Ion Storm's new game that was released May 25 of 2004 has definitely made a lot of old Thief fans happy. This new addition to the series has definitely improved Ion Storm's pride since their dismal output of Deus Ex: Invisible Wars. Definitely following along the lines of the first two thief games being Thief: The Dark Project, and Thief 2: The Metal Age, Deadly Shadows (DS) adds to the story right where the Thief 2 left off. Many fans were spectacle of Ion Storm gaining the rights to the franchise from Looking Glass Studios, because they didn't believe, or know, if Ion Storm would keep the "Thief Flavor" that it has had through the past two games and hundreds of fan-made missions since the releasing of the code. One new aspect that the fans of old didn't think too much about during production early on was the inclusion of Third Person Perspective for the main character. Since November of 1998, thief had always been played in first person perspective like any other first person shooter style game, but the developers wanted to offer a new style of play while keeping the old. So, in the end, DS has both first and third person perspective, and by this reviewer’s opinion, third person was a welcome addition. The graphics in DS are a wonderful work of art. The shadows within the game are hands down, the best in any game so far seen in the industry, but that's what Thief has always prided itself on, hiding in the shadows. Now, in this new addition to the series, the player is allowed to travel through the open city between missions jumping through windows collecting all kinds of goodies to sell, while also robbing the civilians who are out walking out at night. Most thief weapons are back in the game, except the rope arrow which was replaced by climbing gloves which will let you scale any stone building in town. These can be purchased early on in the game and let you get into some pretty good areas to hide in case some guards see you blackjacking a woman in the candle light. Hey, a thief's gotta eat right? The story in the game is like any other. One downfall to the game was the in between level cinematic movies, they are definitely not up-to-snuff compared to games of this year. Almost resembling a drawing being moved around a bit, such as the lips of an individual while talking, but nonetheless, the story keeps you going through each mission you're given. The A.I. in the game is almost flawless. Guards will notice other guards missing, shadows in the candlelight, blood spilt on the ground. Turning up the difficulty in the game will make the guards notice more things such as doors that are open that were once closed. But, such as someone I know always says, "Messes can be cleaned." So, if you happen to kill a guard with your dagger and don't want the blood on the floor to be noticed, you can always shoot a water arrow into the spot to cleanse it. Something that has always been a trademark of thief games is sound inside the game. Footsteps on different types of flooring such as carpeting, stone, and woodwork. The sounds of the night making your mind play tricks on you as you question whether the sound you just heard was a footstep or an arrow being set to its string. And as always in Thief games, there is that one level that you only want to do once in your life and in DS, it's "The Cradle." Think orphanage turned insane asylum where patients were tortured. Now, think of crawling around in all these shadows hearing the voices of children and screaming patients in the background. Not exactly something you try to play at 2 in the morning, believe me. The first time I was picking a lock and thought I heard a scratching sound and looked up to see a human/creature resembling something out of the movie "Thirteen Ghosts," yeah, well, I jumped about four feet in the air And you'll know which one I'm talking about during the 9+ nights of missions and roaming the city streets. But as always, the bad news and in this game, there isn't much. One major design flaw would have to be the bug of difficultly level setting. When you save a game in a higher level difficultly than normal, when you return to play, it'll be on normal. An easy thing to fix with a patch on the PC, but nothing has been figured out for the Xbox version yet.
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