Home » TA Playlist Wrap-Up – Thief

TA Playlist Wrap-Up – Thief

by Ethan Marley
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If there’s one factor this metropolis’s taught me, you’ll be able to put a worth on something. Secrets, reputations… a life. And belief? If you need to ask, you’ll be able to’t afford it. But then I suppose none of that issues whenever you’re me. After all… when did I ever pay for something?

Welcome to a different 12 months of TA Playlist! January is a time of recent beginnings, the place many people take the chance to look at our earlier 12 months and search for methods to enhance our lives, reduce out dangerous habits, or reinvent ourselves. Video video games do that occasionally as nicely, dusting off an outdated franchise and remaking or reimagining it for a brand new viewers. That’s why we determined to make January a “New Beginnings” month for the TA Playlist ballot, following a suggestion by MorseyBaby and fleshed out by a number of different customers within the TA Playlist Game Suggestion Thread.

Our 4 nominees included DmC: Devil May Cry, King’s Quest, and Shadow Warrior, however one sport snuck out to an early lead and stole the victory. The winner of the January 2024 TA Playlist ballot was the stealth-action reboot Thief.

The Thief franchise bought its begin again in 1998 with the PC launch of Thief: The Dark Shadows, which was developed by Looking Glass Studios and printed by Eidos Interactive. Following the exploits of a grasp thief named Garrett, The Dark Shadows pioneered using first-person perspective in a stealth sport, in addition to utilizing dynamic gentle and darkness as integral sport mechanics. The Dark Shadows obtained essential popularity of its open ranges, which gave the participant freedom to decide on learn how to strategy missions and discover the sport’s world, one thing which all subsequent entries within the sequence have tried to emulate.

Flipy Fliperson mentioned:

I cherished this sport. I completed it a few years in the past, then determined to stack the 360 model. I cherished attempting to sneak round and steal all the pieces not bolted down.

The Dark Shadows was adopted by Thief II: The Metal Age for PC in 2000, which stayed fairly near the mechanics of the unique. Looking Glass Studios shut down a few months after the discharge of The Metal Age, so Eidos turned over the following entry, 2004’s Thief: Deadly Shadows, to Ion Storm, the studio most famously liable for the primary two video games within the Deus Ex franchise. Deadly Shadows was critically praised however not as extremely rated as the primary two entries for the sequence, and it failed to fulfill monetary targets, resulting in the cancellation of the deliberate Thief 4.

Fast ahead greater than 5 years, to 2009. Ion Storm had additionally been shut down, leaving Eidos (now a subsidiary of Square Enix) with a languishing IP and no studio connected to it. Rather than carrying on with one other sequel, it was determined that the time was proper for a reboot of the franchise, and pre-production of a brand new Thief 4 began at Eidos Montreal, a comparatively new studio that was on the time engaged on its first launch, a little bit sport referred to as Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Ten years after Deadly Shadows, the long-awaited fourth entry within the franchise was launched – now merely referred to as “Thief.”

deathbwithu mentioned:

When I first performed this sport again when it launched, I actually did not get pleasure from all of it that a lot. Then I performed it once more lately to get the completion and located myself having fun with it greater than I believed I might. It could be bland at instances, however it’s uncommon as of late to get a full on stealth sport.

The 2014 sport is about in a Victorian/steampunk period, a number of hundred years after the unique trilogy, with a brand new Garrett (probably a descendant or reincarnation of the primary character from the earlier video games) assembly up with fellow thief and former protégé Erin to start out their subsequent job. They’ve been employed to steal a mysterious gem from the manor of Baron Northcrest, the tyrannical ruler of the City. Following Erin by the streets and over the rooftops, you study the fundamentals of motion and sneaking and in addition study that Erin is a bit reckless in comparison with Garrett, who prefers to ghost by an space and never kill guards until it’s completely needed.

Garrett and Erin attain their vacation spot, and, observing by a skylight, they see the Baron himself with a number of robed and hooded figures performing an arcane ritual utilizing the very object they had been despatched to pilfer. Garrett instantly calls off the job, deciding that the payoff will not be definitely worth the threat, however Erin will not be prepared to surrender. The two thieves scuffle on the rooftop, with Erin inadvertently crashing by the skylight simply because the ritual beneath is accomplished, taking pictures a column of blue power up into the sky. Garrett tries to save lots of Erin, however she falls immediately into the beam of sunshine, whereas Garrett crashes to the ground and blacks out.

Garrett awakens to seek out {that a} 12 months has handed, and far has modified within the City. A plague referred to as “the Gloom” is spreading among the many inhabitants, and the City Guards are imposing a merciless lockdown to regulate the unfold of the illness. The Queen of Beggars believes that the Baron’s failed ritual has unleashed a horrible energy upon the City, an unnatural pressure often called the Primal, and that Garrett can have a task to play in setting issues proper.

At first, Garrett desires nothing to do with the politics of the City, however he nonetheless has to make a dwelling, and after fulfilling his subsequent couple of contracts for a person named Orion, Garrett finds himself embroiled with an underground resistance motion whereas being hunted by the cruel Thief-Taker General. What’s extra, Erin didn’t truly die that evening, as an alternative absorbing the entire Primal energy unleashed throughout the ritual. Now Garrett should use his abilities to cease the assorted factions who wish to use the facility of the Primal for their very own ends if he hopes to save lots of Erin… and the City.

The Noto mentioned:

This sport is lots tighter than individuals give it credit score for. I actually am having fun with it. […] Just completed the marketing campaign. Honestly had a blast with this. I shortly bought into the groove, performed this on the Series X, and I’ve no actual complaints besides a few of the interactables had been a ache within the ass. Like turning valves typically felt actually easy and different instances very uneven and no actual feeling as if I used to be doing something in a different way. Happy that the TA Playlist inspired me to return to this.

Thief is a type of video games that didn’t hit the mark with critics again when it first launched, incomes a Metacritic rating of simply 69/100 for the Xbox One model, however regardless of the lackluster evaluations, it appears to have discovered favor with a sure viewers over time.
bennjjee mentioned:

I actually favored this sport. Excellent stealth gameplay and replayability of missions. I sense it is bought a foul rep which is a little bit unfair. Oh, and the island mission scared the bejeesus out of me!

ShortyTheQuick mentioned:

Never understood the hate for Thief. It’s drenched in environment and the world has a sense of loneliness that may additionally really feel fairly creepy at instances. I can perceive the criticism with the traversal being awkward typically however it’s undoubtedly a sport that rewards gamers who’re blissful to be affected person and take their time with the degrees.

One of the hazards of rebooting a cult basic sequence like Thief is that the brand new builders need to stroll a tremendous line between nostalgia and innovation. It is usually a actual problem to strike the proper steadiness between sticking with the outdated method that labored so nicely, and bringing one thing new to the desk to introduce an outdated sequence to a contemporary viewers. Many of the criticisms for Thief appeared to fall within the “not so good as the originals” class, together with these point-by-point critiques (we had a number of good long-form posts this month, so I’ve edited these a bit, however be happy to take a look at the boards for the total posts):
FlopsyTheRabbit mentioned:

So, I’ve completed the sport now on the traditional problem. It’s very strong, and nonetheless feels fairly trendy contemplating it’s 10 years outdated now. I did not like the town free roam, simply felt like a drawn out strategy to get from A to B, however apart from that it is a respectable 7-8/10 sport. If you’ve got by no means performed the earlier video games, you will have a good time. But… As a veteran of the sequence it does not get wherever near the heights of earlier video games. This principally comes all the way down to the extent design, together with few different niggles.
Firstly the construction – earlier video games weren’t afraid to drop you in an enormous, linked setting that you could possibly discover at will. You may simply go straight for the target, or look in each nook and cranny, however most significantly in lots of circumstances this was all one single space. In distinction the extent design of Thief 2014 is a really linear ‘string of pearls’ sort structure. You get a little bit of freedom inside every pearl, however in the end you are progressing in an general linear style from one to the following,
Secondly, TDP specifically wasn’t afraid to all of a sudden change up the principles and experiment. The maps the place you are in a big city constructing are tremendous, however I’m at all times drawn to ranges that are a bit unusual and supernatural [or] ranges the place you go in with one expectation however need to adapt shortly […]. I had a little bit of hope that mission 7 is likely to be one thing like that after I noticed the ruined hammerite cathedral, however sadly that facet was by no means actually explored and it turned out to be one of the linear of all of them. […]
I missed the elective targets [and] the scribbled maps that mirrored how a lot intel Garrett was capable of get in regards to the goal, however I can perceive they may have been irritating for contemporary gamers.
The sound design did not really feel proper both. In the sooner video games, you needed to pay very shut consideration to what sort of floor you had been strolling on. Marble and flagstones made far more noise than wooden and grass, and the guards had been very attuned to this. You even bought particular moss arrows to create patches of quieter footing. It did not appear to matter in any respect on this sport. Guards appear to primarily depend on imaginative and prescient, and whereas they will undoubtedly hear you when you run round, you’ll be able to creep round all you want on any floor and so they’ll by no means hear you. I even knocked over bottles subsequent to them on a few events, once more no response.
I want they’d ditched the town space and as an alternative put in a few additional ranges that had been extra open, and a bit extra experimental. What you get as an alternative is a fairly linear sport with not a lot variation in tone.

Spa1h mentioned:

Thief is an effective sport; the gameplay is easy, and the extent design is attention-grabbing. In my opinion, it does not totally dwell as much as the legacy of “The Dark Project/The Metal Age.” I performed these first 2 video games as a child, and I did not totally perceive them as a result of I used to be too younger and will solely handle to beat the primary 3 ranges, however the freedom of selection and the immersion was unmatched at the moment. (which I confirmed for myself many, a few years later)
Thief is sweet in lots of facets, however there’s nothing excellent. If you might be searching for freedom in task-based stealth video games, go for the trendy Hitman video games. If you search for high stealth gameplay, go for the Splinter Cell sequence. If you want parkouring over roofs, go for Mirrors Edge or Dying Light.
The plot and particularly the setting didn’t persuade me as a result of for instance it is by no means totally defined why Garret’s metropolis is run all the way down to that time, or what are/had been the motives of the guards and the antagonists to remodel a metropolis into a spot worse than hell […] Maybe Bethesda, Rockstar and Ubisoft did such an excellent job in creating compelling linked worlds and ranges that, now after I take a look at Thief I’m amazed how not thought by all the pieces is.
Sometimes, the sport tries to trace at solutions to raised questions, however after I considered it extra, it even raised extra questions. So I concluded it’s best not to consider it and simply benefit from the themed journey that’s offered.
Also, the guard-AI is lacking finesse, and Garret seems very cringy in comparison with most different characters within the sport. The sound mixing is super-bad, which is an actual pity because the dialogues are nicely written. Don’t play with out subtitles, otherwise you miss out on many issues.
So that was various criticism, nevertheless nothing of it’s a purpose to not proceed enjoying the sport, and so I had an excellent time throughout the few hours I may spare for this sport. All facets mixed, it is a very distinctive and entertaining sport, additionally completely appropriate for achievement hunters and completionists.

These sentiments echo a whole lot of the harsher critic evaluations that greeted Thief upon launch, with many reviewers disenchanted that the sport didn’t dwell as much as the excessive expectations set by the unique trilogy, however it’s necessary to do not forget that evaluations are subjective, so don’t allow them to put you off a sport when you assume you’ll get pleasure from it.
Allgorhythm mentioned:

pink MANS pryD3 mentioned:

Only ever bean dived the sport however I’m excited to start out this later this month, hopefully. Its evaluations had been disappointing to see however I’m not gonna let that mitigate my expertise as I’ll probably benefit from the sport greater than the evaluations state.

I feel you’ll. The 1998 Thief: The Dark Project was such a groundbreaking sport that I feel a whole lot of the evaluations confirmed their snobbery. Thief did not have the identical stature, however it was arguably the primary sport that showcased the graphics prowess of the eighth gen consoles.
I’ve performed all of the Thief video games and reviewed Thief when it got here out on the Xbox One: Thief evaluations. I attempted to be balanced and in addition offered some historic background of the sequence and the sister Deus Ex Series.
In the overview, I acknowledged: “Overall Impressionsa wonderful sport and one of many early stars of the next-gen library. I nonetheless contemplate this assertion legitimate. Moreover, wanting on the sport virtually a decade later, I feel it has stood the check of time very nicely and doesn’t really feel dated as most of the early Xbox One titles do.

Thief got here out in February 2014, round three months after the launch of the Xbox One. As such, it straddled the road between the seventh and eighth era of consoles and was one of many first video games to obviously present the technological distinction between the 360 and the One. Given the character of the stealth mechanics, the colour palette for this sport includes a whole lot of murky blues and grays, so the bump in graphical constancy on the newer consoles was noticeable.
Allgorhythm mentioned:

AbyssalOrc33 mentioned:

The 360 model was okay, however you’ll be able to typically inform it was meant for a more moderen system.

Exactly proper. Light and shadow performs such an necessary function within the sport that it may be thought to be a sport mechanic. The Gen 8 GPUs had been very best in that regard.
From a narrative perspective, the sport’s environment and atmosphere advantages from the shading and textures of the brand new graphics playing cards. The flickering flames of the fires mirrored off glistening streets units simply the proper tone for a thief shifting in regards to the shadows.

Many stealth-action video games at the very least provide the choice of stepping into weapons blazing whenever you’re bored with all of the sneaking round, however that’s not the case with Thief… sticking to these shadows is important for achievement. If you’re noticed and need to enter fight, you’ll be hard-pressed to combat in opposition to the City Guards, and your best choice is usually to run and conceal (or simply reload your checkpoint).
Allgorhythm mentioned:

TheWrestlingGod mentioned:

I performed this the 12 months it launched in 2014. 27/37 cheevos will not be too dangerous, sport may be very tough on greater difficulties because the ratios counsel.

If you interact in fight, the sport turns into very tough on greater difficulties. Individual enemies outmatch Garrett and are, due to this fact, extraordinarily problematic in teams. However, if one adopts a stealth-only approach–combat is rarely required within the sport and there is just one occasion the place fight is less complicated than stealth; the sport turns into solely barely tougher on Master problem.

In truth, a number of of the sport’s achievements are tied to being as stealthily as attainable, with situations like “Complete a chapter with out alerting anybody” and “Finish the sport with out a single kill or knockout.” While that actually appeals to a sure viewers, that style isn’t for everybody…
Slayer Reigning mentioned:

Didn’t a lot take care of it, however once more not one a lot for stealth anyway.

LilGurgi mentioned:

Stealth missions have at all times been my arch nemesis so a sport that principally a complete stealth mission….not gonna occur. hehe

And even for some who aren’t against the stealth style usually, the restrictions positioned on the participant on this sport had been an issue.
ComicKaze23 mentioned:

Kinda over video games with difficulty-based achievements or no-kill ones. Apparently I performed it in some unspecified time in the future as a result of it was free with Gold. One of these video games that I’d gladly delete from my profile.

Included on this group is common TA Playlister TymanTheLengthy, who had some nice ideas on the character of achievements proscribing the type of gameplay in video games like these:
TymanTheLengthy mentioned:

Sadly I don’t assume it’s my type of sport. I simply didn’t ever fall into and benefit from the gameplay loop, both attributable to impatience or simply not discovering it that enjoyable. […] Part of that is achievements very clearly telling me that I’ve failed if I do issues like kill a guard or grow to be found and combat my means out. There’s an enormous quantity of gameplay mechanics that help this and a few are cool as heck, I wish to do them however after I do the sport tells me possibly I’m not enjoying it proper.
The worst instance of this in my private gaming expertise is Deus Ex: Human Revolution. The sport offers me a bunch of cool issues, together with Typhoon after which tells me I’m unsuitable to make use of them. I performed that sport prefer it demanded, all stealthy, desperately searching for batteries so I may use them for just one factor: camouflage mode to sneak by one more group I couldn’t discover away round. I completed it the best way it demanded after which by no means went again to play it my means, all of the enjoyable had been sucked proper out.
And possibly that’s my fault for letting achievements dictate the best way I performed. In a method it actually was, however in one other the sport actually felt prefer it was pushing me. […] I really feel the identical pressure in Thief. I don’t want to say the sport is dangerous or unsuitable for this dynamic. Perhaps many avid gamers actually get pleasure from this. That’s tremendous with me. A sport can simply not be a sport for me whereas nonetheless being an incredible and even excellent sport for others.
What Thief does make me consider, but once more, although, is the idea of designing a sport with a whole lot of gameplay choices that the sport pushes the “purest” participant to by no means use. There’s one thing attention-grabbing there, is it a nod to capitalism that they should promote their sport additionally to those that wish to simply rampage by killing all the pieces or one thing else? Why design techniques you don’t need the participant to make use of? […]
Anyway, Thief isn’t my sport, and I really feel a bit disenchanted primarily based on expectations after I purchased it. But I do assume it’s in all probability an necessary sport and a franchise that’s earned a minor if merited point out in gaming historical past.

Given that Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Thief had been successive tasks from Eidos Montreal, it’s maybe not a shock that the gameplay and achievements had some noticeable similarities. The comparisons reduce each methods, with some, like Tyman, declaring the frequent negatives between the 2 video games whereas others heaped reward on each franchises.
RumbleFish10 mentioned:

Would like to see extra from this sequence. Thief and Deus Ex are gold, and sadly a bit under-appreciated as of late. Goes to indicate how laborious it’s to make an excellent stealth sport.

Allgorhythm mentioned:

Shadowclast mentioned:

It’s been some time since I performed (and stacked) Thief however I actually loved it, I performed it after it was as patched because it ever bought.
This sport sits at a time when video games felt they wanted to be open world to remain related, and it’s laborious for video games like Thief and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided to be open world with out an enormous discount in what makes them particular.

Very true. THIEF, specifically, depends on its compact maze of intricate passages. In spite of the small geographic space of the City and the chapters, gamers commented on how mystifying it was to seek out their means from level A to level B. Almost at all times, there’s multiple path to take, and discovering the shortest, least dangerous route is a large benefit.

One of the needs of the TA Playlist is to debate the sport intimately and supply methods and ideas on how greatest to strategy a few of the tougher achievements. That’s in all probability by no means been more true than it was this month. You could have observed that I’ve already used a number of quotes from common Playlist contributor Allgorhythm on this article, and that’s as a result of, as the author of the TA Walkthrough for Thief, he was posting regularly all through the month in help of the sport and providing useful hints and ideas. In truth, Allgorhythm accounted for twenty-four.5% of the whole posts throughout each the Spoiler and Spoiler-Free threads in January, which should be a TA Playlist file!

Allgorhythm mentioned:

RiBoP mentioned:

Reading the above (and after scanning the walkthrough, thanks for that, btw!) makes me surprise: is it really helpful to start out on the very best problem, primarily for completion functions? Or is it additionally essentially the most gratifying strategy?

I imagine it’s the most gratifying strategy. By doing a playthrough concentrating solely on the story as offered within the 8 chapters, you get uninterrupted satisfaction from the narrative. If you are not an achievement hunter, you’ve got completed the sport and might congratulate your self on a job nicely accomplished.
If you might be an achievement hunter, you’ll be able to then do your second playthrough on the issue of your selecting. This is the exploration playthrough. The City may be very expansive and there is a lot to see and do–side jobs, secret locations, frequent and unusual loot, and so on. Additionally, since you know the way the chapters play out, you’ll be able to examine them extra completely and examine the secrets and techniques they maintain.

Check out all of Allgorhythm’s ideas, together with what customized problem settings to make use of to make sure you don’t fail a few of the sport’s missable achievements, within the boards!
Piemanns Bakery mentioned:

I’m actually having fun with my playthrough on Thief, which was a sport I appeared into enjoying some time in the past because it was free with GwG, however it felt overwhelming particularly the customized problem achievements. Thanks to the optimistic suggestions on the walkthrough, I’ve given it a go, and man, to start with, thanks a lot, Allgorhythm, for the element and time you took on it! The storyline is sweet, gameplay is nice, I actually stay up for the second playthrough so I can discover a little bit extra with out the priority of being noticed throughout the customized problem playthrough. I simply completed chapter 5, and that chapter bought my coronary heart pounding throughout the part with the freaks within the asylum basement. Needed my brown pants! Finding a sport like because of this I stay up for the TA Playlist every month!

During the month of January, we had 504 tracked avid gamers enjoying together with the TA Playlist sport, together with 314 who began it for the primary time and 23 who went on to finish the sport’s 37 achievements. In complete, the TA group unlocked 2,973 achievements in Thief and Thief (Xbox 360) throughout January, for a complete of 51,080 Gamerscore and 200,042 TrueAchievement Score.

The Drop, from the Xbox One model, was by far essentially the most unlocked achievement throughout January, with 279 tracked avid gamers incomes the achievement for finishing the prologue. At the opposite finish of the spectrum, we had a four-way tie for the least unlocked achievement of the month, with A Moral Victory (no kills or knockouts), Clear Headed (don’t use the main target potential), Hard Times (end the sport on Master problem), and Something to Prove (customized problem of 700 factors or extra), all from the Xbox 360 model, every being unlocked thrice.

These achievements all have ratios of 5.00 and above (within the 360 model, at the very least), however curiously, they’re not the highest-ratio achievements within the sport. That honor goes to ”Finders Keepers,” which boasts a 6.93 ratio within the Xbox 360 model and a whopping 7.57 ratio within the Xbox One model.

We have 13 Shout-Outs for January, though that listing solely encompasses 10 totally different avid gamers, since UpliftGecko, TheNeonShadow97, and LLTC1807 all managed to finish each variations of the sport throughout the month. UpliftGecko will get a particular shout-out for additionally clocking the quickest time, simply 42 hours and 19 minutes from the primary achievement to final of their second run-through on the Xbox 360 model.

Time is working out to take part within the February 2024 TA Playlist sport, Rise of the Tomb Raider. Either unlock an achievement within the sport earlier than midnight UTC on March 1 or drop by the Spoiler-Free and Spoiler Discussion Threads to inform us about your adventures as Lara Croft within the Siberian wilderness. And don’t neglect to come back again in March for the sci-fi month featured sport, Cyberpunk 2077. See you subsequent month!

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