Thief is out of the shadows; here's our Thief review.
Eidos Montreal have tackled the decidedly mixed response to early Thief footage in a fashion that’s either incredibly accommodating or take-my-lunch-money feeble. They’ve cut the XP system, scrapped QTEs, and now introduced enough turn-offables to their options menu to reduce the game to a camera on a stick in a dark place with nothing left to complain about.
There are 19 UI elements you’ll be able to wipe from your screen once Thief is released on February 25. Among them are - well, everything, but the allure of a Thief minus a minimap, navigation points, waypoint markers, or even the light gem is just too salivatory for words. Consider the dribble an endorsement.
This is the way I played Dishonored - without the distance-to-target-in-metres flag that saw some players finish the game in three hours where it took me 30, relying on just overheard conversations, a little geography and my heart to reach my goals. The Heart, I should say - the displaced organ which dropped hints and revealed horrible truths throughout the game.
In Thief, you can drop that crutch - even Garrett can be silenced in the name of an undiluted stealth experience:
- Navigation prompts
- Interaction prompts
- Waypoint markers
- Threat icons
- Threat health meters
- Mini-map rotation
- Reticle feedback
- Journal updates
- Pick-up notifiers
- Light gem
- Object highlight
- Loot glint
- Lockpick helper
- Frame search helper
- Garrett narrated hints
- Health meter (on, off, or fade over time)
- Focus meter (on, off, or fade over time)
- Ammo counter (on, off, or fade over time)
More tempting to the majority, I imagine, will be the custom difficulty settings, toggled to a granular degree via a set of ‘mods’.
- Base difficulty: easy, normal or hard
- Classic Thief Mods
Chapter Save Only: manual saves and checkpoint auto-saves are disabled.
No Focus: the use of Focus is completely disabled and no Focus Points are earned.
Stealth Takedowns Only: you cannot perform combat Takedowns and Takedowns from above.
No Reticle: no aiming reticle is displayed when drawing the bow.
- Legendary Thief Mods
Specialty Arrows Only: only Blunt, Water, Fire and Rope Arrows are available.
No Resources: food (health) and poppy flowers (Focus) are not consumable.
It Hurts Not: if you take any damage, the mission is failed.
Expensive Tools: the cost of arrows, tools, food and poppies is greatly increased.
Slowed Movement: running and walking speeds are reduced.
- Ultimate Thief Mods
Iron Man: if you die or fail a mission, you lose your game and must restart from the beginning.
No Upgrades: non-critical upgrades are disabled.
No Kills or Knockouts: if a human or animal is killed or stunned, the mission is failed.
No Alerts: if a human or animal detects you, the mission is failed.
I must admit, ‘Classic Thief’ for me meant saving fairly regularly via the 30 or so slots in The Metal Age’s menu. How about you?