VGX 2013: THIEF Hits the Spotlight

By Rebecca Smith, 5 years ago
Not only did THIEF get a new trailer during the VGX Awards show, the game got a whole 15 minute slot during the pre-show warm up, which revealed a host of gameplay details for the upcoming title. If you would prefer to watch the whole thing yourself, including some never-seen-before game footage, take a look below. For those who can't watch the trailer, a synopsis will follow.

Garrett is a Master Thief. His old friend and fence Basso sends him out on the biggest job of his life. While there, Garrett is surprised to meet an old protégé of his, Erin. Due to differences in technique (she likes to kill whereas Garrett will only kill when absolutely necessary), they parted ways. Now, they join together again to complete the job, but then things go wrong. Garrett is knocked unconscious and, when he wakes up, he doesn’t know what has happened. Upon his return to the city of Stonewater, he finds that things have changed. A Gloom has descended upon the city, causing depression and death from the oppressive Baron of the Watch. A visit to Basso reveals that Garrett has been missing for a year. He needs to uncover what is going on and see if he can restore the light that once ran through the city.

In the words of narrative director Steven Gallagher, "any good story has good conflict". In THIEF, it is the politics versus the people. Baron Northcrest and the Baron's Watch are the dictators, authoritarians and oppressive side of the conflict. The Baron has a vision the future, but this comes at the price of the people within the city. The people start to rebel against this dictatorship and rally behind a "sympathetic voice" from a man called Orion. By accepting jobs from people around the city, Garrett gets himself into trouble by "opening up different cans of worms along the way". The brand new story trailer was premiered during the awards show. Here it is:

The game's producer Stephane Roy briefly mentioned the importance of the peeking mechanic. This allows you to see and hear things that the player wouldn't usually be able to hear by staying within the shadows. As has been mentioned since the game was first announced, the shadows are a Master Thief's friend and the player should feel powerful within them. When moving through light, however, the player will have to move quickly to avoid being seen. An indicator on the bottom left of the screen, the light gem, will allow players to see whether they are in light or shadow; the gem will be dark when in shadow and be light when the player is in the light. The player's new Focus power was also briefly mentioned, a power caused by the accident at the start of the story. In the demo, activating the power upon entering a room caused an overlay to appear over the current scene. In this overlay interactable objects are highlighted, such as windows, NPCs and objects to steal.

Although Eidos considers Garrett's hands to be his most important tool, players will be able to visit shopkeepers for equipment, upgrades and other items. The loot that is acquired through completing different jobs can be spent here. You can buy different types of arrows, such as the lethal Broadhead or Fire arrows, or the non-lethal arrows that assist with missions. Water arrows will extinguish torches to create shadows. Blunt arrows can't kill enemies but are very powerful when used to create distractions. A Rope arrow will allow Garrett to access areas that are otherwise inaccessible. Outfit upgrades will make missions easier; for example, Garrett can increase his quiver capacity, buy leather padding to increase the distance from which it is safe for him to fall, or buy leather oil to reduce the sound from his boots as he walks across noisy surfaces. Trinkets such as the Bottle Belt and the Crosswind Medallion will also give certain bonuses.

Garrett's hideout is in the clock tower. In between missions, players can visit the hideout and the rest of the city via the city hub. There are plenty of secrets, side quests and other types of jobs to be found through paying close attention to the city's inhabitants. Garrett can sneak into houses and eavesdrop on conversations to gather objectives that wouldn't appear any other way. Players will meet an old lady called the Queen of Beggars, who lives out in an old chapel and is surrounded by rumours. Garrett's natural nemesis is the Baron's "right-hand man", the Thieftaker General. The biggest prize for the Thieftaker General is the Master Thief, so players must watch their back.

Finally, Roy revealed an exclusive partnership with GAME and Gamestop to bring exclusive pre-order bonuses to THIEF players. As well as the previously revealed Bank Heist mission, players who pre-order through these stores will receive a copy of the game's soundtrack and the full version of the companion app on Android. If you don't fancy purchasing the full version of the app, the free Lite version will contain character biographies, background stories, trailers, news, digital comics, artwork,screenshots and in-game maps for the title. As well as all of the contents of the Lite app, the full version of the app is connected with the game and will produce your stats and position within the game's leaderboards; these will be updated as you play.

THIEF will arrive for both the Xbox 360 and the Xbox One on February 25th in North America and February 28th in Europe and Australia.
Rebecca Smith
Written by Rebecca Smith
Rebecca is the Newshound Manager at TrueGaming Network. She has been contributing articles since 2010, especially those that involve intimidatingly long lists. When not writing news, she works in an independent game shop so that she can spend all day talking about games too. She'll occasionally go outside.