15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Three fantastic games, and now NewDark patched Thief I and Thief II will run on modern Windows 7 PCs,
This review is from: Thief: The Complete Collection (PC DVD) (Electronics)
Update 2014: If you buy these three games directly from Steam all the latest community NewDark engine patches have been applied to Thief 1 & 2 and now all three of these old Thief games run perfectly on my Windows 7 64-bit Intel Quad core gaming PC. Steam's Thief Gold - i.e. 'Thief 1: The Dark Project' from 1998 with extra fan levels - looks pretty good on my 24" Dell monitor. Buying from Steam is slightly easier than finding and adding the patches to these old DVD install versions, although there's only one needed for each game. You can also download the updated Thief I & II games from GOG.com. The games now support HD widescreen resolutions, i.e. 1920 x 1080.
These new patched versions of Thief 1 & Thief II: The metal age (2000) run under NewDark, a fan-modified version of Thief's Dark Engine. As I prefer the original gameplay to the 'Thief 1 Gold' included in the this DVD, I simply NewDark patched my ancient SoldOut install copy of Thief: The Dark Project and the game now runs superbly under Windows 7 64-bit. Search on-line with the words 'NewDark' and 'Thief 1 and 2' and in the www.ttlg.com forums and elsewhere you can link to download the patches (one for each game, NewDark is at v1.22 as I write). If that's a bit scary, buy the NewDark ready patched STEAM or GOG.com versions. Thief 3: The Deadly Shadows (2004) has always run fine for me under XP and Windows 7, whether I use this install DVD or download via Steam (although Deadly Shadows still that the odd glide glitch where jump deactivates, but that's overcome by saving and reloading or falling off something). Although I seem to be one of the few, I also loved the 2014 Thief IV reboot Thief (PC DVD) game - nowhere near as good a storyline as Thief 3: Deadly Shadows though. There is now a Thief 3:Deadly Shadows GOLD TFix patch as well that massively speeds up loading times, helps playability and can add in optional fan levels (it works on STEAM installs as well).
Old 2010 review: I have literally worn out my original Thief III CD, so I invested in this triple Thief set: Thief: The Dark Project [superb], Thief II: The Metal Age [very good], and Thief III: Deadly Shadows [superlative]. You can still cheaply buy these older games individually or as this new triple pack in 'The Thief Collection'. All the games are on one DVD, and installing them was very easy via a unified interface, and the Indeo Video software is available as a 'patch' if needed. These games have all the most recent patches applied [and there's little chance any new ones will appear]. This DVD has the rare Thief I Gold edition, which has extra levels, although Thief II appears to be original release. I'm so used to the original Thief:Dark Project gameplay, that I'm not fully sold on the extra levels on Gold, as they are a bit of a Labyrinthian slog affecting pace, but I guess I'd rather have them than not (and you can buy the original Thief game CD cheaply anyway).
Naturally I was hoping that these Thief I and II games here would run far better under XP than the original game installs (they were ported for Windows 98SE PCs originally), and that Eidos had tweaked them in some way. Sadly it was not to be, and both Thief I and II crash within seconds of running on both our 32-bit XP Pro gaming PCs - just as the games have always done. That said, both Thief I and II games run perfectly on our Inspiron 6000 laptop with XP Pro and its integrated GMA 915 graphics, probably as it's a single core CPU with old graphics drivers, so you may get lucky and be rewarded with two classic games. Despite the optimistic `runs under XP/Vista' description by Eidos and Amazon, these older `dark engine' games simply aren't as XP/Vista/7 or multi-core CPU friendly as Thief III:Deadly shadows, and may take some work to get running. Thief III:Deadly Shadows is far more XP/Vista/Windows 7 friendly and should run on your gaming PC, and fortunately it's also the best game visually. With XP Pro, Windows 7 & Vista, Thief III: Deadly Shadows still has the odd glide glitch, but that's overcome by saving and reloading or falling off something.
The totally convincing stealth aspect of the game-play is unique to the thief series, and the recreation of a rather surreal medieval Europe (with Gothic engines and electric lights) is engrossing. It's a world steeped in dark magic, holy scripts and religious fervour. You (the thief Garret) must creep around in the shadows, pick locks and pockets, stealing whatever comes your way unseen. You can knock out the odd guard etc. and drag him into the shadows (as if his body is found the alarm will sound). Everything you steal can be sold to a fence to buy more weapons or given to the secretive Keepers, guardians of the mystical glyphs, to help prevent the Age of Darkness descending. So no gung-ho charge with a BFG here, you will be overpowered and in Pavelock Prison seconds later, if you are lucky. You can fight back, but often at very high cost to your health. Game-play isn't really stealth assassin shooter, you shouldn't need to kill anyone at all, just creep in there and steal that fabulous object [or mystical artefact] undetected and get out of there intact ASAP. Or you may just be looking for information, via eves-dropping conversations or from books/manuscripts lying around. Game-play is always atmospheric and goes very creepy when zombies and spiders are about - although you can chill out in the shadows if no-one sees you go there or bumps into you. Guards are observant though, and they notice things like candles snuffed out or doors left open. As with any thieving, my advice is to just leg-it if you are discovered - after all anything is legal as long as you don't get caught. Although Garret is morally ambiguous, generally he sides with the forces of light against those of darkness, but he lives in the shadowy grey area between both, and if the price is right...
To me, the best levels are Thief III's trip to 'The Cradle', Thief II's 'Sabotage at Soulforge' and Thief I's 'Return to the Haunted Cathedral' - the latter is only let down by the relatively poor graphics. See the original games on Amazon for more details. Eidos are now working on the new Thief IV game, literally denoted in glyphs as THI4F. Thief 4 (PC DVD) was released in March 2014, with the main disappointment being Stephen Russell who voiced Garrett in these previous Thief games, was replaced (sadly his build was considered unsuitable for the full performance capture techniques used to produce the new Thief game and nobody liked the thought of dubbing). Those new to Thief should at least first try playing the Thief III game available here, although I always re-set the default action keys to left mouse: run and right mouse: attack, and adjust mouse sensitivity, or else it can be clunky getting Garret about. I've seen one wag call these games 'First person looters', and without doubt they are my favourite action games.
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Initial post: 17 Oct 2010 14:26:15 BDT
Last edited by the author on 22 Nov 2014 23:18:44 GMT
It was the modern multi-core CPU PC hardware not the Windows OS as such that caused the problems with Thief 1 and 2 - as mentioned both my old Thief I Gold and Thief II games have always run very well on our Windows XP Pro Inspiron 6000 laptop with an overclocked single core 2.24GHz Pentium M, 2Gb RAM and Intel GMA 915 graphics [they just install and run from this DVD set, no mods required]. Still the NewDark patch appears to overcome all of these old multi-core problems with modern Windows 7 PCs - and certainly the games run OK on our three Windows 7 gaming PCs, both as STEAM games and as Newdark v1.22 patched versions installed from this DVD.
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