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After 25 years, the classic Thief series has new levels, built by fans

The inspiration for Deus Ex, Dishonored, BioShock, and more, the classic Thief series returns after 25 years with amazing fan-made missions.

Thief The Dark Project new levels: A hooded thief from classic immersive sim RPG Thief Deadly Shadows

We talk about series that deserve a comeback, the PC classics like Command and Conquer, Deus Ex, and – at this point – Half-Life, that have gotten lost in the weeds over the years, and we’d like to see make a return. But Thief doesn’t often get mentioned. The defining immersive-sim RPG, it directly inspired Dishonored, Prey, the first Deus Ex, and elements of BioShock (which of course also descends from System Shock). But The Dark Project, The Metal Age, and Deadly Shadows deserve more modern attention. 25 years since the first game, one group of fans is keeping the Looking Glass classic alive with an expansive new range of missions that you can try for yourself now.

Thief The Dark Project, later relaunched as Thief Gold, remains one of the most significant stealth games and immersive-sim RPGs in PC history. The two sequels, The Metal Age and Deadly Shadows, remain equally influential, particularly the Shalebridge Cradle level from the third game, which pioneered the ‘environmental storytelling’ we now take for granted in the likes of The Last of Us, Alan Wake 2, BioShock, and myriad open-world games.

In 2023, a huge expansion for Thief Gold, The Black Parade, was released by Feuillade Industries after seven years in development. Now Thief fans are keeping the game alive with a new range of missions, built in honor of Deadly Shadows’ 20th anniversary. Created by modders, these new levels span the full, original Thief trilogy.

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‘A Shadow on the Water’ by ‘nicked’ is a new mission for the first game. ‘Mysteries of Tolham’ by ‘Lord Taffer’ and ‘One Man’s Trash’ by ‘Hanover Aldercash’ are both for The Metal Age. ‘Wolfenstein’ by ‘Adsk’ is for Deadly Shadows itself.

The missions were created over the course of a year, and between Saturday June 1 and Sunday September 1 players can vote for the absolute best one. If you want to download and try them for yourself, the entire lineup is available at the Through the Looking Glass forums, a fan and mod site for all the studio’s classic games which is hosting the Thief anniversary event – just head here.

Otherwise, treat yourself to some nostalgia with the best old games, or maybe get the best stealth games, which owe all a debt to the Thief series.

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