Thief Review – When Everything Is Part of One Big Puzzle



The wait for a new Thief game has been long. The latest installment in the series was released in 2004 so there has been over ten years gap since Garrett’s last adventure. Without experience of the past games, we took a challenge to get into the world of Thief and steal everything we can. This meant spending a week as the master thief Garrett.

thief4 Gameplay

Playing as a master thief, you must know how to move in the area without getting detected by the enemies. Unlike in other games, in Thief shadows and darkness are you allies and light your worst enemy. Moving around is smooth and miss controls barely happen.

But when it comes to the combat, it’s very lacking. That’s why enemy encounters are quite frustrating even though with a few ability upgrades you can ease the fight against them. Still when facing an enemy group, only way is to escape – other way you are a goner. It’s a bit weird that a master thief doesn’t move that smoothly during fights or when evading. Still, it’s a stealth game after all but I wish it would have provided a smoother combat system. Since if you get detected, you are going to die rather easily, and at the worst case the game throws you a bit too far back in the mission.


As a victim of roller coaster video game experiences, my approach to the situations may have been too aggressive but I think it’s the gold of the game. You can play it in different ways and I’m looking forward to see how others solve the different situations.

Searching treasures from the areas is surprisingly fun and additive. There are lots of treasures to loot in the maps and I didn’t even find most of them! There will be lots of replay value for people who like to snatch and loot everything. After each chapter there will be a completed screen with stat which you can compare to your friends’ on leaderboards.


Exploring the World

In the world of Thief, The City is the players’ playground for exploring, and committing burglaries. There are houses waiting for the player to break in and find the hidden treasures which are waiting for their taker – in this case – stealer.  When exploring The City, it’s quite easy to get lost since the map designing can be confusing at times. For example, in situations where you’re in need to refill your inventory at the market you may face problems finding the right way.  You can check the map but it isn’t helping much since there is no information about the locations. You can’t highlight the location you want to go either – only mission objectives. Unclear maps can cause frustration, if you plan to avoid enemies other ways and you find yourself in the corner and start to wonder where to go.



When it comes to music,  it’s meant to create tension and give a dark touch to the atmosphere. But this also means you won’t be hearing much of it during the gameplay and the few tracks you are going to hear aren’t exactly the most rememberable. Since it’s a stealth game, silence and environmental sounds play a bigger part during the gameplay.

Technical Execution

Now we’re experiencing a trend of cross-gen releases and Thief isn’t an exception. This also means it’s not completely a true next-gen game. Sure it has its moments to impress player  but there are still some last-gen coldness in character animations and movements. Also the game experiences dramatical FPS drops, not in gameplay, but during cutscenes which is quite surprising. Other flaw I experienced was repeating dialogue glitch where NPC just continuously repeated the same. Designing choice or not – it wasn’t pleasing. Another sign of cross-gen game were the rather long loading times between some areas.


The Story

Thief may cause a disappointment for players who are looking forward to the story since it’s not revolutionary. The player is thrown in the setting where Garrett is experiencing some sort of insomnia due to the events happened in the beginning of the game. Soon Garrett finds himself trying to find information about himself and his lost friend. This leads to the different kinds of events  in the world of The City where people are starting a revolution while a mysterious disease is threatening them.  The events, setting and storyline reminded me a lot of Uncharted games which makes it feel a bit generic. But the story isn’t the main point of the game – it’s the stealth gameplay and solving huge puzzles.


In Conclusion

Thief is a great game for players who are looking for an escape from shooter dominated next-gen market since it’s very slow phased gaming experience. Even though the  game lacks a good combat system, it executes stealth action well which is its main focus. Every situation feels like one big puzzle where all players decisions count.  Thief may suffer a few technical issues but it still is a welcome addition to the game library.  Garrett may stumble but he still manages to snatch the treasure.  I’m looking forward to see the first true next-gen Thief game.

Thank you, Namco Bandai, for the review code.

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