Rebooting a cherished franchise: it’s as close as a game studio can come to betting their future on a single project. But after Eidos Montreal‘s success in reinvigorating the Deus Ex series, they’re not shying away from continuing their streak. Next up for the developer is Thief, rebooting the classic stealth title for a brand new generation of players and hardware.
In the latest peek behind the scenes at the studio, those entrusted with the task of introducing Garrett – with a brand new actor in the role – talk about just how high the expectations are. Not just because of the franchise’s storied past, but how much more demanding players will have become by the time the game is released.
The video from PlayStation Access grants a longer look at those charged with not just rebooting, but re-imagining Thief entirely; Garrett may be returning better skilled than ever, but the experience must be a new one, not just a better-looking one. It’s interesting to hear producer Stéphane Roy explain that it isn’t just honoring the games and story that preceded their game, but making a game that lives up to today’s standards, regardless of fan base or history. As Roy says, “we are more demanding” in today’s world.
Listening to the creative team, it’s clear that the main priority is building a game that opens up the future for Thief as a franchise – they’re not doing this out of nostalgia, after all. That goal is ambitious enough as it is, but just to make sure they didn’t coast to the finish line, Eidos Montreal has set their sights on mastering one of the most pitfall-laden genres in game design: stealth.
They’re not traveling completely uncharted waters, with the most recent stealth title from Bethesda, Dishonored (with which Thief seems, at first glance, to share a few features) achieving both critical and financial success and, lest we forget, Eidos’ last reboot attempt Deus Ex: Human Revolution doing the same. Leaving the choice of action or stealth up to the player worked beautifully in DX:HR (boss fights aside), so it’s no surprise to hear the studio use the RPG in order to win skeptics over to their side.
Even though Eidos is already committing to players being able to play through Thief without killing anyone, they’re also on record as intending to make the game about more than just stealth. The developers have a difficult task on their hands, with shadows, combat, AI and the realization of their proposed game world all alluded to in the video above. The good news is they’ve got plenty of time to get it right.
For now we remain cautiously optimistic, given how well Eidos Montreal managed to not just breathe new life into Deus Ex, but deliver a solid game regardless of the name on the box. Doing the same for Garrett’s thievery may not be the game Thief fans have been begging for, but we’ll be happy if the resulting game offers a worthwhile stealth adventure.
Which news surrounding the Thief reboot do you find most encouraging? Their commitment to stealth, their technical prowess, or the lack of competitive multiplayer in favor of a stronger singleplayer experience?
Expect more details on Thief to arrive as the coverage continues. Needless to say, we’ll keep you updated.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.
Source: PlayStation Access