Saturday, 2 December 2017

Dealing with backlog: Thief

I first started playing this game in 2014 or 2015 when it was new. But back then I thought it was really difficult, especially I thought that everywhere looked the same and I couldn't figure out how to get from place to place. I didn't get further than chapter 2 that time.

I decided to play through it properly this time around, and I feel like it goes to show home much I've evolved as a gamer in the past three years. I had no trouble finding my way anymore, sneaking about and using powers came naturally and for the most part I actually found it to be quite leisurely. The only thing that bothered me was that the playing tips on the loading screen kept telling me that if I had a running start I could leap great lengths - but every time I tried it Garrett just fell to his death.

I rarely play stealth games as stealth games, and Thief was no exception. Instead of bothering sneaking past the enemies and the guards I pretty soon started to just eliminate the enemies and then casually stroll about looking for loot.

The story was alright. It felt like it needed to have the details worked out more, and it would also have been nice if the story missions weren't all broken up like they were. While I really liked Garrett as a character Erin came across as a weedling, whining, childish brat both before and after the Primal and I just couldn't like her. The Thief-Taker General was an odd character. Whose side was he on? Was it always Aldous'? Because it seemed, for a while, as if he was working for the Baron... The boss fight against him was interesting but pretty straight-forward. First I tried sneaking past him and let him live, but because he kept one-shotting me with his blast arrows or whatever every time I tried to make it across the room, I simply decided that he was too annoying to live and so I defeated him, looted the room and then left him to go deal with Aldous.

The story mission at the old asylum was the creepiest thing I've played in a long long while. The invisible ghost making noise and groaning sounds at the male ward creeped me out, but even scarier was the ghost in the female ward who kept appearing and disappearing and force me out of rooms and at one point even made an illusionary fire burst out of one of the cells while pushing me out of it. That's when I nope'd out on exploring and just decided to follow the quest markers. That wasn't any better, The people warped by the Primal freaked me out and they hurt like hell. It wasn't until much later that I figured out that fire arrows could damage them and blast arrows disintegrated them. The visions Erin kept sending me via the Primal's power didn't make things any better. I was extremely grateful to be out of there.

The final battle was odd, but way too easy to even be considered a battle. Just dodge and run.

I can't help but compare this game to Dishonored. While I think Dishonored has a much better story I actually prefer Thief's gameplay. Less powers in Thief (I rarely use anything other than seeing hidden things in Dishonored anyway) and less huge annoying enemies in Thief. I hated the guys on stilts in Dishonored and the clockwork soldiers in Dishonored 2 were equally bad. Thief didn't have those higher level enemies, and was more focused on stealth and loot, which I actually prefered. Thief made me realise that I prefer my stealth games to be loot-based rather than action-based, and Dishonored is definitely more action-based.

I really liked this game and I'm hoping for a sequel. I'm aware it's a remake, but I don't feel ready to try the old games.

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