Thief play and UI options designed to accommodate “very wide” set of expectations

You cannot customise the guards out of existence, unfortunately.

Thief is out of the shadows; here’s our Thief review.

Where Thief 2: The Metal Age was cold, brilliant and unyielding as iron, nu-Thief is malleable like lead. It can be whoever you want it to be. It can be Dishonored, or Deadly Shadows – just head to its modification options and have a play with the dials.

Eidos Montreal have imbued Thief with their design values and aesthetic, but beyond that they’re happy for you to tweak the details.

“As we progressed we started getting feedback with community managers, collaborating all the information from support and playtesting, [and] it became apparent that expectations were very wide,” explains lead level designer Daniel Windfeld.

Players can subject the game to a variety of modifications – turning off autosaves, removing items from the environment, stripping the UI bare, and even disabling the game’s much vaunted new Focus features, which among other abilities allow players to see through walls.

Most of these options, when disabled, will grant extra multipliers when finishing campaign missions – letting players more easily scale the global leaderboards. Like metaphorical rope arrows.

“A game like Thief has a lot of fans, and a lot of expectation that comes along with it – it was 16 years ago since the first one, and 10 years since the last instalment,” Windfeld pointed out to Digital Spy, in a flagrant attempt to make us all feel very old.

“So when we started announcing, for us, it was important to keep the main pillars,” he went on.

“What we wanted to do is say: let’s create a scenario with a game as a baseline and then allow players to adopt the experience and tailor it to their own needs. t’s a lot about empowering the player to tailor the experience. We don’t want to judge the player; you create scenarios, create obstacles, and we say, hands off, you enjoy the experience.”

It’s an approach I very much approve of. By midway through Dishonored, I’d turned off all the objective markers and various other UI doohickies and instead drifted through the levels looking and listening out for clues. It took me 30 hours, which sounds like madness to some – but I imagine I’ll play it the same way next time too. How will your tailor Thief to your, er, needs?

Here’s Everything We Know about Thief. The first item on the list is ‘You are a thief’ – but for further insight you’ll need to follow the link.