Just finished the 2014 revamp of Thief.
I was excited, because the previous games were the original stealth games and the last one, Thief: Deadly Shadows was, well, bloody awesome. I envy people of a certain generation who could say, hey, in the 70’s I was in a pub in the East End and Keith Richards and Paul Rodgers were playing pool. Or hey I saw the Small Faces play in a tiny club in Kentish Town in 1966.
People, who even for the briefest moment were witness to an original moment in history.
As I’ve harped on about before, I am of the generation who were there at the beginning of home PC’s and the games that evolved from such humble beginnings of Elite, XCOM: Enemy Unknown and Syndicate. This is where I developed further my self isolating behaviour and started enjoying feverishly, wasting long periods of my life when I could have been enjoying fresh air and meeting people.
So, I have wasted such periods of my life on some of the best original games that today have spawned a billion half hearted, limpdicked rehashes. Don’t get me wrong, the genre has advanced to a point that makes those early sparks of genius, the metaphorical acorns that have grown into pretty decent sized trees, Farcry (besides the QTE elements) and the whole sandbox revolution.
The problem is that now and again, some bastard comes along with a chainsaw and £30 later you’ve got a chest of drawers and a bookcase, both mundanely useful but nothing like a tree from an aesthetic point of view.
And sadly, just like remaking old films (remake Spiderman FFS!!), remaking old games is…shit!
I bet out there at this exact second in history, there are a thousand…no..a million people who have an idea for a computer game in their heads that could revolutionize the genre. Something mind-blowing. But sadly these people and their ideas have crappy jobs that they need to afford that luxury of keeping a roof over their heads or eating, and those dreams will fade, or be pushed back to the woulda-coulda-shoulda corner of their minds, there to gather dust and be something to muse on when their eyesight fails along with their bladder control.
Meanwhile, large gaming corporations, who yes I firmly believe have games fans working for them, reproduce games like Thief, the shareholders and chief execs sitting back and patting themselves on the back for hooking in people who either played the original or heard how good it was, but can’t play it because their computer is too powerful to run it.
I have to say I haven’t really milked the game and seen what I can get out of it now I’ve completed the main storyline, and maybe I will. This review is purely a first impression. Thief is a fairly good game..The stealth aspects are there, the atmosphere is there, the story is…there. NO WAIT!
The story sucks. The ending making me think that a guy like Garret, one of PC histories most iconic characters, who spends his life climbing about on rooftops, really should in his free time have done some serious work with one of those hand exercise machines. To sum it up,
adjective: lame; comparative adjective: lamer; superlative adjective: lamest
(of a person or animal) unable to walk without difficulty as the result of an injury or illness affecting the leg or foot.
“his horse went lame”
(of a leg or foot) affected by injury or illness.
“despite his lame leg, he fled”
(of an explanation or excuse) unconvincingly feeble.
Why do they do it? OH WHY!
The game play, while atmospheric is also very linear, something you simply don’t expect from this time in gaming history. Unless, this was the intention to give the game that retro feel. They even tried to recreate The Cradle, that insanity teasing section of Deadly Shadows that remains one of the most creepy sections of any game that doesn’t have zombies, alien face suckers, or scary little girls in it. But the effect is rather weak now, like a 21st century audience being expected to be scared by Creature from the Black Lagoon.
Some areas of the city exist only for the player to get to a preset scenario and have no opportunities to do a bit of stealing, which is a little soul destroying.
Over all, I was hoping for it to get me over this period before Elder Scrolls Online comes out next month, but here I am on the 6th March, game completed. It will probably go into my pile of games that I enjoyed but will probably not revisit. There doesn’t seem to be much point. And there lies the problem with such games. Without that option to explore and discover things or ways of doing stuff you may not have found before, a game like Thief, simply becomes a vanilla experience like a novel you buy at the airport to see you through the flight. They are something to indulge in briefly but then discard. The problem here is its a £30 novel you buy at the airport and then leave in a cafe somewhere for someone else to read, forgotten with only a vague sense of temporary intrigue or investment. A game you really wish you’d have Torrented, as would be befitting of such a throwaway experience.