Eidos Looking to Expand ‘Thief 4′ Beyond ‘Just Stealth’

Apr 19, 2012 by  

Thief 4 Reboot Stealth Storyline Details

Rebooting an old video game franchise — and a classic one at that — can be a daunting affair for any developer; it’s never quite as simple as picking up where the last game left off. As times change, so do graphics and gameplay conventions. The present audience might be older and more selective in their interest, or younger and uninitiated to the game’s legacy. Storytelling angles seen as panache in the one decade might be┬ádisregarded as tired gimmicks in the next.

Eidos Montreal found themselves facing this challenge last year when they took on development for Deus Ex: Human Revolution. They didn’t just want the sci-fi/cyberpunk RPG reboot to be a time capsule for an era gone by. They wanted the futuristic theme of Adam Jensen’s next story to walk on its own two feet, speak with it’s own voice, wear its own clothes. Its ancestral lineage would be honored at the same time, sure, just not to the point where it intruded on the new format. (And it worked. Our Deus Ex: Human Revolution review awarded a 4.5 out of 5 to the game back in August.)

And so it’s appropriate that Eidos Montreal isn’t wavering from this auteurist approach with their next great reboot undertaking, Thief 4. According to studio general manager Stephane D’Astous, who spoke to OXM at GDC, the project will “bring more than just stealth” to the table for the cloak-and-dagger series that last made its debut in 2004 with Thief: Deadly Shadows.

“We have more international staff working on Thief, which brings a great flavour to the game. There are a lot of challenges to bringing back a great cult IP, but we consider it like a new IP and we are going to respect the spirit of the franchise like we did with Deus Ex.”

“Deus Ex was the kick-start of this new series of great games, and Thief will be part of that. We don’t want to deliver the same each time. Our mandate is to bring new stuff to the table; games that we’ll be talking about for years.”

Thief 4 Eidos Details

What does this mean for Thief 4 and its stealthy heist-extraordinaire protagonist Garret? Possibly the same thing it meant for Adam Jensen and Deus Ex in 2011. It’s been a while, but Deadly Shadows was hailed for the way it expanded into an open-world exploration of the series’ medieval, steampunk universe; don’t be surprised if Eidos takes things a step further by weaving a few RPG and character progression elements into the main campaign. Also, considering we live an an age when multiplayer’s absence is a rarity, Thief 4 would hardly be sneaking up on anyone if it rolled out an online component similar to Assassin’s Creed or Splinter Cell.

That being said, we’re still speculating at this point. The developer comments here are just as vague as any other insights regarding Thief 4 over the years (a rumored GDC 2011 reveal turned out to be false hope). Hopefully, though, D’Astous’ willingness to discuss the project — and his ambitious optimism for its future — are signs of more to come.

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Follow me on Twitter @Brian_Sipple

Source: OXM

8 Comments

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  1. As a HUGE Theif fan, I hope that they make it a more open world. Almost like Bethesda games, though I wouldn’t expect it to be as huge. Randomized loot missions as well as main storyline quests. Also, I hope, hope, HOPE that it is still set in the medieval world and that it is voiced by the original garret voice actor.

    • I personally have to disagree. The open-world style of Bethesda’s games doesn’t sit right with me; I can’t help but think it would water down the experience. I would have no issue with being able to travel to a couple different cities which are hubs of activity, but leave the actual travel portions to dynamic loading screens or something.

      Also, I was fairly certain Thief was a Steampunk setting (Especially Thief II: The Metal Age). I mean, look at Garret’s eye and the Mechanists.

  2. A reboot? Cool, I’m interested.

  3. I want a new Thief game… what I don’t want is for them to screw it up by dumbing it down or adding stupid gimmicks to it.

  4. idk

  5. Lol. The original stealth series for the PC and they want to expand the game beyond stealth. Does not compute. Prediction – this is going to be a stinker.

  6. They did an excellent work with Deus Ex: Human Revolution and I trust them to do the same with Thief.

    For me, the Thief series was very innovative for its time but it could also be extremely frustrating in terms of gameplay (though mostly because of tech limitations). I believe these guys will polish the annoying bits and leave only the good stuff. Exactly what they did with Deus Ex :)

    I will definitely wait to see more of it though. Can only hope and trust at the moment…

  7. What version of hailed? Positive feedback or negative feedback?
    I personally loved that I could explore the world a bit more, its nice to be able to see more of the thief universe. I do hope Thief 4 has freeroaming, there was this one residence that you could simply rob, isn’t that what thieving is about? Also there was no loading screen for it, it was simply a part of the world. You could also go around and rob certain apartments, good stuff. Needs more of that open-world-ish type play, it was so fun. It would be great to be able to run across the rooftops, the climbing gloves were awesome!
    Has anyone played morrowind, oblivion or skyrim? You could invade peoples homes and take their crap. That was fun stuff!
    That also reminds me, why not add mild and non-invasive RPG elements that are just kinda there but not extremely game changing to the point of pissing off fans?

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