With the game facing an imminent release, fans have been getting sneak peaks of the many facets of Thief’s intricate stealth gameplay. A host of interesting mechanics and a striking setting can only take a title so far if they don’t play well, however. To quell such fears, Eidos Montreal have released an uncut video of the game’s first mission.
Taking place after a “heist gone wrong,” the game’s protagonist, Garrett, is tasked with making his way through the rainy streets of The City on his way back to his clocktower hideout. In true Thief fashion though, the way back isn’t quite as simple as it sounds as there is no lack of opportunities for pilfering exquisite treasures and skulking in the shadows.
Where the game’s recently-released 101 trailer managed to impress with its promise of immersive stealth gameplay, Eidos Montreal’s playthrough of Thief‘s first mission only solidifies that claim. Despite being extremely light on plot, what it does do is give gamers a look at some of the tools at Garrett’s disposal and show just how fluid the game’s movement is.
This is arguably the game’s most impressive feat. All of Garrett’s movements have a weight to them that few games are able to achieve. While most titles feel as though they place the player in control of a floating camera with hands, Thief seems to nail the kinetic feeling of a human body in transit as it crouches, climbs and scurries around corners. Not only does it make the experience that much more immersive, but it also allows for a better sense of spatial awareness which is key in a game that focuses so heavily on stealth.
The feeling of fluid movement also extends itself to small but impressive gameplay additions that could help to further immerse the player in Garrett’s light shoes. Whereas most games lock the player into a fixed view of an item as they attempt to unlock it, Thief gives the player the ability to maintain a sense of awareness — an example would be the ability to continue looking around while picking at a lock. However small this addition may be, it will no doubt give the simple act of opening a lockbox an even more frantic feeling.
One slight snare that may contribute to the fears fans have been expressing, is that the A.I. in the playthrough does not seem as sophisticated as some might like to see in a difficult stealth experience. As this is the game’s first mission though, it’s no surprise that the difficulty is not overwhelming. This is simply the baseline for how the game could develop from beginning to end and with its in-depth difficulty customization options, there should be a appropriate challenge levels for every type of player.
With its release just around the corner, it’s looking like there’s good reason behind Thief being one of the most anticipated titles of 2014. Gamers will not have long to wait before they can get their hands on the upcoming title and decide for themselves if it truly is time for a stealth renaissance.
Do you think that Thief will manage to live up to the pedigree of the original titles? What difficulty are you planning on playing it on?
Thief is due to sneak onto PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on February 25, 2014.
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