Release Date: 28/02/14
Publisher: Square Enix
Garrett, the Master Thief, steps out of the shadows into the City. In this treacherous place, where the Baron's Watch spreads a rising tide of fear and oppression, his skills are the only things he can trust. Even the most cautious citizens and their best- guarded possessions are not safe from his reach.
As an uprising emerges, Garrett finds himself entangled in growing layers of conflict. Lead by Orion, the voice of the people, the tyrannized citizens will do everything they can to claim back the City from the Baron's grasp. The revolution is inevitable. If Garrett doesn't get involved, the streets will run red with blood and the City will tear itself apart.
OK, yes I know that this review is running a little late, I know that the games been out for a couple of weeks and whilst I could have technically reviewed it a little earlier, I refused as not only was I lost to the dark back streets of The City where a terrible plague is holding the inhabitants at its mercy, but the sheer diversity of playing styles that are designed to please players who tackle this with their favoured play style.
This game has a lot of offer players and whilst there will be a lot of people who will just dive in, massacring their way through the City, for me, it’s a game about ghosting and when forced none lethal takedowns. I love the idea about not killing anyone and whilst this increased the difficulty factor, for me allowed the game to not only develop naturally but played to my strengths as a stealth player. I love the way that you have various arrows for different purposes and whilst they are limited they do force the player to consider multiple options before embarking upon a course of action.
That’s not to say that it is easy, far from it, but once you get the hang of where to hide, how to manipulate the City’s nooks and crannies to your own advantage it’s a game that really takes you to another level.
There are however, in my opinion, quite a few flaws within the title. My first and main bugbear was the combat system as every player will embark upon it at least once within the game. It’s pretty slow for the gamer, can be frustrating and I feel that it could have been tightened up for a more natural flow. Yes I understand that the guards are better trained with weaponry than you are, however when each strike from the blackjack feels like it takes an age to connect as well as leaving you wondering how he could be so good in so many area’s but ridiculously outclassed in others, really left a sour taste in my mouth. Likewise, I was more than a little upset that when you were above potential enemies, you couldn’t do a multiple takedowns. It just seemed a little ridiculous that he never had to do that in the past. For me, it’s something that should have been considered and figured out rather than what I feel largely ignored.
Finally add to the mix the limitations of the arrow numbers (and yes, you are heavily limited with them) each choice has to be carefully considered before embarking upon and whilst you do have some blunt arrows, I would have liked to have been able to knock enemies out with them rather than them having little to no effect.
All that considered though, it is a game that will have you on the edge of your seat as you discover what has occurred within the year that Garret has lost. It’s dark, it’s a major discovery and all round, it will leave you clamouring for more. I can’t wait to see what improvements they’ll make in the future and with the opportunity to play through a good few times, will give you something different each time you play.
Release Date: 25/02/14
The THIEF franchise is widely regarded as one of the founding fathers that defined the stealth genre and since the first release of Thief: The Dark Project in 1998 has influenced a wealth of titles. After years of silence, Garrett is coming out of the shadows. Developed by Eidos-Montréal , the studio behind the critically and commercially acclaimed Deus Ex: Human Revolution, THIEF will be released on February the 25th in North America and on February the 28th in Europe and rest of the world.
Titan Books’ The Art of Thief will give fans and in-depth look at Square Enix’s enormously anticipated new game, featuring exclusive concept and development art, as well as detailed creator insights and commentary throughout. This book will showcase Garrett’s underworld in beautiful detail and truly show the art of the Master Thief.
In the gaming industry perhaps there is no greater truth than “a picture is worth a thousand words.” It helps bring a flavour to the concept, it helps everyone get on the same page and it sparks not only an identity but also generates discussion on the various elements. This is one of the reasons that I love the Art of books from Titan.
The pieces within are not only breath-taking but allows the reader to see the development through from original concept to final process in glorious glossy images that really help bring not only the principle protagonist to life but also helps the reader get to grips with the world.
Within this title are studies of various elements from the principle character through to the practicality of his tools/weapons taking design changes throughout that helps bring it to life. Add to the mix a whole host of supporting cast members, each with their own individual look, multiple points of view alongside options of world points of view all round gives you something pretty unique.
Back this up with script that helps explaint he world in greater detail and all round I was a more than happy reader. Great stuff.