A decade has passed, but Garrett has not yet taken a dive into the annals of history; he has merely been waiting for the right time. As his profession taught him, timing is everything. A console cycle later and the Thief series finally makes a long awaited return. Many things have changed since we last saw Garrett, but will one of the forefathers of stealth and ingenuity return to take back the crown which has
passed through so many hands in his absence?
Thief is going back to the start, numerically, and is thankfully not going to be the dreaded and rightfully mocked Thi4f. God, how many nights I’ve spent awake agonizing over the unforgivable grammatical atrocity that was that rumored title. This time around, the world will seemingly be less driven by magic. In fact, industrialism will seep through the blend of medieval and Victorian setting, which will stay true to the original series.
Garrett seems to be largely the same sarcastic, snarky, cool and reluctantly badass thief for hire that he was before, and while he got a few new toys like the grappling hook Claw, which lets one abseil and glide down at an angle, his inventory will feature the all-too-familiar arsenal of the first trilogy. For 10 years we’ve been waiting to shoot out some torches and candles and that time has finally come, he will still have his trusty (though modified and mechanical) bow with which to shoot water (dry ice, in this case) arrows atop the hopefully many other soon-to-be-confirmed variations.
The franchise laid in wait for a decade and they were certainly not ignoring what’s been happening around them. In the last ten years games have come very far in terms of realism, immersion and just base mechanics and execution. The Thief team looked around and picked from many other games to enrich this experience as much as possible. The game is mostly played in first person, which was also the focus of the previous games (Thief 3’s first person mode still remains one of the best and most immersive even so long after its release) and will feature hands. Lots of ’em.
As the developer pointed out, most first person games don’t involve hands that much and there is a huge disconnect when a door magically opens or an item teleports into your pocket by the strength of your thought alone, so Garrett’s hands will be heavily involved when running or pressing up against walls and et cetera, ala Mirror’s Edge. The traversal is also vastly improved from the previous games and will feature a lot of running and parkour where Garrett’s agility and athleticism will truly shine, a clear further inspiration of Mirror’s Edge. Although, when climbing the developers took the road of reason over that of stubbornness and made it third person, so thankfully you will see Garrett scale buildings akin to a handful of certain Assassins rather than staring at the beautiful detail of the next-gen bricks 6 inches from his face.
While the game is still full of freedom and choices in terms of how to approach an objective, and the ability to be nothing but a thief and go through the game hands unstained and blackjack undented remains, it has evolved with the time and will now feature visual cues for one’s visibility rather than having a very gamey light crystal that the first games had – the borders of the screen will get dark as he player lurks in the shadows and there will be a slight flash when the player leaves said shadows to make the stealth less obvious and more believable. There are also some added mechanics such as the swoop which allows players to quickly move between objects in the environment, akin to cover-to-cover
running but more versatile, and the focus mode where time slows down and the player is able to mark off weak spots on the guards to quickly and easily take them out or to pick a lock quicker, so as one can see they definitely know the core audience for this game and are taking care to preserve the top notch pacifistic stealth this series is known for.