Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Thief 2014 Video Game Review

Thief (2014) is a stealth based video game released by Square Enix and developed by Eidos Montreal in 2014. It was available on the PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Playstation 3 and Playstation 4. Thief is the fourth in a series of Thief games and is a reboot. In Thief you play as Garrett, a master thief, who you control through eight main levels as well as multiple side missions.

I'm going to say this off the bat, I hate stealth games. I get very bored hiding in the shadows and trying to sneak by enemies without making a sound. I would rather put a bullet into their brains and continue on. When I started to play this game I was willing to give it a few hours and if it was boring, to me, I would quit and move on. What I found as I played was that the game was very entertaining and I liked it a lot.

The game takes place in a Victorian setting while a plague ravages the city. You are on a mission to find out what happened to your friend and track her down. I won't give any spoilers away except to say that overall the story itself was pretty basic and didn't really hold my attention. It doesn't detract from the game itself but was bland for my tastes.

When you start the game you are given a claw tool which allows you to attach it to points within the world to climb to higher locations. You also have a blackjack for attacking enemies as well as compound bow that shoots regular arrows as well as fire arrow, water arrows used to put out torch lights, blast arrows which explode, and choke arrows that can kills dogs and birds so they don't raise an alarm against you. You also have blunt arrows that won't kill humans but are used to break pottery to lure guard away from you as well as to hit items in the game like pulleys which will then drop what the pulley was holding up.

The game also has a focus system that works reminded me a lot of "Detective Vision" from the Batman Arkham Asylum video games. When triggered it allows you to see items that you can interact with by highlighting them in blue. This system works pretty well and makes it easier to spot hidden items to steal. It also slows time down making it easier for you to pickpocket people.

While you make your way through the game you will come across these "focus points" which allow you to upgrade your focus abilities. This is basically how you level up in the game. It allows you to unlock better abilities when attacking, sneaking and so on. I like that the game gives you the option to pay for these unlocks, each new level bought increases the price for the next one.

You make your way around the city while keeping out of sight of the guards who will attack you on sight. The easiest way to stay out of sight is by climbing to the top of the buildings. This is also the main way to get from one section of the city to another. The to keep load times down the city is only accessible in parts. To get from one part of the city to another usually you need to find a window to climb through and walk through someones house and then go out a window on the other side of the building that leads to a new section of the city. I understand why they did this but it seems a bit weird that the only way to access parts of the city is to climb through someones house.

Many of the buildings you come across allow you to pick the lock and break in to loot the place. When you find anything of value the game converts it to cash that you can spend on better weapons and to restock your supplies. This is also the goal of many of the side missions. Someone has an item that another person wants and they hire you to steal it. The side missions were my favorite part of the game. The chapter missions were OK but some were too long, I felt that some of the longer side missions were the perfect size and I would have liked the game more if it featured many of these as opposed to the main chapter missions.

Being a stealth game the combat system is pretty basic. It consists of a black jack that allows you to sneak up on characters and knock them out with one blow. If you mess up you also fight enemies hand to hand with it and if you haven't upgraded the black jack's damage it will be a tough fight against enemies with swords. Your other weapon is your compound bow and it works pretty well, and as with the black jack it works better when upgraded. With the bow you pretty much need a head shot to take a guard down with out him raising the alarm. As this is a stealth game it wants you to sneak around each guard and rewards you more for doing it but one of the reasons I liked this stealth game is that it still allows you to fight if you choose to it just makes it harder.

I played the game on Master difficulty and with finding about 75% of the collectible and completing all the side missions the game took me about 20 hours to complete which isn't too bad. Despite being a stealth game I actually had a lot of fun with the game and I've been thinking of replaying some of the earlier missions now that I have a better feel of the game. I would give this game a 7 out of 10.

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