changes that have taken place in the industry, can a hardcore, first-person stealth-based franchise that has hid in the shadows for such a long time still be relevant?
Eidos Montreal is confronting the challenge head-on with next year’s reboot of the series, simply titled Thief. Aware of the dilemma facing the franchise and its antihero Garrett, the Deus Ex: Human Revolution studio is nevertheless set on creating a next-gen experience that can stand out in the modern gaming scene with all new bells and whistles, but still feel familiar to the longtime fans of the series.
Fans should be pleased to see that the medieval / Victorian / steampunk metropolis of the previous games, The City, will return, but much has changed in the time Garrett (and the series itself) has been away. A tyrannical baron now has the City under his control, oppressing its citizens (who also have to put up with a plague) while leaving the elite to enjoy their riches in peace and comfort. That is, until Garrett and his sticky fingers come knocking.
Though stealth games these days usually place a greater emphasis on action and taking out enemies, Thief, like its predecessors, will be focused mainly on actual stealth. Garrett is a thief first and foremost, and gameplay will task players with avoiding conflict as much as possible. Sticking to shadows and moving in silence will be necessary to sneak past guards, pick locks, empty pockets, and make off with as many goods as they can. Aiding them in this is Garrett’s arsenal of tools and weapons new and old, like the Blackjack (used for knocking out guards), a multitude of unique arrows, a mechanical grappling hook for getting around faster, etc.
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A writer, journalist, and aspiring storyteller, Peter Grimm has been gaming since the days of the Nintendo 64, and reporting on the goings-on in the World of Gaming since late 2011. His base of writing operations is located within the void between Here and There, or so he would have you think.
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