So we keep marching onward into the barren wasteland of gaming that is the year of 2014 with the reboot of a series that we have not seen for nearly a decade, Thief. Riding off the coat tails of popular games and ideas like BioShock Infinite, The Last of Us, and Dishonored, this game developed by Eidos Montreal and published by Square Enix limped onto the scene practically dead upon arrival. I do not know if I should fault Thief for this. It isn’t like there are games that are blowing the doors off the gaming community with boring titles and unoriginal concepts. But even with that on the plate, Thief seems to take that extra effort to be boring and unoriginal by practically lifting concepts and ideas from much better games, executing them poorly, and have a boring story line to make sure that we are asleep after the first thirty minutes of playing this game.
Thief is the story of Garrett, he is naturally an expert thief who has been given a mission to steal a priceless stone. But when an accident involving her partner goes horribly wrong and interrupts a ceremony carried out by a secret society, Garrett finds himself being brought into the city by two random people. He learns that he has been given special powers by the accident. The City that he is being ravaged by a terrible plague and is ruled under the iron fist of a powerful Baron.
It Does Take the Stealth Concept Seriously
I will say this, this game is definitely a stealth game. There is no choice of going in guns blazing and hacking and slashing your way through enemies like it is your job. Unlike games like Uncharted that give you that option, Thief will give you an instant loss if you fail in your stealthy objections. It is a very cerebral game and will require you to put some thought into sneaking around certain enemies.
For players who are a fan of going in stealthy, sneaking in the shadows, and quick concise attacks then this is a game you will enjoy. It gives you exactly what you want, the ability to sneak and some serious consequences if you fail to do so.
Welcome to the realms of video games where if something succeeds, prepare to see it over and over and over and over again. This game is no exception. It ‘borrows’ from several games like The Last of Us, Assassin’s Creed, and BioShock Infinite. But the one it borrows the most from in both its design, mechanics, and feel is Dishonored. The Victorian setting and steam punk feel plus the fact that this is a stealth game helps but two and two together.
But what I will say is this. If you are going to borrow from other games, fine. This is a copy cat industry. If something works well, who am I to complain about seeing it multiple times? As long as you execute it well and you add your own style to it, who am I to judge? Well the problem with this game is that it borrows from other games and does so with no style or grace. All it succeeds in doing is reminding you of the fact that games like Dishonored and Assassin’s Creed exist and you should be playing them instead of Thief.
Cut Scenes and Audio Syncing are Poorly Done
This is absolutely terrible. In today’s competitive gaming market, I EXPECT that a games cut scenes and lip syncing are at least ‘average’. The fact that the syncing is so terrible you cannot tell who is talking half of the time and the cut scenes that as a developer you can take your time to create and animate the way you wish to and they both look absolutely terrible, you have failed horrifically at creating a game. This is not something I should have to critique. I EXPECT at least a decent attempt at audio syncing, I EXPECT cut scenes, and if it isn’t wonderful then I AT LEAST EXPECT that they are not a distraction which they are. This might have flied in 2008, 2010, or even 2012. But in 2014, this unacceptable!
The graphics are terrible. No other way to put it, they are just terrible. If this game was released when the PS3 and Xbox 360 were released, maybe then they could pass as decent. But considering the aforementioned audio syncing problems, poor cut scenes, and the overall look is a poorly rendered attempt to recreate the steam punk environment that Dishonored gave us, this is one big pile of poorly rendered graphics shit.
I’m not saying that we need to be blown away by every game that is released this year. Next gen graphics need to be taken with a grain of salt since developers are tentative about what the next-gen can and cannot do. But you need to at least be on par with games that are previous gen and this game just does not do that at all. It has a piss poor look and cannot even come close to living up to the expectations of the public.
This game is inexcusable. I will give it that video gaming is a ‘borrowing’ type of industry. If you find something that works then it tends to get spammed nonstop, I get that. But if you are going to rip off better games than you at least need to do it well. The game style is poor, the lip syncing is horrendous, the graphics are not next-gen or even a close representation of next-gen. As a matter of fact, this title looks like it could barely cut mustard to early PS3/XBox 360 games.
Before anyone jumps on to here and say that they plan to patch problems and solve them down the line, I am going to stop you right here. I always review a game how it is when it is first put out on the market. If it comes out in a broken state, then it is an appalling game. If it is patched to the point that it eventually becomes a wonderful game, it is still an appalling game since it was released in such a piss poor state, which this game was. It does the stealth concept decently, but that is by no means a saving grace to what is a terrible game. I suggest everyone stay as far away from it as possible.
Final Score 1.5/5
Tanner Reviews Announcement
I would like to take this moment to make an important announcement about the future of Tanner Reviews, in particular my video game reviews. As much as I love video games and it is one of my favorite hobbies, I fear that due to my money situation I will not be able to cover video games like I have in the past. It is becoming too much of a strain to keep renting these games on a regular basis or asking friends to play them. Even though I love video games, my real passion is film and considering that I have a ‘filmmakers’ eye for gaming it is best that this website turn its focus more towards films and less towards video games.
Now I want to stress that this DOES NOT MEAN that I am going to quit reviewing video games, I still plan to review them and I plan to talk about them a lot more on the Nerdiest Talk Show on Earth. HOWEVER there will be much more of an emphasis on ‘retrospective’ gaming and older titles than new titles. This view-point might change down the line but for the time this site is going to focus much more on film reviews and the Nerdiest Talk Show on Earth and less on video gaming. Thank you again for your support and following me on my journey to make my dreams come true. I promise this site is on the fast track towards great thing and I have you to thank for that. So thanks again and much love from Tanner Reviews.