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11 Aug 2014 : Thieving scum! #
It's been nearly seven years since my previous venture into the criminal mind of the master thief, but as part of my holiday therapy I'm becoming Garrett again. There have been many great stealth games to fill the gap since the last Thief release, including the quite brilliant Dishonored from 2012. This was the closest yet to reproducing the setting and atmosphere of the Thief series, and many would say it surpassed it in many ways. Dunwall captured the same steampunk aesthetic, divided society and solitary exploration as The City. The no-kill stealth mechanics and multipath approach to gameplay were bloodline descendants of the original Thief. As a game it was an astonishing achievement. But it lacked one crucial element: a voice. The prospect of taking on the role of Garrett the master thief is just too exciting. To become a truly accomplished larcenist, you have to submit to his amoral self-justification. His sardonic narrative is a crucial counterbalance to the despair and suffering of the environment.

There have been criticisms levied at the game for its gameplay linearity, repetitive ambient dialogue and failure to achieve the same level of psychological tension. These are all no-doubt valid criticisms, but while I've so far only played through the first chapter, none of these are yet detracting from my enjoyment of the game. The shadows still make you feel invisible and there's still a sense of invincibility as you nick a diamond right from under the jeweller's nose. I can tell already: this is going to be really great therapy!

Thief in the rain Thief streets More Thief streets


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