THIEF (Xbox 360) Reviews

  • Level 75 NoobLevel 75 Noob517,648
    08 Mar 2014 08 Mar 2014
    21 5 3
    Note: Let me begin by mentioning that I did NOT play any of the original Thief games back in the day. I'm going to be reviewing this game purely on my opinion as such, not relative to the first series.

    Story (Minor Spoilers)
    You take on the role of Garrett, a mild-mannered kleptomaniac with a moral code. His one rule: never kill unless there is no other choice. He takes anything that shimmers or glitters or anywhere in between. He is joined by his partner in crime, Erin for the prologue. Though her moral compass lies a good bit lower than yours, she does have an easier time finding trouble. It's mere minutes after meeting her that you find here standing over multiple corpses on your journey to your heist site. She proclaims to be showing off her new invention, a metal claw instrument resembling a retractable grappling hook. It isn't much longer before she finds herself in an irredeemable situation that knocks you unconscious. After the prologue, you awake from a year long coma, claw in hand. At this point, you're given free reign over the city.

    Minor Inconsistencies: The majority of the civilians you encounter throughout the game are surprisingly poverty stricken, so how Garrett makes a decent living as a felon is anyone's guess. He chooses to use the central clock tower as his hideout. The tallest building in the entire city and not one person manages to look up at night and see the numerous candles lighting up the windows above. I also have to mention that although Garrett has his "No killing" policy, you seem to have very easy access to lethal arrows with no penalty for killing from what I can tell.

    Gameplay
    First off, you don't have a set jump button. Instead, the Left Trigger serves as a context-sensitive control for all things parkour. You can either hold it down to loudly sprint while automatically hurdling low obstacles and alerting all hostiles in a 25 foot radius, or you can flick it to climb up the wall in front of you.
    You can hit the Y button to use "Focus" energy to see usable items, loot, traps, and NPCs far more clearly in the dark. This is essential for finding as much cash as possible as well as avoiding a quick death to many pressure plate traps you will find later in the game. Once you have upgraded Garrett according, you can also use Focus to make simple tasks like lockpicking, pick pocketing, and archery even easier.
    This is also a tad different than other games of the same genre in the fact that it doesn't matter how dark it is, the enemy WILL see you if just stand if front of them. Take that for what you will.
    The hub city is full of secret places to loot as long as you have the tools to reach them. Rope arrows are essential to getting around. You need to purchase a wrench and wire cutters from the black market, two pieces of equipment that you would think would be essential to a successful thief before this point.
    In order to reach mission start point you first need to locate them. The whole city can't be rendered at the same time, so you need to climb through windows or boxes to reach different portions of the map. The waypoint markers are so vague, however, that it a right chore just to find the correct route.

    Minor Gripes: There is only 1 save allowed not counting the "Restart Mission" save. Autosaves overwrite manual saves and vice versa. So if you screw up, you're stuck with it unless you feel like starting the mission over.

    Graphics
    Let's face it, if you didn't buy it on one of the newer consoles, you shouldn't be expecting much. This is clearly another one of those games that is trying to showcase the new generation's graphics capabilities. On the 360, however, everything including Garrett's character model looks very muddy and rough around the edges.

    Sound
    Now here is where the game shines. Everything to the ambiance to the sound cues are spot on. You can clearly tell with someone is in any of the 4 states of awareness and when they are no longer searching for you. Bunging up a lockpicking attempt will cause a loud crunch that will make nearby enemy investigate. You will also learn to hate birds very early on. They serve as early alert systems and are very sensitive to motion. If you move too quickly (i.e. the swoop move) in close proximity, they will start flapping around and cawing like you just let a cat loose.

    Forgivable Issues:Neutral NPCs that patrol the hub area are only given 1 dialogue sequence. You will hear that same series of sentences multiple times in quick succession, sometimes to the point of causing audio overlap.
    Scaring caged dogs or birds counts as an alert regardless if anyone is around or conscious to hear them.

    Summary
    It wasn't bad. I had a few second thoughts every so often, but it wasn't an absolute drag to play. The main setpieces during the story missions were a lot of fun to traverse, but the majority of the game just felt far too linear for a true-to-form stealth game.
    3.0
    Showing all 3 comments.
    DraakmenistanVery well written. You have a very good use of snarkiness, which you should definitely keep using if you keep writing reviews. Your criticism and compliments of the game were well reflected into the score.

    One thing to keep in mind, watch the grammar just a tad. Other than that, good work!
    Posted by Draakmenistan on 09 Mar 14 at 00:43
    Marine1TenThanks for the review. Your assessments are right-on in most areas. I played it on the ONE and had no problems with reloading saves or checkpoints, but I saved often. I am glad I preordered and ignored the low review scores. This is a challenge and the game offers an opportunity to exercise the brain cells. The lack of a map with greater detail of neighborhoods and no fast-travel helped me realize I am a lazy gamer. I finished the game to 100% completion today and I highly recommend it to the patient, intelligent gamer. I like stealth games, survival horror, fantasy, sci-fi and story driven games. Thief 2014 is not for kids. Probably not for anyone with poor depth of visual field due to the dark environments. Enjoyed your review.
    Posted by Marine1Ten on 12 Mar 14 at 19:02
    DillionDayGreat review. The problem with this game is that people who play it will be expecting a Dishonored-like game experience but will be disappointed on how linear the game is.
    Posted by DillionDay on 24 Mar 14 at 21:52
  • DraakmenistanDraakmenistan160,861
    08 Mar 2014 28 Mar 2014
    15 7 10
    Just a forewarning, I have not played the older Thief games, and consequently, I am reviewing this game based on my opinions and experiences with it.

    Thief is one of the games that I was looking forward to in 2013. At first, I thought it was going to be a Xbox One & PS4 exclusive, but lo and behold, it's made its way to current gen consoles (Xbox 360 and PS3, for those who don't know). And honestly, I'm kinda torn on how I feel about it.

    Please note that these are my opinion, and the reflections of being halfway through the game.

    Firstly, the plot. You, Garrett, are a thief. Steal stuff. That's it.

    Well, it's a bit more complicated, but every mission boils down to this sole concept. What I found unique (sorta, but I'll get into that later) is that for each mission, you can "choose" a certain play style. Will you be silent as a shadow, sneak past obsticals and be detectable by none? Or maybe you'll rampage through everyone, beating people senseless with your blackjack and putting arrows in whoever is unfortunate to cross your path? Perhaps a combination of these is more your thing, and you'll take advantage of your surroundings and enemy rotation to get what you're after?

    Anyway, the game starts you off about a year before the main story takes place. You and your partner, Erin, are on a mission to steal something of the Baron, who has been forcing a massive industrial era on the people of the City (no joke, that's what the main hub is called). Erin's got a really fancy tool called 'The Claw' which allows her to climb up paths that either lead to bonus loot or a way past enemies where you would usually have to wait for an opening. After a while, you come across two guards who are trying to light a fire. These guards, also known as the Watch, (another problem I'll get to later) are pretty much your main adversaries in your ventures.

    So Erin goes and murders the younger of the two (the guard is only about 19-20 years of age), and you K.O. the other guard. This is where we discover the Dr. McCoy side Garrett, where he says, "I'm a thief, not a killer." I personally took this to heart, and dedicated my playthrough to this idea. A ways later, you steal the claw from her (how she doesn't notice, I'll never know), and you to get into a fight. Long story short, she dies when she falls from a glass ceiling.

    This is one of my biggest issues with the game. Who is Erin, and why should I care about her death? It's only mentioned in loading screens, and Garrett seldom mentions her, so there's little connection between characters. If she is a character from the previous games (since this is supposed to be a reboot of the series), then why would Square Enix/Eidos pass her off as a person that I feel no relation to?

    Speaking of characters, another one you'll become familiar with is Basso. He is the man who will provide you with contracts within the City. For these, you'll have to sneak into a specific house or store and take a specific object. He will have these contracts for you after you complete a mission.

    In order to help you complete these missions, there are fun-derful weapons that you can buy and unlock. The most useful for you will be the water arrows (drench whatever flat surface the arrow hits with water, good for extinguishing fire), broadhead arrows (hunting arrows, used to break your promises of not being a murderer), and the rope arrows (arrows that drop a rope from where you shoot it at, used to access higher up areas {stupid silver mirror contract}).

    There's a massive infection going around that Garrett seems immune to (again, talk about it later) called the Gloom. It's a massive problem, and it makes people so crazy that they commit suicide, or it'll kill them. The Watch are a bunch of jerks, and mark people who aren't infected. That's all we're really told about it.

    Along the way, you'll find very rare treasures. These are your collectibles, and in terms of number, it's pretty good. There's 82 collectibles, ranging from reading, to rings, to miscellaneous items like memorial lockets. In order to find these, however, you'll need to either pick a lock, find switches on pictures/bookshelves/walls, and find/guess the locks on safes. A couple of these are well hidden, some are too obvious, and others are frustratingly difficult. For those who've finished the game/chapter two, all I think I need to say is, The Engineer Safe, Dust to Dust.

    Since it's such a frequent mechanic, it is most fortuitous that the lockpicking works well. The controls are responsive most of the time, but you can't find the next position for a pin while you're setting one. I also like that the consequence for messing up in setting a pin is that it'll make noise and attract nearby guards.

    The graphics are alright. There are some glaring issues, like pixels being obvious in shadows, a couple of poor textures, and some of the beard/hair textures need work.

    Being a thief, the shadows are your friend. And they're a somewhat bipolar bunch. There's an indicator in the lower left hand corner of the screen that'll show how hidden you are the shadows. If there's a full moon, you are near a light source and should move before a Watchman catches you "blackhanded". If the moon had an outline, then you're close enough to a light source where a Watchman may be able to see you if either they get close enough or if you make too much noise. Then, if you can't see a moon, you are hidden.

    But there are hazards. Glass and paper will make noise when you step on them, and they'll also give away your presence. There's a move to counter-act this, a dash. This will become your closest ally, as it lets you sulk past guards and/or bright areas where guards will patrol. Be warned, as a dash will cause noise when you cross a noisy surface.

    So the big thing that I've been hinting at; I feel as though Thief borrowed a good bit of its elements from another game about a massive infection where your in combat actions affect the condition of the disease and give you money for taking things , among others. Some of you may feel this way or know what I'm talking about.

    Dishonored.

    It's nowhere near close enough to pull a Mario fanbase and call it a clone (no offense to any Mario fans out there), but the similarities are glaring.

    All that aside, Thief is an entertaining experience. I'd say buy it if you can find it for $35 or less. Or rent it. But don't pass it by. Unless Dishonored wasn't your cup of tea.
    3.5