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Gaming Boards => The Haunt Of Hilarity 2 => Topic started by: Doc_Brown on August 20, 2020, 10:35:25 PM

Title: Gloomwood
Post by: Doc_Brown on August 20, 2020, 10:35:25 PM
Okay, so how did I not hear about Gloomwood ( until now?  Looks like the closest thing to a genuine Thief successor we've seen.  Doesn't guarantee it'll be good, but it certainly has my attention.

Incidentally, I'm still around.  I know I haven't posted in awhile, but it's not actually a result of the pandemic.  My job's just taken a turn for the worse and I've been working all the damn time.
Title: Re: Gloomwood
Post by: Starfox on August 21, 2020, 07:33:21 AM
Welcome back  ;)

I would need more than just this trailer to make my mind. It suspiciously looks like Thief up to the textures and design that seems right from The Metal Age. Although "boomsticks" are definitely not the preferred tools of thieves.

The general graphic quality is... well in 2000 it would have been top. Then again, maybe the gameplay and story make up for it. We'll see.
Title: Re: Gloomwood
Post by: Starfox on August 22, 2020, 08:49:20 AM
There's a demo available on Steam apparently. And no I didn't play it... yet, so I can't give an opinion.
Title: Re: Gloomwood
Post by: Doc_Brown on January 20, 2022, 12:15:46 PM
And in the same vein of games-deliberately-evoking-classic-Thief we now have Filcher (  Not sure how these keep flying under my radar, but then again I guess that's appropriate considering the genre.
Title: Re: Gloomwood
Post by: Doc_Brown on February 26, 2022, 01:56:46 AM
Pardon the dreaded double-post, but I played the Gloomwood and Filcher demos and wanted to share my thoughts:

Of the two, Gloomwood definitely feels more like Thief, what with its medieval city, steampunk power, and somewhat spooky tone.  You can mantle, and the level design takes that into account--at one point, I stacked a few crates to get the height needed to climb into a second story window.  Speaking of which, the object interaction is nice (scroll wheel lets you move an item closer or further), though there seems to be something of a weight limit (you can stack a crate atop another, but apparently can't lift a third one high enough to stack it atop the second).  I particularly like the inventory system, where your character takes a knee and pulls out their backpack to sort through it.

On the negative side, there doesn't seem to be much of a focus in the demo on looting--most of what I picked up was ammo for your revolver/shotgun.  And as that would indicate, this is a more violence-focused take on Thief, with no ability to just knock people out (to accommodate this, enemies you backstab die silently).  Which isn't to say you're not being sneaky--there's a system in place to open doors quickly/loudly or slowly/quietly, and you can lean against doors to hear what's on the other side.  Character design is... interesting.  The regular guards have a sort of plague doctor look going on, but the monsters you encounter evoke a gangly version of those old Spy vs. Spy comics.

Filcher, on the other hand, feels more thief-like, if you get my meaning.  You start each mission with a briefing, you're there to steal things, and there's a counter keeping track of how much loot you've found.  Much like Thief, you've got a blackjack to knock guards out (you have to aim at the head more than I'm used to), noisemakers, a single lockpick, flashbombs, and the ability to make quiet moss patches on the ground.  If you're running, you can also go into a slide, though this immediately got me into trouble when I went to crouch upon approaching an open skylight and slid straight through and into the waiting arms of some guards.  If you're spotted, there's not much you can do except run and hide.

Outside of its lack of mantling or how doors (slowly) close by themselves, my biggest knock against Filcher is its look.  I don't just mean that the setting isn't like Thief--which it isn't--but that the game uses sprites rather than polygons for its characters and objects.  The classic Thief games weren't lookers to begin with, but Filcher feels kind of underwhelming for it.  In fairness, I did like how you hold down a button to sort through files in a cabinet drawer, though I kind of wish they made it contingent on the light level.  Similarly, I wish the sparkle they use to denote valuables only appeared when said valuables were illuminated.  In both cases, this would incentivize using your flashlight.

In closing...
There were a couple of things the demos had in common that I also want to point out.  First, for some reason by default your character runs, with sneaking requiring a button press (in the case of Gloomwood, at least, you can set it to a toggle).  It may not seem like a big deal at first blush, but any Thief-like game worth its salt should know your default speed should be a stealthier walk.  It's also interesting how significant Thief's water arrows end up being, not only in terms of putting out light sources but also to clean up bloodstains, neither of which you can do in either of these demos (of course, I can't attest to everything the full versions of these games do).

The other big thing, and this is likely due to budgetary reasons, is that there isn't much of any spoken dialogue in Gloomwood or Filcher.  With all due respect to deaf and hard of hearing gamers, in the stealth genre being able to hear whether or not a guard has spotted you is huge, so the experience feels a bit handicapped in that regard.  Of the two, I'd have to say I'm more interested in seeing what Gloomwood will have to offer (the full version of Filcher is actually already released), but for now The Dark Mod remains your best bet for that classic Thief experience with, well, I was going to say modern, but at least better graphics.