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Thief trailer offers first, flickering glimpse of its supernatural Cradle counterpart

Spooky wants to say hello.

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

Sometimes, this multi-platform life we live pays off. Most often, when expensive games that would otherwise be financially unjustifiable as PC exclusives actually get made. But also when the people at Sony’s channel post videos on games we’re interested in.

In this case we’re watching footage from imminent next-gen stealth-action game Thief, in which the shadows are your “only ally” – apart from your actual, tangible human allies, of course. Garrett has tons of mates now.

You’ll hear a lady with a robot voice do her monotone best to sex up water arrows – and catch a glimpse of Eidos Montreal’s bid to recapture Thief’s way with the scary and the supernatural.

The Cradle was the exquisite high point of Ion Storm’s Thief: Deadly Shadows – a horror masterclass of such cruel craftsmanship that I had to ask my younger brother to take the keyboard and steer Garrett down to the asylum’s morgue – I couldn’t persuade my fingers to do it themselves.

Jump(scare) to 5:30 for a split-second clip of nu-Thief’s own arrrrgh-sylum.

(A thought: It’s novel to hear Thief sold not as a successor to a subgenre at its peak, but as its own thing. Maybe that’s the best way to think of it – as a multiple-pathed, freeform sneakery simulator to tide over Dishonored fans. Maybe then, we’d begin to recognise the lots it does right – as well as where it falls short.)

Our Steve had a look at Eidos Montreal’s horror level during his Thief hands-on. Just now, I asked him to say some words I could quote in a news story – and ever fame-hungry, he scribbled something up.

“Your protégé Erin – who is fatally blasted into an ethereal mist at the end of the first chapter when she lands on top of the antagonist’s magic crystal – regularly appears to Garrett as a ghostly and cryptic apparition,” says Steve. “The hallucinatory figure of Erin guides Garrett to the city’s abandoned asylum with the promise of answers.

“This is the reboot’s ambitious take on Deadly Shadows’ classic Cradle level, and while it was only very briefly shown at the end of the demonstration, it displays some familiar supernatural hallmarks. Shifting level design sees doors open themselves while your back is turned, details in the environment change and your perception is subtly altered.

“However, the demo ends with a cheap fright – a ghoulish face popping into view while you’re peering through a keyhole – which suggests that this may be more of a ghost train ride than The Cradle’s infamously sanity eroding, heavy atmosphere of permadread.”

Which hallmarks of Thief’s wyrd streak would you like to see return, now the Cradle’s out of its nappies?