The beginning-of-the-year video game release lull finally comes to an end this week with Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare and Thief finally releasing, the latter of which representing one of Game Rant’s most anticipated games of 2014. Thief, while the the long-awaited four installment in the stealth series, brings the franchise back after nearly a decade as a reboot of sorts.
Built by Eidos Montreal, the same developers who successfully returned another classic PC franchise with 2011’s Deus Ex: Human Revolution, have been battling fan feedback (read: backlash) to find the right set of offerings in gameplay and newness, as a title releasing during the hectic console generation transition period. With our full review coming shortly, we wanted to offer a quick look at what Thief is all about so you can see its gameplay in action, so join me as we get familiar with Garrett, the master thief, and The City.
For our gameplay preview (and our review) we played the PC version of Thief, but the game is releasing on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One as well. We’ve seen plenty of trailers and quite a few minutes of Thief gameplay, and we got a private demo at E3, but we’ve yet to get hands-on with the game until this weekend. The video above is how it went down.
What stood out the most to us in terms of gameplay is the attention to detail in how Garrett, the playable protagonist, interacts with the environment, specifically things he opens and objects he steals. It’s impressive and rare that games go into that much detail and we love the feel of moving through the shadows, avoiding contact with any potential threat, even while armed with an impressive bow. We also dig how lockpicking and searching for secret switches is handled and we get to see a bit of that in our ‘First Impressions’ video.
While the first 30 minutes above covers only the intro of the game, doubling as a tutorial of sorts to intro the controls, gameplay and aesthetic, the linear and oftentimes, scripted design continues for the next few hours, even as the game begins to opens up. Cinematics rip players out of gameplay on occasion and there are load times between areas and interiors/exteriors which, when added the frame rate drops we continuously were hit by – hinder the experience. What concerned us most however, is what we saw from a few odd action-platformer elements and combat gameplay later in the game – a reminder not to fight. Stay tuned for our Thief review to see how the game in its entirety holds up, but our first experience has us at least curious and excited for more.
More: ‘Thief’ Review Roundup
Thief releases on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on February 25, 2014.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.