Author Topic: So. Thief.  (Read 8391 times)

Offline Starfox

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Re: So. Thief.
« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2014, 04:54:47 AM »
Zero Punctuation review.  Because the lols.

Not only it's hilarious but sadly, just about every thought Zero put in his review I had it myself at one point or other during my playthrough.


Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. -- A. Einstein

Offline Silver Sorrow

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Re: So. Thief.
« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2014, 09:35:31 AM »
He hit perfectly on most of the issues I had with the game, particularly the elaborate takedown animations. (Oh, and the sound engineering...which is, as he puts it succinctly, "fucked." :ok:  I doubt this would've been an issue had Eric Brosius been in charge of the sound.)

I had issues with TDS' KO mechanic, where you had to be absolutely quiet and sneak up on the AI to blackjack them; upon your swing, they'd turn their back squarely towards you so as to make it more..."real," I guess.  This is even worse. Every takedown takes forever and there's often not enough time to deal with mutliple bad guys.

For example, I choke-arrowed two guys and ideally, I should have been able to sprint behind and KO both of them. No. The first guy required that I take out his right leg, drive my blackjack through his skull, lower him gently to the ground, take a little breather, then stand back up. By that time, the other guard had gotten over the choking and screaming and was very, very angry indeed. They also had two friends down the street -- a cramped street with all of the potential side exits blocked off -- who shouldn't have heard, but did, and I had to reload because the devs don't want me to play the game in a stealthy manner. It was easier just to wade into the both of them and either beat them to death or simply headshot them.

So I have to correct myself: that one reviewer is not an idiot after all.  :hammerhead:

Okay, here's a bit more of what I mean (oh, strap in kids): I tried the Opportunist route, trying to keep undetected. That's my typical MO, really: stay out of sight, take down unsuspecting guards at the right moment. And that would work through most of the mission. Until, of course, I'd have to run for my life (typical) and/or get past hyper-alert dogs or birds (who would kill the "remain undetected" bonus almost immediately upon my intrusion) in my frazzled run for the exit. Most missions ended with me being congratulated on being a Predator. ::)

However: although the choke arrow is idiotic (what was so wrong with gas arrows??), it is funny to hit a raven with one.

Speaking of that, hitting a dog or raven with a choke arrow didn't seem to bother guards too much. An arrow through a bird, though...yikes. "DEAD RAVEN!!" one guard screamed before running for every other guard he could find. Well...I understand that, but hey: a little less hysteria when dealing with potential threats, yeah?

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The voice did sound close but I still found that the intonation wasn't there. In several occasions I tried to imagine how Stephen would have delivered some of the one liners and there was a difference each time... maybe that's just me but: where's the sarcasm, the irony? Where's the cynical approach of life? Gone with the guards humor I suppose.

Ideal Voice Director: Goddammit, Fake Garrett...MORE SARCASM! More VENOM! No, no. Stop. Shut up. Get out. GET. OUT. Someone get the boss on the phone and tell that stupid bastard that if he doesn't get me Stephen Russell, I'm going to bomb the fucking cafeteria!

Actual Voice Director: [giggling, surrounded by a thick haze of pot smoke] That's perfect, dude. Everything you do is perfect. You're okay, I'm okay. Pass the Chee-tohs, man...

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About sound, Eidos work is not of Epic proportion either. The guards lines are too few and frequently repeated and sometimes one can even hear two different guards delivering the same line at the same time. To make matters worse the music is far too loud in some occasions (Typically during all those tense moments when you run for your life).

I had to turn the music down drastically. It's kind of hard to think -- or hear, even -- when there's this BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOCHA BOOCHA BOOCHA crap going on at top volume.  :madatwall:

The Keep: yes, I didn't like that one either. There were so many possibilities, but they wrecked it.

The Asylum was also not as scary as it should have been, being a weak ripoff of the Cradle, I agree. There was no build-up, no...well, what can I say? It all fits in with the all-around weak characterization. Who is this Orion guy? Who cares! Who are these Graven idiots? They're merely interchangeable with the Watch patrols.

And that's another thing: even considering the way Garrett's dressed, why does everyone hate him? I know it's really to force the stealth mechanic in the hub maps, but still...and then the Graven hate him after the big coup...and while I'm flailing around here randomly, I also dislike the hub map thing anyway.

I miss zombies. And spiders. And Craymen. And when I saw that Cathedral, I was happy: "Haunts! YAY!" But when I saw that it was merely a Graven HQ, all the happiness went away for good.


More story confusion:

Garrett has Keeper glyphs on his gloves. Why?

   


They danced around the Hammers, but left in some of the symbolism and referred to the Builder as old god worship.



Lest this all comes across as bitter hate for the game, no. I didn't hate it. But I don't feel the need to play it again, either.
An interview with Kim Kardashian? Who wants to see that? I'd rather see an interview with the mortician's assistant who had to piece her head back together so they could have an open-casket funeral.

Offline Doc_Brown

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Re: So. Thief.
« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2014, 11:39:53 AM »
So for those of you who've finished, a question:

Disregarding the classics (Dark Project, Metal Age) for a moment, how does the new game stack up compared to Deadly Shadows?  Are we talking better, or worse?
« Last Edit: March 14, 2014, 12:49:00 PM by Doc_Brown »
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Offline Silver Sorrow

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Re: So. Thief.
« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2014, 01:30:07 PM »
Ehhh...well. Hmmm. In terms of story, Deadly Shadows blasts this one out of the water, leaving behind only a fishy smell. And that's where I'll abandon the nautical warfare theme. My only real complaints with TDS were the cramped maps and the awkward movement dilemma. But the story was consistent with the first two games and brought the series to a smashing close.

However, Thief 4's problem -- for me -- lies in the bizarre decision to rewrite what was an already stellar story, replacing it with what is essentially a scathing condemnation of the Canadian educational system. [/blatant generalization for humorous effect] While it certainly plays better (the awkward movement thing being smoothed out considerably) and its various locations aren't quite as cramped, it features far less variety in AI encounters, relying on repetition and...and...

...never mind. My feeling is that TDS is the better game in most ways. Thief 4 is just more...modern. I don't hate it, I just wish they had gotten the original writers together and came up with a Garrett-worthy installment.
An interview with Kim Kardashian? Who wants to see that? I'd rather see an interview with the mortician's assistant who had to piece her head back together so they could have an open-casket funeral.

Offline Starfox

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Re: So. Thief.
« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2014, 05:19:32 PM »
IMHO? Worse... Because for all its faults -- mini-levels, huge HUD and some others -- there's one thing that TDS didn't manage back then: completely screwing up the story and lore. Thief(4) just feels like a stealth game and not necessarily a very bad one either but it's just not Thief and it's not because they named their characters Garrett and Basso that it's more Thief. There's so much of the lore they dropped through the window that I don't even see the point of calling that Thief unless you're willing to bury three games worth of lore and story.

But let's pretend for one minute that this game is not called "Thief", then it's an average stealth game that one can manage to play until the end without getting too bored despite the "No return" points, the "run for your life" sequences and several other little unnerving things.

What Thief (4) does better than TDS are graphics and animations (particularly takedown animations, they're so proud of those that as Silver mentioned each KO literally takes forever and with the [irony]cute[/irony] and loud drama jingle to go with them)... It doesn't even compare but then again there was 10 years between both games so we can put that one more on computer technology evolving and much better graphic cards, than the brilliance of game design. As evolved as the graphics are, maps are about the same size as TDS (and story missions are typically cut in several small parts with a huge difference from TDS: you can't go freely from one part to another, instead you have to follow what the devs decided -- the famous "points of no return" that Yahtzee evoked in his review). The good point is that map transitions are much less obvious than TDS ones. 

If they called that anything other than Thief and didn't name their character the way they did, then it would be an acceptable though not particularly stellar stealth game more suited to people who love to take down guard mano a mano or rather sword to blackjack -- and yes, one can indeed take down a guard attacking the player with the blackjack the game is even designed for that as there's no sword or dagger for the player.

So yeah, I pretty much share Silver's opinion. In addition (and because they were developed by the same studio) I'd say that Thief (4) is one notch below DX:HR despite a better graphic quality.

But once again, the top problem of T4 is the lackluster story that leads nowhere and that one doesn't feel attached to the existing core universe of Thief. Garrett could be called Joe or Sam or Nanny for what it's worth nobody would notice a difference. Frankly I even tried to forget about the guy being called Garrett while I was playing.

I think Silver also sums up my feeling when he says:

Quote
I didn't hate it. But I don't feel the need to play it again, either.


Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. -- A. Einstein

Offline Doc_Brown

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Re: So. Thief.
« Reply #20 on: March 14, 2014, 09:46:21 PM »
All things considered, I still plan to give Thief a try.  Just in an after-all-of-the-other-games-I've-been-meaning-to-get-around-to sense, rather than a drop-everything-and-play-this-immediately sort of way

Postscript: For those who were curious, here is Yahtzee's retrospective of the original Thief games (more emphasis on the classics than TDS, though), and just for comparison's sake here is his Dishonored review as well.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2014, 10:40:18 PM by Doc_Brown »
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Offline bobdog

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Re: So. Thief.
« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2014, 04:44:26 PM »
That's where I'm at too, Doc. I'll play Thief, but I'm going to see if they doing anything (patches, perhaps?) to fix all the issues being brought up, if it's even possible. I've got other games I'm much more excited to play at the moment.

Offline Doc_Brown

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Re: So. Thief.
« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2014, 10:40:29 PM »
Y'know the other great thing about putting off a game until later?  Lower price.  ;D 

On a more serious note, considering the retrospective I wrote on Deadly Shadows and my capsule review of Dishonored, I'll be sure to write up something on Thief when the time comes.  Speaking of which, I couldn't help but notice how much this...



... reminds me of this.



Tangent!

Would your feelings about the game be any different if:
  • It was a direct sequel picking up, say, a decade or two after Deadly Shadows
  • You played as Erin (in this case, the little girl Garrett met at the end of TDS)
  • Garrett (the original, voiced by Stephen Russell) played the Basso role, a mentor figure sending you on missions
In this hypothetical example, assume everything else about the game is essentially the same.
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Offline Starfox

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Re: So. Thief.
« Reply #23 on: March 17, 2014, 01:44:37 PM »
The first image is actually supposed to be the Cathedral in the Old Quarter; you know, the quarter with the creepy atmosphere that was infested with Zombies in the original Thief, the same Cathedral that sheltered the Eye. Unfortunately now it's just infested with ultra-radical and badly misguided revolutionary fanatics. Kinda kill the mood.

It's the story of this new Thief in fact. One gets the feeling they took elements here and there in the previous games but they completely failed to grasp the history associated with those elements. You'll find also a reboot of Shalebridge Cradle (Moira Asylum) and one of The Angelwatch Tower from "Life Of The Party" (The Keep) both considerably lacking, particularly "The Keep" -- there was really potential with this one but they put their best efforts in giving players a lackluster level instead with one of the most stupid puzzle in gaming history to boot.

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Would your feelings about the game be any different if:

    It was a direct sequel picking up, say, a decade or two after Deadly Shadows
    You played as Erin (in this case, the little girl Garrett met at the end of TDS)
    Garrett (the original, voiced by Stephen Russell) played the Basso role, a mentor figure sending you on missions

In this hypothetical example, assume everything else about the game is essentially the same.

Problem is, when one gets to play the game for the first time, one really has the feeling that Erin is the little girl Garrett caught at the end of TDS and that the story takes place about 10 years later. Unfortunately this feeling doesn't last and one quickly realizes that just about any aspect of the new Thief story contradicts the 10 years later theory.

So no, with the story as it is, the changes you point out would make no difference to me. It would take both a profoundly altered story (aiming to at least acknowledge what happened in the previous games) and the changes you mention.

But I won't say anything else because that would be entering the territory of full spoilers.


Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. -- A. Einstein

Offline Doc_Brown

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Re: So. Thief.
« Reply #24 on: March 17, 2014, 02:28:01 PM »
The first image is actually supposed to be the Cathedral in the Old Quarter

So this, then. 



Ehhh...

So no, with the story as it is, the changes you point out would make no difference to me.

Mm, interesting.  Their decision to make it this reboot/reincarnation thing did absolutely nothing to help them.  My thought was that a protagonist switch would have sat better with fans.  If you weren't Garrett, then naturally it should play a little different, and if it isn't as good, then at least it's not reflecting poorly on him (and by extension, his games).  Now when some noob complains about this crappy thief game where you play as some dude named Garrett...  *shakes head*
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Offline Silver Sorrow

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Re: So. Thief.
« Reply #25 on: March 19, 2014, 10:50:53 PM »
I thought it reasonable that a new storyline would feature the girl as the protagonist, perhaps ten years later. I thought it would be a natural progression, although I had no illusions about the possibility of a new game/story, given various concerns at the time. If it happens, it happens, I thought at the time.

But now we have this, whatever this is.

I've gone back to TDS, and it plays a little better than I remember (still have trouble running up those stairs, though). And when I KO'd a female servant, she blurted out "lemons!" which was good for a chuckle. T4's blackjacking is quite a bit more...uh...visceral in nature. I mean, I just want to discreetly knock them out, not beat the living shit out of them. :ss-disbelief

The need for Stephen Russell aside, it just isn't the same without Dan Thron, either.

EDIT: Wow. Scattershot.  :hammerhead:  I'll leave the text as an example of how too much sugar can affect organizational skills. Hummingbird.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2014, 01:59:26 AM by Silver Sorrow »
An interview with Kim Kardashian? Who wants to see that? I'd rather see an interview with the mortician's assistant who had to piece her head back together so they could have an open-casket funeral.

Offline Starfox

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Re: So. Thief.
« Reply #26 on: March 20, 2014, 12:58:29 PM »
Quote
So this, then.

Yeah, they only kept one architectural element from the original. The rose window with the hammer symbol. Despite that, nobody ever evoke the Hammerites or the Hammer order.they just refer to "old gods". Same for the Keepers, the symbols are there (glyphs, keyhole emblem) but nobody ever say "hey those are a keeper things". As it's presented, one can only conclude that Hammerites and Keepers are a thing from a long distant past -- several centuries at least -- which wouldn't be necessarily bad if the protagonists weren't called Garrett and Basso and if the technology present in the streets wasn't about the same than this of the original games.

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My thought was that a protagonist switch would have sat better with fans.

And that would have been true if it wasn't for the story. I mean, if I was playing as Erin, I could go with the gameplay changes because after all, Erin is an impulsive teenager who prefer killing to silently blackjacking. She doesn't have the subtlety nor the ability to conceal in shadows that Garrett has. So yeah, I would have been OK with the gameplay being more "muscled". Erin as the new main character and Garrett as the mentor... And they could also have featured Basso as the jack-of-all-trades/dealer in goods shady guy whom brings a dose of humor from time to time. But that arrangement means they would have been forced to dump their current story (which would have been a blessing).

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And when I KO'd a female servant, she blurted out "lemons!" which was good for a chuckle.

Yeah, that's really a bad point of this new game... No (or poor) humor  ::) I miss Benny...

And sorry but "Old gods to the gravehole" (a sentence one happens to hear a lot in this game) is much less emblematic than "Taffer!"

Real good point of the game? If Eidos ever come around and release a SDK, fans will be able to kick the current story in the nuts and to invent something more fitting of the series which is the reason why Eidos will probably never release a SDK  :computerfix:


Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. -- A. Einstein

Offline bobdog

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Re: So. Thief.
« Reply #27 on: March 21, 2014, 09:40:34 AM »
I haven't played yet, but simply the fact that they use the F-bomb all over the place would take me out of the setting completely. Thief is a game and a universe that I want to immerse myself in as a fantasy place, but hearing modern-day cursewords would simply remind me that this is indeed just a game, and not an experience.

I'm saddened, because this flop will probably mean no further games in the series, as most fans will stay away and any newbies reading the reviews will be put off as well. And Eidos did so well with reviving Deus Ex....

Offline Doc_Brown

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Re: So. Thief.
« Reply #28 on: March 22, 2014, 12:15:18 AM »
Wait a minute...

Is Thief only available for PC as a downloadable title?!
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Offline Silver Sorrow

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Re: So. Thief.
« Reply #29 on: March 22, 2014, 05:05:52 PM »
I think that may be the case. A quick search at Amazon shows only online download codes for the PC, while the console crowd gets an actual game disc.

Well. "Box art" has joined the list of archaic terms that confound the under-30 crowd, such as "album cover," "telephone cradle," and "dial-up modem."
An interview with Kim Kardashian? Who wants to see that? I'd rather see an interview with the mortician's assistant who had to piece her head back together so they could have an open-casket funeral.

 

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