Instant Trailer Review: Thief

The Game: Thief

The Makers: Publisher Square Enix, developer Eidos Montreal

The Release Date: February 25, 2014

The Reason to Watch: Features gameplay that actually looks like a Thief game. Shocker, I know, but after the horror stories we’ve heard about Thief’s development, that’s great news for Garrett fans.

Other than those completely out of place boss fights, Eidos Montreal nailed what it means to be Deus Ex with 2011′s Human Revolution. Can the studio (albeit a different team) once again hit a home run with the franchise that defined stealth? For a long time, it seemed as if they were trying and failing, as myriad internal issues stretched Thief’s development to five long years. Those reports have left fans of the originals cautiously optimistic at best, this humble scribe among them. Today, though, there’s reason for a sigh of relief.

Garrett is back. No, really, this looks like the Garrett we know. He’s sneaking, sticking to the shadows, and — dare we say it in this era of shootey, explodey, Michael Bay game trailers — avoiding conflict, not seeking it out. And when he does take out a guard, he’s knocking him unconscious with a Blackjack, not rippin’ throats or severing limbs. How novel. And look, there’s Basso the Boxman! Hey, Basso, remember when I broke you out of prison? Good times!

Sure, Garrett sounds like he was voiced by some guy off the street who recorded his dialogue in a cardboard box, but I’ll take what I can get. Sneak in, snatch the goods, and escape. With this trailer, Eidos Montreal is demonstrating it actually does understand what the core Thief experience is supposed to deliver.

And it’s pretty to boot, with impressive destruction, dark and light effects, and, most importantly, shadows. Dishonored rekindled my love for sneaking, but with a host of dark powers and weapons on hand, missions inevitably turned into bloody brawls. Based on this trailer, it looks like Thief is putting the focus firmly on stealth. Which is right where it should be.

Whew!

The Trailer on the Makes-Me-Want-to-Play-it Meter: A much higher than anticipated 8.

Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in! I’m letting my Thief fanboy creep in and take over the keyboard at the moment, but I can’t help it. I had Thief at the top of my Most Likely to Disappoint in 2014 list, but this gameplay trailer bumps it waaay down. Still cautious, but now much more optimistic. See the trailer and judge for yourself:

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