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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thieving for all
I've just finished playing "Thief" and have no problem recommending it to anyone who is more interested in taking his (or her) time being sneaky. It's certainly not a mash-and-bash COD type of game, because the fight mechanism doesn't really allow the player to be in-your-face agressive - this'll get you killed more often than not. You can play this game in several play...
Published 11 months ago by crliege

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3.0 out of 5 stars Ok but not enough like playing Thief
I was very excited about this game coming out, unfortunately I found it to be rather disappointing. I am a huge fan of the original Thief series, in particular Thief 2 which I regard as a true classic. What I loved about Thief 2 was the sense of being dumped in a huge environment with only the vaguest idea what you were supposed to do or where you were supposed to go. The...
Published 5 months ago by graham_525


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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thieving for all, 12 April 2014
By 
crliege (Guildford, Surrey) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Thief (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
I've just finished playing "Thief" and have no problem recommending it to anyone who is more interested in taking his (or her) time being sneaky. It's certainly not a mash-and-bash COD type of game, because the fight mechanism doesn't really allow the player to be in-your-face agressive - this'll get you killed more often than not. You can play this game in several play modes, from very easy (rogue) to very hard (ghost). Choices abound.

As befits such an occupation, this game is played in the dark; everything happens at night, which gives it a somewhat gloomy atmosphere, but I'd guess this sort of thieving, house-breaking and safe-cracking is done at night, so this seems, after a while, quite normal. "Thief" is quite similar in feel and style to "Dishonored", although this latter doesn't have the more open world replay value that "Thief" has.

I've seen a couple of comments where people want to jump (as you might do in "Assassins Creed") but these aren't really fair; AC is all about leaps of faith and scampering up building, in itself fine for that game. "Thief" is more about figuring things out and careful strategic planning and in that respect is much more like real life. I can't jump and keep jumping up the side of a building, and in "Thief" you're naturally limited to what would be normal. Similarly, fall from an unreasonable height and you're dead or really badly injured, which is also quite life real life. Movement, for the most part, then, is quite normal, although running and jumping is sometimes not obvious. In some places you will be able to jump a gap between two sides of a street, and in a couple of places you pretty well break your neck. This is mostly because you have to find another way to get into the target building.

Therein lies the fun of this game, figuring out how to get into places can be a bit of a teaser - a rope arrow is a really good friend more often than not.

Careful planning is essential, you can't just walk into a room and hunker down in the corner and not expect to be noticed. You can, under some circumstances, but not always, so you have to be careful.

In part, although the story chapters require you to do one thing, that is get to the end, you can ignore a lot of the goodies scattered about if you want, but being poor means you can't buy such essentials as equipment, upgrades, food and focus packs. There aren't that many food and focus packs scattered around the game; there are a number, but they're not always that easy to find, as a result you have to go back to planning your strategy; don't expect to survive physical contact with enemies if you've blundered into them and haven't planned a safe exit route, or don't have the necessary health to help you out in a tight spot. Rushing into a room with two or three enemies in and hoping to survive a face-to-face fight will likely get your killed.

Lots of planning and collection of baubles, bangles and all manner of trinkets and you can have some serious fun with this game. You can play as you wish. Shoot enemies with an arrow to the head, or carefully sneak about, and at the end of each chapter a menu will come up to tell you how you did. There are no smarty points for doing it either way, though "ghost", where you have to get by unnoticed, is the most challenging. For fun, once I had enough of everything, I went through some chapters again and tried to do them in all three modes - shoot 'em all, shoot some, shoot nobody. Shooting everyone is much easier, as once they're out the way you can wander the streets, now completely devoid of agressive enemies and pick your way from doors to safes as you wish. This is, of course, the most unrealistic, because real life wouldn't be like that. OK, you don't get droves and droves of respawning enemies like COD (which, in a way, is probably what would happen if one lone miscreant started to off the local military). It all depends on what you're trying to do.

One somewhat unrealistic part of the game is that the houses you filtch all the jewels and pilfer the contents of safes from are, for the most part, devoid of people. Well, this makes lock-picking easier, but it is a bit odd. Then, when you get into some areas, and you're trying to be a ghost, picking locks with guards about can be a real challenge.

Figuring out the puzzles, which are, regrettably, few and far between, is a lot of fun, and will require the player to pay attention to what is going on, because there's a lot of stuff, notes and other clues lying around which will help you understand one part or another of the game, and usually offer hints at what's coming next.

Once you've finished the different chapters you are also free to roam about in areas you've already visitied, and can, once you find the chapter jump-off point, redo chapters again and again and again. In fact you're prompted at the end of each chapter with a menu which asks you if you want to repeat the chapter at that point. I'd guess this would be a really cheeky way of earning lots and lots of gold, but might be a bit pointless. Being able to move about and redo chapters over and over, and revisit houses and maybe find places you've not yet broken into, is possible and could be a big plus for some players - it certainly adds to the value of this game. Having said that, side missions aren't that many, which might be somewhat of a disappointment. Nevertheless, there's great scope for adventure of one sort or anoher, so scooting through the whole game in, say, 8 hours is possible, taking your time and redoing chapters to get every single item, could take days, if not weeks.

There's a major problem with the dialogoue in the cut-scenes; all that happens is that you have images of people flapping their gums but there's no sound, so you don't know what's being said, and therefore can't decide how important that information might be. For no other reason than letting you know everything that's going on, this can be a little annoying. This is apparently due to turning off the music, which I do in all games. There is probably a fix or workaround, but once I realised that I didn't really need what was being said in order to start the next chapter, I just skipped the offending cut-scene. Oddly, this doesn't happen for all the cut-scenes, it's a problem for most, however.

I also had an odd video glitch in one place which gave me the red-ring-of-death shivers thinking that my Xbox 360 was going down the drain, this manifested itself with odd steaks of solid bands of colour shooting diagonally across my screen. A restart solved the problem and it only happened once, so I'm not sure whether it was just my console burping or some other alien manifestation. This didn't recur on restart.

In sum, I'd highly recommend this game. I enjoyed it immensely.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hiding in the shadows., 27 April 2014
This review is from: Thief (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Thief is a stealth video game developed by Eidos Montreal and published by Square Enix. It is a revival of the cult classic Thief series of stealth games, of which it is the fourth game. Players control Garrett, a master thief, as he intends to steal from the rich. Similar to previous games in the series, players must use stealth in order to overcome challenges, while violence is left as a minimally effective last resort. The ambiance is remarkably similar to Dishonored, with the Black City and allusions to a devastating plague, this is due to the fact that it was done by the same creator of that game, so if you liked Dishonored then you'll probably enjoy this one.

Now I haven't played the previous games in the series but I must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed this latest installment, being a fan of stealth games I must say that the stealth gameplay was very good and the controls were very responsive. Those who complained about the movement and controls were rather unfair, since the game wasn't like Assassin's Creed where freedom of movement and acrobatics were the main focus and even the character within the game mentions that he wasn't exactly a fighter which explains the somewhat weak combat system.

Gameplay is choice-driven, with players having a number of possible paths and approaches in a given level. Players may use the environment to their advantage, as well as pickpocket characters. As Garrett attempts to steal in levels, guards and other non-player characters (if they are aware of his presence) will try to flush him out and kill him. Different NPCs may use different means to find him, and the game's artificial intelligence will be aware of the level design, and therefore, know of potential hiding spots. The story also contains an eerie paranormal twist that definitely takes this from being a mere stealth game. The difficulty was fairly good with each chapter being increasingly more challenging then the next, so you need to brush up on your stealth skills.

You can also enter a "Focus" mode, which provides several advantages. It enhances Garrett's vision, highlighting pipes that can be climbed, or candles that can be put out to make the area darker. Focus can also slow down time, so that Garrett is able to steal more effectively while pickpocketing. Garrett can also use Focus to push enemies or perform debilitating attacks. It can be further upgraded over the course of the game, you also have this swoop ability while hiding in a different cover. All this adds to the unique variety of game play and it is fun trying out different strategies. The City is a fantastic looking place in its modern iteration: while Thief might lack Dishonored's distinctive art style, it boasts a level of detail that gives it a real sense of place. The entire game takes place at night, but colour is used carefully to distinguish areas and make it clear when you're concealed in shadow. This is matched with a spread of audio-visual tricks that fill in for Garrett's instincts.

It took me 15 hours to complete the campaign with the majority of side activities factored-in. The City plays the role of mission hub, not only linking each chapter but also offering a range of activities of its own. It's large but narrow and divided into pre-planned routes that you'll become very familiar with as you travel through the rooftops over and over. The majority of side missions are single-room stealth or puzzle challenges, but half a dozen take place in entirely new areas. These are a highlight: small but open-ended environments that suit Thief's tight take on stealth.

The level designs were great really showcasing the phenomenal graphics however there was this one chapter that I hated which took place in an abandoned asylum, it really felt out of place with the rest of the game and felt a bit boring. The place was way too dark which made me squint at the screen, the other issue I had was already mentioned by the reviewer below which is the low volume during the cutscenes but that could be solved by switching on the subtitles. Technical issues aside, there is skill evident in Thief's execution. The team at Eidos Montreal clearly know a lot about interaction design, and enough about level construction to build exciting places to plunder. Although the game could have been better I still enjoyed it, I really liked the variety of game play from the puzzle solving, hunting for rare treasure, breaking into safes and most importantly the great stealth elements. The characters and stroryline were also quite interesting, overall Thief was a great game while not perfect I would still recommend it.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AN EXCELLENT STEALTH GAME, 15 Mar. 2014
This review is from: Thief (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Thief is a breath of fresh air from all the usual and very samey titles that are available for the Xbox360 at the time of writing. You play the part of a master thief who loses his girlfriend (they do nothing but swap snide comments towards each other in the opening stages of the game but you can tell there's chemistry between them) and you find yourself waking up some time after an incident and begin your quest to find out what happened to her as well as trying to understand what happened to you. There is mystery on the air from the outset and all is not as it seems. Something wicked this way comes …..

You find yourself sneaking through dimly lit streets of old-world cities, sneaking into people's houses through insecure windows and stealing anything of value from rooms within. You will use the loot you acquire to purchase new skills or upgrades from shady dealers who hang around in the back streets. These upgrades can make you quieter when on the move, improve the strength of your weapon or add other benefits to your kit when preparing to take on a particularly difficult task.

I thought the graphics were really excellent. Really good use of lighting made the environments come alive. Flickering flames in dark alleys cast dancing shadows on the walls and guards patrol around with flame torches which temporarily illuminate areas of the street as they pass. This is a dark and moody game and it creates the atmosphere extremely well. The detail in characters is also good and I found the voice acting to be excellent too. The soundtrack adds extra mood and atmosphere to the proceedings and does a good job of building tension in the right places.

This is not a shooter. This is also not a combat game. So I don't understand why people slate the game for not being strong in these areas. Do they not get that a stealth game is about taking your time, choosing your path carefully, sneaking through gaps and evading enemies? In my opinion the game is very strong as a stealth game and you will want to listen to sounds as well as watch what's going on to ensure you remain fully aware of everything that's going on around you.

When you do decide to take out enemies, you can do that with a skillfull head shot with your bow. Different arrows will do different things, such as an arrow with a water-filled cartridge attached to the end can be used to extinguish flame torches and fires from a distance, one with an explosive cartridge can be used to blow up a group of enemies with a hell of a bang or a simple iron arrow head can be used for a quiet head shot. So in that respect you can actually choose to kill enemies if you wish to do so, just because you're not doing it with an M16 machine gun doesn't mean it isn't fun or addictive. Be warned if you kill one in a loud fashion, others in the vicinity will be alerted and will come hunting for you so you need to plan.

Your other weapon is a simple baton type instrument which will be used to bat enemies about the head and body until they succumb and fall to their knees after which you can execute a special move to deliver the final blow to take them out. You can also take enemies out by sneaking up behind them and throttling them quietly before dumping their body in a dark spot. When enemies see you they will draw swords or crossbows and give you a run for your money. You can either dodge their attacks and retaliate or just find an escape route and flee until the enemies lose interest and go back to their business. The dodge mechanic is perfectly adequate if you have the skill but it's made so that its not easy - this is a stealth game after all and if you're discovered you've really failed in a way - but you can recover things quickly if you make the right choices and have basic skills with the controller.

The story itself takes a little keeping up with as it can appear disjointed but things start to make sense as you progress through the game. I did find the odd case of a character's conversation doubling over on top of another person's voice who was standing nearby which made it difficult to listen to one conversation, however that certainly didn't spoil things for me. This is an open world game in so far as exploring in cities and towns can allow. You are given objectives to follow and you can ether follow them religiously or just go off exploring and stealing and return to the objective when you are ready.

I bought this game despite some of the rubbish review it has attracted. I'm glad I bought it because for me it's one of the best stealth games available for the 360, if not 'the' best. You'll need to think about what you're doing, take your time and decide how you should best tackle a situation that lies ahead, and for me that's exactly what this game should offer. It's not COD and its not Dishonoured, but hey, it doesn't want to be. Thief stands its height on its own merits and is all the better for it. Highly recommended if stealth games are your thing or if you're looking for a welcome departure from all the shooters out there.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The City that Never Sleeps, 7 Mar. 2014
This review is from: Thief (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
The game takes place in a Middle Ages/Victorian-inspired setting called The City. A sickness called the Gloom ravages the poorer citizens while the rich shut themselves up in their grand houses. You play the role of Garrett, a thief who uses his skills of stealth to pocket expensive artefacts while investigating the disappearance of his friend.

Gameplay
In Thief you spend your time sticking to the shadows, slipping past guards and emptying drawers of their valuables. It’s a credit to the developer that the stealing is enjoyable and encourages you to explore the levels thoroughly. The game definitely rewards a stealthy approach as you don’t often have the weaponry to deal with a number of alerted guards. To be successful you will have to extinguish lights, avoid traps and utilise a number of arrow types with your bow. Picking locks is a fun mechanic and can open up new areas and rarer loot. It is closest in style to 2012’s Dishonored, but with Garrett relying on being invisible rather than magical abilities. The storyline revolves around a tyrannical figure called the Baron and his men trying to stamp out a revolution, but it often strays too far into the supernatural and loses all sense of perspective.

To aid you there is a light meter which shows you whether you can be seen or not. The ‘Swoop’ action allows you to quickly dash forwards through a lit area without raising suspicions. There is also a focus mode which highlights enemies, climbing points and hidden items. The HUD by default causes loot to glint and overlays information about a guard’s alert state. However, if you want a challenge, these elements and more can be turned off. There are often two or more ways to infiltrate a building, meaning new areas to explore on subsequent playthroughs. The game is light on puzzles which are quite simplistic and don’t require too much thinking, but there are lots of collectibles to seek out if you are a completionist. I liked the stats section at the end of the level which determines whether your play style was a ‘ghost’, ‘opportunist’ or ‘predator’. Unfortunately, the levels are often split up into sections where you have to push a wooden beam out of the way by tapping ‘X’ as the rest of the mission is loaded. This also happens with the hub area, which is broken into smaller districts, separated by a loading screen.

Graphics and Sound
The graphics are quite good for a game on the end of the Xbox 360’s lifecycle. But its strength is the lighting system, with flickering flames that cast realistic shadows and create exposed areas you have to avoid. The colour palette of the game is fairly restricted but there is plenty of detail in the environments. Particle effects such as rain drops, floating specks of dust and smoke were well done and added life to the levels. Because Garrett’s hands are key to the style of gameplay, the animation work here is very good and his movements are lifelike and smooth. From closing cupboard doors, carefully moving a lock pick or brushing his fingertips over a painting to find a switch, it’s all very convincing.

Music is used at key moments to heighten tension and fitted the style of the game, usually accompanying action sequences. The choice of the accents for non-player characters is good and you can either rush past these conversations or stay and listen. At times the world can seem rich and alive, but then a character will repeat something they said a few minutes before and it shatters the illusion. They very much needed to record some alternative dialogue for these moments. Ambient noises can give you a feel for your surroundings and things like broken glass on the floor means you have to be aware that these sound effects can give your position away.

Conclusion
Thief presents a very compelling world and has generally fun stealth mechanics, but there are certain minor annoyances that have an effect on the experience, such as inconsistent enemy detections, broken up areas, repeated AI dialogue and a storyline that doesn’t hold together very well. But if you like stealth titles there are many scenarios to explore and secrets to discover.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Ok but not enough like playing Thief, 22 Oct. 2014
This review is from: Thief (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
I was very excited about this game coming out, unfortunately I found it to be rather disappointing. I am a huge fan of the original Thief series, in particular Thief 2 which I regard as a true classic. What I loved about Thief 2 was the sense of being dumped in a huge environment with only the vaguest idea what you were supposed to do or where you were supposed to go. The missions were mostly highly non linear with multiple possible routes for completing them. A lot of the time you had to wonder around for ages trying to figure out what was going on. I felt that this new Thief didn't capture that at all, it seemed to me that it was mostly inspired by Thief 3 which was in of itself a disappointment when it came out.

Partly what made Thief 2 so special was that it was as much an audio game as a visual one. The sound wasn't there simply to accompany what you were looking it, it was a huge part of the game. You had to listen very carefully to what was going on and it also helped create the weird atmosphere of a big creepy building late at night. Thief managed to do this to some extent but nearly enough to warrant calling itself Thief.

Another huge disappointment was the length, I stared at the screen in disbelief when the credits rolled. It took me longer to complete the final epic mission on Thief 2 than it did to complete the whole of Thief. There were 8 short linear missions with a few optional side missions.

Occasionally there were a few moments when it seemed like I was playing Thief but they were too brief and too far apart. Also, a boss battle in Thief? I know you had the option not to play it but it's far from keeping with the spirit of the game. Same goes for the bits where it suddenly turned into Prince of Persia. Seriously, what was that all about?

Maybe the premise for a Thief games is too dated for modern gamers. Thief was a slow paced game where often not much happened. It was also challenging, in this Thief the player didn't have to find a certain amount of loot to complete the mission. All you had to do was get from the beginning to the end of the mission following a largely prescribed root. I did like the fact you could be assessed as either a ghost, an opportunist or a predator. It made me want to go back later and replay the missions, which you can, to complete them as a Ghost. However, their locations aren't marked on the map!

There were some good elements to this; the graphics were great, the atmosphere was very good in places and some of the game play was excellent. It just wasn't "Thiefy" enough for me.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Custom game setting can make this a great stealth experience, 5 May 2014
By 
Andromeda Descendent (Tarn Vedra) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Thief (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
This was probably the last full price game I'll buy for the Xbox 360 before I buy the new console for playing Halo 5 and Destiny. I'll be straight up with you, I was going to buy the physical copy of this game and then didn't because I heard some fairly negative comments. It was only when Thief was sold at half price as a download through the Xbox dashboard that I decided at that price I was prepared to buy it and lower my expectations. I shouldn't have listened to the reviews as it happened, as it turned out this was exactly my type of game.

The comparisons with Dishonored are many, and I won't go into them, but what really frustrated me about Dishonored was that I wanted to play it pacifist but each chapter I'd go through it doing nothing wrong that I could see and at the end it would tell me I had killed 1 person, when at the most I had knocked someone out. Thief allows you to set up a custom difficulty setting that removes the all supernatural "focus" abilities if you want to (and I did), and/or immediately brings up a chapter fail notice if you kill, knockout or even get noticed by an enemy. Because you have a manual save (plus a separate autosave that you can backtrack to if you place yourself in an impossible situation before manually saving), this instant fail is just what the true stealth approach player wants and needs. You can also make resources (rope arrows, water arrows, etc) extremely expensive to buy and almost non existent to find. Why would you want to do that? For the challenge and to keep things tense. After finishing the game on custom I went back and tried the game on the default setting, with the focus abilities enabled. I didn't like it that way. If I had been forced to play it that way from the start, I wouldn't have enjoyed the game anywhere near as much as I did with the constant tension and extreme resource management of the custom setting I chose to play in.

The story I found quite interesting, although I wasn't taken with the ending, and the environments offered a lot of nice close quarters sneaky gameplay. Between chapters you can explore and steal your way around an open world city area, with more areas becoming accessible the more chapters you play. It's not a huge area, some of the chapters themselves being bigger in area than any or maybe all the city districts, but there are so many hidden areas to find. You keep discovering windows, ledges or doorways you walked past many times before, and the key is that you need to keep looking up and also for hidden switches. Rope arrows allow you to access high ledges and rooftops, and there are plenty of repayable side quests to test your sneaking skills. Chapters are re-playable too, and although you can go fast through the levels if you want to, there is a lot of satisfaction in managing to track down every last loot item or collectible, especially doing it undetected.

There are some problems that get in the way of the enjoyment at times. Guards can often (at least once a chapter in my experience) get stuck in doorways and go into a strange strobe-like state where they flip between facing backwards and forwards several times a second. They also start the same annoying conversations again and again each time you pass them in the city, and often this conversation doubles up so that about two seconds in it starts up a second time, running alongside the original sound clip. The custom setting also fails you if you try and distract a guard using the environment anywhere near a caged dog, even if you're hidden inside a building well away from it. There's also surprisingly little in the way of distraction options. It makes guards seem like – well, computer game guards – when they need to seem as much like real people as possible.

But problems aside, if you want to play as stealthily as possible, then this is a game worthy of your attention. If you want to play it as an action game and kill guards up close and personal – or even switch from stealth to action when you get spotted – it's not as good at that.

One final note: there is an extra mission you can buy as DLC called The Bank Heist. It is completely worth the money being asked for it, so you should also download that if you buy this game.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Their, 19 April 2014
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This review is from: Thief (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Excellent game my son is loving playing it arrived on time exactly as described thanks very much really pleased with purchase
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 6 July 2014
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This review is from: Thief (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
nice
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 3 July 2014
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This review is from: Thief (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Great buy!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty interesting, 23 May 2014
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This review is from: Thief (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
I actually found the game cool and interesting, I dunno why it has many negative reviews. it has a lot of side activities you can do after finishing the game and you can buy different weapons but no guns of course cuz you're a thief not a killer... you can choose whether you be like a ghost and not kill anyone and not be seen OR you can choose to kill everyone around you, it's up to you.
The only disadvantages I found in this game is the combat, you cannot win easily especially if you're stuck between them so it's better to avoid conflict. Overall, it's a good enjoyable game.
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Thief (Xbox 360)
Thief (Xbox 360) by Square Enix (Xbox 360)
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