Zero Punctuation: Thief: The Dark Project

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I love thief. I'm playing Deadly Shadows now. I think you were a little harsh on it btw. It feels very similar to the original, but works without having to re-wire my dual-core PC with wet string and spit. If Thief 3 has one problem, it's the ledge-'pull-up'-detection and getting stuck on uneven terrain. The gameplay, I think, is okay.

Losing the Rope Arrow in favour of the gauntlets was a mistake though. Nothing quite beat the Thief 1 and 2 "dark-passage-trapped-between-two-guards-what-do-I-do?" moment when you look up, realise the ceiling's made of wood... quickly select a rope arrow.... Thunk!.. climb..climb..climb.. wait patiently, heart pounding.. as the guards pass by below unaware of the booted thiefy feet dangling a few inches above.

Thief was Awesome. I really hope someone makes another thief-em-up in this universe. The magic/ steampunk crossover is really imaginative and poses a wonderful (visual and audio) backdrop to the game.

Also, "Guess it was nothing." Awesome.

oJon:
I have this game, but unfortuntly it always freezes when i come to the first guard. I blame vista.

Yep, this is a Vista problem, but it's easily fixed. The reason (I presume) is that you're running on a dual or quad core, and the game can only quote with a single processor running it. Ok, so I might have just horrifically mangled the jargon, but here's how to fix it:

Run the game, and then pause and minimise it. Then open task manager, go to the processes tab and right-click on the Thief processes (I can't remember what they're called exactly, I think it's something like ThiefMainX - you can check by right-clicking on the Thief application and select "go to process"). Anyway, then select "Set Affinity..." and uncheck all of the boxes except for one. That should fix it - it has for me on two seperate machines.

Good luck, taffer :)

Another great one!
Oh and just for shits and giggles, Yahtzee is the subject of secret 129 here:
http://community.livejournal.com/fandomsecrets/244770.html?page=5&view=112872994#comments
(not mine but...I agree)

I never did play the Thief games. For some reason I just didn't buy it despite it looking interesting to me. I guess I had too many other games on my plate at the time and just didn't get to it. This review makes me think I might need to fish a copy out of a bargain bin somewhere.

Wow you reviewed Thief, it is only my favorite series ever. Thank you so much for looking back at this amazing title. To this day I have yet to play a stealth game that was even half as good as the Thief series. The story was gripping, the mechanics were revolutionary, and the protagonist was actually interesting.

Big thumbs up.

good to see a review of a slightly older game

nww02:

Losing the Rope Arrow in favour of the gauntlets was a mistake though. Nothing quite beat the Thief 1 and 2 "dark-passage-trapped-between-two-guards-what-do-I-do?" moment when you look up, realise the ceiling's made of wood... quickly select a rope arrow.... Thunk!.. climb..climb..climb.. wait patiently, heart pounding.. as the guards pass by below unaware of the booted thiefy feet dangling a few inches above.

I remember reading somewhere that the lack of rope arrows was not a design change, but rather that they couldn't get them working in the new engine. Not surprising, considering how buggy the engine was.

Since I cba to read through the first 8 pages of this thread, I'm probably not the first to say this, but...

Anyone else see many similarities between the apparent ethos of Thief (according to Yahtzee at any rate) and that of Art of Theft? Hiding in shadows, being encouraged to only attack guards if it becomes necessary, the less-than-social protagonist, the fact that exploration slightly off the beaten track is somewhat rewarded (e.g. AoT sometimes has loot in less-than-obvious places).

In fact, from about 2:56 to 3:12 he could easily be talking about Trilby (and guards) in AoT. AoT levels aren't what I'd call 'sprawling', though ; )

I do occasionally tire of the stream of ZP reviews about new games, so it's nice to see Yahtzee getting another chance to review an older one.

Sorry, premium.

He sounded like a 14 year old XBox fanboy in his MGS 4 review

XBox Fanboy (n, pl. XBox Fanboys): A person who criticizes a PS3 title, predominately Metal Gear Solid 4, in a manner that leaves a negative impression of the game or implies a dislike of the features discussed. Not to be confused with a critic or reviewer, who also discusses PS3 titles, but leaves the audience with a good impression. See also sacrilege, heretic.

--From dictionary.com

Quite good.

Deadly shadows "Dropped the sprawling non-linear levels"? WTF are you smoking? Did you play it long enough to explore the city? Perhaps you didn't notice the vast expanse of side jobs available in just about any order, or the ability to just perform general banditry on the side, or the sheer size of the side zones. The missions themselves tended to be fairly similar to earlier Thief games, but that's a good thing, no? Call the museum level linear? I got lost many times even with the map.

Well first of all Stealth games kick ass. I love Splinter cell as i sit their all of a sudden noticeing that I myself am breathing slowly and quietly. Now Chaos Theory was aswome and got my into stealth game, how ever I still am to lazy to beat Double agent. But yes only true masters can play stealth games, also I have heard rumors the new splinter cell (or one coming up) will use the mic so if your nervous it can detech your breathing and change how the game plays .... oh I can hope. And please stop hating on PC gamers..PLZ

I've heard of the game plenty of times. But I don't think I've ever even thought of getting it. Those kinda games always make me jump. The tense waiting and sneaking fills me with anxiety.
If I see it, I guess I'll try it.

A nice review of a great game.

So the first Thief forced itself to include a lot of zombie and monster killing, neither of which responded encouragingly to bops across the bonce.

People have already mentioned burricks, but you can blackjack every living "monster" enemy. Only zombies and other undead are immune.

I'd suggest that people wanting to play the games play them in order, since the story of the second game doesn't make as much sense if you haven't played the first.

For people having trouble getting the games to run on newer computers and with newer graphics cards, you need to download and install something called DDFix. You can find detailed instructions here:
http://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=121449

For other issues, there is a (rather out-of-date) FAQ here:
http://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=75031

Very nice review. I have only played the third in the series, "deadly shadows" but this has just made me feel like playing the older ones first. It looks to be a great series altogether.

great review :) thanks for that

BlueInkAlchemist:
... the TARDIS proxy I call my PC to recall a simpler, more innocent time before I had to deal with things like X-Box Live tossers, red rings of death, and divorce.

I know it's a cliche but .... lol!

(-- I did try and put an accent on the last 'e' in cliche but the forum syntax said NO! --)

Blastcage:
I wasn't going to put "VIDEOGAME SCHOOL" at the end initially but then it occured to me that some people may find it offensive otherwise. Hur.

I imagined you introducing some cheesy 80's action flick with the movie trailer voice....

"They hadn't heard of the Thief! And now... they're gonna get EDUCATED!" ... cue big explosion and head shots!

Again I could punch him in the face for how he talks about Sonic/SEGA/Sonic Team but at least the rest of the review was rather reasonable, unlike most of his recent reviews where he just shits all over a game because that's apparently what the fans want even though Yahtzee always said he wasn't that kind of man. What a hypocrit...

Yahtzee, I think you need a break. You've gone from giving a strong balance of valid criticism and humour. To VALID criticism ignored and edited out to make room for fan service.

Before... Gears of war, I respected your veiws and trusted your opinion but now I find my self thinking that you've lost your way. I appreciate that people are drawn to your humour but still you pride yourself on being a critic and quite frankly at the moment you aren't doing your job.

Take a well deserved brek.

Don't listen to Beldaros, you don't need any breks. Your last three reviews are some of the funniest you've done, and if you took a brek, we'd have nothing to fill the void.

Now that I've had a chance to dive into the game again, I'm quite shocked at how fun it still is. At this point, it's only the graphics that are suffering from age. You could release this game now as-is (save graphics) and it could easily still receive top scores.

I find myself paying a lot more attention of the nuances of the finer parts of gaming lately, and even the writing is well done. Bioshock holds my #1 spot for great dialogue writing, but seeing Thief again, I'm finding that good dialogue isn't exactly new in games. I still think that Andrew Ryan had some of the best written lines in the gaming industry, but some of the fictional scripture, and the Hammerite and Pagan dialects are extremely imaginative and well written too. Things like these can make you dive deeper into a game than you might even realize with that extra added bit of realism.

YAY!!! you actually reveiwed it... and liked it!

and to think that the only reason I mentioned it was because I came across an Oblivion mod that gave you tools from it :)

If you like Thief, we are making a Mod with the Doom 3 Engine called "The Dark Mod". It's a Thief inspired single player 'toolset'...and by toolset I mean that it will allow mappers to build their own Thief styled missions. We will release several demo missions with the mod, and have released two alpha missions already.

http://www.thedarkmod.com
http://modetwo.net/darkmod

Enjoy

The game can still be purchased with a digital download on EBgames:

http://www.ebgames.com/Catalog/ProductDetails.aspx?product_id=62459

Note that you will need to enable compatibility to mode to make the installer work.

Never played this game, but it sounds interesting. It is a shame when good games go bad, truly heart breaking.

Great as always, but in my opinion the original Metal Gear games beat Theif to the punch with stealth games.

Mecha-Gandalf is my new favorite thing ever.

Of all the great Zero Punctuations, this is my favorite now. It would be sweet if you reviewed more older games, but I totally understand why you don't or can't. I really appreciate this one. So, when are the Dungeon Keeper 2, Magic Carpet, and Descent reviews?

Kidding! I'm kidding! Oh and the Deus Ex mini-review was also concentrated awesome. Had that stuck in my head for hours.

popdafoo:
I agree, when in hiding in a stealth game, there is nothing more horrifying than seein a guard walk right up to you and hoping that he doesn't notice. I've almost pissed my pants when this happens. Your heart stops, you hold your breath, and it is one of the most immersive things about stealth games.

Especially because of the First person perspective.
Thief is the only series of stealth games who managed this perfectly. Chronicles of Riddick comes close but it's just not it.

I love the games to death and really need to find time to play them again.

I liked the Hitman series. : J

I loved this review plus being a big fan of the Thief Series, I do agree with him that 3rd of thief game wasn't the same as the previous second as it lost many elements... and added terrible additions to it like having to walk to your next misson BLAH i'm not lazy I just don't like having to stealth or charge my way to my missions and back to the shop to sell up :P. By far the second was the best, epic plot enough said :)

People willing to buy it, Sold Out still sell it for like 5-10, very cheap and well worth the money :)

Thief 1 = A pure classic ^^

I love the Thief series too. Though when I first had the chance to play with the first one, I found it boring and stupid. I was kind of new to gaming back then and I've only played with games like Doom, Blood, Shadow Warrior, Carmageddon and such, Thief on the other hand offered something different and I couldn't appreciate it at the time. Some time later, after I started playing with different kinds of games too (like RTS or role playing games) I stumbled upon the demo for Deus Ex and Thief 2. They changed my perception about first person games because they've shown me that FPSs can have amazing stories and complex gameplay too, not just pushing buttons and shooting people/monsters. Soon I got my hands on the first two Thief games and fell in love. My #1 favourite is still Deus Ex but the Thief series is close behind, I can't have enough of them. The third had some minor flaws but essentially it was still a great Thief game, the story and gameplay was the same quality, just a few things were missing. And the maps were somewhat simpler and smaller. The factions were there as an option, you didn't have to bother with them - I did and liked it a lot. And I think the way the fences were done was great, it added a lot to the experience, same with Garrett's home. And yeah, The Cradle was scary as hell. That level is right up there with the best levels from the horror genre, I can put it on the same level with my favourite horror game, Undying. Oh, and like others have already mentioned, the voice acting in these great works of art was amazing, perfect casting. Stephen Russell is simply the best. I could go on and on about this game for hours. :)
Here's how I rank the Thief games: my top favourite is T2, then T3 and T1. There are many levels I love but aside from the Cradle maybe the "Life of the Party" from The Metal Age is the one I have the best memories of. It was a huge, really huge map, so many things to do, see and of course steal. :)

To those who missed these games: go and get them from somewhere, they are all great!

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