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Customer Review

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thieving for all, 12 April 2014
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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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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 5 Jan 2015 12:44:43 GMT
ernieg says:
Thank you for an extremely in depth analysis of the game, THIEF.
It has made my decision to buy or not to buy decisive...........

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Jan 2015 11:17:14 GMT
crliege says:
Have fun, a sneaky (in the best sense of gaming) experience, which I'd rate with "Dishonored"; somewhat longer and more involved. It also alows you to revisit parts of the map again and again - you can't do that in "Dishonored".
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