Format reviewed: PC
Other formats available: Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4
Developer: Eidos Montreal
Publisher: Square Enix
Price: £29.99 (PC)
It’s time to duck into the shadows, steal what you can and try not to be spotted. Easier said than done.
A masked person creeps around in the darkness of a medieval town, a blade concealed in their sleeve.They scale walls with consummate ease, pick locks and dispatch foes without being heard.
Sound in any way familiar? Yes that’s because we are describing Assassin’s Creed, the elephant in the room when you boot up Thief.
Years ago, when the original Thief came out, it had the shadows all to itself. Now things are a damn sight more crowded. Thief was the bar that needed to be reached, however, the rather fecund Assassin’s Creed and all its offspring have reached that bar and run off with it. To say that Thief is playing catch up is like putting Russell Grant up against Usain Bolt.
That aside there is good in Thief. It plays well, but is so much more on the rails than AC. Whereas Ezio et al can climb pretty much any building whenever they like, our protagonist can only scale walls that his funky climbing tool enables him to.
Of course the big thing that Thief has over AC is that it doesn’t have all the Animus nonsense to confuse and get in the way. Thief is real, it’s not an illusion. However, there is a small amount of spectral nonsense that the game really doesn’t need. The story works well enough without it.
After the free roaming of the AC games it is hard to go back into a game with such a rigid structure as Thief. It follows the old game way of doing things, you have to get from point A to point B, you can choose your route, to a limited extent, and collect things as you go.
The latter are trinkety things like watches, broaches, candle sticks, you know the things. It’s by collecting this stuff that you get money to then buy other stuff, such as different types of arrow and so on.
Graphically Thief is OK, not the best we have seen, nor is it the worst. The levels are nicely detailed and the character animations are good if not the greatest.
Having been the definitive creeping around, picking pockets game Thief left it a bit too long to get a reboot. If you are a bit bored of Assassin’s Creed then Thief could well be for you, we just didn’t find it that exciting if we’re honest.
Review by Tuckski for BCS