Third party DRM: SteamThis game requires a free Steam account to play.
THE BANK HEIST: For a limited time only, purchase Thief to get an extra in-game mission:
As the Master Thief, infiltrate the City’s most secure location, Stonemarket First Bank, to retrieve a coveted heirloom. To this day, the heavily guarded and treacherous place remains impregnable, but that’s about to change…
Garrett, the Master Thief, steps from the shadows into the City. With the Baron’s Watch spreading a rising tide of fear and oppression, a mysterious sickness grips the streets. Led by Orion, the voice of the people, the citizens rise in bloody revolution.
Garrett’s thieving skills are all he can trust as he walks the fine line between politics and the people, entangled in layers of conflict. With time running out, the Master Thief unravels a terrible secret from his dark past that ultimately threatens to tear his world apart.
Garrett never paid the price for anything… until now.
YOU ARE GARRETT, THE MASTER THIEF Step into the silent shoes of Garrett, a dark and solitary thief with an unrivalled set of skills. The most challenging heists, the most inaccessible loot, the best kept secrets: nothing is out of your reach.
THE CITY: YOURS FOR THE TAKING Explore the sick and troubled City, from its shady back alleys to the heights of its rooftops. Sneak through the streets, infiltrate heavily-guarded mansions and lurk in every dark corner… unnoticed and unsanctioned.
CHOOSE YOUR APPROACH Use Garrett’s arsenal to take down guards silently with your blackjack, use multiple arrow types to manipulate your environment and the enemies within them, or use your newly acquired focus abilities to increase the effectiveness of your thieving skills. What kind of Master Thief will you be?
UNPRECEDENTED IMMERSION Become one with the world thanks to ground-breaking visual elements and a truly tactile and visceral first-person experience. ThiefTM delivers unprecedented immersion through sights, sounds and artificial intelligence.
Thief Steals Its Own FocusCrimsonWizard | March 2, 2014 | See all CrimsonWizard's reviews »
Thief (2014) is the reboot of the innovative Thief series that helped introduce and spread the stealth genre to young fledgling 3D game market of the 90's. It would be difficult for any game to bring that kind of an impact, whether it was good or bad, so when I played Thief my expectations were to have a fun time.
I thought maybe it would be something in the line of Dishonored which in itself was a Thief inspired game. And well, Thief does feel like a Thief game, sometimes. Sometimes it wants to be like Assassin's Creed, or the newly rebooted Tomb Raider, or even Dishonored itself oddly. And that is the major problem.
Playing through Thief is like playing through a mess of modern gaming cliches thrown on top of the bones of the original Thief games. For instance, many times in the game you're stuck going down linear corridors or narrow level design, or stuck on some scripted climbing or escape sequence. Cinematic cut-scenes and orchestral stings pepper the game. It's a real shame too since when the game decides it wants to be Thief, it actually is fun, especially during the first half of the game. Sneaking through large houses, knocking out guards while plundering the place is a lot of fun. Well, until you've stolen about your 50th pen, and then things start getting a little repetitive.
Repetition in fact is another big issue with this game. You'll find yourself eventually wishing for some way to speed Garrett up as he goes through the same scripted opening animations over and over again, while trying to hide from the guards in The City. The same could be said about the combat.
While sneaking around and your distraction techniques work fairly well in this game, getting into direct combat is basically a punishment. If you're playing with a controller, you're limited to one button for dodging and one button for attacks with your blackjack. Pray you only end up in a fight with one enemy or you're pretty much screwed, but even when it is a fair fight, direct combat is a chore. Granted direct combat in the original Thief wasn't the best, but it didn't feel like a slow, plodding slap fest. So if you want to have fun, sneak around and use the trick arrows. Smacking a watchman between the eyes with an arrow, or knocking them out from behind are far better options.
Speaking of sneaking, this is clearly the game's strong suit thankfully with each chapter usually giving you at least two paths to progress through a stage, even when it gets more linear. Some paths are littered with more treasure while other paths give you better vantage points. The game is also fairly balanced with this design with shadows everywhere to hide in. Even if you don't bother buying upgrades or supplies with your gold, the game is navigable even on Master Thief difficulty if you take advantage of the level itself.
Unfortunately for Master Thief Garrett, his story has about the same jumbled structure of modern ideas thrust upon it as the gameplay. In the reboot, Garrett is established as the veteran thief on a run with a young, headstrong thief. No wait, now the game is about a weird life energy that runs through The City like Final Fantasy VII. Ah, but now we have a struggle between the overzealous Watch and the chaotic revolutionaries. Thief bounces around all these plot threads, but doesn't focus enough on one to let it fully develop.
Unfortunately, this applies to the characters as well. Your fellow thief Erin is basically a walk plot device dressed in emo designs and behaviour, and Garrett is a bit more plain in this Thief game, with his witty remarks amounting to stating the obvious half the time. Hell, even the guards feel undeveloped with most of their conversations you hear while traveling around amounting to "By the Baron, I love kicking these people when they're down!"
Sure, The City is full of unsavoury figures, but I'd like to imagine at least some of these people are human, even if they're forced to be hard during this peculiar plague afflicting The City. The most damning part though is the ending, which to try and not spoil anything fails to explain and tie together everything that's happened or the impact of your actions.
It would be easy for me to say to ignore the story and the modern game cliches to enjoy the solid thieving levels early on, but the game continues to thrust both problems in your face, making the experience a mess. It truly is a shame too because the game is such a well built mess. The team that ported to PC did a great job, making the game run smoothly, and work well with a keyboard or controller. There are some odd audio bugs where you overhear conversations through other rooms sometimes, but otherwise the game does fine work making it appear like you're treading through a big dreary city.
If you wish to take a break from the main game, you may be happy to know there's also a challenge mode as well. Challenge mode is best described as a thieving version of Resident Evil's arcade-like Mercenaries mode. Basically, you choose one of three levels and scoring systems and then run around, stealing as much loot as you can while avoiding guards and keeping your theft combo up to get the highest score possible. It's pretty fun actually, distilling some of the best parts of the game into a competition of sorts.
At the end of the day, is Thief worth buying? I have to say no, at least not at full price. Long time Thief fans will be annoyed at the modern cliches and linear second half that litter the stealth foundation. Meanwhile, more modern stealth fans will probably be annoyed by the boring combat, and the slow, methodical stealth style the game uses. There's no flying around like Batman or blinking around the field like in Dishonored. It's a disappointment, especially since the developing studio was responsible for reviving Deus Ex with Human Revolution which was an excellent game with stealth elements. Thief aspires to be like so many other big budget games, and juggles so many big story ideas that it doesn't payoff by the end of the experience. I had some fun early on and with challenge mode, but grew soured by the end. In short, pass over Thief, there's other games with potential on the pipeline.