User Rating: 9.4 | Thief: Deadly Shadows PC
This certaintly isn't another Deus-Ex 2! I was somewhat disapointed with Deus-Ex 2, despite enjoying the game. Here's a short comparison between the two: The engine wasn't polished (Thief 3 is quite polished) The story wasn't nearly as cool as the original (Thief 3 has a good story and dialogue) They messed up what was a great control set. (Thief 3 has minor diferences. My only major gripe is the absence of the rope arrow. The climbing gloves are OK, but why omit the rope arrow? Both would have been better. I really like the new lock picking mini-game. It's an easy procedure, designed to stall, but there is a tiny bit of skill involved which is a nice addition. Mostly though this is the same Thief we know from previous games, no wacky, un-needed changes. X-Box constraints required the omission of large areas (Thief 3 suffers from this as well, however it just doesn't seem to change the atmosphere the way it did in DX-IW. No big deal, but it would be nice if the level designers didn't have this constraint.) Invisible War was short and branching. (Plenty of gametime in Thief 3. Gameplay is linear for the most part, I don't feel that non-linear gameplay has reached it's time yet and would just as soon keep it linear until then.) DX-IW was innovative in a lot of ways, but was rushed to market and ended to soon. Thief 3, in contrast, is polished in the way I expect from an outfit like Ion-Storm (and Warren Spector for that matter). I have noticed that shadows are sometimes stark when they should be softer considering the distance and light source, but overall the lighting is top notch and adds a new dimension to gameplay. I can't imagine complaining about it. Several people have complained about the free mode being dull and the fact that you can accumulate supplies. Free play, though enjoyable, it totally optional and is in my opinion, a nice addition. And if you don't want to carry 20 health potions around... don't buy them. Minor Gripes: You can't move while leaning, and you can't lean forward. Both of these issues could be resolved in a patch, of course. Loading scenes during a level just ain't cool (yet another X-Box compromise). To Ion's credit, the load times are short, however just seeing the zone detracts from the atmosphere. Someone else also pointed out that time freezes in the going-from area when you zone, meaning that if you are chased through a zone, you can count on that person to be right there waiting if you zone back. This hasn't happened to me thus far, but it would be nice to see some kind of fix for this. No water. This really isn't a big deal for me, though I can't understand why such a new engine wouldn't support it. You can't left-click-hold and hold the blackjack over your head. Not a big deal, but I thought it was a cool touch to the previous games. These are the gripes I can think of. None of them really detract that much from gameplay, with the exception of not being able to move while leaning. It would be nice to be able to move closer (or away from) a corner while you're leaning. On to the good. Everything else about this game is superb, and this game was well worth the wait. Awesome story, graphics and sound. The tension of being a thief is still there in spades and the engine runs smoothly on my 5900XT. Some games come out and get critically acclaimed when they are one in a dozen. Even with games like Splinter Cell and Metal Gear, this game not only stands out with a unique concept, but it also at the height of it's genre. However, I had to give the Tilt a 9 (as opposed to a 10). Thief 2 was totally uncompromising in terms of gameplay. Thief 3 has all the little quirks I listed above, and I could probably think of more. This is, of course, due to the new engine and it's apparent limitations. It's not enough to ruin anything, but I thought lowering the tilt would help make the point that Thief fans do notice these things.