E3 – Thief Hands-Off Preview
Eidos Montreal is the studio that brought Deus Ex into the current generation of gaming with Human Revolution. As a follow up, their next big project is to do the same thing to the classic Thief series.
This is the fourth game in the franchise (it was actually previously to be called Thief 4 but they dropped the number at some point), and it takes place in a medieval/steampunk world in which you play as master thief Garrett. The objectives here are sneaking in and out of buildings, stealing well-guarded items, and slipping out undetected. As is standard with the finest stealth games, Thief provides you with a number of options for getting around. This demo focused on a particularly direct path which necessitated you using a variety of gadgets such as water arrows for dousing torches, regular arrows for killing guards, and spots for putting up ropes to climb out of trouble. You are also provided with a Focus ability, which highlights important items, weapons, and enemy positions. To draw a comparison, it is similar to the Detective Mode in the Batman: Arkham games.
Thief‘s user interface is cleverly designed in that it shows a kind of shadow around the periphery of the screen to communicate that you are hidden from view. One modern stealth feature which was shown off in this demo is that if you are discovered, combat is a viable option. The Focus ability can be used to identify an enemy’s weakness for you to exploit which triggers a nice takedown animation.
Climbing, fighting, shooting, and sneaking are the tools of the professional, and Thief appears to have them all well in hand. It is slated for release on PS4, XBox One, and PC in 2014.