Preview: Thief Didn't Steal the Show at E3 2013

Preview: Thief Didn't Steal the Show at E3 2013

The Thief reboot from Square could have been better.

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I saw a preview yesterday, either on Gamespot or Gametrailers, of them running through this mission with one of the presenters. He used the focus to shoot a guard in the head with an arrow at which point a little message appeared on screen...

"40XP. Headshot!"

I nearly cried. You should, if anything, be punished for killing the guards. Garret is a thief, not a murderer.

Still, he was awarded more for pick-pocketing and if there's an XP bonus for never being seen or never attacking anyone that could offset it. Slightly. Maybe. Probably not. They mentioned that the XP was more of a points system and that you wouldn't be levelling up, so that's kinda cool, I guess? I just hope you're not awarded for pre-determined actions throughout the mission, creating an "optimal" route that grants you the most points. That would completely miss the point of the genre nevermind the series!

I was disappointed in how dumb the AI looked compared to the other games, too. I still remember the first time a guard got suspicious because I'd left a door open.

It looks like a fun game and I'll probably enjoy playing it, but it doesn't look like a Thief game.

I'm really not confident from what I've seen that it'll live up to it's own legacy. I just don't think Square get the appeal of the old games. Looks like they have basically made another dishonoured, not that dishonoured was bad, but Thief is supposed to be about not being overpowered and running rampant, it's supposed to be about careful consideration of your environment, patience and planning to find the optimal route and being punished for choosing to bulldoze your way through, Garret is no fighter.

I could be wrong, but these trailers and the dev answers aren't quenching my doubt.

ScrabbitRabbit:
I saw a preview yesterday, either on Gamespot or Gametrailers, of them running through this mission with one of the presenters. He used the focus to shoot a guard in the head with an arrow at which point a little message appeared on screen...

"40XP. Headshot!"

I nearly cried. You should, if anything, be punished for killing the guards. Garret is a thief, not a murderer.

Still, he was awarded more for pick-pocketing and if there's an XP bonus for never being seen or never attacking anyone that could offset it. Slightly. Maybe. Probably not. They mentioned that the XP was more of a points system and that you wouldn't be levelling up, so that's kinda cool, I guess? I just hope you're not awarded for pre-determined actions throughout the mission, creating an "optimal" route that grants you the most points. That would completely miss the point of the genre nevermind the series!

I was disappointed in how dumb the AI looked compared to the other games, too. I still remember the first time a guard got suspicious because I'd left a door open.

It looks like a fun game and I'll probably enjoy playing it, but it doesn't look like a Thief game.

Not to mention that Gametrailers preview featured a brief, clunky as sin fight between Garret and a handful of guards. And I thought Dishonored's hand-to-hand combat was a little rough for my tastes...

It's always hard to tell when a stealth game's clumsy combat is either an incentive for remaining stealthy, or just actually that bad.

The focus system sounds similar to what was done in Hitman: Absolution, another stealth game I found somewhat disappointing.

I'm disappointed. Thief was the original stealth game and yet for some reason developers are like 'nah stealth isn't cool lets make it an action fighting game, boom headshot!" Color me unimpressed.

The idea of the setpiece burning bridge scene is problematic for me, not just because (as the article author said) it made no narrative sense to run that way, but also because Thief has always been about sprawling, nonlinear levels, and having action setpieces undermines the key fun part of the game. If I want a linear setpiece experience, I'll go play Half-Life 2 again. That can be a fine experience (HL2 is one of my favorite games of all time), but Thief is more about giving you a big open area and a goal, and letting you make your own fun instead of following a predefined path.

Focus is just detective mode from the Batman games. Totally misses the point of Thief. I'm glad it's optional, but saying "there is a narrative reason for it" as the developer keeps doing, doesn't make me feel any better. You can come up with a narrative reason for just about any shitty mechanic you care to dream up.

The fire escape is troubling, as are the long Uncharted-style third-person climbing sequences that no one has been reporting on. Did you happen to see any of those, Greg? Apparently they were only shown off in some of the demos.

ResonanceGames:
Focus is just detective mode from the Batman games.

It occurs to me that this sort of focus mode would work better with one tweak: if you couldn't see enemies through walls. It would still highlight visible enemies and environmental quirks, but it wouldn't make you psychic. Maybe it could be something like Far Cry 3, where you could tag enemies while they're visible and keep track of them when they move out of sight.

Giantbomb wasn't exactly impressed with Thief 4 either. In fact they went so far as to call it dishonest compared to the demo's they had been shown previously, or as one host put it "It's not good!".

So yeah, the developers took out Hammerites and Pagans, they got rid of Stephen Russell, they redesigned Garrett, made it more linear, gave Garrett super cheat powers, and what's more the gameplay apparently isn't that sharp either.

Not holding my breath for this one.

AAaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Flashbacks to that awful, awful, last Assassin's Creed 3 mission.

Sounds like Hitman: Absolution, a game which failed to hold my interest.

We'll see how this fares.

It would seem that all these "focus modes" that we're seeing nowadays is just another product of the publishers' desire to appeal to a wider audience. I've seen so many games lately that have a similar function, a single button press and you have an overlay with all the information you could ever ask for. Whatever happened to letting us use our sense of logic and ability to reason? Ya know, those essential human traits.

ScrabbitRabbit:
"40XP. Headshot!"

Bloody taffers! This is happens when you stray from the righteous path of The Builder and into the vile trappings of the The Trickster.

Wait? poppy flowers? Is he addicted to opium? Could this be a very interesting twist at the end of the game with the protagonist just a druggy and just wants to get high.

Could game play mechanics, this focus mode, be used to tell a more interesting story? Am I giving the developers too much credit?

You know, I am a huge fan of the originals and was outright dreading what I would see in the gameplay. But, to be honest, I actually think what was shown was very promising. I still have a few issues but, based on everything I've seen and the devs have said, especially when I learned that focus and health DO NOT auto-regen, that the UI has aspects that can be disabled, and that this does indeed seem like a stealth focused game, I'm actually quite optimistic about this game now. I don't even hate the focus aspect as much as I thought I would, though even so I will be using it sparingly, just like some of the stealth abilities in Deus Ex: HR.

Hell Garrett's new voice actor, while no Stephen Russell, is starting to grow on me.

I... also really don't like that, Greg. That sounds way too Uncharted-y for my tastes. It would be better if you could flee through any route.

So, it turns out despite assurances that Thief would be a worthy sequel, its actually a load of bollocks? I call this the least suprising piece of news since M$ made an ass of itself with some idiotic announcement about the Xbone for the umpteenth time.

So basically they filled it with a bunch of gimmicks from other games, combining it all into an grey mess.

Greg Tito:
Why didn't Garrett just get on the dingy and row out of danger?

SAME FUCKING REASON HE FORGOT HOW TO SWIM.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8pImL1FeaE

At least it's not a cover shooter...

...yet.

Yeah. I am disappoint.

I remember the original series combat was difficult where it should have been and then doable against the fairy monkey critters. Even then, my inclination was to ambush.

I played them all on expert. I like the idea that a no-kill policy was classy and the sign of a master, and besides, I wanted the extra loot goals.

It sounds like 2013 is going to be a worse year, than 2012 for AAA gaming.

238U

I share most peoples doubts. Action sequences should not be there because you can do them, just like they aren't in Dishonered, which I consider a very decent game that has its own flavour.

I've played and completed Thief 1 and 2, and keep them in my Steam library, along with some user-made campaigns. I am one of those people that hope that while this game may be a little more accessible than the old ones, and that it'll nevertheless be just as deep, challenging and free-roaming as Thief 1 and 2 were.

The focus mechanic should perhaps be relegated to the two easiest difficulty levels, in which I shall not partake. I shall also expect the highest difficulty level to have a no-killing prerequisite.

Let's all remember that the game is by and large unrefined, and probably a year from being finished and released. It is said that the final 90% of a game is accomplished in the last 10-20% of development time, so I'm still optimistic that this will become a good game. We simply did not see it at its refined best yet.

It is a demo for press. Showcasing someone hiding in corner for 4 minutes until all of the guards turn their back doesnt make for a good show. Ill reserve judgement but Im already not happy with the aesthetics.

Why does the guy in the picture look like a US American comic book superhero and not like a thief?

oldtaku:
AAaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Flashbacks to that awful, awful, last Assassin's Creed 3 mission.

Awful is not strong a word for that bastard of a thing.

It is one of the most terrible horrible awful experiences I've ever had the misfortune of being a part of.

I love all kinds of games, thousands of dollars across hundreds upon hundreds of titles.

And that...thing...

Bleh.

Everything about it was wrong.

I forgot to mention earlier: don't despair. The Dark Mod is going standalone in a few months. I guess then it will just be the Dark...Game. Anyway, it's pretty much just Thief's mechanics in idTech 4 with tons and tons of content and more coming out all the time. It's awesome.

http://www.thedarkmod.com/main/

oldtaku:
AAaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Flashbacks to that awful, awful, last Assassin's Creed 3 mission.

The one where your chasing the guy through all the burning stuff and he has the speed booster from Super Metroid?

Garret looks like he's dressed up for the next "Legacy Of Kain" game not for his own series, I mean seriously... he looked like a medieval wanderer/yeoman type originally, now he looks like a reject at an Goth convention. If you had showed me the picture of him without knowing it's a thief game I would have assumed it was something to do with Vampires.

That said, I haven't heard many people being impressed by this, and really it seems like yet another reboot that misses the point of what made the games what they were to begin with.

I also find it kind of amusing that Garret gets exps, rewarding him for shooting people in the head with a crossbow flat out, where "Dishonored" which is a game about a vengeance obssesed Assasin as opposed to a thief, actively punishes you for killing people by making the world increasingly hostile and ultimately giving you a bad ending. :)

Sometimes I kind of wonder what game developers are thinking.

What have the done?? They took a stealth came that was challenging and rewarded non-combat and gadget use and basically had Garret become Vin Deisallalal and equally retarded about running into fire and a high alert situations as the worst theif in the world.

Boo this developer! BOOO! BOOOOO!
image

Greg Tito:
but of course that means you as the player might feel compelled to look in every crate or box you find.

Um, have you actually played any of the previous Thief games? Given that the whole point was to steal absolutely everything valuable, you were not only compelled to look in every crate or box you find, but to then wander around the room 7 or 8 more times peering into everything that looked even vaguely like a crevice just in case you might have missed something. I'm far from impressed with what I've seen of this new one so far, but "it encourages you to do exactly what you did in every game in the series" just doesn't strike me as a sensible complaint.

Thief, you had a perfectly good thing going. STOP CHANGING FOR THE SAKE OF CHANGING. Don't try to mix genres that are fundamentally opposed (stealth and action), you won't "expand your audience" you'll just produce something nobody likes.

Ugg. I really hope they at least have modding as the previous ones. The fans can show them what a stealth game is supposed to look like.

Captcha: That's it

Thanks Captcha, I knew you had good (if occasionally weird) taste.

 

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