Thief Preview: Will it Steal Our Hearts?

 Pages PREV 1 2
 

Lissa-QUON:

piinyouri:
"At first, the enemy may simply mumble to himself that it must have been the wind, but should you do it again, the chances of the guard growing suspicious heightens. Do it a third time and he may launch an all-out sweep of the area, and each time is different."

They did this already. Hell they did this in Deadly Shadows.

As long as the AI is better than the AI in Deadly Shadows I'll be happy. The guards in Deadly Shadows are so ready to shrug off everything as their imagination or rats so quickly it's kind of sad.

In a recent replay I had a guard spot some relics were missing and then after about 20 paces of looking for me - decided he had imagined the whole thing and go back to patrol.

Yeah, but that's not a matter of technology available, but a matter of design. The behaviour in the former Thief games you described was given to the guards to keep the game playable ;-). To say that the AI behaviour in Thief 4 requires next gen hardware seems a bit exaggerated, if not a rightout lie. Unless there are some super duper AI features not mentioned in the article, like guards logically deducing from the things you manipulated, where you are and what your target is or something like that. Everything else is pretty much AI 101, state machines and goal based agents.

Regarding the tone of the new Thief, I am really concerned, that they seem to exclude everything "Thief", e.g. the factions, the mystical subplot (which was somewhat central to the first three games). In my opinion the story was wrapped up really well at the end of Deadly Shadows, I've seldomly seen such a "complete" story in a game (maybe Max Payne 2, which was then shat all over by Max Payne 3). What about the little girl at the end of Thief Deadly Shadows? Why not make her the new protagonist with Garret the wise and old Keeper Mentor he is supposed to have involved into through his heroe's journey in his three games? That would be cool, but this reboot is not.
Then, hand to hand combat? Why empower Garret in combat? It was normally throwing a flash bomb and hiding in the shadows again. If you are able to muscle your way through the new Thief 4, it's no Thief. I know, several angles for gameplay, but Thief was never a role playing game, but a stealth game.
Although this game seems to become really good, I don't think it's a good Thief.

Stealth meter: You might argue that people in the shadows see better so shy not just raise the gamma a little when you're hiding? Some blue tint at the sides of the screen is just stupid. It was done in other games but games with fewer stealth sections. The light gem was better for simplicity's sake.

Design: Let's face it. The first two games had so little graphics that most of it was left to our imagination. But it was clearly a medieval steam-punk and unique to the series, fondly remembered and respected. Thief 3 was the first game with actual graphics and detail and while it was a bit more confusing as a setting (mainly Medieval sprinkled with Victorian steampunk), it bloody worked. This one? Bah... I'm seeing a few nice things (lots of cracked wood, medieval alleyways), but that brothel with bunny ears is a bad joke, as are the late early 1900's civilian clothing and those 1800's german helmet guys. They went for a more Victorian setting (meaning Victorian/Edwardian steampunk, sprinkled with too little Medieval background), but they forgot that steampunk belonged to that era so you end up loosing that dark futuristic look. What you end up with is a gritty Dishonored setting, not a progressive Thief design. I don't particularly like it. I do like the detail tho... But it needs interactivity. Remember how interactive the game seems just because of the shadows and extinguishable lights and noisy floors? That's all you had, but everything seemed to have an effect.

Story: no news yet, but coupled with AI, this is what's gonna sell the game. I was a huge fan of Thief 3's dark story and just mentioning the words "Shalebridge Cradle" brings shivers down my spine. I want to see them top that. Otherwise, I don't really care, be there Hammerites, Keepers or whatever.

AI: just make them take a break once in a while and search more randomly. Make them look over their bloody shoulders from time to time. Make them believable humans, not robots with a programmed path. There is not one stealth game which does this... be the first if you want to be worthy of the Thief name. Just go to a museum, talk to the guards, see how they behave based on what they expect to see. True stealth is judged by how difficult it is to adapt.

I'm not expecting to like the game. At least not as much as I liked the old ones. I hated Deus Ex HR and even made a thread a while ago displaying my concerns over Eidos' take on Thief (which had just been announced then), but was laughed at or called a paranoid. And trust me when I say that this is one time I pray to be wrong.

Having multiple conditionals in an "if-then" AI reaction does not change the fact it's an "if-then" reaction. Also, it's a really bad example to use when saying "such behaviour is only possible thanks to the next-gen hardware".

Garrett has been equipped with some impressive abilities, including being able to peek around corners or objects without being spotted, and slow down hand-to-hand combat in order to pick specific parts of your enemy's body to target.

Well there goes the series really.

This sort of thing didn't really hurt Deus Ex much, since the stealth there was never great to begin with, but Thief is THE stealth game, and to dumb it down like this defeats the purpose of making a Thief game. People who don't know the series will see a Dishounoured ripoff and people who do know the series will see the ruination of their beloved franchise. No one wants this.

Some ambitious AI. The difference here is we have been given a good example of the AI. Not like those Tomb Raider marketing vids.

I hope the shadow systems are not like skyrim...when you are just as hidden in a shadow in an alert phase as you are in a normal phase. Where getting seen is only down to proximity when then enemy is walking towards the disturbance.

The other concerns are if the game is balanced to play without those special powers and equipment

Vrach:
Having multiple conditionals in an "if-then" AI reaction does not change the fact it's an "if-then" reaction. Also, it's a really bad example to use when saying "such behaviour is only possible thanks to the next-gen hardware".

I agree, but there's nothing wrong with 'if-then', with more 'if-then' you can cater for more variables like Thief is claiming to do now. The problem before was simple: there was not enough 'if-thens' programmed.

I'm not a dev...but surely it can't take THAT MUCH power/RAM to add a few more lines of 'if-then' AI reactions?

PS2's MGS3 seems to have more 'if-then' parameters then Crysis 3 on PC in my experience. It's just laziness...and prioritising R&D and resources to graphics instead of AI.

IronMit:

Vrach:
Having multiple conditionals in an "if-then" AI reaction does not change the fact it's an "if-then" reaction. Also, it's a really bad example to use when saying "such behaviour is only possible thanks to the next-gen hardware".

I agree, but there's nothing wrong with 'if-then', with more 'if-then' you can cater for more variables like Thief is claiming to do now. The problem before was simple: there was not enough 'if-thens' programmed.

I'm not a dev...but surely it can't take THAT MUCH power/RAM to add a few more lines of 'if-then' AI reactions?

PS2's MGS3 seems to have more 'if-then' parameters then Crysis 3 on PC in my experience. It's just laziness...and prioritising R&D and resources to graphics instead of AI.

No, no, don't get me wrong, multiple if-then's is great, it's certainly better than your standard "must've been the wind" after 15 explosions and a dozen bodies around them, I'm just saying, AI reacting different after consecutive alerts or even randomly different is nothing complex to throw in the code and certainly not something that's impossible because of hardware limitations.

The whole point of the original Thief game was that it made the player feel like a clever bastard in a town full of chumps. "Must just be the wind" was part of that. Thw town guard monologuing like a supervillian with ADD and Tourettes syndrome was part of that. You only ever entered combat as a last-ditch effort to salvage a failed mission.

You certainly did not have a slow-motion bullet time combat system that turned you into the ultimate Assassin. What's next? A camera that zooms out to show off your character's awesome takedowns and finishing moves? Maybe an NPC support character prattling into your ear? How about a minigame where you put stuff in your house? I mean, if you're going to add bullet time and turn Garret into an expert killer, why stop there?

Sigh. At least it sounds like they did the darkness mechanic properly. Though I'm skeptical that it will be intuitively obvious which side of the room is "dark enough" at a glance. I mean, just look at those screenshots. I don't see any border, do you?

WarpZone:
What's next? A camera that zooms out to show off your character's awesome takedowns and finishing moves?

I'm pretty sure that's what picture #2 is showing off. Fuck. I don't think I want to play this anymore.

ok. i read this far & immediately i knew "dumbed down for console kids" -
"...slow down hand-to-hand combat in order to pick specific parts of your enemy's body to target...".

i played all 3 of the originals, was blown away by the first, the 2nd even more tho the 3rd had nice grfx but lost its depth, length of gameplay, size, etc.

so i absolutely KNOW one thing that Garret NEVER DID was HANG AROUND FOR HAND TO HAND COMBAT! ARGHH! DUMBASSES!
WHY? BECAUSE HE'S A THIEF. his skills are so finely tuned he doesn't have time to become an assassin [expert level never allowed for ANY killings]. they will ruin this. it made the game so intense knowing that if those 2 guards chatting away notice you creeping around the corner, you'll need to run fast & get out their reach. Garret wears very light leather for silence and stealth. maybe if he uses a bow or X-bow [gas arrows were great for knocking out a group of guards, water arrows for dousing torches..until a guard notices & relights it..or not...as i said, it was all very tense & scary] but i never sword-fought with Garret. he took way too much damage vs armoured guards who also cried out for help! you block then run like hell - like ANY thief from ANY age would do! there's no honour! you're a bloody thief! a taffer!

i rem my cat jumped on my shoulder at 2am whilst i was hugging a wall inches behind 2 guards to get to the shadows & i threw myself off the chair backwards! so funny! totally immersive! i sometimes felt i had to lean around a corner before i walked into a street after a non-stop 7 hour session! now that is creepy.

but, naw. it's just gonna be another 4-6 hour spin off..but , ooh ooh!! hey!! IT'LL HAVE MULTIPLAYER! [what a horrifying thought - i think i may be sick]. they would have to get some of the original 'Looking Glass' team in because very often - with ALL 3 OF THE GAMES - the movies before a mission would REALLY set the mood. the artwork was very VERY creepy as Garret is used by... spoiler stop... & those guys KNEW this whole weird medieval/steampunk world they'd created. TOP GAME i ever played. System Shock 1 was 2nd.

we all know this will be a tiny SP game to lever in a friggin MP game.
i'll prob borrow it. in the first paragraph they mention combat with guards? THE FIRST PARAGRAPH?! that just about sums up what they got in mind.

dammit, was really looking forward to a GOOD Thief sequel with decent AI, not scripted events. this will be 'assassin's creed' with stealing. guaranteed. pfft.

I hope they don't do Deus Ex: HR style finishing moves.

Right, so I'm just gonna stealthily PUNCH THIS GUY'S FUCKING FACE IN AND JUST LET HIM DROP TO THE FLOOR!

Now, to be fair, melee combat did EXIST in the first two Thief games. Because you can't just jump back into the shadows, boy!

It just wasn't the FOCUS of the game.

I don't think it is possible for a modern game to not make combat the focus. I think AAA publishers are too stupid and cowardly, and AAA developers are too desperate and whipped-into-submission for an actual worthy sequel to a game like Thief to be born. Only an indie dev would take the risk, and of course they wouldn't be able to secure the rights to the word thief, so it'd be called something else and only a handful of people who knew or cared what the original Thief was like would even hear of it.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is the ur-example of the new "normal." Thief will have third-person fatalities because it would be unthinkable for a modern AAA game to ship without them. And if an American AAA developer were to somehow get their hands on, say, the Amnesia license, I'm sure they would turn it into a first person shooter with online multiplayer.

This is the age we live in. This is the industry we're stuck with. And industry reviewers are complicit, and therefore part of the problem.

And by the way, don't think for a second that anything they showed in this video was necessarily even slightly real. This is another Vertical Slice publicity stunt. It is completely rational to treat this as Aliens:Colonial Marines all over again until someone proves otherwise.

Unfortunately, that can't happen until the game actually comes out, so we're pretty much boned.

If you pre-order this game, you are encouraging them to ignore your input.

They can have my nostalgia money when they make a worthy follow-up to a game I used to play. Not before.

someonehairy-ish:
I hope they don't do Deus Ex: HR style finishing moves.

Right, so I'm just gonna stealthily PUNCH THIS GUY'S FUCKING FACE IN AND JUST LET HIM DROP TO THE FLOOR!

Oh, you mean finishing moves like this?

 Pages PREV 1 2

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Registered for a free account here