Zero Punctuation: Thief: The Dark Project

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BlueMage:
when I first started Thief I became acutely aware of the noise I made, and started making conscious efforts to reduce it. To this day, I move practically silently at anything slower than a brisk jog.

I'm guilty of the same. It's fun sneaking up on people unintentionally.

off-topic: SON OF A BITCH! I'm trying to install the game because I got the itch to play it again, and I can't even get setup.exe to run. I've been all over the internet for answers, and the only thing I could find was a suggestion on using the compatibility tab, or "waiting an hour..." Well, it's been at least 7.

Slackenerny:

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.

For my money, the scariest moment in Thief II (or at least the most memorable) was in Truart's house in the secret room underneath the chapel, where there's a golden skull in a middle room but also a Hammer Haunt patrolling. You have to put out the torches so as not to be seen, the ghostly whispering and clanking of chains the only clue, and you know you only have one chance to take him down because if he sees you at all you're fucked, no chance against him in combat - really intense and genuinely terrifying.

Great review! I got scared there for a while with the Tomb Raider and GoW *YAWN* reviews. The Thief games are great.

Chadling:

And I really hope that Yahtzee didn't just insult No One Lives Forever. That game is love.

That is an underappreciated gem of a game - Austin Powers in FPS format, but strengthened with a wonderful soundtrack, compelling story and some of the funniest enemy conversation I've ever heard. The sequel was limp in terms of both, but the original was a rare instance of experimentation with FPSs and a real joy to play.

I thought the part where the guy was yelling as his computer was the funniest part!

Just joined to post a comment on this review. I consider thief to be the best and most atmospheric stealth game ever, and i'm glad yahtzee, actually took time to review something most people wont be able to stand nowadays(cause of graphics).thief1,deus ex1, baldurs gate2, vampire the masquerade:bloodlines, kotor, morrowind, and diablo2 are my all time favorite games. Its sad no good pc games are coming out anymore, at least not like they used to. or maybe its just nostalgia, i dont know. anyways enjoyed the review, like always.

I'm so fed up with all the hate on Halo. It was not a bad game. It was a good game. If you played it after 2003 then your opinion is generally going to be based on all the then populist anti-halo ideal.

If this game is responsible for that horrendously awful stealth level in Rainbow Six: Raven Shield, then I am going to murder it. Or just everyone at Ubisoft.

It sounds like this game puts the "neato" in "incognito". :D

Wasder:
A definite return to form there.

He never went below this mysterious "form"

Nice. I got this game ages ago. But now due to my new modern(ish) PC it can't run it without freezing randomly at the start of the level, which is a shame really cause I wouldn't mind playing this now I'm older and not pissing myself when inside the mansion castle thing when I hear a guard breathing 100 meters away.

Good job Yahtzee!

I like the stealth/steal games. I hadn't played the Thief series, but I'm sure I'd like it.

Signa:
off-topic: SON OF A BITCH! I'm trying to install the game because I got the itch to play it again, and I can't even get setup.exe to run. I've been all over the internet for answers, and the only thing I could find was a suggestion on using the compatibility tab, or "waiting an hour..." Well, it's been at least 7.

Click Start > Run
Enter "x:\setup.exe -lgntforce" without the quotes, where x is the drive your Thief Disc is in. The End.

Didn't looking glass studios also make SYSTEM SHOCK?! I though he remembered that, but I guess it doesn't really matter since the second game was co-developed.

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

"Guess it was nothing" is the generic line many a Thief guard will spout a few moments after you make a noise, as long as it's not a significant enough noise to warrant further investigation.

And, for the record, I may be one of the only people in the universe who enjoyed Deadly Shadows more than the first two. Admittedly, the "hub" idea was terrible, and the game lacked an awesome villain a la Karras, but really... in every other way I think it only improved on its predecessors.

Edit: Also, two notes for people who want to play Thief 1 and/or 2: first, you may have to run setup.exe on the CD in Windows 98/ME compatibility mode to get the game to install. Second, both games are extremely unstable when using two or more cores... take advantage of the "Set Affinity" feature in the task manager to disable all but one core. You'll have to do this every time you start the game, but there's some obscure way to have this done for you automatically every time you load the game up. Google it or something.

nothing like looking back on the 90's of PC gaming

The graphics analogy made me laugh
never played thief though

I totally agree with this review, Thief 2 is probably one of my fave games, and I was so miserable when 3 turned out to have completely threw out all the good bits of the previous ones. The Shalebridge Cradle was interesting, but at the end of the day it just wasn't Thief.

In fact I am inspired to dig out the old box... whats inside... WIN 1 of 3 Panasonic DVD Palm Cinemas! Closing date 31.7.00.
Missed it. DAMN.

seems like a good game lol

Stealth em up? Nice.

Also, "WHERE ARE YOU, YOU TAFFAR?"
Great game, great review.

BlueMage:
However, Thief and Thief 2 do get points for being among the only games to actually influence my RL behaviour - when I first started Thief I became acutely aware of the noise I made, and started making conscious efforts to reduce it. To this day, I move practically silently at anything slower than a brisk jog.

You and me both, brother(/sister?). I scare people by walking up behind them silently, and I don't even mean to. Also, you get bonus points for having the Keeper glyphs as your avatar.

It took me a while to "get into" Thief. In fact, I restarted the game TWICE (first after reaching the Old Quarter, second just before Return to the Cathedral) because I was having some trouble wrapping my head around the stealth mindset. But once I understood the tension of breaking into unknown territory, finding (or making) a shadowy spot and watching for clues as to where my enemies were patrolling, then carefully creeping through the place... I was hooked forever. I once stood in a shadow for ten minutes waiting for a guard to turn just the right way so I could run over and persuade him to take a nap.

I'll go ahead and say that the spooky missions were my favorite as well; they helped break up the tense stealth sections (my modus operandi: Nobody sees my face, every living soul in the joint gets blackjacked and piled in the same bed, and I walk out with all the loot and every last bite of food) with equally tense dungeon lurking (who cared if a zombie saw who I was?). I spent fifteen minutes outside that cathedral working up the nerve to go inside. and when I finally delivered the Eye to Constantine, the ensuing cutscene was enough to make me leave the game on the Mission Briefing screen for a while so that I could catch my breath.

For that reason, Thief II was a tiny bit of a letdown for me, because it took away the fantastic/horror aspects and went straight Victorian steampunk (which in itself is awesome enough, don't get me wrong). Still, the story had more twists and turns than a ball python teaching yoga, and Karras was an excellent villain- that nasal, Droopy Dog voice was countered by an absolute sick and twisted mind. If only Soulforge hadn't been such a terrible level....

I'm also going to go against the grain and say that Deadly Shadows was a true diamond in the rough. Not only for the superb level, the Shalebridge Cradle (so awesome that I was moved to make a video for it, but for the House of Widow Moira (sprawling mansion, lightning and thunder, beautiful piano music) and St. Edgar's Eve (Hammerite cathedral, beautiful lighting effects) missions. Plus the AI were given a bit of a boost as well; they could notice doors left open or valuables stolen, and could better react to different situations. (It was planned that they would be able to see your shadow as well- there are voice files still left in the game towards that end- but that was cut before release.) If only they hadn't cut so many corners for the simultaneous XBox release.

As some very kind folks have posted previously, there are ways to make Thief I and II run on modern hardware. There are also some amazing Fan Missions (player-made maps) to be found; I personally recommend The Inverted Manse, The Seventh Crystal and Thief 2X. (Check this and this to see why I love 7th Crystal so much.) I know it may sound like old-man sentimentality to gamers who grew up with Splinter Cell, but I think that once you feel what REAL stealth is like, you'll never go back.

Whoracle:

Signa:
off-topic: SON OF A BITCH! I'm trying to install the game because I got the itch to play it again, and I can't even get setup.exe to run. I've been all over the internet for answers, and the only thing I could find was a suggestion on using the compatibility tab, or "waiting an hour..." Well, it's been at least 7.

Click Start > Run
Enter "x:\setup.exe -lgntforce" without the quotes, where x is the drive your Thief Disc is in. The End.

Yeah, did that too. Setup.exe just runs as a process, and nothing EVER shows up. I DID solve it this morning though. It turns out that the control panel for my on-board sound card was the culprit. As soon as I closed that, the thief splash screen popped up.

This is a repost, but to get the game running XP/Vista, go to:

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

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.

The same site (http://www.saleck.net/Games/) also has guides for installing other Dark Engine games, including Thief 2 and System Shock 2.

Ahh old games when devs made games they liked not what tried to keep them in business...

OblivionWolf:
I would just like to encourage you to try playing through Halo, the original Halo, on PC. You keep lumping it together with it's progeny as if what came after it must be like the original. But even a dwarf glarp from Pluto would have figured out by now, just from watching your reviews, that a game can often be good when first released then be turned into a piece of trash in successive generations.

The story in the game is the most emersive I have encountered. When they brought me down to see the flood for the first time... it was just intense. I love playing the game and still do. I honestly don't know if I would like Halo 2 or 3 because I haven't played them. Halo 2 was released for vista only and I wasn't about to load that pile of cr@p onto my machine to play a game, and the last time i checked halo 3 wasn't out for PC yet. I don't play console games. Even if the graphics are catching up now, the controls still suck.

Halo 1 is a great game, I think its one of the best of the new FPSs ,any FPS made past 03 or so. Halo 2 is rushed and Halo 3 is rushed more.

I have Halo 2 on my PC I bought the vista only BS for 10$ and found a nice "patched" version that can run on XP...they just ported it sadly didn't even try to fix the bugs and issues H2 had.....H3 is a 8 hour game.... blah....

ZippyDSMlee:
Ahh old games when devs made games they liked not what tried to keep them in business...

OblivionWolf:
I would just like to encourage you to try playing through Halo, the original Halo, on PC. You keep lumping it together with it's progeny as if what came after it must be like the original. But even a dwarf glarp from Pluto would have figured out by now, just from watching your reviews, that a game can often be good when first released then be turned into a piece of trash in successive generations.

The story in the game is the most emersive I have encountered. When they brought me down to see the flood for the first time... it was just intense. I love playing the game and still do. I honestly don't know if I would like Halo 2 or 3 because I haven't played them. Halo 2 was released for vista only and I wasn't about to load that pile of cr@p onto my machine to play a game, and the last time i checked halo 3 wasn't out for PC yet. I don't play console games. Even if the graphics are catching up now, the controls still suck.

Halo 1 is a great game, I think its one of the best of the new FPSs ,any FPS made past 03 or so. Halo 2 is rushed and Halo 3 is rushed more.

I have Halo 2 on my PC I bought the vista only BS for 10$ and found a nice "patched" version that can run on XP...they just ported it sadly didn't even try to fix the bugs and issues H2 had.....H3 is a 8 hour game.... blah....

Halo 1 always seemed to be just a graphical enhancement of Perfect Dark (which admittedly was the same of Goldeneye).

I always felt that the N64 RARE FPS's far outshined most new games. Plus the aliens in Perfect Dark were 90k times more interesting than the ones in Halo.

Save for those little dudes...they were really funny :). Flood was stupid to no end though.

OblivionWolf:
I would just like to encourage you to try playing through Halo, the original Halo, on PC. You keep lumping it together with it's progeny as if what came after it must be like the original. But even a dwarf glarp from Pluto would have figured out by now, just from watching your reviews, that a game can often be good when first released then be turned into a piece of trash in successive generations.

You see, the thing about Halo is that it has all been done before. Halo offered nothing really new to the FPS genre. It was easy to play, and had tight controls; that's what made it popular.

The story in the game is the most emersive I have encountered. When they brought me down to see the flood for the first time... it was just intense.

If you think Halo's immersion was incredible, you haven't played many quality games. The game Thief, by its absolute core design, has you on the edge of your seat whenever you risk being caught. Yet, during this time, if you pull whatever you're doing off (or if you just sit in the shadows and listen to the snarky, genuinely funny comments guards make), you feel absolutely superior in every way over your enemy. This tension's subtlety is sublime in Thief games, and it's at its CORE gameplay.

The main bad parts of thief, when I played it long ago, was the controls; they were hard to master and not really that tight (when it came to acrobatics); otherwise great game.

Some people might say, "Oh well you had to quicksave a lot too." Well in a game like thief, quicksaving works. When you look at a game like Mirror's edge, where the gameplay is about fluid movement, quicksaves completely remove you from that core experience. Imagine the Tony Hawk games needing quicksaves because whenever you beef a trick, you had to restart the whole level. Quicksaves are not bad, it's how game designers USE quicksaves that can be the problem.

theultimateend:

ZippyDSMlee:
Ahh old games when devs made games they liked not what tried to keep them in business...

OblivionWolf:
I would just like to encourage you to try playing through Halo, the original Halo, on PC. You keep lumping it together with it's progeny as if what came after it must be like the original. But even a dwarf glarp from Pluto would have figured out by now, just from watching your reviews, that a game can often be good when first released then be turned into a piece of trash in successive generations.

The story in the game is the most emersive I have encountered. When they brought me down to see the flood for the first time... it was just intense. I love playing the game and still do. I honestly don't know if I would like Halo 2 or 3 because I haven't played them. Halo 2 was released for vista only and I wasn't about to load that pile of cr@p onto my machine to play a game, and the last time i checked halo 3 wasn't out for PC yet. I don't play console games. Even if the graphics are catching up now, the controls still suck.

Halo 1 is a great game, I think its one of the best of the new FPSs ,any FPS made past 03 or so. Halo 2 is rushed and Halo 3 is rushed more.

I have Halo 2 on my PC I bought the vista only BS for 10$ and found a nice "patched" version that can run on XP...they just ported it sadly didn't even try to fix the bugs and issues H2 had.....H3 is a 8 hour game.... blah....

Halo 1 always seemed to be just a graphical enhancement of Perfect Dark (which admittedly was the same of Goldeneye).

I always felt that the N64 RARE FPS's far outshined most new games. Plus the aliens in Perfect Dark were 90k times more interesting than the ones in Halo.

Save for those little dudes...they were really funny :). Flood was stupid to no end though.

PD<DX
PD suffered from crraappppppyyyy controls, it had a good setup but Turok was more playable and frankly I enjoyed them more.

Halo had more older FPS designs to it than most of the games made around the time DOOM 3,ect limited cramped and painfully wrong,Jericho follows in those foot steps with horrid AI(d3 had better AI),no jumping(d3 didn't really need it),on the rails movement(d3 had small level layouts),ect,ect, Halo 1 had large levels, not quite gun and run level design but not mazy either, Halo 2 and beyond has simple gun and run layouts. I did like what they did with the weapons it made you think and made the gameplay a bit more fluid because you could not hide and lay waste to anything near you with 10 weapons.

Halo 1 is good I would say SP wise its equal to Turok 1-3, on the PC Half life and Unreal 1 are better but they are far more adventure based. I could bring up Quake and quake 2 but Halo has story something that most FPSs but Half life lacked.

This is why Halo 1 is one of my last favorite old generation FPS, DOOM 3 and beyond the games lack depth in not only gameplay but level layout and you can see it in all of today's FPSs even Bioshock which is above average by today's standards but not above average by yesterdays standards, and I long for yesterday......thats why I am bitchy :P.

Offatwork:

OblivionWolf:
I would just like to encourage you to try playing through Halo, the original Halo, on PC. You keep lumping it together with it's progeny as if what came after it must be like the original. But even a dwarf glarp from Pluto would have figured out by now, just from watching your reviews, that a game can often be good when first released then be turned into a piece of trash in successive generations.

You see, the thing about Halo is that it has all been done before. Halo offered nothing really new to the FPS genre. It was easy to play, and had tight controls; that's what made it popular.

The story in the game is the most emersive I have encountered. When they brought me down to see the flood for the first time... it was just intense.

If you think Halo's immersion was incredible, you haven't played many quality games. The game Thief, by its absolute core design, has you on the edge of your seat whenever you risk being caught. Yet, during this time, if you pull whatever you're doing off (or if you just sit in the shadows and listen to the snarky, genuinely funny comments guards make), you feel absolutely superior in every way over your enemy. This tension's subtlety is sublime in Thief games, and it's at its CORE gameplay.

The main bad parts of thief, when I played it long ago, was the controls; they were hard to master and not really that tight (when it came to acrobatics); otherwise great game.

Some people might say, "Oh well you had to quicksave a lot too." Well in a game like thief, quicksaving works. When you look at a game like Mirror's edge, where the gameplay is about fluid movement, quicksaves completely remove you from that core experience. Imagine the Tony Hawk games needing quicksaves because whenever you beef a trick, you had to restart the whole level. Quicksaves are not bad, it's how game designers USE quicksaves that can be the problem.

I would agree tho I preferred System Shock 2, and I like quicksaves its up to the gamer to sue them or not to remove them or force cutsences is a insult to the consumer/player...

Also bioshock is a shallow shadow of the core design ideals in thief and system shock.

Games now adays are made to much for shortsighted profit windows and not for qaulity or for enjoyment by the people forced to tole on them......

Am I mistaken, or did Mr. Croshaw throw in a random reference to the story "The Enigma of Amigara Fault" by famed Japanese horror manga writer Junji Ito?

evidence: http://brasscockroach.com/h4ll0w33n2007/manga/Amigara-Full/Amigara-31.html

Or is this just a coincidence?

tamago:
Am I mistaken, or did Mr. Croshaw throw in a random reference to the story "The Enigma of Amigara Fault" by famed Japanese horror manga writer Junji Ito?

evidence: http://brasscockroach.com/h4ll0w33n2007/manga/Amigara-Full/Amigara-31.html

Or is this just a coincidence?

I've considered it quite an obvious reference seeing as it's one of the lesser internet memes.

I loved the Thief setting and factions. The mix of steampunk (I didn't even know the term steampunk back then) and magic was so different from anything I had experienced. I was used to the bland D&D type setting that most every other game had.

I appreciated the fact that the warring factions in the game were not the hammy blond haired paladins vs. the mustache twisting demons who were evil for evil's sake. It more like the radical hippies vs. the uptight straights. In one game the hippy terrorists are on a dope fueled binge and must be stopped and in the next game the squares want to pave paradise and put up a parking lot. It's a metaphor for real life. There is no "good" vs "evil". The world is more complex than that.

:P Awesome game series....Wonder if the professional troll will don the evil helm and review Overlord:raising hell

YES! I've been waiting for this review ever since I discovered Yahtzee's existence. Woot!
They are amazing games; the second one especially.

What he said about Sonic was absolutely wrong. Sonic Team always listens to their fans. How else do you think they would take advantage of them so much? The hordes of fans is what brought sonic down. If you look at the user reviews, they all say its the greatest game of all time and such. People nowadays are obsessed with things to poke their little ADD minds with. So, before you go insulting the half-ass game developers, make sure you have plenty of poo to throw on the legions of retards who bow down to them.

ZippyDSMlee:

theultimateend:

ZippyDSMlee:
Ahh old games when devs made games they liked not what tried to keep them in business...

OblivionWolf:
I would just like to encourage you to try playing through Halo, the original Halo, on PC. You keep lumping it together with it's progeny as if what came after it must be like the original. But even a dwarf glarp from Pluto would have figured out by now, just from watching your reviews, that a game can often be good when first released then be turned into a piece of trash in successive generations.

The story in the game is the most emersive I have encountered. When they brought me down to see the flood for the first time... it was just intense. I love playing the game and still do. I honestly don't know if I would like Halo 2 or 3 because I haven't played them. Halo 2 was released for vista only and I wasn't about to load that pile of cr@p onto my machine to play a game, and the last time i checked halo 3 wasn't out for PC yet. I don't play console games. Even if the graphics are catching up now, the controls still suck.

Halo 1 is a great game, I think its one of the best of the new FPSs ,any FPS made past 03 or so. Halo 2 is rushed and Halo 3 is rushed more.

I have Halo 2 on my PC I bought the vista only BS for 10$ and found a nice "patched" version that can run on XP...they just ported it sadly didn't even try to fix the bugs and issues H2 had.....H3 is a 8 hour game.... blah....

Halo 1 always seemed to be just a graphical enhancement of Perfect Dark (which admittedly was the same of Goldeneye).

I always felt that the N64 RARE FPS's far outshined most new games. Plus the aliens in Perfect Dark were 90k times more interesting than the ones in Halo.

Save for those little dudes...they were really funny :). Flood was stupid to no end though.

PD<DX
PD suffered from crraappppppyyyy controls, it had a good setup but Turok was more playable and frankly I enjoyed them more.

Halo had more older FPS designs to it than most of the games made around the time DOOM 3,ect limited cramped and painfully wrong,Jericho follows in those foot steps with horrid AI(d3 had better AI),no jumping(d3 didn't really need it),on the rails movement(d3 had small level layouts),ect,ect, Halo 1 had large levels, not quite gun and run level design but not mazy either, Halo 2 and beyond has simple gun and run layouts. I did like what they did with the weapons it made you think and made the gameplay a bit more fluid because you could not hide and lay waste to anything near you with 10 weapons.

Halo 1 is good I would say SP wise its equal to Turok 1-3, on the PC Half life and Unreal 1 are better but they are far more adventure based. I could bring up Quake and quake 2 but Halo has story something that most FPSs but Half life lacked.

This is why Halo 1 is one of my last favorite old generation FPS, DOOM 3 and beyond the games lack depth in not only gameplay but level layout and you can see it in all of today's FPSs even Bioshock which is above average by today's standards but not above average by yesterdays standards, and I long for yesterday......thats why I am bitchy :P.

Beats me. Perfect Dark had my entire neighborhood hooked (as did its predecessor) we ended up having tournies and playing pretty intense matches. When Halo came out we all were interested for maybe a half a week. Might have just been the times changing but we still enjoyed a good round of Perfect Dark 4 player, just seemed like there was more to do.

But to each their own since this thread is about neither game :P. We all like different things.

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