I remember spending the last few days before the release date with nothing on my mind but the new Thief game. I remember spending half of the days in the Through the Looking Glass IRC channel, listening tentively to Dan's early encounter with the final build of the game. My local game store did not receive the game on time, so I even drove 40 miles to the nearest Gamestop to get my hands on the game. When I got it, I was not dissapointed by any means. The graphics are solid, the gameplay is a blast, the atmosphere is absolutely perfect, and in a nutshell, it really does feel like Thief. Now, that said, the game isn't perfect. I know that by this time what I'm about to say is cliche, but the game was heavily consolized for the Xbox. Because of the limitations of the Xbox RAM (a whopping 64MB), the levels are *much* smaller than they should/could be. In the first two games, the levels were absolutely massive. Thief: Deadly Shadows had a very talented development team and I am confident that if the game had been solely developed for the PC, they would have produced massive levels to match this game's predecessors. Also, there is the new feature of 3rd person view. Although it was obviously implemented with the console in mind, this view is optional, so I won't really complain about it. Just know that the difference in gameplay between first and third person views is like the difference between night and day; third person view just doesn't feel like a Thief game. I absolutely love the story in the game. It fits perfectly in with the first two games and has plenty of mystery and twists. Having played the first two Thief games, I can't say for sure that new comers to the series would fully understand what is going on, but the game contains a rich history in the form of conversations and books that I feel would adequately fill in the back-story. The AI is incredible (yet goofy at times). The complexity in how guards and civilians react to your actions is astonishing and a vast improvement over the flat-out dumb AI (good for its time) of the first two games. The gameplay is a bit unpolished at times. Every once in a while, you will encounter a glitch that you can't help but notice. Sometimes you will fall through the walls or floor into the nothingness away from the map, though this is very rare; it happened to me only twice throughout the game. In the first games you were practically encouraged to do something the developers didn't intend for you to do and you would always find something of interest as a result. In this game, if you do something the developers didn't intend for you to do, you're going to brake the game. I blame it on the engine the game was built upon, it's the same engine Ion Storm used for Deus Ex: Invisible War. The Dark Engine, the engine in which the first two games were built on, is very stable, though now, very outdated. Lastly, the atmosphere. This is the gem of the game. In one of the levels, in which you must explore a desolate insane asylum, I actually fell out of my chair because I jumped so high. When you play the game, you get sucked into the Thief universe. This is why there are so many people still playing the older Thief games. The atmosphere of these games are their lifeblood and Thief: Deadly Shadows is drenched in it. One last complaint... there is no SDK! Thief fans have pleaded with Eidos to release an SDK for Thief: Deadly Shadows so that fans can create their own content such as missions, city sections, etc. but so far, no luck. As of this point in time, it seems that Eidos has no interest in giving us the SDK. Bottom line... this game is a must whether you are new to the series, a veteran, or even new to the genre. This is a great game and I would recommend it to anyone.
The stealth genre wasn't much before Looking Glass came along and redefined it with it's seminal game Thief: The Dark Project, a game that is considered among the best ever made. Its sequel, The Metal Age brought a bit m... Read Full Review