Thief is a prohibited mess.
On a one hand, we wish to extol Square Enix for carrying such huge balls. It’s singular in this day and age that we see a heavily anticipated, aggressively advertised triple-A diversion shoved out a doorway in such a contemptible state. There’s a philharmonic in a disaster of this scope, something to be dignified in being outspoken to do something so extravagantly different—even when opposite means bad.
On a other hand, there’s no partial of me that can suggest we go out and buy Thief—not even if you’ve got a illusion for examination sight wrecks unfold. I’ve played my satisfactory share of terrible games in this line of work, though few have proven so entirely unenjoyable from impulse to moment.
I can’t criticism on either a rumors of growth ruin during Eidos Montreal were loyal or not, though we can contend this much: From start to finish, Thief plays like a diversion that had an unusually unpleasant birth. To be ideally blunt, it feels like 3 opposite games that were stapled together in a fat hurry, as a last-ditch bid to stop a diversion from being canceled outright. It’s one partial stealth, one partial heavily scripted action-platformer (read: bungled Uncharted knockoff), and one partial survival-horror game. That’s not indispensably a mix unfailing for incongruous failure, though here, there are tangible mood swings, moments where we can see a stitching that separates one artistic prophesy from a next. Thief constantly oscillates, never creation adult a mind about what, exactly, it should be.
It positively doesn’t assistance that, from a technical standpoint, a diversion runs about as good as a inebriated toddler. we can’t endorse either a developer’s new guarantee of “30 frames per second” was destroyed confidence or a bald-faced lie, though it’s positively utterly distant from a truth. Perhaps they approaching no one to notice or caring that a diversion chugs to around half that, if not lower. And, some-more annoying still, a pre-rendered cutscenes conduct to be even choppier than a gameplay. How is that even possible?
Presumably, those engine troubles are a reason given a city a diversion is set in feels so infrequently claustrophobic, with no clarity of upsurge and convoluted, surreptitious routes to get from A to B. Eidos Montreal put in painfully delayed animations for opening windows and crawling by slight gaps to costume bucket times, though it doesn’t always work. Every so often, a diversion will destroy to get a pursuit done, and you’ll be interrupted by a totally astonishing loading screen. It’s all shamefully unoptimized, and a gameplay suffers for it. In Assassin’s Creed and Saints Row IV, freerunning in a sandbox sourroundings feels brilliantly liberating. Here, it feels like fun’s genocide sentence, forcing we to awkwardly mount along one really specific trail to get a isolated window that will take we to a subsequent area. Walking adult to a door, it seems, is passé.
The story is likewise disappointing, a flabby blancmange of a thing that strips a classical Thief star and a characters of any endearing charm. Once dry-witted heading male Garrett now spouts groan-inducing one-liners that would feel out of place in even a misfortune ’80s movement movies. The tract ticks many of a boxes you’d design from classical Thief, though it gets mired in a practice and never hits a stride. The whole try leans many too heavily on an insincere magnetism for Erin, a immature thieftress who looks adult to Garret. It flops, given she’s created as one of a many petulant, unlikable characters in a story of fiction.
Speaking of all-time lows, Thief also facilities a singular misfortune m�lange fight complement I’ve ever seen in a big-budget game. You have one conflict and one dodge, and a optimal plan for each confront radically boils down to brain-dead button-mashing. Even bothering to evasion seems like a bit of waste, given rivalry swords are able of sketch blood even when you’re a plain 3 feet divided from a peak of their swing. Maybe they didn’t design anyone to use combat, though if that’s a case, given embody a choice during all?
And a stealth, it contingency be said, is distant from clever adequate to make a disreputable playthrough any better. The rivalry AI is hilariously inconsistent. Though it tends to askance some-more toward competent, guards will infrequently seem to forget what they’re doing and mount inept while their compatriots are killed in front of them. In annoy of their mixed paths, environments seem to always offer dual genuine vital options: stupidly wading by a thick throng of enemies or finding an alternate, unusual trail that’s many empty.
Even a simple act of hidden is a chore. While Garrett’s animations for interacting with a world—opening containers, picking adult loot, and so on—are some of a many considerable and immersive I’ve ever seen, they’re only a shoal cloak of gloss on an differently boring, repeated exercise. And a context-sensitive controls we have to rest on finish adult like some arrange of randomized minigame. Try to open a drawer, and Garrett competence instead squeeze a dilemma of a dresser for cover. It’s softly comical a initial time. When it happens 4 times in a row, reduction so. Trying to collect a silver pouches off of comatose guards—something that should be absurdly simple—can be a 10- to 15-second endeavor, forcing we to shake a right hang around, crouch, and circle-strafe until a diversion finally cooperates.
Of course, anything this clunky and half-finished wouldn’t be finish though bugs, and Thief offering me plenty. Civilians cheered about a genocide of a vital impression before it indeed happened. On several occasions, Garrett motionless to stop lockpicking and instead shot divided from a doorway for no apparent reason. Once, a ensure installed into a diversion with no functioning AI whatsoever. He only stood there in a default animation pose, arms outstretched during his sides, looking like he was about to be raptured adult to NPC Heaven. To finish off a show, a diversion crashed out and henceforth depraved my save record after I’d put in 15 hours, forcing me to start over again from a beginning.
Even if destiny rags well-spoken out some of a glitches and technical wrinkles (I can endorse that a Day One refurbish doesn’t—not by a prolonged shot), there’s only not adequate guarantee here to make watchful around worthwhile. As both a doctrinaire fan of secrecy games and someone who recently played by a strange Thief games for a initial time, it breaks my heart to contend that this reboot does distant some-more mistreat than if we’d gotten no new Thief during all. In a way, it all feels a small Frankenstein-ian, not only given Eidos Montreal clearly stitched a diversion together from so many manifold parts, though also given both works shares a same lesson: Be clever about bringing something prolonged passed behind to life, lest we emanate an abomination.