Thief Review - The Meh Project

Whoracle

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Kolyarut said:
[...]I'd be really curious to hear how about how it's been "dumbed down" (a phrase that's misapplied in 90% of the cases it's used)[...]
Not touching the "abomination thing with a 10-foot pole until I've played it myself, but you can see the dumbed down* just from reviews:
- Cutting levels in half with loading zones in between, because the hardware can't take it. That means that you WILL have choke points and mandatory level entrances. In the first 2 games, you could explore the levels seamlessly, and T:DS got a whole shitstorm about that. Back then, they did it to accomodate the original XBOX's hardware. I'm not sure if EM was just technically challenged (dumbed down in a technical sense because BLINGMAPPING) or they really thought people'd be overwhelmed yb multiple avenues of access. Going by my next point, if I had to really answer that, I'd say 2, because...
- Limiting vaulting/jumping to context sensitive hotspots. In the other games, you could mantle/climb any obstacle that had the right height. The first 2 gave you rope arrows, too, that you could shoot in a LOT of places. T:DS did away with the rope arrows completely, but still let you jump/climb. The new thief let's you mantle/jump over specific obstacles. Once again, EM opted to give you a few (maybe even only one or two, dunno yet, but still an artificially limited number) of avenues to approach your goals. And for this I can't think of a technical limitation, so I'll have to go with the "our customers might be overwhelmed by too many choices" answer.

I'm not talking about loot glow or anything, because you can thankfully customize that to a surprising degree from what I've heard. And I can't talk about the sound engine, because I haven't played it, although from reports that one isn't a s sophisticated as it used to be in the earlier games. But the two points above stand, and you can see those for yourself from any 5-minute-gameplay footage.

*and not "dumbed down because LOLCONSOLETARDS". The first one _might_ be, but I doubt it. The second one absolutely has nothing to do with the platform, but all to do with level/mission design...
 

Imbechile

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Kolyarut said:
That really doesn't sound remotely like the game described in the review, which reads like a genuinely fun game with some tech issues and a somewhat dull story.
And this review from a critic that specialises in stealth games says otherwise: http://pastebin.com/TD4waGdv

Kolyarut said:
I'd be really curious to hear how about how it's been "dumbed down" (a phrase that's misapplied in 90% of the cases it's used) or what exactly makes it an "abomination", because that really hasn't been made clear yet.
Not trying to be a dick...... but, as you said it yourself, you haven't played the originals. So how am I going to explain how it's dumbed down?
First I would need to explain the whole gameplay of the originals(which would take a lot of time and a lot of paragraphs).

Kolyarut said:
Mass appeal isn't a bad thing at all. You really expected them to exclusively go after people who'd played the originals, and shut out anyone who didn't pick it up / wasn't born first time round?
Mass appeal is a bad thing when you got a series that is pretty niche. To make it appeal to a wide audience you have to simplify the gameplay.
 

SecondPrize

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What happened to the industry that made a company developing a Thief game feel they had to rip off Dishonored?
 

Elfgore

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Never having playing a Thief game before in my life, this game had me interested. It looked like Dishonered with a much larger emphasis on stealth. But after seeing all of these reviews, I'm skipping out until it lowers in price.
 

Storm Dragon

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I know the horrible truth about the Rope Arrows already, but can anyone tell me if the maps are like the ones in the first two games? Because I loved the hell out of those maps. Unlike in modern games, they didn't show exactly where you were and what direction you were facing with GPS precision, they were just hand-drawn maps or architectural plans that merely highlighted the general area you were in. I loved looking through them, picking out where I needed to go, and planning my route.





I can perfectly understand this map frustrating many players, given that it's merely a vague representation of an area that was largely destroyed by a volcano hundreds if not thousands of years ago, but I saw it as another puzzle to solve.

EDIT:

I took one look at the picture of those claw-hand things and got an immediate "oh crap" feeling.
 

The Madman

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Sad but ultimately predictable. Having been following the games development from the start it just never seems like the developers had a clear goal or viosion in mind when it came to creating the new thief game. Whether they wanted it to be like the originals or its own unique beast and just how big of an influence stealth and combat should play on the game.

So yeah, unfortunate but predictable.

Elfgore said:
Never having playing a Thief game before in my life, this game had me interested. It looked like Dishonered with a much larger emphasis on stealth. But after seeing all of these reviews, I'm skipping out until it lowers in price.
Why not try the originals? The updated versions GOG sells work fine on new computers and other than the graphics, the games have aged surprisingly gracefully. There's also the masterful Dark Mod which recreates Thief's gameplay but with modern visuals if graphics are really that big of an obstacle yet you still want to see how the series plays.

Lots of options out there for getting into the Thief franchise beyond this latest entry into the franchise, and all of which are considerably cheaper.
 

fluxy100

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May 22, 2010
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So the story sucks but the rest of the game is pretty good? Not really sure how that counts as a mess but whatever, I'm happy to know that at least the gameplay is fun
 

Slycne

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Storm Dragon said:
I know the horrible truth about the Rope Arrows already, but can anyone tell me if the maps are like the ones in the first two games? Because I loved the hell out of those maps. Unlike in modern games, they didn't show exactly where you were and what direction you were facing with GPS precision, they were just hand-drawn maps or architectural plans that merely highlighted the general area you were in. I loved looking through them, picking out where I needed to go, and planning my route.
I would put it firmly better than most games, but not nearly up to snuff of the originals. As mentioned in the review, most of the missions will have several available routes. Your pretty firmly funneled into those being the only viable options, so it's less about exploring a big map, though some of them do approach this, and more just finding the hidden predesignated paths, like a hidden grate or easy rope arrow spot to bypass, or forcing your own with distractions. As for the maps themselves, they have more modern day mission prompts pointing you towards objectives, but these can be disabled and there are hidden objectives to discover for properly exploring. One lingering issues caused by not having larger maps though is it makes traversal pretty easy, even if you alert a bunch of guards if you can get to one of the loading screen hiding transitions you're scot free.
 

major_chaos

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Feb 3, 2011
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What I find weird is that some people are doing the normal "ITS NOT EXACTLY LIKE THE ORIGINAL!!! HERESY!!!" thing but at the same time some of the review snippets on Metacritic complain that the game feels dated and stayed too close to its roots at the expense of innovation, and those two statements seem incompatible.
(Disclaimer: I don't like the old games and have little interest in the reboot so I have no horse in this race)
 

Klagermeister

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Meh, mediocre reviews never really bother me when it comes to games I enjoy.
These days, some people can't manage to look past the old "WAAAH IT'S NOT LIKE THE ORIGINALS" yet at the exact same time say things like "Why are developers scared to do things outside the norm?".

I enjoy this game. Very very much. Hell, I never played the originals so I'm in no position to give a shit about Garrett's character changes, but his voice sounds glorious and he's snarky as ever.
Basso, your friend in-game, threatens to turn his bird into a hat to which Garrett replies "It probably wouldn't be best to kill the brains of your operation."
He has a snarky response to just about everything and I absolutely love him as a character.

The gameplay is varied enough and doesn't hold your hand in the slightest, allowing you to look at the situation to best understand what your approach should be. There is a lot of improvising involved, and on-the-fly decision making that puts you on edge which really adds a lot to the experience.

TL;DR, judge this game as a stand-alone and you'll understand why I personally think it's awesome.
I love this game, having a lot of fun with it, regardless of any comments of "b-b-but here's why you shouldn't!"
 

Ldude893

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That bad, huh? Shame, I was almost interested in how this game could turn out.

I can't wait to see Yahtzee tear this game a new one in the next two weeks.
 

Krantos

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I understand why long time Thief fans are upset, I do. But seriously, the game is FAAAAR from being as bad as people are making it out to be. It's a very, very solid stealth game.

IF

Big IF, you prefer to ghost, use items as rarely as possible, and can forgive poor story telling and characters in favor of simply good stealth gameplay.

In short-

Cons
-More linear than previous Thief Games
-Story makes no sense
-UI is not the greatest
-No Action, all Stealth
-Often requires lots of trial and error
-AI is on par with other stealth games and may even be a bit more alert.

Pros
-More open levels than most modern stealth games
-No Action, all Stealth
-Lots of nice stealthy touches (breaking a glass leaves glass on the floor, making it harder to stay quiet)
-Very solid movement
-Very good interplay between light and shadow
-Very good atmosphere

I get why people are disappointed in the game, but making it out to be absolutely horrible or "An abomination" is just silly. It's solid stealth experience. 7-8/10 In my opinion.

Not "The best game evar" but not broken either.
 

Klagermeister

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Krantos said:
I understand why long time Thief fans are upset, I do. But seriously, the game is FAAAAR from being as bad as people are making it out to be. It's a very, very solid stealth game.

IF

Big IF, you prefer to ghost, use items as rarely as possible, and can forgive poor story telling and characters in favor of simply good stealth gameplay.

In short-

Cons
-More linear than previous Thief Games
-Story makes no sense
-UI is not the greatest
-No Action, all Stealth
-Often requires lots of trial and error
-AI is on par with other stealth games and may even be a bit more alert.

Pros
-More open levels than most modern stealth games
-No Action, all Stealth
-Lots of nice stealthy touches (breaking a glass leaves glass on the floor, making it harder to stay quiet)
-Very solid movement
-Very good interplay between light and shadow
-Very good atmosphere

I get why people are disappointed in the game, but making it out to be absolutely horrible or "An abomination" is just silly. It's solid stealth experience. 7-8/10 In my opinion.

Not "The best game evar" but not broken either.
You put it far better than I did in my above post. Agree with everything here, except that I think alert guard AI isn't exactly a CON, as stealth games rely a lot on difficulty, which good AI definitely bumps up.

Judge this game as a standalone and you'll certainly see it in a far better light.
Kwil said:
I mean, they've screwed up the sound? Some of the best moments in the original were being forced to hide in a blind corner so while the guards couldn't see you, neither could you see them. The only way you knew when it was safe to make a dash for it was by listening to their boots: marble..carpet..wood..marble..carpeNOW!
The only way the sound is "screwed up" is that sometimes the voice doesn't sync with the animation and the music makes it impossible to hear voices during cutscenes sometimes. SOMETIMES.
Other than that, those exact situations you described are very much still in the game. I remember going about the Jeweler's Shop in that exact way, recognizing where the carpets were compared to the wood and knowing that suddenly hearing muffled footsteps was a sign that I should get out of the way.

So if you think this issue with the game is present, it isn't. Sound is still a very important and very viable tool for progressing through the game unseen.
 

martyrdrebel27

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Astalano said:
This review is meh. Doesn't tell me anything about the game.

Seriously, every other review on Thief is so ambigious as to why it's 'bad'. If it's such a mess explain why. That's the point of a review.
I was thinking something similar. I didn't like this review, the way it was written, the way it based a piece of ridicule in the review off of a console specific feature (how does the Xbox version handle gadgets??) and in general, the review was just.. Meh. The phrase "secret hidden vault" just reeks of bad writing.

I've actually seen a number of poor reviews on the escapist, which is oddly out of place here, in my opinion.
 

The Madman

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Klagermeister said:
These days, some people can't manage to look past the old "WAAAH IT'S NOT LIKE THE ORIGINALS" yet at the exact same time say things like "Why are developers scared to do things outside the norm?".
They took a series I love and made it worse, so while you're free to love the game to your hearts content forgive me for not exactly being the most enthusiastic about this release.

And frankly I'd have been perfectly happy with the devs sticking to the established norm for this one, seeing as it's not exactly like there are many alternatives to Thief nowadays. As an example if you don't like Call of Duty or Battlefield there are a million other shooters out there, but if I don't like the new Thief game that's it. The only other options are to keep playing the Dark Mod and the originals.

Such a pity. Still on the bright side maybe some of the people introduced to the series with this newer title will give the old classics a try at some point and get into the modding community. That would be nice!
 

sXeth

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Watching a vid of the PS4 version, it should also be noted that the graphics are way off kilter on it (everything is overbright), and the inventory is some godawful attempt to use the touchpad instead of the much more practical weapaon-wheel you get on PC.

In the meat and potatoes area, its competent enough, but not up to par with its predecessors, or the obvious comparison in Dishonored.
 

chozo_hybrid

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Jul 15, 2009
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Played it for about 3 hours at a friend, I enjoyed it. It's not the old Thief I remember, but it was still fun to play. You can tell an honest effort was made in making this title, things like the custom difficulty settings and such make it re playable too. Is it perfect? Hell no, but it scratches that stealth itch, and if it does okay, they may get to make another, better one if they listen to fans. They did their best in that regard to Deus Ex with the directors cut.

Like other reboots, I think we need to take it on its own a little more. That said, I understand if you can't bring yourself to do that.

Will be buying it in a few weeks when my bills are paid I think :)
 

Yossarian1507

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Jan 20, 2010
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synobal said:
I've really been enjoying the game. It's stealth mechanics are really solid, the movement and such feels really good. My only complaint so far is context sensitive jumping.

The story is a mess and garret wears a corset, but it's good, a really solid game. Honestly all the reviews for this I've seen remind me of the reviews for Alpha Protocol, and how it was pretty much panned all around but ended up being a cult classic.
The Alpha Protocol comparison fills me with hope (I was one of those selected few, who defended that game from Release Day, and I'm so happy, that many people finally took my side on that one).

I'm a big fan of Thief games. All of them. Yes, I think Deadly Shadows was brilliant, and while it wasn't as open-ended on approach level as T1 and T2, it actually improved many of the series aspects (mostly on technological level. TDP and MA were old games, Deadly Shadows really benefited from the 2004 designer skills), while maintaining amazing atmosphere, and general spirit of the series (also Shalebridge Cradle - the second best level in the series right after The Haunted Cathedral from The Dark Project), and it always baffled me, why there is so many people bashing it. It seems like it might be the same case here. This game isn't out here where I'm living (for some reason, the release date is always on Tuesday everywhere else, and on Friday in Poland), so in anticipation I read every single review, and honestly - I didn't know how to feel about this one. I think this one comment, and Alpha Protocol comparison especially, may just persuade me over to insta-buy it. After all, I was in this situation before, and judging from current general opinion, I turned out to be right. Maybe it's time for me to believe, that something I really want to be good really is good, and ignore the reviews.