Zero Punctuation: Thief: The Dark Project

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mastertang:
I'm going to have to check out thief but one question. When was Hitman a "stealth" game?

I would consider Blood Money a stealth game. You have to hide, steal stuff, kill people, change your outfit etc.

How is it not a stealth game?

I liked it when young Yahtzee and his friend were astonished at the cube. "It has depth!"

Was waiting for this one. Got Thief I recently, so Thief II is better then?

I'll have to check it out.

"THEY DON'T MAKE BEARS LIKE THEY USED TO."

Great review: the Thief series is deserving of any attention that can be pointed its way; if you haven't played them, do so. www.ttlg.com is a good resource on where to get them and how to make them run on your system. Also, there are some fan-made levels and texture updates available from there that are well worth the trouble. (note tho: due to the low-poly counts limited by the Dark Engine, they'll still look blocky as all hell.)

I miss Looking Glass Studios. From Ultima: Underworld all the way to System Shock 2, they produced quality games, not simply focusing on graphics, but also having the highest possible production values for sound, story, etc. We need more studios that put an emphasis on this, and we need to reward them by buying thier product.

Oh, and arguably, without Thief, there would BE no Splinter Cell.

Way to kick it old school. =D

Excellent video. One minor quibble: don't blame Looking Glass for the forced stealth sections in games. THEY weren't responsible for that shit. Look no further than Hideo Kojima for that.

Interesting review. I enjoy hearing about "the good old days" when bugger all is coming out.

Aw man... and here I was hoping that you would review a bad game... then I saw that Thief was your choice this week, so I knew that you had picked a good game.

thetragicclown:
"Gorn to the bear pits tomorrer. Wanna come with?"

"Yar, I heard they got new muzzles on the bears"

Oh and I forgot there is also rumors of a new Thief game - a new developer team at Eidos has announced that they are working on creating a new episode for an AAA category a.k.a. very good quality game which name starts with a letter T. Since the only other game that would fit this description is Tomb Raider is in the hands of Crystal Dynamics - we can all hope that Garrett will stalk the shadows in the future once again :)

Ryuzaki:

Sylocat:
01:53: I wish they'd make a game where characters swear in Chinese (hint, hint).

I see you like Firefly as well. Not sure that you could make a game out of it though.

They were planning to make a Firefly MMO, not sure what happened to that.

One thing. To the mods/admins. Why don't you ban them (dudes who come and say l0lz0rz b00llzorz I POSTED FIRST l0l0l0l!).

ph3onix:
One thing. To the mods/admins. Why don't you ban them (dudes who come and say l0lz0rz b00llzorz I POSTED FIRST l0l0l0l!).

Because those guys who post stuff like "first" already get banned? Look at the first three comments in this thread.

And you can report guys you don't like anyway and somebody may ban them.

This game is in my personal top 10 games ever!

I really must play a thief game one day. Even though waiting about in shadows seems abit meh.

i didn't know yahtzee was a taffer :P

I think I'll go play some fan missions. Thank you for reviewing this game.

yahtzee why did you put down as splinter cell chaos theory as a game that uses bad stealth? all it consist of you staying in the shawdows, make very little noise, not kiling a guard using a shot to the chest with your assult rifle while other guards are around to kill you faster and using night or thermal vision.

Ryuzaki:

Sylocat:
01:53: I wish they'd make a game where characters swear in Chinese (hint, hint).

I see you like Firefly as well. Not sure that you could make a game out of it though.

I reckon it would work as an RPG. Then again, I grew up playing a certain tabletop RPG that you'd be forgiven for thinking was the direct inspiration for Firefly but apparently wasn't.

I loved the review it took me back completely.

What the hell? He still hasn't reviewed half the major summer releases!

And no. The stealth genre is never about feeling like the victim, wherein you actually hide because you're waiting for the scary men to go away. Its about feeling like a tormentor - an unstoppable sadistic genius penetrating any situation on your wits alone - this is really why the best Stealth series (Metal Gear Solid and Hitman) have assassination as your end goal. The huge non-linear levels is also pretty much a must, but then thats what makes it a stealth game. And although combat should be available, the end result should be that you are told that you are very stupid for having been seen.

I nearly crapped my pants when Yahtzee said the main character's name was Garrett.
My name is also ironically Garrett. They should make more games with "me" in it.

I only played the demo of Thief, being a knuckle dragging FPS braintard, addicted to the endless stream of subtely different mods for Quake 1 at the time. My favorite of which was a quaint little mod where you could blow off arms and legs. lose an arm and you can't shoot until you get the health. Lose a leg and your bouncing (yes bouncing) on one leg as blood endlessly squirts from the wound until you get health. Incidentally, this mod work in any other mod side by side, so even the crappy mods could be instantly enchanced with severed limbs.

I believe it was called something clever like, "Severed".

Pure Fucking Genius.

Sylocat:
04:35: I don't get it.

It's what a guard often says in Thief right before you clock him round the head, ala what Garret's doing to the guard in the vid.

Also, for the hell of it, bearpits.

http://bearpits.ytmnd.com/

Indigo_Dingo:
The stealth genre is never about feeling like the victim, wherein you actually hide because you're waiting for the scary men to go away. Its about feeling like a tormentor - an unstoppable sadistic genius penetrating any situation on your wits alone - this is really why the best Stealth series (Metal Gear Solid and Hitman) have assassination as your end goal.

Hmmm have to respectfully disagree with you buddy. You weren't -allowed- to kill people in the Thief games if you played it on expert most of the time. Garrett was supposed to be kind of a dick, not a cold blooded killer. It makes Garrett a much more sympathetic character than someone who sticks knives in people's brains for a few bucks.

But maybe I'm just a freak for not liking to murder everyone when I play video games.

But as to the video, >.< LOVE! EEEE! I'm such a raging Thief fan girl, and none of my friends really know why, ("what, you liked that Thief game, you should love Hit Man, it's stealth!- *gurgling sound of being choked*") now I can just rub this video in their faces! Those games were amazing, even if Thief 3 tried to murder all that I loved...I was still able to forgive it, just because of the hardcore fan service (the non-sexy kind) they stuck at the very end... Sigh. I should play 2 again...

Though I have to say Garrett's tap shoes filled me with rage. Raagggeeee~!

GaeMFreeK:
Was waiting for this one. Got Thief I recently, so Thief II is better then?

I'll have to check it out.

"THEY DON'T MAKE BEARS LIKE THEY USED TO."

Depends on your perspective. The story and plot twists of Thief I are, to quote Yahtzee, Balls tighteningly fantastic. Escape!is annoying as crap, but Return to the Cathedral is so amazing that it covers up many many small evils. The WOO missions (thief slang for scary missions) were almost eliminated in T2 in favor of more manor robbing... but they got a bit sloppy in the last few missions of T2. It depends on your perspective.

I'm of the opinion that T2 was meant to be better but looking glass was forced to release it too early because they were going under. Thief Gold is the standard for me.

Play them both for what they are. As a whole two of the very best games ever made.

Was it just me...or was this a GamePro style review? This one was a little flat compared to his others. Granted, I don't know anything about the game- but the review was kind of tame for what we have come to expect.

Oh well...maybe I'm being too critical.

I suck at stealth games, heck I could barley beet the training mission in Splintercell DA, Im not an action junkey though, Im just not sneaky

For the first time in a long while I find my self wondering: "What was just said?" Is it just me, or did Yahtzee's speech pick up the tempo a little bit more than normal in this one?

But see- many of these elements (extremely non linear levels, sneaking up behind guards, actually being able to defend yourself if you absolutely had to) are what made Goldeneye 007 such a brilliant stealth em up a year previously. Honestly- hearing all this crap about halo being THE revolutionary console FPS that introduced dual wielding just makes me want to break down and cry like a sissy.

The scarey part of this game isn't hiding from the guards, it's fighting those damn spiders. So small to hit with a sword and they jump over you all the time. Not very dangerous, but they sent shivers up my spine none the less. The ambient sounds in the cathedral were great too. Only like 4-6 guys in there but was scared none the less.

No game, not even FEAR, has been so immersive to me as Thief 1 & 2 were.

Thief is the most immersive game I've ever played. It gave me my highest experience of total encapsulation within a game. I got so immersed in this game I think I even started staying in the shadows more as I walked around in real life. In addition, my memories of what happened feel very close to being my own memories as opposed to memories of playing a game.

I remember picking a lock on a door of a hallway, and a guard suddenly opening the door and coming through. I spun around behind the opening door and whipped out my blackjack, neatly rapping him the back of head as he walked past. The whole thing took less than a second.

In 1999, you just hadn't experienced anything like that before. And no other game since as achieved the same level of stealth quality. I think the problem with newer stealth games is that they cater too much to the FPS crowd and allow your character to be too strong at direct combat. In the first Thief game, you could fight one guard with a sword and come away with a medium level of damage. If you faced more than one guard, or the guard called for help, you had to leg it. There was no way you could stay and fight. In Thief III, you could fight through the game like it was Dark Messiah if you wanted....just not the same experience. If there is no real threat from discovery, the thrill of the sneaker is lost.

Rybe:
Hmmm have to respectfully disagree with you buddy. You weren't -allowed- to kill people in the Thief games if you played it on expert most of the time. Garrett was supposed to be kind of a dick, not a cold blooded killer. It makes Garrett a much more sympathetic character than someone who sticks knives in people's brains for a few bucks.

Absolutely, expert was the only way to play this game. No killing and no more than a couple of knockouts. That was serious tension.

Rybe:
Those games were amazing, even if Thief 3 tried to murder all that I loved...I was still able to forgive it, just because of the hardcore fan service (the non-sexy kind) they stuck at the very end... Sigh. I should play 2 again...

While Thief III was almost as much a travesty as Deus Ex:IW due to the crappy console port and miniscule level sizes (do you remember that rooftop level starting at the bell with the mist? Man that level was HUGE!), you do have it give it kudos for one thing. Shalebridge Cradle. That was one of the best examples of level design I have ever seen. And it had a lot of drag factor from the bad engine so I give it extra points.

Ive seen the game before but never played it, might try it now though

Slackenerny:
Absolutely, expert was the only way to play this game. No killing and no more than a couple of knockouts. That was serious tension.

Expert also opened up more areas to explore and loot to grab, or it did on the Bonehoard level in Thief 1 at least. On easier difficulties you only had to find a valuable horn, whereas the harder ones also had you searching for alternately one and two gemstones deeper in the crypts. Extra content as a reward for greater challenge isn't a feature I've seen repeated much, if at all, in games since.

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