Zero Punctuation: Thief: The Dark Project

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Not a word about Shalebridge Cradle? For SHAME.

Even with the old graphics, that level just about made my bladder spontaneously commit suicide. The jerks of the puppets kept aligning with the spazzing of the lights. It was awesome. And horrifying.

...I mean, I actually tossed my mouse off my desk at one point. (Which made me swing at air and spin around in an amusing fashion.) The DETAIL...

thetragicclown:

Also, for the hell of it, bearpits.

http://bearpits.ytmnd.com/

HAHAHA, awesome, thanks for that!

It's a shame that these games aren't as popular as, say, Half-Life. I'll even submit that Garrett is a better character than the beloved Gordon Freeman, since he's, y'know, an actual character, that talks and stuff!

Man, I should play this again soon. Back when I played it I sucked - I could never get through the fourth level where you had to follow the two assassins sent to kill you without being seen.

If Thief III was crap, it was only crap in relation to its antecedents. It actually had some quite intriguing ideas, really badly executed (unlike previous Thief games, which had intriguing ideas executed really well). Allowing you to wander around a sprawling city to get to different missions, as well as providing opportunities for side missions (read: innocent victims' houses) to increase your wealth could have been fantastic given the intriguing universe that had been created up to that point. Unfortunately the city was distressingly tiny and the fact that you had to sneak around it was absolutely obnoxious. What the hell kind of thief are you that the police know exactly who you are?

As has been mentioned previously, Shalebridge Cradle was an absolutely fantastic level. One of the scariest levels I've ever played. Oh hell, THE scariest level I've ever played. Despite all of its shortcomings, one should play the game only for that part. Then you can stay for the museum level which is pretty worth it.

Regarding the video, I have one major quibble and that's the tiny little Cate Archer over in the left hand corner at 04:45. Sure, No One Lives Forever was primarily an action game, but I hardly think its stealth elements should be faulted. You were after all a spy (and a thief, BTW). Approaching your goals with stealth made perfect sense to me in the context of the game. Of course, I love that game so much, it's hard for me to hear any criticism of it. It was stylish, funny, inventive and fun in ways that Monolith hasn't come close to since, and, in fact seem to be almost entirely abandoning at this point (I'm looking at you F.E.A.R.).

Good god, that was easily the worst ZP yet. Usually I don't just sit through the video waiting for it to be over, but this wasn't funny at all.

Midnight Voyager:
Not a word about Shalebridge Cradle? For SHAME.

You missed my post on the last page. I mentioned it there as the stunning highlight of an otherwise lacklustre console port.

Hmmmm....just occurred to me that you were probably talking about the ZP review. :)

Slackenerny:

Hmmmm....just occurred to me that you were probably talking about the ZP review. :)

Heh, that I was.

While I'm at it: The servants. From the second game. OH GOD the servants. With their giddy giggles and relieved, whispered "Thank you,"s as you knocked them out. *SHIVER*

And I think another thing worth mentioning about Thief are the beautiful cinematics. A lost art in the current age of scripted story events, the amazing, painting-like cutscenes still hold me in awe. (warning: major spoilers in that second one)

FREE ON GAMETAP! YAAY!

<Downloads immediately>

Midnight Voyager:
While I'm at it: The servants. From the second game. OH GOD the servants. With their giddy giggles and relieved, whispered "Thank you,"s as you knocked them out. *SHIVER*

Oh yes. And do you remember breaking into the vault under the old Hammerite chapel in Thief II? They had those ghosts which were almost impossible to deal with stalking the place like it was a convention centre. It was so immersive...the most tension I've ever felt in a game. Period.

cool. not his best work though. what ever, it's still good.

BlueInkAlchemist:

klc0100:
And now we watch thief sales rocket on steam.

It's available on Steam? *goes and purchases*

no its not, i just checked.

wow yahtzee, that was the best review ive seen in probably close to 3 months. maybe more. nice job. incidentally i loved theif deadly shadows, so poo on you. but i never did play the prequels, im going to go do that. any idea how? i might just have to bit torrent it if theres no other way.

Never play Thief before. I was always really frustrated playing Splinter Cell because I couldn't just go around and shoot everybody.

I bought Thief and Thief II off amazon a year and a half ago... I just wish they didn't lock up after 2 minutes... Really wish I could get it to run now... :/

i never like it that much when he reviews old games, he usualy likes them...

Oirish_Martin:
It seems like I'm the only person who actually liked the zombie levels. Bonehoard was probably the creepiest thing I'd ever experienced in a game at that point. Rope arrowing over a flight of trapped steps stealing jewels, frantically trying to manage your holy water, and freaking the fuck out when the first restless dead appeared. Awesomeness.

The sprawling building levels are also great fun, except for Constantine's house. Finding a key placed on ONE FUCKING TILE of a very large carpet was not fair in the slightest.

The zombie parts were the best for me as well. It wasn't that it was trying to be "blast em up" it was that YOU CANT KILL THESE GUYS HAHAHAHAHHAHAH!!! It forced you to be even better at stealth than ever before. TO THIS DAY I think that Thief 1 zombies were the scariest zombies of any game. Their groans, OH! their groans... *sob*

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

YEEEES!!!!!

I thought that was the COOLEST thing about that game then. I had never heard NPCs have a full conversation like that before. Not only was it long, but it was funny!

Assassin Xaero:
I bought Thief and Thief II off amazon a year and a half ago... I just wish they didn't lock up after 2 minutes... Really wish I could get it to run now... :/

Sounds like you're having an issue with Hyperthreading/Multiprocessing. I had that problem with System Shock 2 and Grim Fandango (I've had Thief 1 and 2 for a while now, installed them, but haven't tried running them yet). This site tells you how to fix that:

http://www16.brinkster.com/salvage/thief/darkengine.htm

lacktheknack:
FREE ON GAMETAP! YAAY!

<Downloads immediately>

Is that with a premium account or no?

Vlane:

stiver:
Err I don't think I have ever heard of this game.

Bah who cares about old games?

Yahtzee obviously, many other people, I do and you should.

Agreed, but i think he's just wondering why yahtzee didnt pick one of the new games out there now. but still stiver, you dont know what your saying. you sound like a noob

josh797:

BlueInkAlchemist:

klc0100:
And now we watch thief sales rocket on steam.

It's available on Steam? *goes and purchases*

no its not, i just checked.

wow yahtzee, that was the best review ive seen in probably close to 3 months. maybe more. nice job. incidentally i loved theif deadly shadows, so poo on you. but i never did play the prequels, im going to go do that. any idea how? i might just have to bit torrent it if theres no other way.

If you had experience with the first two games, your opinion of Thief III would be different. It was an ok game, but, other than graphics, it pales in comparison to the first two games.

It's like if you only ever had McDonald's to eat your whole life and never knew that better restaurants existed.

The first two games or hard to find these days (but nothing online shopping, or, in a pinch, evil evil torrents cannot fix). The real trouble is getting the games to work on any recent hardware.

It is possible, though - having recently spent a ridiculous amount of time grappling with patches and frustration, I can tell you that this site:

http://www.saleck.net/Games/Thief1-Gold/Thief-HowToGetWorking.php

...is a sure bet. The instructions are simple and straightforward, and by following them I've already managed to get Thief Gold working perfectly (and in high-resolution *widescreen*) on two multi-core XP boxes. It should even allow Vista installs, if that kind of thing rattles your saber.

So, get to it! And if anyone is silly enough to read down this far, please disseminate this information, for the good of mankind!

That was pleasantly unexpected. Love the series and The Metal Age was undoubtedly its high point. Great review.

Also, incidentally:

*TTLG hosts graphics tweaks to make Thief 1 look just a wee bit less crap - worth a look:
http://www.thief-thecircle.com/media/patches/
describes the patches, though most were lost weeks ago to a hardware disaster. Fortunately this site:
http://thief.nov.ru/catalog/index.php?parent=i68F876FD
has the same files backed up and readily available.

*The install-guide site [http://www.saleck.net/Games/] has similar guides for installing other Dark Engine games, including Thief 2 and *System Shock 2*, yet another sparkling milestone Yahtzee's brought up as an example before.

*And: "GORN TO THE BEAR PITS TOMORRER" made my fucking day. Thank you, you magnificent bastard.

geldonyetich:
Ah, now that was pretty good, higher quality than usual, with a plethora of unexpected sight-gags that were genuinely lol-worthy. e.g. Mecha-Gandolf!

So: Thief. Yahtzee makes a good point in that it was indeed an interesting game in that it took the tired old FPS genre in an entirely new direction. Maybe more games should stop worrying about minor quibbles like vehicles and sprawling worlds and instead investigate ways to change the central activity to things other than gun people down in fascinating ways. If there's a dividing line between clone and innovation, the central activity is a likely contender.

Granted, Mirrors Edge could be said to have tried to do that, and Yahtzee wasn't impressed.

ya but mirrors edged butchered the concept of the game completly

Ima Lemming:

Assassin Xaero:
I bought Thief and Thief II off amazon a year and a half ago... I just wish they didn't lock up after 2 minutes... Really wish I could get it to run now... :/

Sounds like you're having an issue with Hyperthreading/Multiprocessing. I had that problem with System Shock 2 and Grim Fandango (I've had Thief 1 and 2 for a while now, installed them, but haven't tried running them yet). This site tells you how to fix that:

http://www16.brinkster.com/salvage/thief/darkengine.htm

I think there's an easier way, just edit the shortcut(s) to the game(s)

modify "Target" in your shortcut
C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe /C start /affinity 1 thief2.exe
to dedicate the first CPU core to the game (or "/affinity 2" for the second, and so on)

Where thief2.exe is the name of the executable file. Works for Thief 1, Thief Gold, Thief 2 and System Shock 2.
See this picture for example with Thief Gold:
http://img172.imageshack.us/img172/772/thiefgoldaffinitynd0.jpg

Thief: The Dark Project is one of the better games out there. Playing with EAX enabled (with a Creative card) in XP32 with a properly setup monitor with good contrast is still one of the better gaming experiences even today. Very good use of light/dark and sound. I'm very glad that the community still puts out plenty of fan missions.

Thief 2 I think should have had a bit more undead and the like, and casing the joint was a painful mission really.. still very good though.

How does Yathzee like Deus Ex 1? Thats another classic.

That affinity fix works for some, but there are still serious issues with many new graphics cards (Just about any GeForce with current drivers may be liable to cause crashes), among other problems, (widescreen support, resolutions over 1024x768) - see post(s) above?

Kaleid:
I think there's an easier way, just edit the shortcut(s) to the game(s)

modify "Target" in your shortcut
C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe /C start /affinity 1 thief2.exe
to dedicate the first CPU core to the game (or "/affinity 2" for the second, and so on)

Where thief2.exe is the name of the executable file. Works for Thief 1, Thief Gold, Thief 2 and System Shock 2.
See this picture for example with Thief Gold:
http://img172.imageshack.us/img172/772/thiefgoldaffinitynd0.jpg

Huh, I'll keep that in mind. I actually got Grim Fandango to work just by setting the Compatability to Windows 98, but when I tried that with SS2 the game wouldn't boot at all.

The Thief series did have oddly compelling stealth elements, so I guess they did 'do it right.'

Hahahaha, brilliant. I do love the retrospective reviews. I think they may help the current crop of ritalin-popping twitchkiddies to appreciate some good games, and understand why people over 25 consider gaming these days to be a murky torrent of poo, vomit and unidentifiable things that may be carrots.

What's next? Halloween Harry? Monster Bash? Space Quest? Ooh, ooh, I got it... Lesiure Suit Larry.

Jaythulhu:
I think they may help the current crop of ritalin-popping twitchkiddies to appreciate some good games, and understand why people over 25 consider gaming these days to be a murky torrent of poo, vomit and unidentifiable things that may be carrots.

These words made me smile.

Thief 1. Yay!

Some of the most memorable moments of gaming ever in Thief. I may have to buy Thief again to stir up the hype for it so Thief 4 will get it's ass out there.

I laughed so hard at the John Ramero bit. I love your retrospectives!

game sucks, review sucks. Man yahtzee, where do you get the idea to review these shitty games?! heres an idea, pick a fucking game site and see what is out and POP-U-LAR!!!!
Ps - you dumbass.

Roto13:
Good god, that was easily the worst ZP yet. Usually I don't just sit through the video waiting for it to be over, but this wasn't funny at all.

How quaint! Out of curiosity, what turned you off?
It was very funny for me (a person who played all 3 thief games), so I'm obviously biased.

----
----

T3 wasn't a bad game by any standard, although level exploration wasn't as good and there were a couple of features this game could do well without, the sneaking and the great humor were still there!
Even if that game disappointed the fans of the first two, I highly recommend you make this trip just to see The Shalebridge Cradle, if nothing else. No horror game can compare it's experience to The Cradle.

Syphonz:
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?

I noticed that too, but I think he just had a new microphone or something. 99% of the time I hear Yahtzee the first time, and rewind a bit to hear the last 1%, but this review was incredibly shit... so I didn't bother.

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