Developer: Eidos Studios
Finally I got to play this game. I've been waiting since I finished Thief: Deadly Shadows in 2004. For me the Thief series are the top in stealth games, so I kind of have a soft spot for this game.
- the stealth system
- the environment, and the mood
- Focus Points, new skills and items
- can save whenever I want
- loading screen between city parts
Our hero, well we can't exactly speak of a hero, he is a thief, but he has his moral code, Garrett. He returns to the City after a while, and soon gets a new mission. Meets Errin, complications arise, and he finds out that he was passed out a whole year after the incident. He gets a new mission, and troughout the game starts to put together what happened to him. I liked the characters, Garrett brings his shadows, and I just adored his messenger crow. Spy in brothels, crawl through underground caves, it has a huge variety in levels.
The game is made out of chapters, and inbetween them the player can take on side missions, go exploring the city, collect loot, and buy new equipment. I like this structure, it's not too frustrating, the only thing I didn't like is that the city is split into regions, and it loads them separately. I was happy to see that I can save whenever I want, and there is no autosave function, like in most games nowadays, I like to have control when I want to save my game. You can choose your playstyle, whether you want to stealth trough, or bump every enemiy in the head, the game counts the choices you made and after every chapter gives you a statistic about it.
The player can choose from multiple paths, maybe slide under the city to get to the next goal, or use shadows to knock out the guards. All in all the accent is on the stealthy gameplay, with not many variants for melee combat, and that's another huge plus for me. I have played enough other games where I have to kill hundreds of enemies just to get to the next goal and that gets boring quickly. There are many other elements that are much more interesting than just shooting or fighting, like distracting enemies, swooping through lit areas into the shadows, new tools and arrows, and there are the Focus Points. Focus Points are used to get special abilites, like seeing where the loots are in a room.
The game's middle difficulty is just perfect, but if somebody wants a big challange he can have it. The game can be played quickly, or take your time, explore everything, collect every document and loot, make all the challanges, etc. The levels are well designed, you can't go lost in a house, but you have enough side rooms and streets to not get bored by a too linear gameplay.
In the graphics I can see the old Thief games style, and that's great. Many games can't bring back their prequels's mood or style, but Eidos did a great job. Plus there are all the little details on the streets, in every room, like flyers on street walls, and little glass shards on floor.
This is a great game, worthy of the title, once you begin to play it you can never get bored of it. It can be replayed, depending on how you want to play it, maybe for collecting everything and completing every challange.