Game Rant recently returned from E3 2013, where among the many games being presented for next-generation consoles was Eidos MontrÃ©al’s reboot of the perennially popular Thief series, the original games of which are widely considered to be the most influential predecessors of modern stealth gaming, as well as pinnacles of stealth gameplay.
The game’s central character, Garrett, seems to often find himself drawn reluctantly into faction wars and fights to save civilization. He is always first and foremost out to make a quick buck (in theory anyway; it’s hard to amass a great fortune when you spend all the profits from each robbery on more inexplicably pricey thieving tools, but he seems to be happy enough in his work). Therefore, when the residents of the City rally against the tyrannical Baron in this new 33-minute gameplay video from Thief, Garrett uses the revolution as a distraction as he enters the mansion with the intent of fleecing it for riches.
Amusingly, the gameplay video contains a fairly blatant dig at Call of Duty: Ghosts, one of the games detailed during the Xbox One reveal, which showed off the series’ first playable animal character: a dog called Riley. When Garrett wanders unwittingly past the cage of a guard dog that begins barking and gives him away, StÃ©phane Roy comments, “So as you can see, in Thief we also have next-gen dogs.”
During the interview segment of the video, Roy is asked some tough questions related to some of the criticisms that hardcore Thief fans have had so far, such as the introduction of a more predatory style of gameplay and the addition of a Focus ability that allows Garrett to spot useful objects or complete certain tasks more efficiently. The developer states that although it is possible to play Garrett as a killer who takes out guards in violent ways rather than just slipping past them, there will be limitations to this. As a thief, Garrett is quite a slight and even spindly character, who doesn’t wear a lot of armor or carry heavy weapons, so Roy explains flatly that if a player tries to drop into a group of guards and battle them all at once, their chances of survival will be close to zero.
The Focus skill appears to have multiple functions, one of the most interesting of which is the ability to “see” enemies through walls. This is not uncommon in the stealth genre; Eidos MontrÃ©al’s other recent addition to an existing franchise, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, allowed the player to gain this specific ability by upgrading their augmentations, and Dishonored – a game at least partially inspired by the Thief series, which in turn seems to have influenced the Thief reboot – also allowed the player to see through walls thanks to the powers granted by the Outsider.
In Thief, Focus is implemented slightly differently, since although the Thief universe traditionally contains elements of both magic and science fiction, Garrett doesn’t have any super-powers himself (unless you count his handy mechanical eye). Therefore, Focus doesn’t allow the player to see exact outlines of enemies, but instead makes it possible to track them by their footsteps. It can also be used for simpler things, like pickpocketing from multiple areas on a victim’s body at the same time, and picking locks faster, but Focus is a finite, non-regenerating resource that can only be refilled by … chewing poppy seeds. Remember, kids: drugs are bad.
Are you planning to get the new Thief game when it comes out? If so, will you play as a predator, or as a ghost?
Thief is estimated to release some time in 2014 for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.