The total relaunch of the Thief series does not abandon the characters and events of prior installments, but rather twists them. Familiar characters take on new personalities: Basso is one of the main character’s most significant associates and clients, while Jenivere is the name of the magpie who serves as the thieves’ carrier pigeon. This was the name of Basso’s fiancée at the time. The prior occurrences occurred in the undefined past, yet they appear so far away that modern Garrett could not be a part of them.
The current adventure begins with a failed effort to seize a valuable diamond belonging to the city’s lord, Baron Northcrest. Garrett, joined by the ambitious and little reckless Erin, sees a mystery rite that awakens the ancient power contained in the Primal Stone – the same item they sought to steal. However, an accident occurs, causing Erin to die and the main character to vanish behind a mound of rubble. After recovering consciousness, he discovers that a year has passed since those events, and the city – known simply as the City in the game – is plagued by a strange sickness known as Gloom. Garrett must now discover what the Primal Stone was, what effect it had on the outbreak of the epidemic, and, eventually, what changes the prince of thieves witnessed in himself. His right eye has changed color and now affords him extraordinary skills. The plot is conveyed in an intriguing manner that, despite some disarray, may interest and drive you to keep playing. Garrett wanders about the city at night, taking more and more valuable objects while conducting a private investigation that will throw some additional light on last year’s events and their horrific ramifications seen all around. Individual chapters take us to different parts of the city. We’ll see an ancient factory that turns into a gigantic mortuary during an epidemic, Lord Northcrest’s massive tower, and even a tryst house where every man may fulfill his innermost desires under the vapors of opium. Every site has a unique vibe and might elicit surprising feelings. A visit to an abandoned institution for the mentally ill will live on in my mind as a magnificent terror that sped up my pulse rate multiple times. The gloomy atmosphere and grim tone that pervades the entire metropolis create a pleasant, familiar impression that keeps us from forgetting what game we are having fun playing. This is Thief; we feel it when we glance around corners, keep an eye out for alert guards, hear it in overheard inhabitant conversations, and see it on every dreary street.
When compared to prior editions, the gameplay and mechanics have undergone significant alterations. The hero’s new abilities reflect the effect of the mystical crystal at the beginning of the game. We may see in the dark for a moment by using up the Focus bar, and all riches, chests, doors, and ladders will light blue. We can discover hidden pathways and even slow down time while picking locks and pickpocketing with focus over time. Garrett uses a bow and a club as weapons. Don’t worry, a thief does not become a flawless killer, and most open fights end in failure. The baton is used as a final option, startling unsuspecting guards. The bow is the night hunter’s primary tool. A variety of arrows can assist you in any tough situation: some can be used to press distant levers, some to extinguish a blazing flame, and yet others to shock a few roving criminals. An arrow with a rope allows you to climb in some areas, allowing you to access difficult-to-reach corners. We may broaden the assortment for the loot offered to include other toys that are incredibly significant to a burglar. Why avoid traps when powerful pincers can efficiently disarm them? No castle can stand up to Garrett’s arsenal of lockpicks, crowbars, and screwdrivers. The Night City connects the maps of the separate chapters. To continue the main plot, we must go in the prescribed direction from the clock tower in the central plaza each time. However, we pause at every step along the route. The twisting streets are plenty with apartments worth looting, which slows us down in our quest to discover the hero’s fate. A significant number of side missions might take several hours to complete, especially because not every structure is easy to reach and we sometimes have to ponder before we can get our hands on the valuables within. Traveling across the city is made more difficult by the map’s low legibility, especially as it lacks crossing markers to the next area. The loading screen is skillfully hidden under animations of squeezing through tiny, congested tunnels. It’s not particularly tough, but it is time-consuming because we must cover all distances on foot. The game artificially extends the main story’s progression by forcing you to zoom across the whole city, passing multiple loading places along the way concealed under an animation that has previously been watched thousands of times.
Individual chapters are closed missions that, in addition to the main purpose, include extra tasks connected to operating technique selection. Following the completion of each mission, a synopsis of the activity is displayed. A pie chart depicts the benefit of one of three approaches for overcoming difficulties: Ghost, Predator, and Opportunist. Ghost is a style worthy of original fans, since it entails moving around without raising alarms or shocking opponents; we operate as if we are invisible, leaving no evidence of our presence. Predator is an aggressive thief that does not shy away from victims who are slain in a variety of methods. An arrow in the eye, a keg of gunpowder bursting, or even a chandelier falling on your head are all efficient means of extermination and diversion. An opportunist avoids direct contact, but leaves clues in the shape of disarmed traps or extinguished torches, and occasionally he diverts attention by tossing a glass elsewhere; he is a master who takes advantage of every chance to achieve his aims. These three types open new tasks inside chapters, such as extinguishing a set number of torches, stunning multiple guards, or finishing a mission without dying. However, the proper balance is maintained, and each of these objectives provides a fair level of difficulty that will put both quiet creeping and stunning talents to the test without engaging in open confrontation. People looking for true thieving challenges will appreciate the optional difficulty level, which allows us to raise the bar even higher: no “focus” power, saving only at the beginning of chapters, no open combat, turning off the bow sight and deleting all offensive arrows, leaving only four basic ones. When all of these settings are enabled, the game becomes a true challenge for series veterans.
Thief isn’t flawless, despite making a great first impression. The artificial intelligence of your opponents can malfunction and even compel you to load a save file. Attempting to distract the guard by tossing a bottle at the location we want him to go occasionally results in the opponent “hanging.” He will remain in a fighting position and do nothing else for an extended period of time. When we swiftly hop from one darkened area to another, we may not see any reaction from others staring in our way. I doubt anyone on guard duty could have been so careless as to miss Garrett walking into the light in full gear. On earlier generation consoles, you may see the Unreal engine’s normal texture loading delay, which is especially noticeable during cutscenes. It’s also tough not to notice that many of them have a decrease in displayed frames per second. In addition to the crash of the animation, we will occasionally notice a delay in the sound compared to the visual – Garrett moves his mouth, and we only hear what he actually said after a while. Statements made by guards and city inhabitants were frequently triggered soon after one other, giving an odd echo-like effect. The absolutely suited music, which effectively intensifies the mood of particular scenes, may be disrupted by a song permanently tied to the opponent’s dazzling animation. After this brief intermission, the song is frequently not resumed, but instead begins from the beginning. This is a little feature that may go missed in the heat of battle, but it is an obvious omission created by frequent changes to the game structure during the development process. The title also establishes the degree of freedom in the paths to choose. We are unable to scale some of the walls, rooftops, and installations, despite having leapt to similar heights numerous times without incident. Despite the fact that there are numerous branching pathways on the map, there are some spots that can only be accessed by one method. And, if the scenario thinks that all adversaries are hunting for us, we must forego just hiding in the shadows and look for spots absolutely outside the enemy’s grasp if we want to get points for the Ghost style. Fans of open combat may also notice a loss of animation smoothness and a dip in frames per second – many assaulting guards can create an apparent decline in visual quality. The same thing happens when we try to rush from one side of town to the other – in addition to the obvious crashing, we see hurriedly loaded ambient textures. Editions for modern consoles are also free of comparable faults, and the version for personal computers has the fewest difficulties; depending on the graphics card, we may enjoy smooth gameplay and stunning images.
The Thief is not a game that has abandoned its roots. This is a relaunch of the franchise that brings back old memories – a relaunch that effectively transfers the original gameplay into the modern day while retaining the core aspects that distinguish the Thief environment. Despite several technical flaws and a distinct lack of finishing touches, the developers managed to produce a rather good, sparkling stone that, although not a diamond, surely demands the attention of fans of Garrett and his sticky hands.